Water Quality Standards Academy
To support water quality standards development, we offer the Water Quality Standards Academy (WQS Academy), which presents classroom-based and online courses, along with occasional webinars.
The WQS Academy is best known for its in-person introductory course designed for those with six months to one year experience with water quality standards and criteria programs. However, others may benefit from the course, including veterans of the water quality standards program who want a refresher course.
The 5-day course is aimed at states, territories, tribes, environmental groups, industrial groups, municipalities, the academic community, federal agencies, watershed groups, and other interested parties. The course is offered approximately twice each year.
If there are classroom sessions of the WQS Academy scheduled in the near future, information will appear in the sidebar on the right of this page.
*Updates Coming Soon: EPA finalized revisions to the WQS regulations (40 CFR 131) in October 2015, and therefore the online course modules may be out of date. The Introduction to Water Quality Standards presentation provides the most recent information.
Introduction to Water Quality Standards Presentation
This Introduction to Water Quality Standards presentation is designed to provide an overview of the fundamentals of water quality standards, and to prepare you for the five-day classroom academy. The information is targeted toward a broad audience including states, territories, tribes, environmental groups, industrial groups, municipalities, the academic community, federal agencies, watershed groups, and any other interested parties. People with more experience in this subject matter may benefit from reviewing this material as refresher training. These topics are covered in further detail in the classroom academy.
- Introduction to Water Quality Standards (pdf) (4.55 MB, February 2022)
Key Concepts Modules
These key concept modules provide fundamental background information on each of the water quality standards topics.
- Module 1: Overview
- Module 2: Use
- Module 3: Criteria
- Module 4: Antidegradation
- Module 5: Flexibilities
- Module 6: Review
Supplemental Topics Modules
These supplemental modules are intended for users whose interest goes beyond the key concepts modules. These topics are covered in further detail in the classroom academy.
- Listing Impaired Waters and Developing TMDLs
- Monitoring and Assessment
- NPDES Permit Program
- Human Health Ambient Water Quality Criteria
- Aquatic Life Criteria
Special Interest Modules
Special interest modules are intended to provide users with basic information on topics that are not regularly covered in the classroom academy.
EPA is pleased to announce its May session of the virtual WQS Academy will be held this upcoming May 15th through 19th and May 22nd. The 6-day virtual WQS Academy session will again run from approximately 11:30am to 4:30pm, Eastern Standard Time, to allow for participation from multiple time zones.
The WQS Academy provides WQS development and implementation information to WQS professionals associated with the federal, state, tribal and local agencies as well as the private sector and the public.
Registration for this upcoming session will be in mid-April. Stay tuned for future updates via this website regarding registration.
The document below suggests how states and authorized tribes can conduct online public hearings in lieu of in-person public hearings, consistent with federal public hearing requirements.