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WATER QUALITY REGULATIONS. Module 22, part A – Regulations. Objectives. Students will be able to: differentiate between government bills, acts and U.S. codes. explain the role that states play in environmental water laws. describe the goals of the Clean Water Act 1972.

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water quality regulations


Module 22, part A – Regulations


Students will be able to:

  • differentiate between government bills, acts and U.S. codes.
  • explain the role that states play in environmental water laws.
  • describe the goals of the Clean Water Act 1972.
  • explain how Water Quality Standards relate to the Anitdegredation Policy.
  • determine designated uses for various bodies of water.
  • explain methods used to monitor and assess water quality.
  • describe major components of the Safe Water Drinking Act.
  • provide examples of other environmental laws enacted by congress.
water regulations
Water regulations
  • Government Process
  • Major Water Related Acts
  • Other Environmental Acts
government process bill to code
Government process – bill to code
  • Bill: Formally introduced legislation.
  • Act: Passed legislation that becomes law.
  • U.S. Code: Official record of all federal laws.
law to reality
Law to reality
  • In order to make the laws work, congress authorizes certain government agencies to create regulations that specify what is and is not legal.
law to reality a public process
Law to reality - a public process
  • Regulations proposed
  • Public comment period
  • Revisions
  • Final Rule
code of federal regulation cfr
Code of Federal Regulation (CFR)
  • Codification of the general and permanent rules published in the federal register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government.
  • Divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation.
where do states enter the picture
Where do states enter the picture?
  • Most federal environmental laws are "delegated" to State governments where the laws are implemented and administered.
  • A state may seek to have EPA delegate all (or part) of an environmental program to it.
  • When a program is delegated to a state, the state conducts most of the permitting, inspection, and enforcement activities, with EPA maintaining a back-up or oversight role.
major water related acts

Desotelle Consulting, PLC

Major water-related acts
  • Much of the water quality and environmental regulations appear in Titles 33 and 42.
  • Clean Water Act (Title 33, CFR)
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (Title 42, CFR)
clean water act cfr title 33
Clean Water Act (CFR - Title 33)

The objective of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters so that they can support "the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water."

Desotelle Consulting, PLC

federal water pollution control act to clean water act

MN Pollution Control Agency

Federal Water Pollution Control Act to Clean Water Act
  • 1st passed in 1972 as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act
  • As amended in 1977, this law became commonly known as the Clean Water Act.
  • Over the years, many other laws have changed parts of the Clean Water Act.
cwa goals

Desotelle Consulting

CWA goals
  • Eliminate pollutant discharges
  • Provide interim water quality goals
  • Prohibit discharge of toxicants
  • Provide financial assistance
  • Provide for a plan
  • Develop technologies
  • Provide for pollution programs
cwa point source to nonpoint source

MN Pollution Control Agency

Dane County, WI

CWA point source to nonpoint source
  • At first focus mainly on “point source pollution” related to chemical integrity.
    • Municipal sewage plans
    • Industrial facilities
  • Last 10 plus years attention given to physical and biological integrity.
cwa a watershed perspective

Desotelle Consulting

CWA – a watershed perspective
  • Evolution of CWA programs
    • shift in philosophy
  • Equal emphasis on protecting healthy waters as well as restoring impaired ones.
major cwa programs
Major CWA programs
  • Water quality standards
    • Designated uses
    • Water quality criteria
    • Antidegradation policy
  • Waterbody monitoring and assessment
  • Reports on condition of the nation’s waters
  • Total maximum daily loads (TMDLs)
water quality standards wqs

Desotelle Consulting

Water Quality Standards (WQS)
  • Translates statutory goals into measurable objectives.
  • Employ antidegradation policies when all WQS met.
  • Develop strategies to meet WQS when all WQS are not met.
waters of the united states
Waters of the United States
  • Applies only to surface waters–rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters, and wetlands.
  • The exact dividing line between "waters of the United States" and other waters can be hard to determine.
designating wqs

EPA Watershed Academy

Designating WQS
  • WQS should be set for all waters defined as "waters of the U.S."
  • The CWA does not require WQS for ground water.
  • Standards for additional surface waters including ground water can be adopted, however.
designated uses dus
Designated Uses (DUs)
  • The uses the community wants or might want to place on a particular waterbody.
  • Examples of DUs with subcategories in parenthesis include:
    • drinking water (treated/untreated)
    • water-based recreation (noncontact, short or long term)
    • fishing/eating
    • aquatic life (warm or cold water species/habitat)
    • agriculture water supply
    • industrial water supply
designated uses dus1

EPA Watershed Academy

Designated Uses (DUs)
  • Generally waterbodies, and different portions of a given waterbody, are assigned various combinations of DUs.
  • Economic factors can be considered when setting the DU
water quality criteria wqc
Water Quality Criteria (WQC)
  • WQC are levels of individual pollutants or water quality characteristics, or descriptions of conditions of a waterbody that, if met, will generally protect the DU of the water.
  • For a given DU, there are likely to be a number of WQC.
  • Only scientific considerations can be taken into account.
antidegradation policy
Antidegradation policy
  • The purpose of this policy is to keep clean waters clean. States, tribes, and territories usually cover this program as part of their water quality standards regulations.
  • A waterbody could have antidegradation apply to some uses and criteria, whereas a cleanup strategy, such as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) would be needed, for others.
waterbody monitoring and assessment

EPA Watershed Academy

Waterbody monitoring and assessment
  • Monitor to determine whether the WQS are being met.
  • Responsibility falls primarily on the states.
  • EPA does not operate a large national network of water quality monitoring stations.
reports on condition of the nation s waters
Reports on condition of the nation’s waters
  • States, tribes, and territories are required to provide the results of their monitoring efforts in the form of two reports, submitted to EPA and made available to the public.
  • 305(b) Report - National Water Quality Inventory
  • 303(d) Threatened and Impaired Waters List
  • Consolidated Reports
what do the reports tell us

EPA Watershed Academy

What do the reports tell us?
  • Information represents the number of waterbodies for which the listed stressors were cited as a cause of impairment.
  • Three most frequently encountered causes of impairment are nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), pathogens and sediments.
total maximum daily loads tmdls
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
  • When a waterbody or segment is impaired by one or more pollutants, a strategy must be developed leading to attainment of the WQS.
  • TMDLs are to be developed only for waters affected by pollutants where implementation of the technology-based controls imposed upon point sources would not result in achievement of WQS.
  • “Pollutant budgets" for a specific waterbody or segment, that if not exceeded, would result in attainment of WQS.
  • Done pollutant by pollutant for each waterbody or segment
    • if there are two or more pollutants, the TMDLs for each pollutant could be done simultaneously.
    • flow alterations and physical habitat modifications are included in addition to all pollutants.
watershed framework for tmdls
Watershed framework for TMDLs
  • TMDLs should be completed on a "watershed basis" in order to realize program efficiencies and foster more holistic analysis.
  • Ideally, TMDLs are incorporated into comprehensive watershed strategies to:
    • address protection of high quality waters (antidegradation) as well as restoration of impaired segments (TMDLs).
    • address the full array of activities affecting the waterbody.
    • provide a collaborative effort framework among a variety of stakeholders.
safe drinking water act sdwa cfr title 42
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)(CFR - Title 42)
  • To protect the quality of drinking water in the U.S.
  • Originally passed in 1974
  • Amended 1996
drinking water facts

EPA Drinking Water Academy

Drinking water facts
  • Our society uses almost an average of 100 gallons of drinking water per person per day.
  • Of the drinking water supplied by public water systems, only a small portion is actually used for drinking.
application and responsibility
Application and responsibility
  • Every public water system in the U.S. (about 170,000).
    • Must have at least 15 service connections or serve at least 25 people per day for 60 days per year.
  • Responsibility is divided among EPA, states, tribes, water systems, and the public.
    • SDWA provides framework for parties to work together
  • EPA sets national standards based on sound science to protect against health risks.
setting primary drinking water standards

Example of MCLs – does not include all

Setting primary drinking water standards
  • Identify drinking water contaminants that may adversely affect public health.
  • Determine a maximum contaminant level (MCL) goal for regulated contaminants.
  • Specify an enforceable MCL.
other environmental laws enacted by congress epa carries out its efforts
Other environmental laws enacted by congress - EPA carries out its efforts
  • 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
  • 1947 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, & Rodenticide Act
  • 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act (also known as Clean Water Act)
  • 1955 Clean Air Act
  • 1965 Shoreline Erosion Protection Act
  • 1965 Solid Waste Disposal Act
  • 1970 National Environmental Policy Act
  • 1970 Pollution Prevention Packaging Act
  • 1970 Resource Recovery Act
  • 1971 Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act
  • 1972 Coastal Zone Management Act
other environmental laws enacted by congress epa carries out its efforts1
Other environmental laws enacted by congress - EPA carries out its efforts
  • 1972 Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act
  • 1972 Ocean Dumping Act
  • 1973 Endangered Species Act
  • 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act
  • 1974 Shoreline Erosion Control Demonstration Act
  • 1975 Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
  • 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act
  • 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
  • 1978 Uranium Mill-Tailings Radiation Control Act
  • 1980 Asbestos School Hazard Detection & Control Act
other environmental laws enacted by congress epa carries out its efforts2
Other environmental laws enacted by congress - EPA carries out its efforts
  • 1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
  • 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act
  • 1984 Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Act
  • 1986 Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
  • 1986 Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act
  • 1988 Indoor Radon Abatement Act
  • 1988 Lead Contamination Control Act
  • 1988 Medical Waste Tracking Act
  • 1988 Ocean Dumping Ban Act
  • 1988 Shore Protection Act
  • 1990 National Environmental Education Act
  • Local Government Environmental Assistance Network. Regulatory Information. International City/County Management Association. http://www/lgean.org/html/regs.cfm.
  • U.S. Federal Government. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Sept. 28, 2004. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr/
  • Environmental Pollution Control Agency. Understanding the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA 810-F-99-008. December 1999. http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/pdfs/25ann/fs_sdwa_understand_25.pdf
  • Environmental Pollution Control Agency. Watershed Academy Web – Introduction to the Clean Water Act. April 19, 2003. http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/
  • Environmental Pollution Control Agency. Drinking Water Academy. April 23, 2004. http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwa/electronic/introsdwa.html