The following success stories highlight ways in which the Center's work has produced positive results. By performing research that can be practically applied as well as proposing changes to current practices, the Center has assisted environmental organizations in resolving water quality issues on both a state and national level.
US EPA Distributes Center's Research Nationwide
The Center's environmental research is now being used to improve policies nationally and in Ohio. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has posted results of the Center's study, Implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs): Understanding & Fostering Successful Results
on its website. It is also sharing the results with environmental professionals throughout the country. Follow this link to view the TMDL Fact sheet on EPA's website
Ohio EPA Changes Water Quality Management Process Based Upon Center's Research
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has recently taken steps to improve its implementation of water quality enhancement actions recommended in US EPA approved Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) documents.
Some of the steps taken were recommended in a US EPA funded study released by the Center in December, 2008.
The report, entitled Implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs): Understanding & Fostering Successful Results
, was authored by Dr. Hoornbeek, Center Affiliate Evan Hansen, Dr. Evan Ringquist, and Dr. Robert Carlson.
In May 2009, Dr. Hoornbeek delivered a presentation on the study's findings for the OEPA's Division of Surface Water in Columbus, Ohio.
The Center's report identified inconsistent presentation of TMDL implementation recommendations in TMDL reports and inconsistent regulatory follow up on report recommendations as impediments to the restoration of impaired water bodies in Ohio and West Virginia.
Responding to the report and its own efforts to foster TMDL implementation, OEPA has now developed a new format for TMDL recommendations to provide clarity for implementers and instituted internal procedures to ensure that future water pollution discharge permits are written to reflect TMDL recommendations.
All of these actions should contribute to improvements in water quality in Ohio in the coming months and years.
State EPA Incremental Measures Workgroup Proposes Steps Nationwide Water Quality Improvement
The State EPA Incremental Measures Workgroup is a coalition of over a dozen states that have focused on reviewing and adjusting proposed watershed restoration measures. The goal of the Workgroup is to develop uniform measures and to benchmark progress in watershed restoration across the states.
Following a meeting in Washington D.C., the Workgroup forwarded two measures to the US EPA for use in measuring watershed restoration progress throughout the country. The proposed changes to the current measures of watershed restoration progress could allow for a more complete picture of the efforts being made by US EPA and state water quality agencies to restore and protect the nation's waters. If adopted and included in the Office of Water's National Program Guidance, all 50 states would be asked to report on these measures in their communications with EPA, as well as outside stakeholders.