Water: Laws & Executive Orders
Proposed National Rulemaking To Clarify the Water Quality Standards Regulation
The EPA is planning to propose changes to the federal water quality standards regulation which helps implement the Clean Water Act. The proposed changes will improve the regulation’s effectiveness in restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. The core of the current regulation has been in place since 1983; since then, a number of issues have been raised by stakeholders or identified by the EPA in the implementation process that will benefit from clarification and greater specificity.
EPA is considering clarifications in the following key program areas:
- Administrator’s determinations that new or revised WQS are necessary
- Designated uses
- Triennial reviews
- Variances to water quality standards
- Compliance schedule authorizing provisions.
Additional rulemaking activities:
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
The EPA held two informal public listening sessions via audio teleconference in August 2010 to inform the public about the rulemaking, and to receive views on clarifications to the water quality standards regulation that are under consideration. The sessions provided a review of the EPA’s current regulation and a summary of the clarifications that the EPA is considering with time allotted for questions and comments. The agenda and resource materials were identical for both sessions.
- Agenda (PDF) (1 pp, 17K)
- Briefing Presentation (PDF) (19 pp, 71K)
- Federal Register Notice | PDF Version (3 pp, 57K) (July 30, 2010)
- Current Water Quality Standards regulation | PDF Version (11 pp, 98K)
- Further information about water quality standards under the Clean Water Act
EPA Listening Session Records
- 8/24/2010 Public Session I Participant List (PDF) (9 pp, 36K)
- 8/24/2010 Public Session I Transcript (PDF) (36 pp, 111K)
- 8/24/2010 Public Session I Audio (MP3) (19.7MB)
- 8/26/2010 Public Session II Participant List (PDF) (6 pp, 27K)
- 8/26/2010 Public Session II Transcript (PDF) (41 pp, 130K)
- 8/26/2010 Public Session II Audio (MP3) (21MB)
The EPA anticipates publishing the proposed rule in Spring 2012.