LEGAL WATER QUALITY CHALLENGES “Addressing Real Mine Issues in Water Quality Regulatory Systems” SME Annual Conference. February 26, 2014. Presented by: Ronda Sandquist [email protected] November 14, 2014. Water Quality Standards. Uses/Criteria/Antidegradation
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February 26, 2014
November 14, 2014
40 C.F.R. § 131.10(a)
33 U.S.C. § 1314
(Except Coalbed Methane)
If criteria are met designated use is considered protected. 40 C.F.R § 131.3
TMDLs required for impaired waters/303(d) Listing
Am. Farm Bureau Federation, et al. v. U.S. E.P.A., 1:11-CV-0067, 2013 WL 5177530 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 13, 2013)
PURPOSE: protect aquatic organisms from “aggregate effects” of pollutants.
Applicants must conduct tests with multiple species (no less than two species, e.g. fish, invertebrate, plant)
TWO TYPES OF TESTS (depends on range of receiving water dilution):
40 C.F.R. §§ 122.21; 136.3, Table IA (test procedures)
Antidegradation limits based on three tiers of waters:
1) Use-protected (Tier 1) – maintain and protect existing uses;
2) High quality waters (Tier 2) – degradation allowed if necessary to support important social and economic development;
3) Outstanding natural resources waters (“ONRW”) – (Tier 3) – high quality must be maintained and protected.
40 C.F.R. § 131.12
If “significant degradation” 2 Step Alternatives Analysis considers:
Innovative approach to achieve water quality standards with flexibility and economic efficiency.
2 Types of WQT: