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Water: Module 5

Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 5)

Introduction: What's Covered in This Module?

Module 5. Water Quality Flexibilities

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This module highlights aspects of the water quality standards regulation and guidance that make them flexible enough to accommodate specific water quality-related circumstances, while meeting the requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the water quality standards regulation.

The module provides answers to the following:

  • If a State/Tribe finds that attaining a designated use is not feasible, can it remove or modify the use in its water quality standards?
  • Can a State/Tribe's water quality criteria allow for a naturally occurring pollutant concentration in a waterbody segment that exceeds the national criteria for aquatic life uses? 
  • What if a discharger needs additional time to evaluate its ability to comply with a State/Tribe's standards before putting expensive controls in place?
  • Can a permitted discharger be allowed a grace period for complying with a permit limit based on a new or revised criteria?

At the end of the module is a brief quiz intended to touch on some Core Modules regarding water quality program flexibilities that will be further examined in the classroom session of this module.

timerThis module's main pages and brief quiz at the end take about 15 minutes to complete.


Disclaimer: This online course presentation and any associated links have been prepared by EPA staff for informational purposes only. Their sole purpose is to make available training online from recent Water Quality Standards Academy classroom courses. As such, this online course and any associated links are not binding on EPA or the public and have no legal effect. They do not constitute an EPA statute, regulation or other requirement and do not substitute for such authorities. In addition, the course and any associated links have not been reviewed or endorsed by EPA management. Thus, they are not intended or written as official statements of EPA’s scientific views, policies, guidance, or requirements and cannot be used or cited as evidence of EPA’s position on any matter.

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