Water Quality Standards are the legal basis for controlling the amount of pollution entering our waters. They are designed to protect and maintain water quality for safe use and enjoyment. Through Tuesday, August 9, you have the opportunity to provide input to WVDEP on the standards.
The state updates their water quality standards every three years. This “Triennial Review” is underway now and the state has proposed several changes to the standards. Some of the proposed changes raise concerns because they will allow more pollution in our water.
- Remove the provision to allow Category A use change through a NPDES permit that is contrary to the Clean Water Act’s process for the removal of a designated use. The provisions for Category A use removal should include thorough evaluations of water quality, not simply the physical properties of the stream at issue to assure the protection of public health and drinking water users downstream.
- Conduct a statewide study in collaboration with USGS to determine the best estimates for flow which take into account low flow conditions. The proposed Harmonic Mean flow estimate is not appropriate in all circumstances, especially during drought conditions.
- Develop a procedure that measures both Fecal Coliform and E. Coli as the bacterial indicators until enough data is collected on E. Coli to ensure the water is safe for recreation. Increase sampling frequency to measure the monthly average values for more priority watersheds.
- Adopt as proposed EPA’s recommended standards for aquatic life criteria for 5 organic chemicals: acrolein, carbaryl, diazinon, nonylphenol, and tributyltin.
Comments on the proposed changes are due tomorrow, August 9. Click here to tell the WVDEP you want protective water quality standards!
WVDEP will also hold a public hearing on August 9 at 6 pm at 601 57th St. SE, Charleston 25304. Join us in showing support for clean, safe water!