TRG Attends ELI Clean Water Act Event

On June 26, Taylor Research Group attended “Basics of the Clean Water Act,” an event hosted by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) as part of their annual Summer School series.

At the forefront of the discussion was Section 303 (d): Impaired Waters and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). TMDL is a regulatory term used to define the greatest amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive while still meeting water quality standards (WQS). Under the CWA, states are required to calculate TMDLs for waterbodies that are “impaired” – meaning those that do not meet established WQS – or “threatened” – those that have a high likelihood of exceeding WQS during the next reporting cycle.

Elizabeth Andrews, Director of William & Mary Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Center, focused her ELI presentation on the Chesapeake Bay, a long-polluted waterbody located right in TRG’s backyard. On December 29, 2010, the U.S. EPA established the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. It was designed to significantly reduce levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment, a goal which decades of voluntary restoration efforts had failed to accomplish.

  Satellite Image of the Chesapeake Bay.   NASA Image courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response Team.

Satellite Image of the Chesapeake Bay. NASA Image courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response Team.

Another contaminant of recent concern in the Chesapeake Bay area is per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The U.S. Navy plans to test private water wells around the Naval Research Laboratory-Chesapeake Bay Detachment (NRL-CBD) in Chesapeake Beach, MD for PFAS. If these substances are present in the local groundwater, they may have found their way into the Chesapeake Bay as well.

For parties interested in the historical use and discharge of a given contaminant, TRG is well-equipped to uncover relevant documentation. From PFAS to PCBs, we have extensive experience conducting research and collecting information on toxins within military sites, industrial properties, and waterways.