The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promoted the use of watershed-based approaches to water quality protection and permitting for more than a decade now.

However, implementation of watershed-focused permitting programs by federal, state and local agencies has often been sluggish and fractured, as policymakers and regulators struggle with the practical challenge of how to make the significant shift from the traditional individual discharger permitting approach to the more broad-based watershed approach.

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