TMDL Can Apply to Lake Sediment, Court Rules

The California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, has ruled that a total maximum daily load (TMDL) established for McGrath Lake’s sediment bed does not violate the Clean Water Act, state water code, or the California Environmental Quality Act. The court filed its opinion for Conway v. State Water Resources Control Board. on March 30.

Owners of private property near the 5-ha (12-ac) lake in Oxnard, Calif. will likely be held responsible for remediation of pollution, which includes pesticides from agricultural runoff and polychlorinated byphenyls. The property owners contended that a TMDL could cover only pollutants in the water column, not the sediment.

A regional arm of California’s State Water Resources Control Board established the TMDL, which was approved by the state board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through an amendment to a water-quality-control plan or basin plan.

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