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United States Regulations
40 CFR PART 131—WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
Title 40: Protection of Environment
PART 131—WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.
Source: 48 FR 51405, Nov. 8, 1983, unless otherwise noted.
Subpart A—General Provisions
§ 131.1 Scope.
This part describes the requirements and procedures for developing, reviewing, revising, and approving water quality standards by the States as authorized by section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act. Additional specific procedures for developing, reviewing, revising, and approving water quality standards for Great Lakes States or Great Lakes Tribes (as defined in 40 CFR 132.2) to conform to section 118 of the Clean Water Act and 40 CFR part 132, are provided in 40 CFR part 132.
[60 FR 15386, Mar. 23, 1995]
§ 131.2 Purpose.
A water quality standard defines the water quality goals of a water body, or portion thereof, by designating the use or uses to be made of the water and by setting criteria necessary to protect the uses. States adopt water quality standards to protect public health or welfare, enhance the quality of water and serve the purposes of the Clean Water Act (the Act). “Serve the purposes of the Act” (as defined in sections 101(a)(2) and 303(c) of the Act) means that water quality standards should, wherever attainable, provide water quality for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish and wildlife and for recreation in and on the water and take into consideration their use and value of public water supplies, propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife, recreation in and on the water, and agricultural, industrial, and other purposes including navigation.
Such standards serve the dual purposes of establishing the water quality goals for a specific water body and serve as the regulatory basis for the establishment of water-quality-based treatment controls and strategies beyond the technology-based levels of treatment required by sections 301(b) and 306 of the Act.
§ 131.3 Definitions.
(a) The Act means the Clean Water Act (Pub. L. 92–500, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.)).
(b) Criteria are elements of State water quality standards, expressed as constituent concentrations, levels, or narrative statements, representing a quality of water that supports a particular use. When criteria are met, water quality will generally protect the designated use.
(c) Section 304(a) criteria are developed by EPA under authority of section 304(a) of the Act based on the latest scientific information on the relationship that the effect of a constituent concentration has on particular aquatic species and/or human health. This information is issued periodically to the States as guidance for use in developing criteria.
(d) Toxic pollutants are those pollutants listed by the Administrator under section 307(a) of the Act.
(e) Existing uses are those uses actually attained in the water body on or after November 28, 1975, whether or not they are included in the water quality standards.
(f) Designated uses are those uses specified in water quality standards for each water body or segment whether or not they are being attained.
(g) Use attainability analysis is a structured scientific assessment of the factors affecting the attainment of the use which may include physical, chemical, biological, and economic factors as described in §131.10(g).
(h) Water quality limited segment means any segment where it is known that water quality does not meet applicable water quality standards, and/or is not expected to meet applicable water quality standards, even after the application of the technology-bases effluent limitations required by sections 301(b) and 306 of the Act.
(i) Water quality standards are provisions of State or Federal law which consist of a designated use or uses for the waters of the United States and water quality criteria for such waters based upon such uses. Water quality standards are to protect the public health or welfare, enhance the quality of water and serve the purposes of the Act.
(j) States include: The 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Indian Tribes that EPA determines to be eligible for purposes of water quality standards program.
(k) Federal Indian Reservation, Indian Reservation, or Reservation means all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and including rights-of-way running through the reservation.”
(l) Indian Tribe or Tribe means any Indian Tribe, band, group, or community recognized by the Secretary of the Interior and exercising governmental authority over a Federal Indian reservation.
[48 FR 51405, Nov. 8, 1983, as amended at 56 FR 64893, Dec. 12, 1991; 59 FR 64344, Dec. 14, 1994]
§ 131.4 State authority.
(a) States (as defined in §131.3) are responsible for reviewing, establishing, and revising water quality standards. As recognized by section 510 of the Clean Water Act, States may develop water quality standards more stringent than required by this regulation. Consistent with section 101(g) and 518(a) of the Clean Water Act, water quality standards shall not be construed to supersede or abrogate rights to quantities of water.
(b) States (as defined in §131.3) may issue certifications pursuant to the requirements of Clean Water Act section 401. Revisions adopted by States shall be applicable for use in issuing State certifications consistent with the provisions of §131.21(c).
(c) Where EPA determines that a Tribe is eligible to the same extent as a State for purposes of water quality standards, the Tribe likewise is eligible to the same extent as a State for purposes of certifications conducted under Clean Water Act section 401.
[56 FR 64893, Dec. 12, 1991, as amended at 59 FR 64344, Dec. 14, 1994]
§ 131.5 EPA authority.
(a) Under section 303(c) of the Act, EPA is to review and to approve or disapprove State-adopted water quality standards. The review involves a determination of:
(1) Whether the State has adopted water uses which are consistent with the requirements of the Clean Water Act;
(2) Whether the State has adopted criteria that protect the designated water uses;
(3) Whether the State has followed its legal procedures for revising or adopting standards;
(4) Whether the State standards which do not include the uses specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act are based upon appropriate technical and scientific data and analyses, and
(5) Whether the State submission meets the requirements included in §131.6 of this part and, for Great Lakes States or Great Lakes Tribes (as defined in 40 CFR 132.2) to conform to section 118 of the Act, the requirements of 40 CFR part 132.
(b) If EPA determines that the State's or Tribe's water quality standards are consistent with the factors listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5) of this section, EPA approves the standards. EPA must disapprove the State's or Tribe's water quality standards and promulgate Federal standards under section 303(c)(4), and for Great Lakes States or Great Lakes Tribes under section 118(c)(2)(C) of the Act, if State or Tribal adopted standards are not consistent with the factors listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5) of this section. EPA may also promulgate a new or revised standard when necessary to meet the requirements of the Act.
(c) Section 401 of the Clean Water Act authorizes EPA to issue certifications pursuant to the requirements of section 401 in any case where a State or interstate agency has no authority for issuing such certifications.
[48 FR 51405, Nov. 8, 1983, as amended at 56 FR 64894, Dec. 12, 1991; 60 FR 15387, Mar. 23, 1995]
§ 131.6 Minimum requirements for water quality standards submission.
The following elements must be included in each State's water quality standards submitted to EPA for review:
(a) Use designations consistent with the provisions of sections 101(a)(2) and 303(c)(2) of the Act.
(b) Methods used and analyses conducted to support water quality standards revisions.
(c) Water quality criteria sufficient to protect the designated uses.
(d) An antidegradation policy consistent with §131.12.
(e) Certification by the State Attorney General or other appropriate legal authority within the State that the water quality standards were duly adopted pursuant to State law.
(f) General information which will aid the Agency in determining the adequacy of the scientific basis of the standards which do not include the uses specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act as well as information on general policies applicable to State standards which may affect their application and implementation.
§ 131.7 Dispute resolution mechanism.
(a) Where disputes between States and Indian Tribes arise as a result of differing water quality standards on common bodies of water, the lead EPA Regional Administrator, as determined based upon OMB circular A–105, shall be responsible for acting in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(b) The Regional Administrator shall attempt to resolve such disputes where:
(1) The difference in water quality standards results in unreasonable consequences;
(2) The dispute is between a State (as defined in §131.3(j) but exclusive of all Indian Tribes) and a Tribe which EPA has determined is eligible to the same extent as a State for purposes of water quality standards;
(3) A reasonable effort to resolve the dispute without EPA involvement has been made;
(4) The requested relief is consistent with the provisions of the Clean Water Act and other relevant law;
(5) The differing State and Tribal water quality standards have been adopted pursuant to State and Tribal law and approved by EPA; and
(6) A valid written request has been submitted by either the Tribe or the State.
(c) Either a State or a Tribe may request EPA to resolve any dispute which satisfies the criteria of paragraph (b) of this section. Written requests for EPA involvement should be submitted to the lead Regional Administrator and must include:
(1) A concise statement of the unreasonable consequences that are alleged to have arisen because of differing water quality standards;
(2) A concise description of the actions which have been taken to resolve the dispute without EPA involvement;
(3) A concise indication of the water quality standards provision which has resulted in the alleged unreasonable consequences;
(4) Factual data to support the alleged unreasonable consequences; and
(5) A statement of the relief sought from the alleged unreasonable consequences.
(d) Where, in the Regional Administrator's judgment, EPA involvement is appropriate based on the factors of paragraph (b) of this section, the Regional Administrator shall, within 30 days, notify the parties in writing that he/she is initiating an EPA dispute resolution action and solicit their written response. The Regional Administrator shall also make reasonable efforts to ensure that other interested individuals or groups have notice of this action. Such efforts shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) Written notice to responsible Tribal and State Agencies, and other affected Federal agencies,
(2) Notice to the specific individual or entity that is alleging that an unreasonable consequence is resulting from differing standards having been adopted on a common body of water,
(3) Public notice in local newspapers, radio, and television, as appropriate,
(4) Publication in trade journal newsletters, and
(5) Other means as appropriate.
(e) If in accordance with applicable State and Tribal law an Indian Tribe and State have entered into an agreement that resolves the dispute or establishes a mechanism for resolving a dispute, EPA shall defer to this agreement where it is consistent with the Clean Water Act and where it has been approved by EPA.
(f) EPA dispute resolution actions shall be consistent with one or a combination of the following options:
(1) Mediation. The Regional Administrator may appoint a mediator to mediate the dispute. Mediators shall be EPA employees, employees from other Federal agencies, or other individuals with appropriate qualifications.
(i) Where the State and Tribe agree to participate in the dispute resolution process, mediation with the intent to establish Tribal-State agreements, consistent with Clean Water Act section 518(d), shall normally be pursued as a first effort.
(ii) Mediators shall act as neutral facilitators whose function is to encourage communication and negotiation between all parties to the dispute.
(iii) Mediators may establish advisory panels, to consist in part of representatives from the affected parties, to study the problem and recommend an appropriate solution.
(iv) The procedure and schedule for mediation of individual disputes shall be determined by the mediator in consultation with the parties.
(v) If formal public hearings are held in connection with the actions taken under this paragraph, Agency requirements at 40 CFR 25.5 shall be followed.
(2) Arbitration. Where the parties to the dispute agree to participate in the dispute resolution process, the Regional Administrator may appoint an arbitrator or arbitration panel to arbitrate the dispute. Arbitrators and panel members shall be EPA employees, employees from other Federal agencies, or other individuals with appropriate qualifications. The Regional administrator shall select as arbitrators and arbitration panel members individuals who are agreeable to all parties, are knowledgeable concerning the requirements of the water quality standards program, have a basic understanding of the political and economic interests of Tribes and States involved, and are expected to fulfill the duties fairly and impartially.
(i) The arbitrator or arbitration panel shall conduct one or more private or public meetings with the parties and actively solicit information pertaining to the effects of differing water quality permit requirements on upstream and downstream dischargers, comparative risks to public health and the environment, economic impacts, present and historical water uses, the quality of the waters subject to such standards, and other factors relevant to the dispute, such as whether proposed water quality criteria are more stringent than necessary to support designated uses, more stringent than natural background water quality or whether designated uses are reasonable given natural background water quality.
(ii) Following consideration of relevant factors as defined in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section, the arbitrator or arbitration panel shall have the authority and responsibility to provide all parties and the Regional Administrator with a written recommendation for resolution of the dispute. Arbitration panel recommendations shall, in general, be reached by majority vote. However, where the parties agree to binding arbitration, or where required by the Regional Administrator, recommendations of such arbitration panels may be unanimous decisions. Where binding or non-binding arbitration panels cannot reach a unanimous recommendation after a reasonable period of time, the Regional Administrator may direct the panel to issue a non-binding decision by majority vote.
(iii) The arbitrator or arbitration panel members may consult with EPA's Office of General Counsel on legal issues, but otherwise shall have no ex parte communications pertaining to the dispute. Federal employees who are arbitrators or arbitration panel members shall be neutral and shall not be predisposed for or against the position of any disputing party based on any Federal Trust responsibilities which their employers may have with respect to the Tribe. In addition, arbitrators or arbitration panel members who are Federal employees shall act independently from the normal hierarchy within their agency.
(iv) The parties are not obligated to abide by the arbitrator's or arbitration panel's recommendation unless they voluntarily entered into a binding agreement to do so.
(v) If a party to the dispute believes that the arbitrator or arbitration panel has recommended an action contrary to or inconsistent with the Clean Water Act, the party may appeal the arbitrator's recommendation to the Regional Administrator. The request for appeal must be in writing and must include a description of the statutory basis for altering the arbitrator's recommendation.
(vi) The procedure and schedule for arbitration of individual disputes shall be determined by the arbitrator or arbitration panel in consultation with parties.
(vii) If formal public hearings are held in connection with the actions taken under this paragraph, Agency requirements at 40 CFR 25.5 shall be followed.
(3) Dispute resolution default procedure. Where one or more parties (as defined in paragraph (g) of this section) refuse to participate in either the mediation or arbitration dispute resolution processes, the Regional Administrator may appoint a single official or panel to review available information pertaining to the dispute and to issue a written recommendation for resolving the dispute. Review officials shall be EPA employees, employees from other Federal agencies, or other individuals with appropriate qualifications. Review panels shall include appropriate members to be selected by the Regional Administrator in consultation with the participating parties. Recommendations of such review officials or panels shall, to the extent possible given the lack of participation by one or more parties, be reached in a manner identical to that for arbitration of disputes specified in paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (f)(2)(vii) of this section.
(g) Definitions. For the purposes of this section:
(1) Dispute Resolution Mechanism means the EPA mechanism established pursuant to the requirements of Clean Water Act section 518(e) for resolving unreasonable consequences that arise as a result of differing water quality standards that may be set by States and Indian Tribes located on common bodies of water.
(2) Parties to a State-Tribal dispute include the State and the Tribe and may, at the discretion of the Regional Administrator, include an NPDES permittee, citizen, citizen group, or other affected entity.
[56 FR 64894, Dec. 12, 1991, as amended at 59 FR 64344, Dec. 14, 1994]
§ 131.8 Requirements for Indian Tribes to administer a water quality standards program.
(a) The Regional Administrator, as determined based on OMB Circular A–105, may accept and approve a tribal application for purposes of administering a water quality standards program if the Tribe meets the following criteria:
(1) The Indian Tribe is recognized by the Secretary of the Interior and meets the definitions in §131.3 (k) and (l),
(2) The Indian Tribe has a governing body carrying out substantial governmental duties and powers,
(3) The water quality standards program to be administered by the Indian Tribe pertains to the management and protection of water resources which are within the borders of the Indian reservation and held by the Indian Tribe, within the borders of the Indian reservation and held by the United States in trust for Indians, within the borders of the Indian reservation and held by a member of the Indian Tribe if such property interest is subject to a trust restriction on alienation, or otherwise within the borders of the Indian reservation, and
(4) The Indian Tribe is reasonably expected to be capable, in the Regional Administrator's judgment, of carrying out the functions of an effective water quality standards program in a manner consistent with the terms and purposes of the Act and applicable regulations.
(b) Requests by Indian Tribes for administration of a water quality standards program should be submitted to the lead EPA Regional Administrator. The application shall include the following information:
(1) A statement that the Tribe is recognized by the Secretary of the Interior.
(2) A descriptive statement demonstrating that the Tribal governing body is currently carrying out substantial governmental duties and powers over a defined area. The statement should:
(i) Describe the form of the Tribal government;
(ii) Describe the types of governmental functions currently performed by the Tribal governing body such as, but not limited to, the exercise of police powers affecting (or relating to) the health, safety, and welfare of the affected population, taxation, and the exercise of the power of eminent domain; and
(iii) Identify the source of the Tribal government's authority to carry out the governmental functions currently being performed.
(3) A descriptive statement of the Indian Tribe's authority to regulate water quality. The statement should include:
(i) A map or legal description of the area over which the Indian Tribe asserts authority to regulate surface water quality;
(ii) A statement by the Tribe's legal counsel (or equivalent official) which describes the basis for the Tribes assertion of authority and which may include a copy of documents such as Tribal constitutions, by-laws, charters, executive orders, codes, ordinances, and/or resolutions which support the Tribe's assertion of authority; and
(iii) An identification of the surface waters for which the Tribe proposes to establish water quality standards.
(4) A narrative statement describing the capability of the Indian Tribe to administer an effective water quality standards program. The narrative statement should include:
(i) A description of the Indian Tribe's previous management experience which may include the administration of programs and services authorized by the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.), the Indian Mineral Development Act (25 U.S.C. 2101 et seq.), or the Indian Sanitation Facility Construction Activity Act (42 U.S.C. 2004a);
(ii) A list of existing environmental or public health programs administered by the Tribal governing body and copies of related Tribal laws, policies, and regulations;
(iii) A description of the entity (or entities) which exercise the executive, legislative, and judicial functions of the Tribal government;
(iv) A description of the existing, or proposed, agency of the Indian Tribe which will assume primary responsibility for establishing, reviewing, implementing and revising water quality standards;
(v) A description of the technical and administrative capabilities of the staff to administer and manage an effective water quality standards program or a plan which proposes how the Tribe will acquire additional administrative and technical expertise. The plan must address how the Tribe will obtain the funds to acquire the administrative and technical expertise.
(5) Additional documentation required by the Regional Administrator which, in the judgment of the Regional Administrator, is necessary to support a Tribal application.
(6) Where the Tribe has previously qualified for eligibility or “treatment as a state” under a Clean Water Act or Safe Drinking Water Act program, the Tribe need only provide the required information which has not been submitted in a previous application.
(c) Procedure for processing an Indian Tribe's application.
(1) The Regional Administrator shall process an application of an Indian Tribe submitted pursuant to §131.8(b) in a timely manner. He shall promptly notify the Indian Tribe of receipt of the application.
(2) Within 30 days after receipt of the Indian Tribe's application the Regional Administrator shall provide appropriate notice. Notice shall:
(i) Include information on the substance and basis of the Tribe's assertion of authority to regulate the quality of reservation waters; and
(ii) Be provided to all appropriate governmental entities.
(3) The Regional Administrator shall provide 30 days for comments to be submitted on the Tribal application. Comments shall be limited to the Tribe's assertion of authority.
(4) If a Tribe's asserted authority is subject to a competing or conflicting claim, the Regional Administrator, after due consideration, and in consideration of other comments received, shall determine whether the Tribe has adequately demonstrated that it meets the requirements of §131.8(a)(3).
(5) Where the Regional Administrator determines that a Tribe meets the requirements of this section, he shall promptly provide written notification to the Indian Tribe that the Tribe is authorized to administer the Water Quality Standards program.
[56 FR 64895, Dec. 12, 1991, as amended at 59 FR 64344, Dec. 14, 1994]
Subpart B—Establishment of Water Quality Standards
§ 131.10 Designation of uses.
(a) Each State must specify appropriate water uses to be achieved and protected. The classification of the waters of the State must take into consideration the use and value of water for public water supplies, protection and propagation of fish, shellfish and wildlife, recreation in and on the water, agricultural, industrial, and other purposes including navigation. In no case shall a State adopt waste transport or waste assimilation as a designated use for any waters of the United States.
(b) In designating uses of a water body and the appropriate criteria for those uses, the State shall take into consideration the water quality standards of downstream waters and shall ensure that its water quality standards provide for the attainment and maintenance of the water quality standards of downstream waters.
(c) States may adopt sub-categories of a use and set the appropriate criteria to reflect varying needs of such sub-categories of uses, for instance, to differentiate between cold water and warm water fisheries.
(d) At a minimum, uses are deemed attainable if they can be achieved by the imposition of effluent limits required under sections 301(b) and 306 of the Act and cost-effective and reasonable best management practices for nonpoint source control.
(e) Prior to adding or removing any use, or establishing sub-categories of a use, the State shall provide notice and an opportunity for a public hearing under §131.20(b) of this regulation.
(f) States may adopt seasonal uses as an alternative to reclassifying a water body or segment thereof to uses requiring less stringent water quality criteria. If seasonal uses are adopted, water quality criteria should be adjusted to reflect the seasonal uses, however, such criteria shall not preclude the attainment and maintenance of a more protective use in another season.
(g) States may remove a designated use which is not an existing use, as defined in §131.3, or establish sub-categories of a use if the State can demonstrate that attaining the designated use is not feasible because:
(1) Naturally occurring pollutant concentrations prevent the attainment of the use; or
(2) Natural, ephemeral, intermittent or low flow conditions or water levels prevent the attainment of the use, unless these conditions may be compensated for by the discharge of sufficient volume of effluent discharges without violating State water conservation requirements to enable uses to be met; or
(3) Human caused conditions or sources of pollution prevent the attainment of the use and cannot be remedied or would cause more environmental damage to correct than to leave in place; or
(4) Dams, diversions or other types of hydrologic modifications preclude the attainment of the use, and it is not feasible to restore the water body to its original condition or to operate such modification in a way that would result in the attainment of the use; or
(5) Physical conditions related to the natural features of the water body, such as the lack of a proper substrate, cover, flow, depth, pools, riffles, and the like, unrelated to water quality, preclude attainment of aquatic life protection uses; or
(6) Controls more stringent than those required by sections 301(b) and 306 of the Act would result in substantial and widespread economic and social impact.
(h)States may not remove designated uses if:
(1) They are existing uses, as defined in §131.3, unless a use requiring more stringent criteria is added; or
(2) Such uses will be attained by implementing effluent limits required under sections 301(b) and 306 of the Act and by implementing cost-effective and reasonable best management practices for nonpoint source control.
(i) Where existing water quality standards specify designated uses less than those which are presently being attained, the State shall revise its standards to reflect the uses actually being attained.
(j) A State must conduct a use attainability analysis as described in §131.3(g) whenever:
(1) The State designates or has designated uses that do not include the uses specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act, or
(2) The State wishes to remove a designated use that is specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act or to adopt subcategories of uses specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act which require less stringent criteria.
(k) A State is not required to conduct a use attainability analysis under this regulation whenever designating uses which include those specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act.
§ 131.11 Criteria.
(a) Inclusion of pollutants: (1) States must adopt those water quality criteria that protect the designated use. Such criteria must be based on sound scientific rationale and must contain sufficient parameters or constituents to protect the designated use. For waters with multiple use designations, the criteria shall support the most sensitive use.
(2) Toxic pollutants. States must review water quality data and information on discharges to identify specific water bodies where toxic pollutants may be adversely affecting water quality or the attainment of the designated water use or where the levels of toxic pollutants are at a level to warrant concern and must adopt criteria for such toxic pollutants applicable to the water body sufficient to protect the designated use. Where a State adopts narrative criteria for toxic pollutants to protect designated uses, the State must provide information identifying the method by which the State intends to regulate point source discharges of toxic pollutants on water quality limited segments based on such narrative criteria. Such information may be included as part of the standards or may be included in documents generated by the State in response to the Water Quality Planning and Management Regulations (40 CFR part 35).
(b) Form of criteria: In establishing criteria, States should:
(1) Establish numerical values based on:
(i) 304(a) Guidance; or
(ii) 304(a) Guidance modified to reflect site-specific conditions; or
(iii) Other scientifically defensible methods;
(2) Establish narrative criteria or criteria based upon biomonitoring methods where numerical criteria cannot be established or to supplement numerical criteria.
§ 131.12 Antidegradation policy.
(a) The State shall develop and adopt a statewide antidegradation policy and identify the methods for implementing such policy pursuant to this subpart. The antidegradation policy and implementation methods shall, at a minimum, be consistent with the following:
(1) Existing instream water uses and the level of water quality necessary to protect the existing uses shall be maintained and protected.
(2) Where the quality of the waters exceed levels necessary to support propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water, that quality shall be maintained and protected unless the State finds, after full satisfaction of the intergovernmental coordination and public participation provisions of the State's continuing planning process, that allowing lower water quality is necessary to accommodate important economic or social development in the area in which the waters are located. In allowing such degradation or lower water quality, the State shall assure water quality adequate to protect existing uses fully. Further, the State shall assure that there shall be achieved the highest statutory and regulatory requirements for all new and existing point sources and all cost-effective and reasonable best management practices for nonpoint source control.
(3) Where high quality waters constitute an outstanding National resource, such as waters of National and State parks and wildlife refuges and waters of exceptional recreational or ecological significance, that water quality shall be maintained and protected.
(4) In those cases where potential water quality impairment associated with a thermal discharge is involved, the antidegradation policy and implementing method shall be consistent with section 316 of the Act.
§ 131.13 General policies.
States may, at their discretion, include in their State standards, policies generally affecting their application and implementation, such as mixing zones, low flows and variances. Such policies are subject to EPA review and approval.
Subpart C—Procedures for Review and Revision of Water Quality Standards
§ 131.20 State review and revision of water quality standards.
(a) State review. The State shall from time to time, but at least once every three years, hold public hearings for the purpose of reviewing applicable water quality standards and, as appropriate, modifying and adopting standards. Any water body segment with water quality standards that do not include the uses specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act shall be re-examined every three years to determine if any new information has become available. If such new information indicates that the uses specified in section 101(a)(2) of the Act are attainable, the State shall revise its standards accordingly. Procedures States establish for identifying and reviewing water bodies for review should be incorporated into their Continuing Planning Process.
(b) Public participation. The State shall hold a public hearing for the purpose of reviewing water quality standards, in accordance with provisions of State law, EPA's water quality management regulation (40 CFR 130.3(b)(6)) and public participation regulation (40 CFR part 25). The proposed water quality standards revision and supporting analyses shall be made available to the public prior to the hearing.
(c) Submittal to EPA. The State shall submit the results of the review, any supporting analysis for the use attainability analysis, the methodologies used for site-specific criteria development, any general policies applicable to water quality standards and any revisions of the standards to the Regional Administrator for review and approval, within 30 days of the final State action to adopt and certify the revised standard, or if no revisions are made as a result of the review, within 30 days of the completion of the review.
§ 131.21 EPA review and approval of water quality standards.
(a) After the State submits its officially adopted revisions, the Regional Administrator shall either:
(1) Notify the State within 60 days that the revisions are approved, or
(2) Notify the State within 90 days that the revisions are disapproved. Such notification of disapproval shall specify the changes needed to assure compliance with the requirements of the Act and this regulation, and shall explain why the State standard is not in compliance with such requirements. Any new or revised State standard must be accompanied by some type of supporting analysis.
(b) The Regional Administrator's approval or disapproval of a State water quality standard shall be based on the requirements of the Act as described in §§131.5 and 131.6, and, with respect to Great Lakes States or Tribes (as defined in 40 CFR 132.2), 40 CFR part 132.
(c) How do I determine which water quality standards are applicable for purposes of the Act? You may determine which water quality standards are applicable water quality standards for purposes of the Act from the following table:
If_ Then_ Unless or until_ In which case_
(1) A State or authorized Tribe has . . . the State or . . . EPA has . . . the EPA-
adopted a water quality standard Tribe's water quality promulgated a more promulgated water
that is effective under State or standard is the stringent water quality standard is
Tribal law and has been submitted to applicable water quality standard for the applicable water
EPA before May 30, 2000 . .. quality standard for the State or Tribe quality standard for
purposes of the Act . that is in effect . .. purposes of the Act
.. until EPA withdraws
the Federal water
(2) A State or authorized Tribe . . . once EPA approves . . . EPA has . . . the EPA
adopts a water quality standard that that water quality promulgated a more promulgated water
goes into effect under State or standard, it becomes stringent water quality standard is
Tribal law on or after May 30, 2000 the applicable water quality standard for the applicable water
. .. quality standard for the State or Tribe quality standard for
purposes of the Act . that is in effect . .. purposes of the Act
.. until EPA withdraws
the Federal water
(d) When do I use the applicable water quality standards identified in paragraph (c) above? Applicable water quality standards for purposes of the Act are the minimum standards which must be used when the CWA and regulations implementing the CWA refer to water quality standards, for example, in identifying impaired waters and calculating TMDLs under section 303(d), developing NPDES permit limitations under section 301(b)(1)(C), evaluating proposed discharges of dredged or fill material under section 404, and in issuing certifications under section 401 of the Act.
(e) For how long does an applicable water quality standard for purposes of the Act remain the applicable water quality standard for purposes of the Act? A State or authorized Tribe's applicable water quality standard for purposes of the Act remains the applicable standard until EPA approves a change, deletion, or addition to that water quality standard, or until EPA promulgates a more stringent water quality standard.
(f) How can I find out what the applicable standards are for purposes of the Act? In each Regional office, EPA maintains a docket system for the States and authorized Tribes in that Region, available to the public, identifying the applicable water quality standards for purposes of the Act.
[48 FR 51405, Nov. 8, 1983, as amended at 60 FR 15387, Mar. 23, 1995; 65 FR 24653, Apr. 27, 2000]
§ 131.22 EPA promulgation of water quality standards.
(a) If the State does not adopt the changes specified by the Regional Administrator within 90 days after notification of the Regional Administrator's disapproval, the Administrator shall promptly propose and promulgate such standard.
(b) The Administrator may also propose and promulgate a regulation, applicable to one or more States, setting forth a new or revised standard upon determining such a standard is necessary to meet the requirements of the Act.
(c) In promulgating water quality standards, the Administrator is subject to the same policies, procedures, analyses, and public participation requirements established for States in these regulations.
Subpart D—Federally Promulgated Water Quality Standards
§ 131.31 Arizona.
(b) The following waters have, in addition to the uses designated by the State, the designated use of fish consumption as defined in R18–11–101 (which is available from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Division, 3033 North Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85012):
COLORADO MAIN STEM RIVER BASIN:
MIDDLE GILA RIVER BASIN:
Agua Fria River (Camelback Road to Avondale WWTP)
Gila River (Felix Road to the Salt River)
Queen Creek (Headwaters to the Superior WWTP)
Queen Creek (Below Potts Canyon)
SAN PEDRO RIVER BASIN:
SANTA CRUZ RIVER BASIN:
Agua Caliente Wash
Sonoita Creek (Above the town of Patagonia)
Tanque Verde Creek
UPPER GILA RIVER BASIN
(c) To implement the requirements of R18–11–108.A.5 with respect to effects of mercury on wildlife, EPA (or the State with the approval of EPA) shall implement a monitoring program to assess attainment of the water quality standard.
(Sec. 303, Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1313, 86 Stat. 816 et seq., Pub. L. 92–500; Clean Water Act, Pub. L. 92–500, as amended; 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.)
[41 FR 25000, June 22, 1976; 41 FR 48737, Nov. 5, 1976. Redesignated and amended at 42 FR 56740, Oct. 28, 1977. Further redesignated and amended at 48 FR 51408, Nov. 8, 1983; 61 FR 20693, May 7, 1996; 68 FR 62744, Nov. 6, 2003]
§ 131.32 Pennsylvania.
(a) Antidegradation policy. This antidegradation policy shall be applicable to all waters of the United States within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including wetlands.
(1) Existing in-stream uses and the level of water quality necessary to protect the existing uses shall be maintained and protected.
(2) Where the quality of the waters exceeds levels necessary to support propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water, that quality shall be maintained and protected unless the Commonwealth finds, after full satisfaction of the inter-governmental coordination and public participation provisions of the Commonwealth's continuing planning process, that allowing lower water quality is necessary to accommodate important economic or social development in the area in which the waters are located. In allowing such degradation or lower water quality, the Commonwealth shall assure water quality adequate to protect existing uses fully. Further, the Commonwealth shall assure that there shall be achieved the highest statutory and regulatory requirements for all new and existing point sources and all cost-effective and reasonable best management practices for nonpoint sources.
(3) Where high quality waters are identified as constituting an outstanding National resource, such as waters of National and State parks and wildlife refuges and water of exceptional recreational and ecological significance, that water quality shall be maintained and protected.
[61 FR 64822, Dec. 9, 1996]
§ 131.33 Idaho.
(a) Temperature criteria for bull trout. (1) Except for those streams or portions of streams located in Indian country, or as may be modified by the Regional Administrator, EPA Region X, pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section, a temperature criterion of 10 °C, expressed as an average of daily maximum temperatures over a seven-day period, applies to the waterbodies identified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section during the months of June, July, August and September.
(2) The following waters are protected for bull trout spawning and rearing:
(i) BOISE-MORE BASIN: Devils Creek, East Fork Sheep Creek, Sheep Creek.
(ii) BROWNLEE RESERVOIR BASIN: Crooked River, Indian Creek.
(iii) CLEARWATER BASIN: Big Canyon Creek, Cougar Creek, Feather Creek, Laguna Creek, Lolo Creek, Orofino Creek, Talapus Creek, West Fork Potlatch River.
(iv) COEUR D'ALENE LAKE BASIN: Cougar Creek, Fernan Creek, Kid Creek, Mica Creek, South Fork Mica Creek, Squaw Creek, Turner Creek.
(v) HELLS CANYON BASIN: Dry Creek, East Fork Sheep Creek, Getta Creek, Granite Creek, Kurry Creek, Little Granite Creek, Sheep Creek.
(vi) LEMHI BASIN: Adams Creek, Alder Creek, Basin Creek, Bear Valley Creek, Big Eightmile Creek, Big Springs Creek, Big Timber Creek, Bray Creek, Bull Creek, Cabin Creek, Canyon Creek, Carol Creek, Chamberlain Creek, Clear Creek, Climb Creek, Cooper Creek, Dairy Creek, Deer Creek, Deer Park Creek, East Fork Hayden Creek, Eighteenmile Creek, Falls Creek, Ferry Creek, Ford Creek, Geertson Creek, Grove Creek, Hawley Creek, Hayden Creek, Kadletz Creek, Kenney Creek, Kirtley Creek, Lake Creek, Lee Creek, Lemhi River (above Big Eightmile Creek), Little Eightmile Creek, Little Mill Creek, Little Timber Creek, Middle Fork Little Timber Creek, Milk Creek, Mill Creek, Mogg Creek, North Fork Kirtley Creek, North Fork Little Timber Creek, Paradise Creek, Patterson Creek, Payne Creek, Poison Creek, Prospect Creek, Rocky Creek, Short Creek, Squaw Creek, Squirrel Creek, Tobias Creek, Trail Creek, West Fork Hayden Creek, Wright Creek.
(vii) LITTLE LOST BASIN: Badger Creek, Barney Creek, Bear Canyon, Bear Creek, Bell Mountain Creek, Big Creek, Bird Canyon, Black Creek, Buck Canyon, Bull Creek, Cedar Run Creek, Chicken Creek, Coal Creek, Corral Creek, Deep Creek, Dry Creek, Dry Creek Canal, Firbox Creek, Garfield Creek, Hawley Canyon, Hawley Creek, Horse Creek, Horse Lake Creek, Iron Creek, Jackson Creek, Little Lost River (above Badger Creek), Mahogany Creek, Main Fork Sawmill Creek, Massacre Creek, Meadow Creek, Mill Creek, Moffett Creek, Moonshine Creek, Quigley Creek, Red Rock Creek, Sands Creek, Sawmill Creek, Slide Creek, Smithie Fork, Squaw Creek, Summerhouse Canyon, Summit Creek, Timber Creek, Warm Creek, Wet Creek, Williams Creek.
(viii) LITTLE SALMON BASIN: Bascum Canyon, Boulder Creek, Brown Creek, Campbell Ditch, Castle Creek, Copper Creek, Granite Fork Lake Fork Rapid River, Hard Creek, Hazard Creek, Lake Fork Rapid River, Little Salmon River (above Hazard Creek), Paradise Creek, Pony Creek, Rapid River, Squirrel Creek, Trail Creek, West Fork Rapid River.
(ix) LOCHSA BASIN: Apgar Creek, Badger Creek, Bald Mountain Creek, Beaver Creek, Big Flat Creek, Big Stew Creek, Boulder Creek, Brushy Fork, Cabin Creek, Castle Creek, Chain Creek, Cliff Creek, Coolwater Creek, Cooperation Creek, Crab Creek, Crooked Fork Lochsa River, Dan Creek, Deadman Creek, Doe Creek, Dutch Creek, Eagle Creek, East Fork Papoose Creek, East Fork Split Creek, East Fork Squaw Creek, Eel Creek, Fern Creek, Fire Creek, Fish Creek, Fish Lake Creek, Fox Creek, Gass Creek, Gold Creek, Ham Creek, Handy Creek, Hard Creek, Haskell Creek, Heather Creek, Hellgate Creek, Holly Creek, Hopeful Creek, Hungery Creek, Indian Grave Creek, Jay Creek, Kerr Creek, Kube Creek, Lochsa River, Lone Knob Creek, Lottie Creek, Macaroni Creek, Maud Creek, Middle Fork Clearwater River, No-see-um Creek, North Fork Spruce Creek, North Fork Storm Creek, Nut Creek, Otter Slide Creek, Pack Creek, Papoose Creek, Parachute Creek, Pass Creek, Pedro Creek, Pell Creek, Pete King Creek, Placer Creek, Polar Creek, Postoffice Creek, Queen Creek, Robin Creek, Rock Creek, Rye Patch Creek, Sardine Creek, Shoot Creek, Shotgun Creek, Skookum Creek, Snowshoe Creek, South Fork Spruce Creek, South Fork Storm Creek, Split Creek, Sponge Creek, Spring Creek, Spruce Creek, Squaw Creek, Storm Creek, Tick Creek, Tomcat Creek, Tumble Creek, Twin Creek, Wag Creek, Walde Creek, Walton Creek, Warm Springs Creek, Weir Creek, Wendover Creek, West Fork Boulder Creek, West Fork Papoose Creek, West Fork Squaw Creek, West Fork Wendover Creek, White Sands Creek, Willow Creek.
(x) LOWER CLARK FORK BASIN: Cascade Creek, East Fork, East Fork Creek, East Forkast Fork Creek, Gold Creek, Johnson Creek, Lightning Creek, Mosquito Creek, Porcupine Creek, Rattle Creek, Spring Creek, Twin Creek, Wellington Creek.
(xi) LOWER KOOTENAI BASIN: Ball Creek, Boundary Creek, Brush Creek, Cabin Creek, Caribou Creek, Cascade Creek, Cooks Creek, Cow Creek, Curley Creek, Deep Creek, Grass Creek, Jim Creek, Lime Creek, Long Canyon Creek, Mack Creek, Mission Creek, Myrtle Creek, Peak Creek, Snow Creek, Trout Creek.
(xii) LOWER MIDDLE FORK SALMON BASIN: Acorn Creek, Alpine Creek, Anvil Creek, Arrastra Creek, Bar Creek, Beagle Creek, Beaver Creek, Belvidere Creek, Big Creek, Birdseye Creek, Boulder Creek, Brush Creek, Buck Creek, Bull Creek, Cabin Creek, Camas Creek, Canyon Creek, Castle Creek, Clark Creek, Coin Creek, Corner Creek, Coxey Creek, Crooked Creek, Doe Creek, Duck Creek, East Fork Holy Terror Creek, Fawn Creek, Flume Creek, Fly Creek, Forge Creek, Furnace Creek, Garden Creek, Government Creek, Grouse Creek, Hammer Creek, Hand Creek, Holy Terror Creek, J Fell Creek, Jacobs Ladder Creek, Lewis Creek, Liberty Creek, Lick Creek, Lime Creek, Little Jacket Creek, Little Marble Creek, Little White Goat Creek, Little Woodtick Creek, Logan Creek, Lookout Creek, Loon Creek, Martindale Creek, Meadow Creek, Middle Fork Smith Creek, Monumental Creek, Moore Creek, Mulligan Creek, North Fork Smith Creek, Norton Creek, Placer Creek, Pole Creek, Rams Creek, Range Creek, Routson Creek, Rush Creek, Sawlog Creek, Sheep Creek, Sheldon Creek, Shellrock Creek, Ship Island Creek, Shovel Creek, Silver Creek, Smith Creek, Snowslide Creek, Soldier Creek, South Fork Camas Creek, South Fork Chamberlain Creek, South Fork Holy Terror Creek, South Fork Norton Creek, South Fork Rush Creek, South Fork Sheep Creek, Spider Creek, Spletts Creek, Telephone Creek, Trail Creek, Two Point Creek, West Fork Beaver Creek, West Fork Camas Creek, West Fork Monumental Creek, West Fork Rush Creek, White Goat Creek, Wilson Creek. (continued)
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