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This Note examines several provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA)—in particular, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)—in the context of recent litigation over the State of Ohio’s plan to address Lake Erie water quality. It looks at the role of TMDLs in CWA implementation and explains Ohio’s response to Lake Erie water quality, asserting that Ohio’s ranking of Lake Erie as a "low priority," in conjunction with its plan to follow a non-binding international agreement, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, is simply an attempt to create another CWA loophole and avoid TMDL obligations. This Note also considers federal courts' application of the "constructive submission" doctrine—a finding of constructive submission of no TMDL triggering US EPA oversight—and argues that the doctrine should be applied more broadly as a check on states' avoidance or slow pace of TMDL promulgation. The Note concludes that an expansion of the doctrine to take states' priority rankings of impaired waters into account in CWA litigation would better serve the purposes of the Clean Water Act by pushing states to create TMDLs for their most polluted bodies of water.

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