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Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C.S. § 1251 et seq., total maximum daily loads can be expressed in terms of either mass per time, toxicity, or other appropriate measure. 40 C.F.R. § 130.2(i).
Plaintiffs-Appellants challenged the district court's dismissal of their claim brought under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C.S. § 500 et seq., seeking judicial review of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to approve total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for phosphorous for eight New York reservoirs. The TMDLs were submitted to EPA by the State of New York pursuant to the CWA, 33 U.S.C.S. § 1313.
Did the Clean Water Act require total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) to be expressed in terms of daily loads?
The court of appeals affirmed the district court's holding that the CWA did not require TMDLs to be expressed in terms of daily loads, but remanded to the district court for remand to EPA for further explanation of why annual loads were appropriate in the case of New York's phosphorus TMDLs. The court agreed with EPA that a "total maximum daily load" may be expressed by another measure of mass per time, where such an alternative measure best served the purpose of effective regulation of pollutant levels in New York's waterbodies.