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News Archive: September 2007

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This information is provided for reference. Over time, links to news items may become unavailable, in these cases the item will remain listed, but no link will be provided. Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

September 28
EPA Orders Five Illinois Feedlots To Stop Discharges to Nearby Streams
EPA Region 5 has ordered five Illinois feedlots to stop all unauthorized discharges of manure and wastewater and comply with the Clean Water Act. EPA also ordered several of the feedlots to apply to the Illinois EPA for discharge permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. EPA has not assessed penalties as part of these actions.

EPA Settles With Target on Pesticide Violations
EPA Region 5 has filed a consent agreement and final order with Target Corp. on alleged violations of federal rules on the labeling, distribution, and sale of pesticide products. A $40,950 penalty has been assessed against the company as part of the settlement. According to EPA, Target sold and distributed unregistered pesticides from its stores and on its Web site. The products are Antimicrobial Toilet Seats, three sizes of Home Ultimate Mattress Pads, Home Ultimate Pillows, and Cleaner With Bleach. The toilet seats, mattress pad, and pillows made "germ-killing" claims. The Cleaner With Bleach compared the product's properties to a similar, registered disinfectant bathroom cleaner sold by a competitor. Target is removing the pesticidal claims from these products.

Busan 77 Risk Assessment Available for Comment
EPA has released its risk assessment and related documents for the antimicrobial pesticide Busan 77 and has opened a public comment period on these documents. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for Busan 77 through a modified four-phase public participation process. Comments must be received on or before November 27, 2007.

September 27
EPA Proposes Penalty for Milk Plant in Maryland
EPA has proposed a $282,871 penalty against the operators of a milk processing plant in Laurel, Maryland, for failing to report an accidental release of at least 400 pounds of ammonia from the plant's refrigeration system in July 2006. EPA alleges that the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc., which owns and operates the Laurel plant, violated federal requirements for hazardous chemical reporting when it failed to immediately report the ammonia release to local, state, and federal emergency management agencies. The accidental release occurred while conducting maintenance on the plant's refrigeration compressors. The milk cooperative also failed to provide followup reports to state and local emergency officials.

EPA Settles With California Wholesalers for Pesticide Violations
EPA settled with Four Seasons General Merchandise, Inc., a Los Angeles, California, non-durable goods wholesaler for $24,960 and with 26 California Bazar, a Vernon, California, company for $9,360 for the alleged sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides, a violation of federal pesticide law. EPA alleges that Four Seasons sold the unregistered pesticides Clorox Disinfecta -- a Mexican version of Clorox bleach -- and Citronella Incense mosquito coils to retailers in Guam and California on five occasions between August 2006 and March 2007. In addition to the fine, the wholesaler has agreed to return all unused products to the original seller. EPA alleges that 26 California Bazar sold the unregistered pyrethroid pesticide, Camping Mosquito Sticks, to Guam retailers on two occasions. In addition to the fine, the company has agreed to cease selling the product.

September 26
EPA Issues Allethrin Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the allethrin series of pesticides (bioallethrin, esbiol, esbiothrin, and pynamin forte). The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the allethrins docket. The allethrins are synthetic pyrethroids used as insecticides on both indoor and outdoor use sites. Although the allethrins RED was signed on June 30, 2007, certain components of the document, which did not affect the final regulatory decision, were undergoing final editing at that time. These components, including the table of contents and the summary of labeling changes, have been added to the allethrins RED document. None of these additions or changes alter the conclusions documented in the June 30, 2007, allethrins RED. Few comments were received during the earlier comment periods for this reregistration case, and the issues related to this pesticide were resolved through consultations with stakeholders. The Agency therefore is issuing the allethrins RED without a comment period.

EPA Proposes to Terminate Special Review of Dichlorvos (DDVP)
EPA has published a Proposed Determination to Terminate Special Review for the pesticide dichlorvos (DDVP). Since the initiation of the special review, additional data have become available. Based in part on these data, the Agency has changed its assessment of some of the risks associated with DDVP and has modified the terms and conditions of DDVP registrations accordingly. Moreover, during the recently concluded reregistration process for DDVP, EPA conducted an intensive and public review of whether DDVP registrations meet the FIFRA standard for registration, culminating in the Agency's 2006 Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision (IRED) for DDVP. Through the reregistration processes the Agency resolved remaining concerns regarding cancer and cholinesterase effects. Based on the IRED, requested label amendments, and the voluntary cancellation of uses by the registrant, EPA has determined that the risks that were the basis of the Special Review are no longer of concern and, therefore, the Agency is proposing to terminate the special review of DDVP. To the extent that the Agency further revises its assessment of DDVP, it will do so outside of the special review context. Comments must be received on or before October 26, 2007.

N-methyl Carbamate Revised Cumulative Risk Assessment Available for Comment
EPA has released its revised cumulative risk assessment for the N-methyl carbamate group of pesticides, and has opened a public comment period on this document and other support documents. As required by the Food Quality Protection Act, a cumulative risk assessment, which evaluates exposures based on a common mechanism of toxicity, was conducted to evaluate the risk from food, drinking water, residential, and other non-occupational exposures resulting from registered uses of N-methyl carbamate pesticides. The N-methyl carbamate group includes aldicarb, carbaryl, carbofuran, formetanate HCl, methiocarb, methomyl, oxamyl, pirimicarb, propoxur, and thiodicarb. Comments must be received on or before November 26, 2007.

EPA Water Quality Trading Training
EPA is offering a free 1-day training course about water quality trading on October 27, 2007, in Kansas City, Kansas. From trading basics to financial and environmental feasibility analyses to designing a credible trading program, the course will explain the benefits of this important watershed protection strategy. Participants will learn how trading can help reach water quality goals effectively and efficiently.

September 25
Scientific Advisory Panel To Discuss Potential Atrazine Effect on Amphibian Gonadal Development; Other Atrazine Studies
On October 9-12, 2007, EPA will present to the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) the Agency's analysis of the latest data from laboratory and field studies investigating a possible connection between amphibian gonadal development and the herbicide atrazine. Based on this thorough analysis, EPA finds that atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development, and believes there is no compelling reason to pursue additional testing of atrazine for amphibian gonadal effects.  The Agency is also awaiting the results of atrazine human cancer studies, and has received and is analyzing additional monitoring data from community water systems and data from an ecological watershed monitoring program. EPA will be asking the panel to comment on the Agency's approach and criteria for evaluating all the studies. The Agency has also posed a number of specific questions to the SAP regarding studies that the registrant conducted at EPA's request. Almost the entire first day of the 4-day meeting is reserved for public comments. A white paper and other background information on EPA's regulatory actions and decisions for atrazine are in the atrazine docket, EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0498, at regulations.gov.

EPA Orders Oklahoma Ranch To Stop Unauthorized Discharges
EPA has issued a cease and desist administrative order to the Rocking BS Ranch near Wetumka, Oklahoma, for violations of the Clean Water Act, including an unauthorized discharge of pollutants flowing into an unnamed tributary to Middle Creek and then into Middle Creek in Hughes County, Oklahoma. The ranch, an unpermitted Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, has been ordered to stop immediately all discharges of pollutants from its facility. The ranch has been given 7 days to properly reconstruct a lagoon spillway where the discharge occurred, and 30 days to finalize the reconstruction and survey the lagoon to determine the quantity of solid manure buildup and total capacity of the lagoon. The ranch also has been given 60 days to submit to EPA a summary and photographs of completed work, and 90 days to apply for permit coverage.

EPA Orders New Mexico Dairies Into Compliance With Clean Water Act
EPA has issued 11 administrative orders to dairies located in southeast New Mexico requiring them to keep proper records in their Pollution Prevention Plans indicating properly lined waste lagoons. The orders also require that animal waste generated at the dairies be properly handled and disposed of without causing any environmental harm.

EPA Celebrates California County's First Methane Digester
EPA, along with the California Energy Commission, Western United Resource Development, and the Petaluma City Council, celebrated with St. Anthony Farm as it brought online Sonoma County's first methane digester that will convert manure from the dairy's 240 cows into electricity. The digester will use bacteria to break down manure and produce biogas, which is converted into renewable electricity in an adjacent generator.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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September 24
Office of Water Announces Followup "N-Steps" Webcast
The last Nutrient Scientific Technical Exchange Partnership and Support (N-STEPS) Webcast, on conditional probability analysis and how it might be applied, generated considerable interest. As a result, on Friday, September 28, from 3-4:30 p.m., there will be a followup Webcast entitled "Conditional Probability Revisited and Applied, and Aquatic Life Use Endpoints for Nutrient Criteria Development."  This presentation will review the technique and provide more examples of how it might be relevant for deriving criteria. The N-Steps center is a "one-stop shop" for national, regional, and local nutrient criteria development.

September 21
EPA To Regulate Ion Generators as Pesticides
EPA has announced that machines which generate silver ions or other substances for pesticidal purposes will be regulated as pesticides. The September 21 Federal Register notice clarifies the Agency’s position on the distinction between devices and pesticides with regard to ion-generating equipment and explains why such equipment will now be regulated. EPA will identify the information needed for an application for registration, and will give those products currently out of compliance time to obtain registration. The notice is not an action to regulate nanotechnology. EPA has not yet received any information that suggests that these products use nanotechnology. The Agency will evaluate any applications to register this type of equipment according to the same regulatory standards as other pesticides.

Final Registration Review Work Plans Available for Nine Pesticides
EPA has posted final work plans for registration review of the pesticides clofentezine, cyromazine, fenarimol, fomesafen, linalool, trichoderma species, triflumizole, paclobutrazol, and pyridate. These work plans are available through EPA's Registration Review Status page. The plans include the expected timelines for registration review. They also address any public comments in the initial registration review dockets.

AgSTAR Posts Online Update on Manure Digesters, Related Technology
AgSTAR has developed a Web-based update to highlight news about manure digester projects and other items of interest in the field. Many of the articles are summaries of online news stories, with hyperlinks to the original sources. The update also provides timely postings about applicable grants and calls for proposals, noteworthy events, and applicable regulatory policy changes. AgSTAR is a voluntary effort jointly sponsored by EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Energy. The program encourages the use of methane recovery (biogas) technologies at confined animal feeding operations that manage manure as liquids or slurries. These technologies reduce methane emissions while achieving other environmental benefits.

September 20
EPA Region 2 Request for Proposals for Strategic Ag Projects (PDF)
(25 pp, 196K, About PDF)
EPA Region 2 is soliciting proposals to help implement the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) and to support efforts by the agricultural community to “transition” away from high risk pesticides (Organophosphates, Carbamates, and Fumigants) to the use of less and reduced risk pesticides, alternative methods of agricultural pest control, and sustainable practices in food production. The program supports grants for education, extension, demonstration, and studies for FQPA transition and reduced risk practices for pest management in agriculture. All proposals must be received at the EPA Region 2 (Edison, NJ) office or submitted via Grants.gov no later than 5:00 P.M. EDT on November 9, 2007. Projects must take place in either NY, NJ, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands.

September 19
EPA Settles With Arizona Chemical Manufacturer
EPA and Oasis Nursery and Hardware Products, Inc., a Tucson, Arizona, chemical manufacturer, have agreed to a $2,500 penalty for Oasis Nursery's alleged sale or distribution of unregistered and misbranded pesticides. The violations were discovered during a September 2006 inspection performed by the Arizona Department of Agriculture. The product in question was Root Brute Sewer Treatment Root Destroyer. The Root Brute contained an active ingredient from an unapproved source, which rendered the pesticide unregistered. In addition, the pesticide was misbranded because its labeling failed to include the word “danger,” a required warning for this product.

EPA Files Complaint Against California Grocery Distributor
EPA filed an administrative complaint against Unified Western Grocers, a Los Angeles-based grocery distributor, seeking $538,200 for the alleged sale and distribution of an unregistered pesticide. Unified Western Grocers allegedly sold and distributed "Western Family Cleanser with Bleach," an unregistered product that states on the label that it "wipes out most household germs, including Staph, Salmonella, and Pseudomonas." The case was based on inspections conducted by the State of California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture in 2005 and 2006.

Four Pesticide Registration Review Dockets Open for Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for several pesticides and has opened a public comment period for these reviews. The four newly established dockets cover farnesol and nerolidol; Pseudomonas syringae; Pseudomonas fluorescens; and chitin. Comments must be received on or before November 19, 2007. EPA will not open a docket for liquid nitrogen, because the last product containing this pesticide was cancelled in 2004. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration.

Comment Period Reopened on "Implementation of Emerging Pathogens and Disinfection Hierarchy for Antimicrobial Products"
EPA is reopening the comment period on the pesticide draft science guidance document entitled "Implementation of the Emerging Pathogens and Disinfection Hierarchy Guidance for Antimicrobial Products," announced in the Federal Register of July 25, 2007. Because additional time has been requested by several pesticide entities to prepare detailed comments on the planned implementation, the comment period has been opened for an additional 60 days. Comments must be received on or before November 19, 2007.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review the interpretation of the Ecological Significance of Atrazine Stream-Water Concentrations Using a Statistically Designed Monitoring Program. The meeting will be held on December 4-7, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia.

Tribal Pesticide Program Council Meeting
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council will hold a 2 1/2-day meeting October 10-12, 2007, in Park, Arizona. Tentative agenda topics are listed in the September 19 Federal Register notice. The TPPC is a tribal technical resource and program and policy dialogue and development group, focused on pesticide issues and concerns. It is composed of authorized representatives from federally recognized tribes and Indian nations and intertribal organizations.

September 18
EPA Orders Oklahoma Egg Farm To Stop Discharge of Pollutants
Based on a citizen's complaint about discharge of pollutants into an unnamed tributary to the East Branch of Chigney Sandy Creek, which flows into Dilday Lake in Garvin County, Oklahoma, EPA has issued a cease and desist administrative order to Mahard Egg Farms' Boogie Hill facility for violations of the Clean Water Act. The farm, a concentrated animal feeding operation, has been ordered to immediately stop all discharges of pollutants from its facility. The farm has been given 14 days to remove and properly dispose of any solid waste from the southeast shore of Dilday Lake, and 45 days to submit to EPA a certified summary and photographs documenting completed work.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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September 17
Water Quality Standards Academy Scheduled for November
EPA's Water Quality Standards Academy will present its Basic Course on November 26–30, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia. The Basic Course is a comprehensive, highly structured course that introduces students to all aspects of the water quality standards program, including the interpretation and application of water quality standards regulation; policies and program guidance; the development of water quality criteria (human health, aquatic life, nutrient, and biological); and other facets of the water program. The 5-day course is aimed at states, territories, tribes, environmental groups, industrial groups, municipalities, the academic community, federal agencies, watershed groups, and other interested parties. The Basic Course is designed for those with fewer than 6 months' experience with water quality standards and criteria programs. However, others may benefit from the course, including veterans of the water quality standards program who want a refresher course.

Registration Underway for Pesticide Worker Safety and Health Conference
EPA is hosting a Pesticide Worker Safety and Health Conference on October 2-4, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia. The conference, which has no registration fee, will be a forum for providing information to federal and state agencies and private sector organizations involved in pesticide worker safety and health programs, policies, and research initiatives. The conference will highlight the accomplishments of the Agency's worker protection initiatives in partnership with grantees, and will feature experts from across the nation who will give presentations and participate in panel discussions during breakout sessions on the following topics:

September 14
Web-Based Compliance Tool Available for Tribes
EPA has launched a Web-based Tribal Compliance Assistance Center that provides comprehensive compliance assistance and pollution prevention information for regulated activities in Indian country. The center can help tribal environmental professionals and facility owners comply with environmental regulations and get information on topics including waste management, air and water resources, drinking water, and public safety. Viewers can report a complaint to EPA, find out the compliance status of facilities in Indian country, learn how to apply for federal grants, and locate specific personnel at EPA and other federal agencies.

September 13
EPA Imposes $26,000 Fine for Pesticide Violation in Nevada
EPA fined the Shell Corporation of Las Vegas, Nevada, $26,000 for allegedly selling and distributing "Roof-ReNEW," an unregistered pesticide, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. EPA alleges that in 2006 the company sold and distributed "Roof-ReNEW," a product that it claimed prevented mold on roofs, decks, and wooden shingles, to firms in Colorado and Tennessee. The Nevada Department of Agriculture discovered the violations during an inspection conducted at the request of EPA Region IX in July 2006.

September 12
EPA Fines Two Home and Garden Stores for Selling Cancelled Insecticides
EPA fined a Fallon, Nevada, garden supply company $2,000 for allegedly offering for sale five cancelled insecticides, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Nevada Department of Agriculture inspectors found cancelled chlorpyrifos- and diazinon-containing pesticides on the shelves at two HFI Enterprises stores in Nevada in August 2006. EPA prohibited retail sale of most residential-use pesticides containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos after Dec. 31, 2001, and of those containing diazinon after Dec. 31, 2004, because children might be harmed by exposure to the chemicals.

Nevada Hardware Store Settles Pesticide Violation
In a settlement with EPA, a Reno, Nevada, True Value Hardware store agreed to pay a $2,750 fine for selling Greenthumb Flea & Tick Killer, a residential pesticide that contained the active ingredient chlorpyrifos. EPA prohibited retail sale of most residential-use pesticides containing chlorpyrifos after Dec. 31, 2001, because of potential harm to children. The settlement resolves an EPA complaint stemming from March 2004 inspections conducted by the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

Comment Period Extended on Pesticides for Initial Endocrine Disruptor Screening
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of June 18, 2007, concerning the draft list of the first group of chemicals that will be screened in the Agency's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). The draft list was produced using the approach described in the September 2005 notice, and includes chemicals that the Agency, at its discretion, has decided should be tested first, based upon exposure potential. This document is extending the comment period for 60 days, from September 17, 2007, to November 16, 2007.

Pesticide Registration Review Docket for Zinc Borate Open for Comment
EPA has established a registration review docket for zinc borate and has opened a public comment period for this registration review. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration. Comments must be received on or before December 11, 2007.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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September 10
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education's (SARE) 20th Anniversary Conference Exit EPA
SARE’s New American Farm conference is open to farmers, ranchers, teachers, researchers, students, advocates – or simply curious consumers. Anyone is welcome who wants to learn more about groundbreaking work in the exciting and rapidly expanding field of sustainable agriculture in America. Meeting will be held on March 25-27, 2008, in Kansas City, Missouri.

EPA Pushes Procurement of Materials from Recovered Waste
EPA is revising the list of items designated in the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines' landscaping products category to promote the use of materials recovered from solid waste. EPA is expanding the description of "compost" from yard trimmings and food waste to include compost from biosolids and manure, but does not limit the designation to specific types of organic materials. In addition, EPA has added fertilizer made from recovered materials as a designated landscaping item. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requires procurement officials to buy products containing recovered materials when the agencies spend more than $10,000 a year on that item. Procuring agencies are federal, state, and local agencies, and their contractors that use appropriated federal funds.

Region 4 - Strategic Agricultural Initiative Food Quality Protection Act; Request for Proposals (PDF) (26 pp, 228K, About PDF)
EPA is soliciting proposals for projects to help support efforts by the agricultural community to transition to lower risk pesticides and pest management practices in agricultural production, resulting in a sustainable food system. The emphasis is on food crops; however, other agricultural commodities (including ornamentals) will be considered, especially where there are significant demonstrable environmental concerns. The program supports grants for education, extension, demonstration, and implementation projects. The total estimated funding available under this competitive opportunity is $700,000. Under this announcement, EPA Region 4 anticipates awarding three to five 2-year grants for the purpose of transition and implementation. The maximum individual award is $200,000. Proposals are due October 31, 2007.

September 7
Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) Process Improvement Workgroup Sets Meeting
The EPA Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee's Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) Process Improvement Workgroup will hold its ninth public meeting on September 27, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia. An agenda for this meeting is being developed, and will be posted on EPA's Web site. The workgroup is developing advice and recommendations on topics related to EPA's registration process.

2007 AgSTAR National Conference
Registration is open for the 2007 AgSTAR National Conference, which will be held in Sacramento, California, on November 27-28, 2007.  This year's conference is a must for livestock producers, project developers, regulators, energy professionals, financiers, and others interested in manure digesters and energy projects. The conference is a great place to learn, identify potential projects, and network with others in the industry.

September 6
Settlements Reached in Eight Enforcement Cases for Hazardous Chemical Risk Management Plan Violations
Over the past several months, EPA has brought enforcement actions against eight New England facilities located in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire for failure to complete 5-year updates to their Risk Management Plans (RMPs), as required by federal regulations under the Clean Air Act. The bulk chemicals used and stored at these facilities included anhydrous ammonia, toluene, isobutene and chlorine. As a result of these cases, the facilities have agreed to correct the violations and pay penalties ranging from $300 to $3,650. Under the regulations, any facility containing more than a threshold amount of certain hazardous chemicals is required to fully update and resubmit an RMP to EPA a minimum of every 5 years. RMPs include an assessment of the hazards associated with using the hazardous chemical, an accident prevention program, and a plan for emergency response in the event of an accidental release.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center September Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The September edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPE) newsletter is available. Topics include: Matching Treatment Systems With the Environmental Concern Is October's Webcast Topic; Help Us Find the "Best of the Best"; Have You Missed Out on Past Webcasts Because of Technical Difficulties?; LPE Learning Center Opens Door for Air Quality Education; and New Webcast Schedule Includes a Wide Variety of Topics. The next Webcast will be on September 21, 2007, and will feature Mr. William Boyd of USDA NRCS, and Dr. Kelly Zering of North Carolina State University, speaking on "Value of Manure in Energy Production."

September 5
EPA Settles With New Mexico Pest Exterminator
EPA fined a Gamerco, New Mexico, commercial pesticide applicator $1,170 for using registered pesticides contrary to label requirements at two sites on the Navajo Nation, a violation of federal pesticide law. Employees allegedly applied the registered pesticides, Demon WP and Tempo WP Ultra, without proper eyewear or protective clothing and equipment required by label instructions. The pesticides were improperly used at the Navajo Department of Justice Building in Window Rock, Arizona, and the Ganado Unified School District Office in Ganado, Arizona.

September 4
EPA Issues Technical Document on Using Load Duration Curves in Development of Total Maximum Daily Loads
EPA has issued a technical document called "An Approach for Using Load Duration Curves in the Development of TMDLs."  The duration curve approach allows for characterizing water quality conditions at different flow regimes. The method provides a visual display of the relationship between stream flow and water quality. The document describes basic steps needed to develop duration curves, which identify loading capacities, load and wasteload allocations, margins of safety, and seasonal variations. It is written for TMDL practitioners who are familiar with relevant technical approaches and legal requirements. The guide also discusses some considerations and limitations in using the approach, and includes several case examples.

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