EPA is planning to propose a limited set of targeted changes to the water quality standards regulation to improve its effectiveness in helping restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation‚Äôs waters. EPA expects to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register in summer 2011. Prior to publishing a proposed rule, in August the EPA held  informal ‚Äúlistening sessions‚ÄĚ inviting members of the public to express their views on the possible changes EPA is considering for the rulemaking as well as offer additional suggestions.


EPA is also holding separate, individual listening sessions for tribal, state, and local governments.


Specifically, EPA is considering providing clarity in the following key areas: 1) antidegradation implementation methods, 2) Administrator’s determination, 3) designated uses, 4) variances to water quality standards; 5) triennial review scope and requirements, and 6) updating the regulation to reflect court decisions.


More information can be found at: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/wqs_index.cfm#summary