Completed Actions

  • In 2016, the Chesapeake Stormwater Network completed a study to determine the relative amount of toxic contaminant reduction that might occur across the range of best management practices implemented as part of the nutrient- and sediment-focused Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL). Part One of the study examines how practices meant to control stormwater can remove urban toxic contaminants from the environment, while Part Two examines how the agricultural and wastewater sectors influence antibiotics, biogenic hormones and pesticides.
  • In 2016, the Toxic Contaminants Workgroup completed a story map depicting the extent of jurisdiction-listed waters that are impacted by PCBs. Additional maps that depict the need for, development of and presence of active PCB Total Maximum Daily Loads were built to help partners target activities related to PCB reductions.
  • During 2016, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement personnel conducted four PCB inspections at facilities in the watershed.
  • In 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership agreed to explore the value and feasibility of forming a PCB Consortium to provide a forum for collaboration and sharing among stakeholders around PCB TMDLs. The Toxic Contaminants Workgroup will lead the evaluation and report its findings to the Management Board in 2019.
  • In 2018, the Toxic Contaminants Workgroup received funding to work with the District Department of Energy and Environment to establish a method for determining the levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, in pavement sealant. While some consumer products that contain PAHs have been banned, there is no program that identifies PAH levels in new pavement sealant, although coal-tar based pavement sealant is known to contain PAHs. This work will help contractors and residents make safe and informed consumer choices.
  • Between July – December 2019, finalize and disseminate a report on the value and feasibility of voluntary programs for the removal of PCB-containing electrical equipment and building materials. This report will inform decisions regarding whether PCB TMDLs might benefit from management actions geared toward voluntary removal programs.
  • Between July – December 2019, finalize and disseminate a report on current science and gaps in our understanding of toxic contaminants that are related to agricultural and urban land use.

Watershed-Wide Actions


  • Supporting jurisdictional monitoring programs for PCB occurrence in order to assess the need for new TMDLs at the local level and to track progress related to reducing PCB loads.
  • Encouraging the use of high-sensitivity congener-based methods to analyze PCBs to ensure PCB sources are being characterized accurately when such characterization can help with source identification.
  • Identifying barriers and opportunities related to the more frequent use of EPA Method 1668a for contaminated sites, wastewater and regulated and unregulated stormwater dischargers.
  • Developing guidance on the control and reduction of PCBs in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System-regulated stormwater and wastewater, to include an inventory of stormwater best management practice options.
  • Using data compilations, monitoring results, guidance documents and other outputs of this management strategy to the extent possible to implement local TMDLs.
  • Determining consistent measures that can be used throughout the watershed to track local TMDL development and implementation progress.
  • Determining whether jurisdictions should compile existing PCB monitoring data for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and assisting with the development of systems to compile all available information to determine whether there is a need for additional monitoring requirements to support TMDL development and implementation.
  • Tracking sites in the watershed that are under evaluation by the Hazardous Site Cleanup Division and developing a desktop GIS tool to help this division identify potential on-land sources of contamination in the region.
  • Working with the Hazardous Site Cleanup Division and Toxic Contaminants Workgroup to evaluate sites and identify industries or processes that used PCBs in order to allow the Superfund, Brownfields and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act programs to better focus resources on identifying and investigating these kinds of sites.
  • Using the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits Branch to ensure permits are consistent with local TMDLs and PCB Wasteload Allocations are clear and enforceable.
  • Working through the EPA Land and Chemicals Toxics Program to ensure compliance with Toxic Substances Control Act regulations related to PCBs.
  • Investigating a voluntary action program to reduce the presence of transformers and other equipment containing PCBs, providing program participants with information on remediating on-site PCB contamination and using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Screening Tool to identify where such equipment is in areas with diverse populations.
  • Supporting research on cost-effective tools for track-down studies and providing a mechanism for municipalities to share lessons learned.

January – December 2020

  • Report to the Management Board findings from an analysis of the value and feasibility of forming a PCB Consortium to provide a forum for collaboration and sharing among stakeholders around PCB TMDLs.