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Water: Module 3

Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 3.h)

Necessary Criteria: Addressing Priority Pollutants

Module 3. Criteria Development

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The Clean Water Act requires states/Tribes to adopt criteria for the so-called priority pollutants identified by an EPA task force (Section 303(c)(2)(b)).

For most of the priority pollutants, EPA has developed water quality criteria to protect human health and aquatic life.

Video Clip View a 2-minute video clip from the classroom session about EPA and States/Tribes working together on water quality.
Key Point. States/Tribes are required to adopt criteria for any priority pollutants that are a concern for a particular water body if EPA has developed criteria for those pollutants. However, States/Tribes are not required to adopt EPA's criteria, which are intended to provide guidance for States/Tribes.
Key Point. If States/Tribes use narrative criteria to address priority pollutants, they must identify how they intend to regulate point sources of the pollutants.
Learn More. See a list of these priority pollutants (PDF), (1 pp, 39 K, About PDF) as presented in Section 307(a).

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

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