Watershed Implementation Plan
The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a "pollution diet" established in December 2010 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is intended to limit the amount of phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment entering the Bay from its watershed. The TMDL is required under the Federal Clean Water Act and responds to consent decrees in Virginia and the District of Columbia from the late 1990’s. Each state with waters draining into the Bay is required to submit a Watershed Implementation Plan which proposes how these pollution reduction goals will be met.
The WIP has three phases. The Virginia Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), submitted in 2010, identified general strategies in each of several sectors (agriculture, urban stormwater, wastewater, and septic systems) for reducing pollution to the prescribed levels. The Virginia Phase II WIP, submitted in March 2012, provides more specific information that facilitates actions by local partners to control nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment to achieve the pollution reduction goals as well as milestones that will be used to gauge progress and guide plan changes.
As part of the Phase II WIP, Virginia has asked all Bay jurisdictions, including Loudoun County, to develop scenarios and strategies that will help the state meet its required reduction goals. In 2012, Loudoun County established a Community Outreach Work Plan in an effort to find the most reasonable and cost effective strategies for meeting the requirements of the WIP. A letter was sent from the county to the VA Department of Conservation and Recreation in October 2013 describing the county’s Phase II WIP work plan, significant findings of the work plan process, and the support needed from the state of Virginia and the federal government.
Virginia will be required to meet sixty percent of its pollution reduction goals by the end of 2017. In 2018, Virginia will submit Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan. The Phase III WIP will be based on progress made and the success or failure of various planned strategies. One- hundred percent of pollution control measures must be completed by December 2025.