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Water: Module 2

Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 2.c)

Rebuttable Presumption on Uses: CWA 101(a)(2) Uses

Module 2. Designated Uses

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The Water Quality Standards regulations effectively establish a "rebuttable presumption" that the CWA 101(a)(2) uses are attainable and therefore must be assigned to a water body, unless a State or Tribe affirmatively demonstrates, with appropriate documentation, that such uses are not attainable.


Key Point. Along with facilitating achievement of Congress' goals, the "rebuttable presumption" approach preserves the paramount role of States and Tribes in establishing water quality standards and in weighing any available evidence regarding the attainable uses of a particular water body.

Resources. EPA's Web site on the Clean Water Act.

To rebut the presumption, a State or Tribe must rely on a "use attainability analysis."


Key Point. A use attainablity analysis is a structured scientific assessment of the factors affecting the attainment of the use, which may include physical, chemical, biological, and economic factors as described in Sec. 131.10(g).

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

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