Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker

Water Quality Standards Regulatory Clarifications

a.k.a. Water Quality Standards Regulatory Revisions

RIN: 2040-AF16 (What's this?)

Docket No.: EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0606 (What's this?)

Current Phase: Pre-Proposal (What's this?)

EPA is proposing changes to the water quality standards (WQS) regulation to improve its effectiveness in helping restore and maintain the Nation's Waters. The core of the current WQS regulation has been in place since 1983.

Since then, a number of issues have been raised by stakeholders or identified by EPA in the implementation process that will benefit from clarification and greater specificity. The proposed rule addresses the following six key areas: 1) Administrator's determination that new or revised WQS are necessary, 2) designated uses, 3) triennial review requirements, 4) antidegradation, 5) variances to water quality standards, and 6) compliance schedule authorizing provisions. These revisions will allow EPA, states and authorized tribes to better achieve program goals by providing clearer more streamlined requirements to facilitate enhanced water resource protection.

Public Meeting Notice: Published in FR07/30/2010
Public Meeting Notice: Published in FR07/30/2010
Notice: Published in FR07/30/2010
Public Meeting08/24/2010
Public Meeting08/26/2010
NPRM: Sent to OMB for Regulatory Review11/15/2011
NPRM: Received by OMB11/30/2011
NPRM: Published in FR12/2011 (projected)
NPRM: Published in FR04/2012 (projected)
NPRM: Published in FR05/2012 (projected)
NPRM: Published in FR06/2012 (projected)
NPRM: Published in FR07/2012 (projected)
NPRM: Published in FR07/2013 (projected)
NPRM: Regulatory Review Concluded07/23/2013
NPRM: Published in FR08/2013 (projected)
NPRM: Published in FR09/04/2013
NPRM: Comment Period Open09/04/2013
Public Meeting09/24/2013
NPRM: Published in FR10/2013 (projected)
Public Meeting10/23/2013
Public Meeting11/14/2013
NPRM: Comment Period Extension Published in FR11/27/2013
NPRM: Comment Period Closed12/03/2013
NPRM: Comment Period Closed with Extension01/02/2014
Final Rule: Published in FR05/2014 (projected)
Final Rule: Sent to OMB for Regulatory Review01/07/2015
Final Rule: Received by OMB01/08/2015
Final Rule: Published in FR05/2015 (projected)
Final Rule: Published in FR06/2015 (projected)
Final Rule: Published in FR07/2015 (projected)
Final Rule: Regulatory Review Concluded07/02/2015
Final Rule: Published in FR08/2015 (projected)
Final Rule: Published in FR08/21/2015
Correction: Published in FR09/25/2015
NPRM: Published in FR00/0000 (projected)

Potential Effects

Environmental Justice
This rulemaking involves a topic that is likely to be of particular interest to or have particular impact upon minority, low-income, tribal, and/or other vulnerable populations because:

  • This topic is likely to impact the environmental conditions of vulnerable populations.

Federal Government - other agencies
Likely to be involved in the implementation of this rule.

State Governments
Likely to be regulated by this rule.
Likely to be involved in the implementation of this rule.

Tribal Governments
Likely to be regulated by this rule.
Likely to be involved in the implementation of this rule.

Participate / Learn More Regulatory Review

Some of EPA's rulemakings undergo regulatory review (What's this?), as prescribed by Executive Order 12866 and coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The following list describes which of this rulemaking's stages have completed review and published in the Federal Register, if any, and provides links to the review documents where available. Consult the "Timeline" section of this Web page for the dates of each review.

  • NPRM - This stage of the rulemaking underwent review.
  • Final Rule - This stage of the rulemaking underwent review.
Citations & Authorities

Federal Register Citations

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Citation
40 CFR 131(Revision)

Legal Authority
33 USC 1251 et seq