Water: Module 5
Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 5.g)
Site-Specific Criteria: Addressing Local Conditions
- Module 1: Overview
- Module 2: Use
- Module 3: Criteria
- Module 4: Antidegradation
- Module 5: Flexibilities
- Flexibility Mechanisms in Water Quality Protection
- CWA Goals
- Feasibility of Controls
- Feasibility Factors
- The Economic Factor
- Potential Parameters
- Addressing Local Conditions
- When Site-Specific Criteria Are Allowed
- Temporary Modification to Water Quality Standards
- When Variances Are Allowed
- Discharger Grace Period
- Module 6: Review
- Certificate of Completion
EPA develops recommendations for many water quality criteria that individual States or Tribe's adopt into their water quality standards. By establishing limits on particular chemicals or conditions in a water body, the adopted criteria are relied on to support protection of the State/Tribe's designated uses.
However, States/Tribes also have the flexibility to modify criteria recommendations, if necessary, to establish site-specific criteria that reflect local conditions in a particular water body or a waterbody segment.
Key Point. Site-specific criteria are criteria relevant to a given localized site and that reflect local environmental conditions. Importantly, site-specific criteria for a water body do not alter its designated uses.
When developing site-specific criteria, the State/Tribe must follow established protocols/procedures. The criteria are then subject to EPA review before becoming effective for purposes of the Clean Water Act.