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Water Quality Standards (40 CFR 131.1 - 131.46)

United States of America
Document type
Food & nutrition, Water
Potable water Water quality standards Pollution control Freshwater quality/freshwater pollution Procedural matters Governance Indigenous peoples Water supply Surface water
Geographical area
Americas, Arctic, East Pacific, North America, North Atlantic

This part of the Code of Federal Regulations establishes water quality standards. It describes the requirements and procedures for developing, reviewing, revising, and approving water quality standards by the States as authorized by section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act. Additional specific procedures for developing, reviewing, revising, and approving water quality standards for Great Lakes States or Great Lakes Tribes (as defined in 40 CFR 132.2) to conform to section 118 of the Clean Water Act and 40 CFR part 132, are provided in 40 CFR part 132. A water quality standard defines the water quality goals of a water body, or portion thereof, by designating the use or uses to be made of the water and by setting criteria that protect the designated uses. States adopt water quality standards to protect public health or welfare, enhance the quality of water and serve the purposes of the Clean Water Act (the Act). “Serve the purposes of the Act”(as defined in sections 101(a)(2) and 303(c) of the Act) means that water quality standards should, wherever attainable, provide water quality for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish and wildlife and for recreation in and on the water and take into consideration their use and value of public water supplies, propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife, recreation in and on the water, and agricultural, industrial, and other purposes including navigation. Such standards serve the dual purposes of establishing the water quality goals for a specific water body and serve as the regulatory basis for the establishment of water-quality-based treatment controls and strategies beyond the technology-based levels of treatment required by sections 301(b) and 306 of the Act. The part further provides for procedures for review and revision of water quality standards, including state review and revision of water quality standards; EPA review and approval of water quality standards; and EPA promulgation of water quality standards. Further, the part also provides for federally promulgated water quality standards for Arizona; Idaho; Kansas; Colville Confederated Tribes Indian Reservation; toxics criteria for those states not complying with Clean Water Act section 303(c)(2)(B); California; establishment of numeric criteria for priority toxic pollutants for the State of California; Puerto Rico; bacteriological criteria for those states not complying with Clean Water Act section 303(i)(1)(A); antidegradation implementation methods for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; Maine; Florida; revision of certain Federal water quality criteria applicable to Washington; and aquatic life criterion for cadmium in Oregon.

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References - Legislation


Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act).

Legislation | United States of America | 1972

Keyword: Freshwater quality/freshwater pollution, Marine pollution, Freshwater resources management, Water supply, Institution, Water quality standards, Sewerage, Effluent waste water/discharge, Groundwater, Wetlands, Enforcement/compliance, Environmental planning, Monitoring, Surface water, Basic legislation, Pollution control, Aquaculture