1999 Court Ordered 303(d) List

For a short time Louisiana's Total Maximum Daily Load Program operated under the 1999 Court Ordered 303(d) List*. This list was released on October 28, 1999 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 in Dallas, Texas. EPA developed this list as a result of a Court Order issued against EPA Region 6 on October 1, 1999. Under the order, EPA Region 6 disapproved Louisiana's 1998 303(d) list, which they had previously approved on September 14, 1998, and created the new 1999 Court Ordered 303(d) List. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) were to be established based on priorities determined by the Court as part of the Court Ordered 303(d) list. This Court Ordered EPA 303(d) list superceded the 1998 303(d) list created by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). The 1999 Court Order and resulting 303(d) List was subsequently thrown out on appeal. A Consent Decree was agreed upon between EPA and the plaintiffs and signed by the judge in the case on April 1, 2002. Louisiana has been operating under this Consent Decree since that time. The 2002 Consent Decree contains what became the 2002 Consent Decree 303(d) List.

EPA was ordered to rely on four documents in creating the Court Ordered 303(d) list:

1) the 304(l) list, a list of waters impaired by toxics originally reported in the 1990 305(b) report;

2) the 1993 Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment Plan, a report based entirely on water quality assessments done for the 1992 305(b) report;

3) the 1996 303(d) list which is based on

4) the 1996 305(b) report; and

5) the 1998 305(b) report

The Court Ordered schedule for TMDL development is as follows. This schedule has been superceded by the 2002 Consent Decree list and schedule.

Louisiana Water Quality Management Basins

Year for TMDL completion (December 31 of each year)

Mermentau and Vermilion-Teche

1999

Calcasieu and Ouachita

2001

Barataria and Terrebonne

2003

Red and Sabine

2005

Pontchartrain

2006

Mississippi Atchafalaya and Pearl

2007

Both LDEQ and EPA are working to develop TMDLs for water bodies on the 303(d) list. LDEQ and EPA are also working to update the 2002 Consent Decree list based on new data obtained for the 2004 305(b) reporting period. New data obtained after development of the 2004 305(b) report will also be considered when determining the current status of waterbodies on the 303(d) list.

* References such as 303(d), 305(b) and 304(l) refer to sections of the Federal Clean Water Act.

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