This Gualala River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for sediment is prepared as part of a Clean Water Act program to assure that State water quality standards are achieved and beneficial uses protected. Protection of cold water fish such as coho and steelhead from human caused erosion of sediment is the primary concern of this TMDL. This TMDL is the second part of a three part program. The first part of the process put the Gualala River on a list of polluted waters, along with most North Coast rivers in California. Setting the TMDL is the second part of the program. The TMDL determines the level of the pollutant -- sediment -- which is allowable without exceeding water quality standards. The third part of the program will be when the State of California implements programs to achieve the TMDL. The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, North Coast Region (Regional Water Board) has the responsibility for implementation. As of December 2001, the Regional Water Board has not scheduled a date for adopting an implementation plan for this TMDL. The Gualala River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Sediment needs to be established in accordance with Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, because the State of California has determined that the water quality standards for the Gualala River are exceeded due to excessive sediment. In accordance with Section 303(d), the State of California periodically identifies waters where water quality standards are not being met. In its latest Section 303(d) list, adopted through Resolution 98-45 on 23 April 1998, the Regional Water Board identified the Gualala River as impaired due to elevated sedimentation. In accordance with a consent decree (Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermens Associations, et al. v. Marcus, No. 95-4474 MHP, 11 March 1997), December 2001 is the deadline for establishment of this TMDL. Because the State of California will not complete adoption of a TMDL for the Gualala River by this deadline, EPA is
establishing this TMDL, with assistance from Regional Water Board staff.