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Lake Champlain TMDL Implementation & Wastewater Treatment Plants


Phosphorus TMDLs for Vermont Segments of Lake Champlain (2016)  
Lake Champlain TMDL Phase 1 Implementation Plan (2016)
Presentation: Lake Champlain TMDL Permits & Factsheets (2016)
Phosphorus Optimization Plan Guidance Document (2018)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please click the questions below to view the answers.

To view a PDF version of the FAQ, please click here.

Outline of the Lake Champlain basin shaded in dark blue with Lake Champlain shaded in light blue and the boundaries of Vermont seen as a black line..

1.  What is the Lake Champlain TMDL?

2.  What specific phosphorus discharge requirements apply to my wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) as a result of the new TMDL?

3.  How are the Waste Load Allocations (WLA) calculated?

4.  Why don’t all wastewater treatment facilities that discharge to the lake’s watershed have new waste load allocations under the 2016 TMDL?

5.  Will my wastewater treatment facility need to optimize or upgrade to meet its allowable phosphorus load?

6.  How is the 80% phosphorus load threshold calculated?

7.  How will the 80% of WLA threshold be enforced?

8.  What if my wastewater treatment facility is operating near or above 80% of the allocated waste load threshold?

9.  Will wastewater treatment facilities that operate below 80% of the allocated waste load threshold be required to explore and implement phosphorus optimization?

10.  Will wastewater treatment facilities that are not in the first year of permit issuance under the TMDL be required to explore and implement optimization immediately?

11.  When will my facility’s discharge permit be issued to comply with the TMDL?

12.  If my facility wants to upgrade now, or will be upgrading prior to the date for the reissuance of our NPDES permit, can we get our permit reissued earlier?

13.  Will a wastewater treatment facility’s NPDES permit contain a concentration-based, total phosphorus effluent limit?

14.  If a community invests in a project to meet a WLA based on a 0.2 mg/l total phosphorus concentration limit, and subsequently the limit is reduced to 0.1 mg/l total phosphorus through the accountability framework, are there any legal protections or certainty for communities who have already made that investment?

15.  Can my facility receive credit towards its WLA by removing, treating, or reducing combined sewer (CSO) discharges?

16.  Can my facility obtain additional waste load allocation?

17. What are the potential funding sources for wastewater treatment facility improvements (planning, design and construction) relating to the Lake Champlain TMDL?

18.  Will the Wastewater Management Program offer any resources or technical assistance to optimize total phosphorous removal at my facility?