PVCC and the Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is downstream from the Charlottesville and Albemarle County’s local streams and their watersheds. As such, these local watersheds are components of the larger watershed that drains into the Chesapeake Bay, meaning that whatever enters local streams eventually enters the Chesapeake Bay. Conversely, any pollutant reductions to local streams also reduce pollutant loading to the Bay. While these total maximum daily load (TMDL) studies for Moores Creek, Lodge Creek, Meadow Creek and Schenks Branch are focused on how to reduce sediment entering these streams, the measures taken to reduce sediment will also result in reductions of both nitrogen and phosphorus transported to the streams. Therefore, all best management practices and pollutant reductions from these local TMDLs also contribute to the reductions needed to meet Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. Whatever we do to clean up our local streams will also help downstream (DEQ Spotlight on Local Streams, June 2015).
The Chesapeake Bay TMDL was established by the EPA on December 29, 2010 and initiated WLAs (waste load allocations) for phosphorus, nitrogen and total suspended solids. In response, the Commonwealth of Virginia developed Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) that, in part, identify the MS4 General Permit as a mechanism for enforcing load reductions in urban areas. Subsequently, the Commonwealth included special conditions into the latest MS4 General Permit to address the reductions required by the TMDL for the pollutants of concern.
The WIPs intended the reductions to be achieved over the course of three 5‐year permit cycles, with the first cycle (2013 – 2018) requiring 5% of the reductions be achieved. Reduction requirements for the following two permit cycles are anticipated to increase substantially, requiring an additional 35% and 60% of the reductions be achieved, respectively.
Additional information about the Chesapeake Bay can be found at the links below.