EPA Disapproves Parts of Washington State's 2003 Revised Use Designations for Aquatic Life
In July 2003 the State of Washington adopted revised Water Quality Standards and submitted them to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On January 12, 2005 EPA approved portions of the 2003 Water Quality Standards. EPA has now completed its review of the aquatic life use designations and associated temperature criteria that are contained in the revised 2003 Water Quality Standards.
Under the Clean Water Act EPA must ensure that the State’s revised water quality standards are protective of aquatic life uses. Additionally, EPA’s review must ensure that its approval does not jeopardize listed species under the Endangered Species Act. As part of its review, EPA analyzed available fish-use information to determine if Washington’s aquatic life use designations and associated temperature criteria were protective of in-stream fish use.
As a result of its review, EPA is disapproving the aquatic life use designation and associated temperature criterion for specific water bodies. Based on its analysis of the fish-use information, EPA has concluded that some water bodies have the incorrect aquatic life use designation, and some water bodies have temperature criteria that are not protective of the fish uses in the streams. The specific water body segments that EPA is disapproving can be viewed on the GIS maps contained in Appendix A GIS Maps Depicting EPA’s Disapproval Action.
The information contained on this website provides the regulatory and scientific basis of EPA’s disapproval action and the specified changes needed to the 2003 Water Quality Standards. Below are links to EPA’s documents.
- Fact Sheet on EPA's Partial Disapproval (pdf file, 80 Kb, 2 pgs)
- EPA's Letter Partially Disapproving Washington's Water Quality Standards (pdf file, 34 Kb, 4 pgs)
- EPA's Signed Letter Partially Disapproving WA's WQS (pdf file, 226 Kb, 4 pgs)
- Basis for EPA’s Partial Disapproval of Washington’s 2003 Water Quality Standard Revisions (pdf file, 85 Kb, 15 pgs)
- Appendix A GIS Maps Depicting EPA’s Disapproval Action
- Appendix B Summary of Important Temperature Considerations (pdf file, 29 Kb, 3 pgs)
- Appendix C Data Summary for EPA’s Review of Ecologys Non-Core Use Designations & Application of 13C to Protect Salmon and Steelhead Spawning/Incubation (pdf file, 661 Kb, 40 pgs)
- Appendix D Core Use and Application of 13C Determinations Based On Site-Specific Information (pdf file, 45 Kb, 6 pgs)
- Appendix E EPA Review of Washington Ecology’s Char Designations (Analysis of key bull trout key spawning and rearing areas identified by USFWS that were not designated as Char use) (pdf file, 290 Kb, 16 pgs)
- Appendix F Application of 9°C to Protect Bull Trout Spawning and Incubation (pdf file, 50Kb, 3 pgs)
- Appendix G List of Citations in EPA’s “Basis for EPA’s Partial Disapproval of Washington’s 2003 Water Quality Standard Revisions” document and its Appendices (pdf file, 55 Kb,16 pgs)
- EPA’s GIS Maps: Comparison of Bull Trout Key Habitat and Washington Proposed Char Waters
- EPA's clarification letter to its March 2006 Partial Disapproval Letter (PDF, 34KB, 6pp.)