EPA Proposes Rule Updates to Federal Water Quality Standards Regulations

To Those Interested in Water Quality Regulation:

The Department of Ecology Water Quality Program was made aware that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing rule updates to federal water quality standards regulations.  For the first time in 30 years, EPA is proposing changes to the core requirements of the federal water quality standards (WQS) regulation that interprets part of the Clean Water Act.

The proposed rule addresses the following key areas: Administrator’s determinations that new or revised WQS are necessary, designated uses, triennial reviews, antidegradation, variances to WQS, and compliance schedule authorizing provisions.

Proposed changes are available online at https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-21140.

EPA will accept public comments for 90 days beginning on September 4, 2013.  Comments must be received on or before December 3, 2013.  Details on how to submit formal comments are available here.

EPA is hosting two public webinars and one public meeting during the public comment period.  To register for the public webinars and/or public meeting, please visit: http://www.tetratech-ffx.com/wqsregs/public/.   The public webinar and public meeting dates and times are as follows: • Public Webinar 1: September 24, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST) • Public Meeting: October 23, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST) at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in the Visitor Center Auditorium in Washington, DC. • Public Webinar 2: November 14, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST)

For more information about the proposed rule, see: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/wqs_index.cfm

For further information contact: Janita Aguirre Environmental Protection Agency Telephone number: 202-566-1860 Fax number: 202-566-0409 Email address: WQSRegulatoryClarifications@epa.gov.