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Water: Water Quality Standards

Templates for Narrative Downstream Protection Criteria in State Water Quality Standards

These narrative templates are intended as suggestions that states and tribes may use as starting points to customize the downstream protection provisions in their water quality standards.

Downstream protection provisions may be narrative or numeric, and states and tribes have discretion in choosing their preferred approach, based on their individual circumstances.

The EPA encourages early coordination between States and their EPA Regions to ensure the most streamlined process.


Narrative 1

shall maintain a level of water quality
(that) provide(s) for the attainment and maintenance of the water quality standards of (those) downstream
, including the
of another state.


Narrative 2

shall maintain such (level of water) quality (at their pour points to downstream 
that the water quality standards of (those) downstream
- including the
of another state - are attained and maintained.


Narrative 3

shall not exceed a
(that is) necessary to provide for the attainment and maintenance of the water quality standards of those downstream
, including the
of another state.


Narrative 4

shall not exceed a
(at their pour points) to downstream
(that is) necessary to attain and maintain the water quality standards of those downstream 
, including the
of another state.


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