Impaired Waters and TMDLs: Working with Partners and Stakeholders
EPA works closely with federal, state, interstate, tribal and a number of associations to form partnerships with the mutual goal of restoring water quality. Through its regional offices, the Agency coordinates with each state to initiate or enhance efforts toward improving the health of impaired waters and meeting water quality goals. The 303(d) Program, in particular, has cultivated a strong partnership with the states through its development of a new program vision.
One important part of the program vision initiative is the engagement goal. By adopting the vision, EPA and the states agree to actively engage the public and other stakeholders to improve and protect water quality with:
- documented, inclusive, transparent and consistent communication;
- requesting and sharing feedback on proposed approaches and
- enhanced understanding of program objectives.
Facilitating meaningful engagement with the public and stakeholders on watershed goals, priority areas, watershed restoration plans and necessary watershed actions related to CWA 303(d) is vital to restoring the nation’s waters. Levels of engagement range from public outreach and community actions to more strategic civic and technical collaboration at the local or watershed level. The Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA) Exit often serves as a link to enhance communications between the states and EPA.