Strategy for Water Quality Standards and Criteria : Setting Priorities to Strengthen the Foundation for Protecting and Restoring the Nation's Water
Water quality standards and criteria are the regulatory and scientific foundation of programs established under the Clean Water Act to protect the Nation's waters. As such, they are among the most critical clean water programs. Due to the many new demands on the program, and since the nature of water pollution problems and required solutions have changed dramatically in recent years, water quality standards and criteria need to be made a high priority and given a renewed focus. The water quality standards and criteria program needs clear priorities to address these critical demands. This strategy is the product of a wide-ranging review of the existing water quality standards and criteria program within the context of all clean water programs. The review covered clean water goals, mandates and authorities; EPA's current strategic goals for clean water and other strategic planning efforts; and major needs of the current EPA standards and criteria program and key programs linked to it including water quality monitoring, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, nonpoint source programs, oceans and wetlands programs, and source water protection. The review considered the results of more than 50 listening sessions with over 350 people during April-September 2001 and recent recommendations from the National Research Council, the General Accounting Office, and EPA's Inspector General. States support this long-term vision and look to EPA to help fulfill it, beginning with the priority strategic actions contained in this strategy. These actions in the strategy are designed to address the following strategic themes: Filling major program gaps to achieve critical environmental results. For example, the water quality standards and criteria program needs to help states strengthen water quality criteria for three pollutants (sedimentation, pathogens, and nutrients) that are responsible for an estimated 40 percent of water quality impairments nationally; Strengthening and maintaining the scientific foundation of water quality programs, including targeting criteria development for specific pollutants of highest importance; Clarifying for states how to implement key scientific and technical components of standards and criteria when regulating discharges; Establishing important technical and policy linkages between the water quality standards and criteria program and other programs such as those that protect drinking water; Broadening participation in the water quality standards and criteria program with states and other stakeholders. The strategy describes and sets milestones for the ten strategic actions of highest priority for addressing these findings.
- Paperback | 48 pages
- 215.9 x 279.4 x 2.79mm | 176.9g
- 13 Jan 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations