EPA Administrator Christie Whitman recently announced the agency will propose an 18-month delay to the July 2000 rule concerning total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for polluted waterbodies. During this period, EPA will undertake a broad public process to determine what substantive changes should be made to the July 2000 rule, and to the TMDL program as a whole, to more effectively restore the nation's waters. In the interim, EPA and the states will continue to identify impaired waters and develop TMDLs under existing regulations. EPA is taking this action because of ongoing controversy surrounding the July 2000 rule, including legal challenges brought by many organizations, and in light of a recent National Academy of Sciences study on the TMDL program. EPA will take comments on the proposed delay and will make a final decision on the proposal prior to September 30. For more information on the TMDL program, go to www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl.