Availability of Informational Webinars for the Water Quality Standards Regulatory Revisions Final Rule
EPA is announcing the availability of an informational webinar series for the Water Quality Standards Regulatory Revisions Final Rule that was published August 21, 2015 (80 FR 51019). Interested parties may find the registration links under the heading "Ongoing Outreach" at:
Each webinar will feature a one hour presentation, followed two days later by a one hour question and answer session. The first webinar of the series, designed for the general public, will provide an overview of the final rule and allow participants to ask clarifying questions.
The following webinars, designed for an informed audience that have read the preamble and final rule, will provide an in-depth discussion on WQS Variances, Antidegradation, and Designated Uses and allow participants to ask clarifying questions. Participants may submit clarifying questions to EPA atWQSRegulatoryClarifications@epa.gov.
Overview of Final Rule:
Presentation: Monday, September 28, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern
Q&A: Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern
In-Depth Topic Webinars:
Presentation: Monday, October 5, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern
Q&A: Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern
Presentation: Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern
Q&A: Thursday, October 15, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern
Presentation: Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern
Q&A: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern
EPA intends to process registrations at the end of each week. At that time you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to access each webinar. As each webinar date approaches, EPA will confirm registrations more frequently.
Water quality standards (WQS) define the goals for a water body by designating its uses, setting water quality criteria to protect those uses, and establishing antidegradation requirements to protect high quality waters from degrading pollutants. Water quality standards serve as the basis for water quality-based limits in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, the measure to assess whether water bodies are impaired, and as the targets in Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) used to restore water bodies that are listed as impaired.
The final revisions provide a better-defined pathway for states and authorized tribes to improve water quality, protect high quality waters, increase transparency and enhance opportunities for meaningful public engagement at the state, tribal and local levels. The previous regulation had been in place since 1983.