A TMDL is a pollution budget for a specific waterbody (river, lake, stream, etc.). It is the maximum amount of a pollutant (sum of allowable pollutant loads from point and nonpoint sources) that can be released into a waterbody without causing the waterbody to become impaired and/or violate state water quality standards. A TMDL also must include a margin of safety to allow for any uncertainties in the scientific methods used to derive the TMDL (water quality modeling assumptions, etc.).
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