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Water Quality Management Plan

Explanation of plan, updates and invitation to comment.

What is the "Water Quality Management Plan?"

The Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) for Texas is a waste treatment plan required under the Texas Water Code and the federal Clean Water Act

The WQMP is tied to the State’s water quality assessments that identify priority water quality problems. The WQMPs are used to direct planning for implementation measures that control and/or prevent water quality problems. Several elements may be contained in the WQMP, such as effluent limitations of wastewater facilities, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), nonpoint source management controls, identification of designated management agencies, and ground water and source water protection planning. Some of these elements may be contained in separate documents which are prepared independently of the current WQMP update process, but may be referenced as needed to address planning for water quality control measures.

The Water Quality Division updates the WQMP on a quarterly basis with projected effluent limits that may be used for water quality planning purposes in Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit actions. All applications for new and amended permits are reviewed for conformance with applicable WQMP recommendations. WQMP updates only involve the elements of the plan that require modification to account for changing circumstances, conditions and program requirements. The elements of the WQMP that typically require revision consist of effluent limits for TPDES permits, designation of management areas, service area population for municipal wastewater facilities, and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). Previously certified and approved water quality management plans remain in effect. The original plan and its subsequent updates are collectively referred to as the State of Texas Water Quality Management Plan.

After a public comment process and the TCEQ’s certification, the update is submitted to EPA for approval as an update to the State’s WQMP. Upon EPA approval, the WQMP update revisions officially become part of the WQMP for Texas. The process for updating the WQMP is described in more detail in Series 6 of the Continuing Planning Process.

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