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Impaired Waters and TMDLs

Proposed Rule - Treatment of Indian Tribes in a Similar Manner as States for Purposes of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act

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Summary

On January 19, 2016, EPA proposed regulatory procedures for eligible tribes to obtain TAS for the CWA Section 303(d) Impaired Water Listing and TMDL Program, the proposed rule would enable eligible tribes to obtain authority to identify impaired waters on their reservations and to establish TMDLs, which serve as plans for attaining and maintaining applicable water quality standards (WQS). The proposal is comparable to similar regulations that EPA issued in the 1990s for CWA Section 303(c) WQS and the CWA Sections 402 and 404 Permitting Programs, and includes features designed to minimize paperwork and unnecessary reviews.

EPA provided a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule and requested comment on all aspects of the proposal. The comment period closed on March 21, 2016.

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Post-Proposal Outreach

EPA contacted tribal governments and intergovernmental associations separately to provide opportunities for consultation and coordination. In EPA’s January 19, 2016 letter to tribal leaders, EPA initiated consultation and coordination with federally-recognized tribes concerning the proposed rule. In EPA’s January 19, 2016 letter to intergovernmental associations, EPA initiated consultation and coordination with intergovernmental associations. For more information on post-proposal outreach, see the docket for this rulemaking.

EPA hosted webinars for tribes and intergovernmental associations on February 11, 2016, and February 18, 2016, respectively. These webinars are available in the docket for this rule. EPA also hosted a webinar for the public on February 18, 2016.

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Pre-Proposal Consultation and Coordination

Tribal Consultation and Coordination

On March 28, 2014 EPA initiated consultation and coordination with federally recognized Indian tribes concerning the planned proposed rulemaking to propose a process for Indian tribes to apply to EPA for authority to establish lists of impaired waters and TMDLs pursuant to section 303(d) of the CWA. For more information, see related materials below and the docket for this rulemaking:

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Intergovernmental Consultation and Coordination

On September 19, 2014 EPA invited input from intergovernmental associations and met with them on October 1, 2014. Additional consultation and coordination occurred in 2015.

For more information, see related materials below and the docket for this rulemaking.

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