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Water Quality Standards

Delaware | District of Columbia | Maryland
Pennsylvania | Virginia | West Virginia
DRBC | ORSANCO

National Information
Related Mid-Atlantic Information
Excess Nutrients

Excessive nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are one of the leading causes of water quality impairment in rivers, lakes, wetlands, and estuaries. The Mid-Atlantic Region is currently helping its states establish numerical nutrient criteria. Criteria Guidance for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries (PDF) (343pg, 4.1M, About PDF) defines dissolved oxygen, water clarity and chlorophyll a criteria (PDF) (97pg,1.8M About PDF)

Water quality standards serve as the foundation for the water-quality based approach to pollution control. Water quality standards are state requirements that define the water quality goals of a lake, stream, or other waterbody by designating the beneficial uses and setting criteria to protect those uses. The purpose of the Water Quality Standards effort in the Region is to ensure that all surface waters have appropriate designated uses and criteria to maintain water quality at a level necessary to protect those uses consistent with the Clean Water Act and Federal regulations.

Criteria may be numeric or narrative standards that are designed to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of a waterbody. The Region also ensures that its states' antidegradation policies and whatever other general policies are necessary for the proper functioning of State and Tribal water quality management programs are consistent with the Clean Water Act and Federal regulations.

Water Quality Standards News in the Mid Atlantic

EPA Headquarters Initiates the Action Development Plan (ADP) Process for Establishing Recreational Ambient Water Quality Criteria (AWQC) - EPA is under a judicial decree to prepare and sign new or revised recreational AWQC by October 15, 2012. A workgroup has been formed, which includes members from EPA’s Office of Science and Technology, Office of Research and Development, Office of General Council, as well as regional representation, to assist in the ADP process for the recreational criteria. The process, which guides the Agency’s rulemaking efforts, includes three main parts: early guidance for briefing management, option selection and final Agency review. The first workgroup meeting was held on October 22, 2009, and it is anticipated that the workgroup will continue to meet every other week for the next three years.

Mid-Atlantic Region Water Quality Standards - Contacts & State Programs Links

EPA Mid-Atlantic Water Quality Standards Coordinator:
Cheryl Atkinson (atkinson.cheryl@epa.gov)
215-814-3392

EPA Mid-Atlantic Biocriteria Coordinator:
Margaret Passmore (passmore.margaret@epa.gov)
304-234-0245

Delaware

EPA Mid-Atlantic Contact:
Denise Hakowski (hakowski.denise@epa.gov)
215-814-5726

District of Columbia

EPA Mid-Atlantic Contact:
Mark Barath (barath.mark@epa.gov)
215-814-2759

Maryland

EPA Mid-Atlantic Contact:
Mark Barath (barath.mark@epa.gov)
215-814-2759

Pennsylvania

EPA Mid-Atlantic Contact:
Denise Hakowski (hakowski.denise@epa.gov)
215-814-5726

Virginia

EPA Mid-Atlantic Contact:
Cheryl Atkinson (atkinson.cheryl@epa.gov)
215-814-3392

West Virginia

EPA Mid-Atlantic Contact:
Cheryl Atkinson (atkinson.cheryl@epa.gov)
215-814-3392

Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBCExit EPA Click for Disclaimer)

EPA Mid-Atlantic Contact:
Denise Hakowski (hakowski.denise@epa.gov)
215-814-5726

Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer)

EPA Mid-Atlantic Contact:
Jennifer Sincock (sincock.jennifer@epa.gov)
215-814-5766

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