Final TMDLs Approved by EPA: Jones Falls

The Jones Falls is a free flowing stream that originates in Baltimore County, Maryland and flows 18 miles in a southeastern direction until it empties into the tidal Patapsco River. The watershed is located in the Patapsco River sub-basin of the Chesapeake Bay watershed within Baltimore County and Baltimore City, and covers approximately 58 square miles. An impoundment is located at Lake Roland, just north of the Baltimore County/City boundary. Several tributaries drain to the Jones Falls mainstem, including Moores Branch, Roland Run, Towson Run, Western Run, and Stoney Run. There are no “high quality”, or Tier II, stream segments (Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (BIB)/Fish Index of Biotic Integrity (FIBI) aquatic health scores > 4 (scale 1 – 5)) located within the watershed requiring the implementation of Maryland’s antidegradation policy. Also, approximately 0.3% of the watershed is covered by water (i.e., streams, ponds, etc.). The total population in the Jones Falls watershed is approximately 309,000.

MDE has identified the waters of the Jones Falls watershed on the 2008 Integrated Report as impaired by metals (copper, zinc, and lead) (1996), nutrients – phosphorus (1996), sediments (1996), bacteria (2002), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - Lake Roland (2002), Chlordane – Lake Roland (1996) and impacts to biological communities (2006). The designated use of the Jones Falls mainstem and its tributaries above Lake Roland is Use III (Nontidal Cold Water). The designated use of the Jones Falls mainstem and its tributaries below Lake Roland is Use I (Water Contact Recreation and Protection of Warm Water Nontidal Aquatic Life), except for Stoney Run and its tributaries and the portion of the Jones Falls mainstem between North Avenue and Lake Roland, which are designated as Use IV (Recreational Trout Waters).

The TMDL, available below, addresses the 1996 sediments listing, for which a data solicitation was conducted, and all readily available data from the past five years were considered. The TMDLs set the maximum load limit for sediments, and provides load allocations to point and nonpoint sources. A Water Quality Analysis (WQA) for copper and lead was approved by the EPA in 2004, and a WQA for zinc was approved by the EPA in 2003. A TMDL for fecal bacteria was approved by the EPA in 2008, and a TMDL for chlordane was approved by EPA in 2001. A WQA for nutrients to address the phosphorus listing was approved by the EPA in 2009. The listings for PCBs and impacts to biological communities will be addressed separately at a future date.

Total Maximum Daily Load of Sediment in the Jones Falls Watershed, 
Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland

(Approved on September 29, 2011)

EPA's Decision Letter

EPA's Decision Letter 
(Does not include MDE's requested revisions)

MDE's Edits to EPA's Decision Letter

MDE's Decision Letter Edits (35KB)

Main Report

Jones_Sed_TMDL_092911_Final  (2,288KB)

Point Source Technical Memorandum

Jones_Sed_TMDL_PS_techmemo_092911_Final (21KB)

Nonpoint Source Technical Memorandum

Jones_Sed_TMDL_NPS_techmemo_092911_Final (14KB)

Comment Response Document

Jones_Sed_CRD_092911_Final (40KB)

Additional Supporting Information

Biological Stressor Identification Jones Falls Watershed Report (684KB)

Biological Stressor Identification Methodology (459KB)

Nontidal Sediment TMDL Methodology Report (361KB)

Addendum to the Nontidal Sediment TMDL Methodology Report (23KB)


Contact Information

Please direct questions or comments concerning this project to Maryland's TMDL Program at (410) 537-3818.