Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program



Overview

The federal Clean Water Act includes rules and programs to help states prevent and reduce water pollution. States must identify polluted waters and plan to restore their health. Part of this plan is developing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for polluted waters.

What is a TMDL?

A TMDL is the maximum amount of pollutant a water body can handle while still meeting water quality standards.

What is included in a TMDL?

Developing a TMDL is like writing a prescription for a water body. It determines how much pollutant is there, where it’s coming from, and how to reduce it to meet water quality standards. TMDLs set targets to meet water quality standards that support different uses like drinking water, recreation, or agriculture.

When is a TMDL needed?

TMDLs are required for water bodies not meeting water quality standards. These are typically referred to as “impaired waters” or “303(d) listed waters” and are identified on the state’s Section 303(d) list in the biennial Integrated Report.

How are water bodies prioritized for TMDL development?

Water bodies are selected for TMDL development following an impaired waters prioritization strategy: North Dakota Total Maximum Daily Load Prioritization Strategy for Vision 2 of the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) Program

Who develops TMDLs in North Dakota?

The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality, Watershed Management Program is responsible for developing TMDLs for impaired water bodies in North Dakota. TMDLs must be approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

What happens after a TMDL is approved?

TMDLs are implemented through local watershed projects and through water quality permits.

Local watershed projects rely on voluntary efforts from landowners and community members to reduce pollution from nonpoint sources (runoff) identified in the TMDL. The North Dakota Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program (NPS Program) awards grant funding for projects addressing nonpoint source pollution such as Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation or information and education projects.

Water quality permits are managed by the North Dakota Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPDES) program. The NDPDES program updates permit conditions to reduce pollution from point sources identified in the TMDL (for example, discharge pipes).

How is the public involved?

Successful TMDL development and implementation ultimately depends on public participation. North Dakotan’s can directly participate in local watershed projects and can provide comment on TMDLs and planning documents.

In January 2024 the NDDEQ released an Impaired Waters Public Survey requesting input on public water quality priorities to guide TMDL planning. The NDDEQ plans to redistribute this survey every two years.

Public questions or concerns can contact the NDDEQ Division of Water Quality at 701-328-5210 or DEQ-TMDL@nd.gov.

What is an Advanced Restoration Plan?

Advanced Restoration Plans (ARPs), previously termed ‘Alternative’ Restoration Plans, are developed for water bodies where sources of pollution are known and actions to address pollution are in place or planned (items a TMDL would otherwise identify and determine). An ARP does not replace a TMDL but can help achieve water quality standards, at which point a TMDL would no longer be needed.


Water Quality Division Employee Email List (click to expand)

Filter 
Last Name First Name E-Mail Address Program Phone
Anderson Carl cjanders@nd.gov WQ Ground Water Monitoring 701-328-5213
Brazil Emily ebrazil@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5296
Dahl Lane ldDahl@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5222
Delzer Alexis adelzer@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5282
DeVries Taylor tlDeVries@nd.gov WQ Spill Investigation 701-328-5236
Espe Brady bespe@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5228
Galloway Noah ngalloway WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5253
Gilley Cameron cgilley@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5210
Gleich Casey ctGleich@nd.gov WQ Ground Water Monitoring 701-328-4164
Gross Joe jlgross@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5292
Grossman Dallas dgrossma@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5242
Hanson Lawrence lawrence.hanson@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5291
Haroldson Marty mharolds@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5234
Harrison Kylee kharrison@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5187
Houle Brian bHoule@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5193
Joynt Emily eJoynt@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5239
Kaiser Don dkaiser@nd.gov WQ Spill Investigation 701-328-5151
Kritzberger Ryan rKritzberger@nd.gov WQ Ground Water Monitoring 701-328-9035
Kruske Montana mkruske@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5172
McCauley Jenna Jenna.McCauley@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management
Miller Meridith meridith.miller@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5166
Nelson Amber amjnelson@nd.gov Water Quality Division 701-328-5210
Novak Emilee ejnovak@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5240
Rockeman Karl krockema@nd.gov Water Quality Division 701-328-5225
Schick McKenzie mschick@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5288
Schiwal Alyssa aschiwal@nd.gov WQ Ground Water Monitoring 701-328-5159
Schuett Patrick pschuett@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5235
Stockdill Scott sjstockdill@nd.gov WQ Spill Investigation 701-328-5241
Strommen Rachel rstrommen@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5244
Suess Bill bsuess@nd.gov WQ Spill Investigation 701-328-5216
Suggs Shannon ssuggs@nd.gov WQ Ground Water Monitoring 701-328-6409
Waldron Feld Sarah sfeld@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5237
Wallery Paige pWallery@nd.gov WQ Spill Investigation 701-328-5243
Wax Peter pwax@nd.gov WQ Special Projects 701-328-5268
Wert Joshua jewert@nd.gov WQ Watershed Management 701-328-5214
Woutat Tanner twoutat@nd.gov WQ Ground Water Monitoring 701-328-5233
Zittleman Julianna jzittleman@nd.gov WQ NDPDES Permitting 701-328-5285