The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a comprehensive “pollution diet” to restore the health of the Bay and its local streams, creeks and rivers.

The Chesapeake Bay TMDL—the largest such cleanup plan ever developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—sets limits on nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution necessary to meet water quality standards in the Bay and its tidal rivers.

The Chesapeake Bay TMDL was prompted by insufficient restoration progress and continued poor water quality in the Bay and its rivers. The TMDL is designed to ensure that all pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers are in place by 2025, with at least 60 percent of pollution reductions completed by 2017. Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) detail how and when the six Bay states and the District of Columbia will meet their pollution allocations.

The Chesapeake Bay TMDL calls for an assessment in 2017 to review our progress toward meeting the nutrient and sediment pollutant load reductions identified in the TMDL, Phase I and Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) and two-year milestones.