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Water: Anti-Degradation

White Mountain Apache

Water Quality Standards for Tribes


Policy

Citations
Water Quality Protection Ordinance
SECTION 3.2 ANTI-DEGRADATION POLICY
SECTION 3.2 ANTI-DEGRADATION POLICY

The anti-degradation policy of the White Mountain Apache Tribe is as follows:

  1. Existing instream water uses and the level of water qualiw necessary to protect the existing uses shall be maintained and protected;
  2. Where existing water quality is better than necessary to support propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water, that quality shall be maintained and protected unless the Tribal Council finds, after full satisfaction of intergovernmental coordination and public participation provisions of this Ordinance, that:
    1. allowing lower water quality is necessary to accommodate important economic or social development in an area where the waters are located,
    2. water quality adequate to protect existing uses is fully protected,
    3. the highest statutory and regulatory requirements for all new and existing point sources are achieved, and
    4. all cost effective and reasonable best management practices for nonpoint source control are implemented.
  3. In those cases where potential water quality impairments associated with thermal discharge is involved, the anti-degradation policy and implementing methods shall be consistent with Section 316 of the Act, 33 U.S.C. §1326.
  4. UNIQUE WATER DESIGNATIONS
    1. HIGH QUALITY WATERS
      1. Where water quality exceeds the levels necessary to support basic uses such as propagation of fish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water, the Tribal Council may designate those waters as high quality waters.
      2. Water quality and stream ecosystem health in high quality waters shall be maintained to protect:
        • culturally or religiously significant areas
        • archaeological and historical sites
        • natural flow regimes
        • natural flood retention capacity
        • instream habitats for fish and other aquatic life
        • water-dependent wildlife, including plants and wildlife designated as sensitive by the Tribe
        • native riparian vegetation, including plants traditionally gathered for cultural and medicinal purposes
    2. SENSITIVE WATERS
      1. The Tribal Council may designate a water body as a sensitive water and such waters shall be maintained to protect water quality and stream ecosystem health in the same manner as high quality water. In many cases, these waters have been substantially degraded from their historical condition. This state of degradation may prevent many of the uses, including recreation and support of the full assemblage of native aquatic life, that were once provided by these streams. It may not be known to what extent those uses mav be restored in the future. Nevertheless, it is the Tribe's policy that these waters should be protected to encourage natural restoration to occur, and to engage in active restoration measures on a priority basis.
      2. In permitting any activity that could impact in sensitive water bodies, the Tribe shall require the most stringent statutory and regulatory requirements for all new and existing point sources and all cost-effective and reasonable best management practices for non-point source control.
    3. OUTSTANDING TRIBAL RESOURCE WATERS
      1. The Tribal Council may designate a water body as an Outstanding Tribal Resource Water due to cultural value, the presence of archeological or historic sites, ecological or biological features, scenic beauty, or other exceptional qualities of importance to the Tribe.
      2. No degradation of Outstanding Tribal Resource Waters shall be permitted (i.e. their high quality shall be maintained and protected).

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