This website has been authorized by the Palm Beach County MS4 NPDES (PBC NPDES) Steering Committee as as resource for all permittees within the county. It is intended that this site will provide the user with helpful information on understanding and complying with the requirements of the MS4 NPDES permit.
Impaired Waters & TMDLs
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Water Resource Management uses a comprehensive approach to protecting Florida water quality involving basin-wide assessments and the application of regulatory and non-regulatory strategies to reduce pollution. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program is the heart of this comprehensive approach. (From the FDEP website.)
The PBC MS4 NPDES third term permit includes requirements for those permittees whose MS4s discharge to a water body segment that had an EPA-established or FDEP-adopted TMDL at the time the third term permit was issued (March 2, 2011). TMDLs established or adopted after March 2, 2011 will be addressed in the next permit cycle. Both FDEP and EPA refer to the water body segments and their associated contributing areas as WBIDs.
When the current permit was issued, there were no FDEP-adopted TMDLs, however, there were seven (7) EPA-established TMDLs in Palm Beach County.
The seven TMDLs established by EPA by the start of our current permit (3/2/2011) must be addressed during the current permit cycle. They are:
Process for TMDL Implementation
The six PBC permittees affected by TMDLs during this permit cycle met to discuss an approach. A draft Prioritization Plan was submitted to FDEP, which identified the L-8 as the top priority WBID/TMDL for the stakeholders. FDEP provided comments and the plan was revised. Next, the Monitoring and Assessment Plan was submitted and accepted by FDEP. Monitoring was then conducted and no exceedences of state water quality values for turbidity were found. These results were reported with the 2013 annual MS4 NPDES report. Sincere there were no exceedences, no additional water quality improvement programs to address this parameter are required. All 7 EPA TMDLs were addressed in years 1, 2 and 3 Joint Annual Reports. No additional stormwater management programs are needed.
A map depicting the WBID boundaries, along with municipal and county boundaries can be downloaded here.
It is still important for all permittees to track TMDLs that are or will be established or adopted after the permit issuance date. The following table lists the TMDLs established or adopted after March 2, 2011. (These will be addressed in the next MS4 NPDES permit cycle.)
FDEP has a listing for site-specific TMDL prioritys and setting through 2022. Included on the list are eight waterbodies in Palm Beach County. One water body, Boynton Canal (WBID 3256B) was delisted in the Lake Worth Lagoon Cycle 3 2016 listing. Three other water bodies are included in a Reasonable Assurance Plan being coordinated by FDEP for the Loxahatchee River (North Fork WBID 3226D, NW Fork 3226A and SW Fork 3226C). These activities removed all four from the TMDL schedule resulting in three remaining water bodies as shown in the following table.
Impaired Water Body Segments
An impaired WBID is a candidate for a TMDL, so it is important to keep track of impaired WBIDs to which your MS4 contributes.
FDEP’s assessment program for waterbody impairment divides the state’s waterbodies into 5 Groups, with each group cycling through a 5-year assessment cycle. The 5-year cycle includes planning, monitoring, preliminary evaluation, public meetings, final evaluation, and Secretarial (state) adoption of the verified lists. Within Palm Beach County there are four basin groups. The third assessment cycle began in 2012. Below is the assessment schedule that FDEP published in 2018.
A number of presentations have been given on TMDLs throughout the state. The following list includes several that may be of interest. Click on the title to download a PDF of the presentation.
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