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Water: Water Quality Standards Academy

Finalizing the Criteria: Review Process

Aquatic Life Criteria

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Once EPA has developed draft versions of national recommended aquatic life criteria for a given chemical, the estimates are peer reviewed by both EPA and external experts and then subjected to a public comment period. States/Tribes also have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft criteria before individual jurisdictions consider adopting them into their water quality standards.

More specifically, aspects of the review process include the following:

  • EPA review:
    • Internal by expert EPA peer reviewers.
    • External by expert reviewers.
  • Public comment period:
    • Publication in Federal Register.
  • State/Tribal review:
    • Opportunity for public and scientific comment.
  • Release of final criteria:
    • Publication in Federal Register.

For informational purposes only–Not official statements of EPA policy.

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