The federal Clean Water Act requires states to clean up water bodies that don't meet water quality standards. In Washington, the Department of Ecology has that responsibility. Ecology began a cleanup study for the Deschutes River, Capitol Lake, and Budd Inlet in April 2003. Known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study, the multi-year process will result in the development of a Water Cleanup Plan. As part of its analysis, Ecology is using the computer model prepared for LOTT's Scientific Study of Budd Inlet (1996-1998).
LOTT's discharge is one of the few permitted discharges into Budd Inlet. The Water Cleanup Plan could affect LOTT's allowable discharges. If discharge reductions are required, they could be significant and costly for LOTT and its ratepayers. LOTT staff members are participants in the advisory committee that supports this TMDL process.