The Chesapeake Bay TMDL 2017 Midpoint Assessment Priorities

The Chesapeake Bay Program established 14 primary  Midpoint Assessment priorities to support achieving the primary objectives of the Midpoint Assessment. Each of the 14 priorities are listed below with brief descriptions and a listing of the associated supporting documentation and work products. Work products are updated on a variable schedule, depending on the priority and nature of the work product

1. 60% by 2017 Assessment

EPA provides clarity on assessment of “60% by 2017” interim target, including the use of Phase 5.3.2 and the role of numeric and programmatic commitments.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: US EPA
CBPO Contact: Katherine Antos, antos.katherine@epa.gov, 410-295-1358  

60% by 2017 MPA Work Plan – Process of how to credit 60% by 2017, including programmatic progress and timing of assessment, updated February 4, 2013

2. Land Use

The Land Use Workgroup is charged with improving the resolution of land uses in the partnership’s decision support tools, including the relative loading rates of nutrients and sediments. The Land Use Workgroup has led the effort, along with the source sector workgroups, to collect finer scale local land cover and land use data. This priority has significant implications for assisting state and local jurisdictions with WIP implementation (states/locals sharing and confirming data) and reporting of progress (improved accuracy of data).

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Land Use Workgroup
CBPO Contact: Peter Claggett, pclagget@chesapeakebay.net, 410-267-5771
Workgroup Contact: Karl Berger, kberger@mwcog.org

3. Climate Change

The 2010 TMDL documentation and the 2009 Executive Order call for an assessment of the impacts of a changing climate on the Chesapeake Bay water quality and living resources. The airshed, watershed, and Water Quality and Sediment Transport models will be used to examine the impact of climate change on projected water quality. Current efforts are to frame an initial future climate-change scenario based on estimated 2050 conditions.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Modeling Workgroup
CBPO Contact: Lewis Linker, llinker@chesapeakebay.net , 410-267-5741
Workgroup Contact: Lee Currey, lcurrey@maryland.gov and Dave Montali, David.A.Montali@wv.gov

4. Conowingo

The Modeling Workgroup is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment study, and the Scientific, Technical Assessment, and Reporting team for the assessment of trapping capacity behind dams, especially the Conowingo, as well as greater representation of local impoundments and reservoirs throughout the Phase 6 Watershed Model domain.

CBP Oversight Team: Modeling Workgroup
CBPO Contact: Lewis Linker, llinker@chesapeakebay.net , 410-267-5741
Workgroup Contact: Lee Currey, lcurrey@maryland.gov and Dave Montali, David.A.Montali@wv.gov

5. Phase 6 Model Development

The CBP partnership, led by the Modeling Workgroup, is revising the watershed modeling system structure, i.e., transition to an all PQUAL model, to enhance decision support and to improve transparency, accuracy, and confidence.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Modeling Workgroup
CBPO Contact: Gary Shenk, GShenk@chesapeakebay.net, 410-267-5745
Workgroup Contact: Lee Currey, lcurrey@maryland.gov and Dave Montali, David.A.Montali@wv.gov

6. Phase 6 Model Calibration

The Modeling Workgroup is revisiting Watershed Model calibration methods with the goal of improving local watershed results, including revisiting regional factors. This effort also includes activities to extend the simulation period and to revise the Airshed and WQSTMs.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Modeling Workgroup
CBPO Contact: Lewis Linker, llinker@chesapeakebay.net , 410-267-5741
Workgroup Contact: Lee Currey, lcurrey@maryland.gov and Dave Montali, David.A.Montali@wv.gov

7. Phase III WIP Development

EPA first laid out its expectations for all three phases of the WIPs in a November 2009 letter from the EPA Regional Administrator to members of the Principals’ Staff Committee. EPA clarified its expectations for Phase I and II WIPs in short guides distributed in April 2010 and March 2011, respectively, as well as in subsequent communications to the Bay jurisdictions. EPA intends to follow the same process for the Phase III WIPs.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: US EPA
CBPO Contact: Katherine Antos, antos.katherine@epa.gov , 410-295-1358

8. James River Chlorophyll-a

The CBP partnership, led by Virginia, is conducting a criteria assessment to determine if any changes are needed in order for the criteria to meet water quality standards in the James River.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Water Quality Goal Implementation Team
CBPO Contact: Lewis Linker, llinker@chesapeakebay.net , 410-267-5741
Workgroup Contact: John Kennedy, John.Kennedy@deq.virginia.gov

9. Historic Data Cleanup

As part of the Bay TMDL midpoint assessment, the seven Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions are expected to “clean up” the information on BMP information and wastewater treatment plant discharges that they have submitted to the Chesapeake Bay Program Office. Information on BMP implementation and wastewater plant discharges that is as accurate as possible is integral to calibrating the Phase 6 Watershed Model, planning and reporting future actions, using monitoring data to assess impacts of past efforts, and assessing the critical period of 1993-1995.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Water Quality Goal Implementation Team
CBPO Contact: Matt Johnston, mjohnston@chesapeakebay.net, 410-267-5707
Workgroup Contact: thtesler@pa.gov

10. Modeling Data, Assumptions, & Processing

The Agriculture Workgroup is identifying and utilizing available datasets and prioritizing development of new datasets to enable and support enhanced analyses and decisions.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Agriculture Workgroup
Contact: Matt Johnston, mjohnston@chesapeakebay.net, 410-267-5707
Workgroup Contact: Curtis Dell, Curtis.Dell@ars.usda.gov

11. Monitoring & Assessment

The CBP will enhance the assessment and explanation of monitoring information as part of the Bay TMDL’s midpoint assessment. The CBP partners have endorsed an integrated approach that includes three primary pieces of information to assess progress toward water-quality standards: (1) Reporting of water-quality management practices; (2) Trends of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the watershed; and (3) Attainment of dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a, and water clarity/SAV standards.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Scientific, Technical Assessment, and Reporting Team
CBPO Contact: Scott Phillips, swphilli@usgs.gov, 443-498-5552

12. BMP Panels

The Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions implement BMPs to achieve the goals set forth in the Bay TMDL. Through the Protocol for Development, Review and Approval of Loading and Effectiveness Estimates for Nutrient and Sediment Controls, newer practices and technologies are considered and evaluated for inclusion in the CBP partnership modeling tools. Existing practices are re-evaluated to ensure they reflect the best available scientific data and information.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Water Quality Goal Implementation Team
CBPO Contact: Lucinda Power, power.lucinda@epa.gov, 410-267-5722

13. Bay TMDL Potential Modification

EPA, in collaboration with the CBP partnership, will consider the results of the midpoint assessment and jurisdictions’ Phase III WIPs to determine whether modification of the 2010 Chesapeake Bay TMDL is necessary and appropriate. Future changes to Phase II planning targets and TMDL allocations are not a presumption of the results of the midpoint assessment. After midpoint assessment is complete, EPA will work with the Partnership to set Phase III WIP planning targets. Based on the midpoint assessment and Phase III WIPs, EPA, with input from the partnership, will determine whether to modify the 2010 Bay TMDL.

CBP Oversight Team: US EPA
CBPO Contact: Katherine Antos, antos.katherine@epa.gov, 410-295-1358

14. Federal Facilities

In accordance with Executive Order (EO) 13508, the federal government should lead the effort to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. Federal agencies continue to demonstrate commitment to this effort in accordance with the EO and accompanying strategy. A Federal Facilities Workgroup has been established to identify and implement water quality improvement efforts of federal facilities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Priority CBP Oversight Team: Water Quality Goal Implementation Team
CBPO Contact: Greg Allen, allen.greg@epa.gov , 410-267-5746
Workgroup Contact: Greg Allen, allen.greg@epa.gov

  • Background on the federal targets protocol- This document describes the process for setting nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollutant reduction targets for federal facilities consistent with the 2010 Chesapeake Bay TMDL (Bay TMDL) and the Executive Order 13508 Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (EO12308 Strategy). The Protocol was developed by the Federal Facilities Targets Action Team and was approved by the Management Board in June, 2015.
  • Background on the letter - A letter sent by EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin to senior officials in Federal Departments and Agencies to address BMP planning and progress reporting requirements.