Issue 6 application of waterbody protection tiers
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Issue #6: Application of Waterbody Protection Tiers - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Notebook Ref 6.3. Issue #6: Application of Waterbody Protection Tiers. Questions. Tier 3 discussion has been addressed separately . . . How is Tier 1 / Tier 2 protection applied?

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Issue 6 application of waterbody protection tiers

Notebook Ref 6.3

Issue #6:Application of Waterbody Protection Tiers


  • Tier 3 discussion has been addressed separately . . .

  • How is Tier 1 / Tier 2 protection applied?

    • ALL waterbodies are protected at the Tier 1 level (“existing water uses and the level of water quality necessary to protect existing uses must be maintained and protected

    • Tier 2 applies when “the quality of a water exceeds levels necessary to support propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water”

  • Parameter-by-parameter or waterbody as a whole?

    • Parameter approach: defined set of parameters, usually considered to be the established water quality criteria, are used as antidegradation benchmarks

    • Waterbody approach: some type of holistic assessment or other data needed to characterize and predict changes in waterbodies (e.g., geomorphic, biological, chemical, physical)

Waterbody by waterbody
Waterbody by Waterbody

  • Assigns waterbody (or specific portion) to a particular tier of protection from degradation

    • Based on “overall” water quality

  • Favored by aquatic ecologists

  • Lends itself to use of biological/biomonitoring data

Waterbody by waterbody1
Waterbody by Waterbody



  • Weighted assessments (biological, physical, & chemical)

  • Coincides best with habitat and biological assessments

  • Focuses resources on high quality waters

  • Some waters may not be adequately protected

  • Must decide what data is needed to make assessment

  • Front-loaded work need

  • Delay in implementation and need for procedures to address antidegradation before listing decisions are made

  • More potential for disputes, challenges and litigation

Pollutant by pollutant
Pollutant by Pollutant

  • Level of antidegradation protection and review is decided for each pollutant separately

    • Case by case basis

    • As new discharges arise

  • No list for Tier 2 protection – all waters with better quality than minimum water quality criteria are protected at the Tier 2 level for each “better-quality” parameter

Pollutant by pollutant1
Pollutant by Pollutant



  • Little or no upfront workload

  • Better understood, more conventional, straightforward when it comes to analysis of degradation

  • Avoids disputes involved in making a decision on overall water quality

  • Can be immediately implemented, as new or increased discharges arise

  • Potentially more reviews

  • Water column data needed, uncertain how biological data can be used

  • Numerous pollutant-water body combinations

  • May not focus implementation efforts on truly high quality waters