Idaho Water Quality Standards | Region 10 | US EPA

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Idaho Water Quality Standards

Recent Actions and Request for Comments in Idaho

Idaho is undergoing a rulemaking process to evaluate and select an appropriate fish consumption rate to use in calculating human health criteria. More information can be found on the state's webpage at:,-rules,-etc/deq-rulemakings/docket-no-58-0102-1201.aspx

What are Water Quality Standards (WQS)?

Water quality standards are the foundation of the water quality-based control program mandated by the Clean Water Act. Water Quality Standards define the goals for a waterbody by designating its uses, setting criteria to protect those uses, and establishing provisions to protect water quality from pollutants.

A water quality standard consists of four basic elements:

  • designated uses of the water body (e.g., recreation, water supply, aquatic life, agriculture),
  • water quality criteria to protect designated uses (numeric pollutant concentrations and narrative requirements),
  • an antidegradation policy to maintain and protect existing uses and high quality waters, and
  • general policies addressing implementation issues (e.g., low flows, variances, mixing zones).
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
1410 North Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
Fax (208) 373-0576
Don Essig,,
(208) 373-0119
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
1200 Sixth Ave, Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98101
Fax (206) 553-0165
Lisa Macchio,
(206) 553-1834

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