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Water: Nutrients

New York Criteria Development Progress

New York State 

This page provides information about the progress New York has made towards the development of numeric criteria and shows what statewide and site-specific criteria are currently in effect.

Note: The information on the tabs below reflects the information available on EPA’s Water Quality Standards Repository. The criteria presented here will be updated as new water quality standards documents are posted to the Repository.


Numeric Criteria Development

The information presented below gives a summary of state progress towards the development of numeric criteria. The information comes from EPA’s “State Adoption of Numeric Nutrient Standards (1998-2008)” report, current water quality standards, program activity measures, and nutrient criteria development plans. Links to the New York’s Nutrient Criteria Plan and state water quality standards are also provided.


Existing Numeric Criteria

Waterbody Type N P Chl-a Clarity
Lakes & Reservoirs W      
Rivers & Streams W      
Estuaries        
Wetlands W      

S = Statewide    W = For selected waterbody    N ⁄ A=Not Applicable

Note: See Statewide Criteria and Site-specific Criteria tabs for more information.

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You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Plans:

WQS: New York Water Quality Standards
New York State DEC: Water Quality Standards and Classifications Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Milestone Information

Milestone information updated May 2012.


Milestone
Rivers and Streams Lakes and Reservoirs Estuaries and Coastal Waters
TN TP TN TP TN TP
Planning for criteria development  Complete  Complete  No date provided*  Complete  12/31/2012  No date provided*
Collection of information and data  Complete  Complete  No date provided*  Complete  12/31/2012  No date provided*
Analysis of information and data  Complete  Complete  No date provided*  Complete  12/31/2013  No date provided*
Proposal of criteria  12/31/2012  12/31/2012  No date provided*  12/31/2012  12/31/2015  No date provided*
Adoption of criteria (EPA-Approved)  12/31/2013  12/31/2013  No date provided*  12/31/2013  12/31/2016  No date provided*

TN: Total Nitrogen; TP: Total Phosphorus

* For lakes and reservoirs, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservations (DEC) believes phosphorus criteria should be the first priority given its limited resources and that virtually all freshwater lakes and reservoirs are phosphorus-limited. Nitrogen criteria for nitrogen-limited waters will be developed as resources permit. For estuaries, DEC believes nitrogen is the limiting nutrient so nitrogen criteria will be DEC’s highest priority followed by phosphorus criteria (as resources permit). For more information, see Nutrient Criteria Development Plan for the State of New York 2011 (PDF) (13 pp, 137K)

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Statewide Criteria

The information on this tab shows EPA-approved nutrient criteria for New York’s waterbodies. The language presented below comes directly from state water quality standards and applies to all waterbodies within the state (unless a waterbody type or designated use is noted). Criteria applicable to specific waterbodies within the state can be found on the “Site-specific Criteria” tab. For more information, refer to the New York water quality standards.

The following information reflects New York’s water quality standards posted to the Water Quality Standards Repository as of November 2010 (EPA-approved June 2008).

Part 701: Classifications-Surface Waters and Groundwaters

§701.1 General conditions applying to all water classifications
The discharge of sewage, industrial waste or other wastes shall not cause impairment of the best usages of the receiving water as specified by the water classifications at the location of discharge and at other locations that may be affected by such discharge.

§701.2 Class N fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class N waters are the enjoyment of water in its natural condition nd, where compatible, as a source of water for drinking or culinary purposes, bathing, fishing, fish propagation, and recreation. The waters shall be suitable for shellfish and wildlife propagation and survival and fish survival.
(b) There shall be no discharge of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes, waste effluents or any sewage effluents not having had filtration resulting from at least 200 feet of lateral travel through unconsolidated earth. A greater distance may be required if inspection shows that, due to peculiar geologic conditions, this distance is inadequate to protect the water from pollution.
(c) These waters shall contain no deleterious substances, hydrocarbons or substances that would contribute to eutrophication, nor shall they receive surface runoff containing any such substance.

§701.3 Class AA-Special (AA-S) fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class AA-S waters are: a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes; primary and secondary contact recreation; and fishing. The waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.
(b) These waters shall contain no floating solids, settleable solids, oil, sludge deposits, toxic wastes, deleterious substances, colored or other wastes or heated liquids attributable to sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes.
(c) There shall be no discharge or disposal of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into these waters.
(d) These waters shall contain no phosphorus and nitrogen in amounts that will result in growths of algae, weeds and slimes that will impair the waters for their best usages.
(f) There shall be no increase in turbidity that will cause a substantial visible contrast to natural conditions.

§701.4 Class A-Special (A-S) fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class A-S waters are: a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes; primary and secondary contact recreation; and fishing. The waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.
(b) This classification may be given to those international boundary waters that, if subjected to approved treatment, equal to coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection with additional treatment, if necessary, to reduce naturally present impurities, meet or will meet New York State Department of Health drinking water standards and are or will be considered safe and satisfactory for drinking water purposes.

§701.5 Class AA fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class AA waters are: a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes; primary and secondary contact recreation; and fishing. The waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.
(b) This classification may be given to those waters that, if subjected to approved disinfection treatment, with additional treatment if necessary to remove naturally present impurities, meet or will meet New York State Department of Health drinking water standards and are or will be considered safe and satisfactory for drinking water purposes.

§701.6 Class A fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class A waters are: a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes; primary and secondary contact recreation; and fishing. The waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.
(b)This classification may be given to those waters that, if subjected to approved treatment equal to coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection, with additional treatment if necessary to reduce naturally present impurities, meet or will meet New York State Department of Health drinking water standards and are or will be considered safe and satisfactory for drinking water purposes.

§701.7 Class B fresh surface waters
The best usages of Class B waters are primary and secondary contact recreation and fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.

§701.8 Class C fresh surface waters
The best usage of Class C waters is fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival. The water quality shall be suitable for primary and secondary contact recreation, although other factors may limit the use for these purposes.

§701.9 Class D fresh surface waters
The best usage of Class D waters is fishing. Due to such natural conditions as intermittency of flow, water conditions not conducive to propagation of game fishery, or stream bed conditions, the waters will not support fish propagation. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife survival. The water quality shall be suitable for primary and secondary contact recreation, although other factors may limit the use for these purposes.

§701.10 Class SA saline surface waters
The best usages of Class SA waters are shellfishing for market purposes, primary and secondary contact recreation and fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.

§701.11 Class SB saline surface waters
The best usages of Class SB waters are primary and secondary contact recreation and fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.

§701.12 Class SC saline surface waters
The best usage of Class SC waters is fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival. The water quality shall be suitable for primary and secondary contact recreation, although other factors may limit the use for these purposes.

§701.13 Class I saline surface waters
The best usages of Class I waters are secondary contact recreation and fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.

§701.14 Class SD saline surface waters
The best usage of Class SD waters is fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife survival. This classification may be given to those waters that, because of natural or man-made conditions, cannot meet the requirements for primary and secondary contact recreation and fish propagation.

Part 703: Surface Water and Groundwater Quality Standards and Groundwater Effluent Limitations

§703.2 Narrative water quality standards
Narrative standards for specific water classes are provided in this section. Narrative standards for classes N and AA-Special are provided in Part 701 of this Title.

Parameter Classes Standard
Taste-, color-, and odor-producing, toxic and other deleterious substances   AA, A, B, C, D, SA, SB, SC, I, SD, A-Special None in amounts that will adversely affect the taste, color or odor thereof, or impair the waters for their best usages.  
Turbidity   AA, A, B, C, D, SA, SB, SC, I, SD, A-Special   No increase that will cause a substantial visible contrast to natural conditions.  
Phosphorus and nitrogen   AA, A, B, C, D, SA, SB, SC, I, SD, A-Special   None in amounts that will result in growths of algae, weeds and slimes that will impair the waters for their best usages.  

§ 703.5 Water quality standards for taste-, color- and odor-producing, toxic and other deleterious substances

Table 1 (cf. section 703.5) Water Quality Standards Surface Waters and Groundwater
Substance (CAS No.) Water Classes Standard (ug/L) Type Basis Code
Nitrate (expressed as N)
(CAS No. Not Applicable)
A, A-S, AA, AA-S 10,000*
10,000*
H (WS)
H (WS)
G
G
Remark: * Also see standards for "Nitrate and Nitrite."
Nitrate and Nitrite (expressed as N)
(CAS No. Not Applicable)
A, A-S, AA, AA-S 10,000*
10,000*
H (WS)
H (WS)
G
G
Remark: * Applies to the sum of these substances; also see individual standards for "Nitrate" and "Nitrite."
Nitrite (expressed as N) (CAS No. Not Applicable) A, A-S, AA, AA-S
A, A-S, AA, AA-S, B, C
1,000*
1,000*
H (WS)
H (WS)
G
G
Remarks: * Also see standards for "Nitrate and Nitrite."
Basis code G = Specific MCL, Human Health or Aesthetics

Site-specific Criteria

The information on this tab shows EPA-approved site-specific nutrient criteria for New York’s waterbodies. Criteria on this page apply only to the waterbodies listed below. Criteria applicable to all waterbodies within the state are found on the “Statewide Criteria” tab. For more information, refer to the New York water quality standards.

The following information reflects New York’s water quality standards posted to the Water Quality Standards Repository as of November 2010 (EPA-approved June 2008).

Part 701: Classifications-Surface Waters and Groundwaters

§701.1 General conditions applying to all water classifications
The discharge of sewage, industrial waste or other wastes shall not cause impairment of the best usages of the receiving water as specified by the water classifications at the location of discharge and at other locations that may be affected by such discharge.

§701.2 Class N fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class N waters are the enjoyment of water in its natural condition nd, where compatible, as a source of water for drinking or culinary purposes, bathing, fishing, fish propagation, and recreation. The waters shall be suitable for shellfish and wildlife propagation and survival and fish survival.
(b) There shall be no discharge of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes, waste effluents or any sewage effluents not having had filtration resulting from at least 200 feet of lateral travel through unconsolidated earth. A greater distance may be required if inspection shows that, due to peculiar geologic conditions, this distance is inadequate to protect the water from pollution.
(c) These waters shall contain no deleterious substances, hydrocarbons or substances that would contribute to eutrophication, nor shall they receive surface runoff containing any such substance.

§701.3 Class AA-Special (AA-S) fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class AA-S waters are: a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes; primary and secondary contact recreation; and fishing. The waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.
(b) These waters shall contain no floating solids, settleable solids, oil, sludge deposits, toxic wastes, deleterious substances, colored or other wastes or heated liquids attributable to sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes.
(c) There shall be no discharge or disposal of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into these waters.
(d) These waters shall contain no phosphorus and nitrogen in amounts that will result in growths of algae, weeds and slimes that will impair the waters for their best usages.
(f) There shall be no increase in turbidity that will cause a substantial visible contrast to natural conditions.

§701.4 Class A-Special (A-S) fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class A-S waters are: a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes; primary and secondary contact recreation; and fishing. The waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.
(b) This classification may be given to those international boundary waters that, if subjected to approved treatment, equal to coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection with additional treatment, if necessary, to reduce naturally present impurities, meet or will meet New York State Department of Health drinking water standards and are or will be considered safe and satisfactory for drinking water purposes.

§701.5 Class AA fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class AA waters are: a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes; primary and secondary contact recreation; and fishing. The waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.
(b) This classification may be given to those waters that, if subjected to approved disinfection treatment, with additional treatment if necessary to remove naturally present impurities, meet or will meet New York State Department of Health drinking water standards and are or will be considered safe and satisfactory for drinking water purposes.

§701.6 Class A fresh surface waters
(a) The best usages of Class A waters are: a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes; primary and secondary contact recreation; and fishing. The waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.
(b)This classification may be given to those waters that, if subjected to approved treatment equal to coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection, with additional treatment if necessary to reduce naturally present impurities, meet or will meet New York State Department of Health drinking water standards and are or will be considered safe and satisfactory for drinking water purposes.

§701.7 Class B fresh surface waters
The best usages of Class B waters are primary and secondary contact recreation and fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.

§701.8 Class C fresh surface waters
The best usage of Class C waters is fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival. The water quality shall be suitable for primary and secondary contact recreation, although other factors may limit the use for these purposes.

§701.9 Class D fresh surface waters
The best usage of Class D waters is fishing. Due to such natural conditions as intermittency of flow, water conditions not conducive to propagation of game fishery, or stream bed conditions, the waters will not support fish propagation. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife survival. The water quality shall be suitable for primary and secondary contact recreation, although other factors may limit the use for these purposes.

§701.10 Class SA saline surface waters
The best usages of Class SA waters are shellfishing for market purposes, primary and secondary contact recreation and fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.

§701.11 Class SB saline surface waters
The best usages of Class SB waters are primary and secondary contact recreation and fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.

§701.12 Class SC saline surface waters
The best usage of Class SC waters is fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival. The water quality shall be suitable for primary and secondary contact recreation, although other factors may limit the use for these purposes.

§701.13 Class I saline surface waters
The best usages of Class I waters are secondary contact recreation and fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife propagation and survival.

§701.14 Class SD saline surface waters
The best usage of Class SD waters is fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife survival. This classification may be given to those waters that, because of natural or man-made conditions, cannot meet the requirements for primary and secondary contact recreation and fish propagation.

Part 703: Surface Water and Groundwater Quality Standards and Groundwater Effluent Limitations

§ 703.5 Water quality standards for taste-, color- and odor-producing, toxic and other deleterious substances

Table 1 (cf. section 703.5) Water Quality Standards Surface Waters and Groundwater
Substance (CAS No.) Water Classes Standard (ug/L) Type Basis Code
Nitrite (expressed as N) (CAS No. Not Applicable)   ** A (C)  
Remarks:
** Standard is 100 ug/L except 20 ug/L for trout waters (T or TS).
** For the waters of the Great Lakes System, the department will substitute a guidance value for the aquatic Type standard if so determined under section 702.15(c) of this Title.

Basis code G = Specific MCL, Human Health or Aesthetics


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