United States          Office of Water        EPA-823-N-98-002
                         Environmental Protection  Mail Code 4305        Winter-Spring
                         Agency              Washington, DC 20460   1998	
                   WATER QUALITY
                   CRITERIA AND


The next "Meeting on Water Quality Standards, Criteria and Implementation, including Water
Quality-based Permitting" will be held August 24-27, 1998. This is the chief vehicle in which
EPA communicates technical, policy and scientific information to stakeholder groups about
implementation of the water quality standards program. This year's meeting will focus on the
Water Quality Criteria and Standards Plan, a vision and strategy for important new initiatives and
improvements that need to be made to the water quality standards program to better protect
human health and enhance and maintain the quality of the nation's waters. Robert Perciasepe,
EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water has been invited to make the keynote address. This
year's meeting will feature case studies, break-out sessions and poster sessions at the end of each
day. Mark your calendars for this important event!

The session will be held at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, Philadelphia, PA. There is no
registration fee, but pre-registration is required.  EPA will post registration information and a
preliminary agenda for the August 24-27 meeting on the Office of Science and Technology's
homepage at www.epa.gov/OST, the Office of Wastewater Management's homepage at
www.epa.gov/OWM and the Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds homepage at
www.epa.gov/OWOW. You may also contact EPA's contractor, the Cadmus Group at
(703) 998-6862 (press 2190 or by e-mail:mrm98@cadmusgroup.com.

A separate Public Meeting on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the
Water Quality Standards Regulation will be held August 27 and 28 at the Wyndham Franklin
Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia. The ANPRM when published in the Federal Register (see related
article page four) will solicit public comment on potential revisions to the basic water quality
standards program regulation governing state adoption and EPA approval of water quality

standards under Section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act. The ANPRM will request comment on
changes in policy and guidance that support the regulation.

EPA and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) will co-host three public meetings on the
ANPRM. The purpose of the public meetings is to provide a structured discourse on the future
of the water quality standards regulation and program. This discourse will assist commenters in
developing their positions and preparing comments for submittal to the Agency during the 180
day public comment period. EPA's hope is that written public comments will be better
developed as a result of the public meetings.

During the three public meetings, nationally recognized resource experts will lead discussions on
core issues outlined in the ANPRM and members of the public will be given an opportunity to
join in the discussions and ask questions. The format of the three public meetings will be
identical. The meetings will be held in different geographic areas of the country to ensure
attendance by a large number of stakeholders.  EPA is currently identifying locations  for the
remaining two public meetings. There is no fee to attend the public meetings. Individuals will
however, be required to pre-register.

The Office of Science and Technology will post details about the three public meetings on the
ANPRM, including registration information on its homepage at www.epa.gov/OST. The Water
Environment Federation will post information about the public meetings on its homepage at
www.wef.org. You may also contact EPA's contractor, Liz Hiett, Tetra Tech, Inc., at (703) 385-
6000, Ex. 168 or on e-mail: hiettli@tetratech-ffx.com.



EPA will hold a session of the "Water Quality Standards Academy" for external groups on
August 3-7, 1998.  The "Water Quality Standards Academy" is a highly structured 5-day training
course on all aspects of the water quality standards and criteria program aimed at states, Indian
tribes, environmental groups, municipalities, the academic community, industrial groups, federal
agencies and other interested parties:  There is no registration fee to attend the course.
Individuals must, however, pre-register.

Information about this training course appear on the Office of Science and Technology's Home
Page at: www.epa.gov/OST.  You may also contact EPA's contractor: Crystall Smith, Water
Quality Standards Academy Coordinator, The Cadmus Group, Inc., at 703-998-6862, Ext. 170
for more information.



The Water Quality Criteria and Standards Newsletter is now available electronically. To
subscribe to the WQC&S list server, send an e-mail message to
listserver@unixmail.rtpnc.epa.gov and type the following command in the body of the message:
subscribe SASD-NEWS Firstname LastName (Example: subscribe SASD-NEWS Joan Smith).
NOTE: The message subject should be blank.

To be removed from the list, send a message to listserver@unixmail.rtpnc.epa.gov and type the
following: unsubscribe SASD-NEWS. Contact: Micki Treacy at 202-260-7301 or
Treacy.Micki@epamail.epa.gov for more information.


There is a new EPA website that includes, among other things, the full text of more than 6,000
EPA technical and public documents. From this site, you can view the full text (including
graphics) of a document on-line, print, and order copies of all EPA documents that are in the
database. The site includes instructions for searching the database by title, EPA document
number, keywords, or phrases.  The URL for the site is http://www.epa.gov/ncepihom/, and you
can get to it from the EPA home page by clicking on "Publications."

(202) 260-1542


The Environmental Protection Agency's Water Quality Standards Academy received one of the
first National Environmental Education Achievement Awards during a ceremony held in
Washington, D. C. on November 7,1997. The award was presented by the National
Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEETF) to recognize innovative and
effective environmental education programs that connect people and their environments in a real
and meaningful way.  Kevin Coyle, NEETF's President stated that the "National Environmental
Education Achievement Awards provide an opportunity to give outstanding organizations such
as the Water Quality Standards Academy the recognition they deserve. By honoring these
innovative programs, we hope to  motivate others to initiate similar programs in their own
communities." The award was presented by Mark DeMichele, Chair, NEETF Board of Trustees.
Frances A. Desselle, of the Standards and Applied Science Division, accepted the award on
behalf of the EPA.

The NEETF Awards are made possible through a grant from the Phillips Petroleum Company to
recognize excellence in environmental education in ten different categories: Human Health and
the Environment, Clean Water/Safe Drinking Water, Conservation of Natural Resources, Eco-
tourism, Multi-Cultural Setting, Social Problem, Integration of Environmental Education into a
School System, Improving Community Quality of Life, Business-to-Business Education on
Pollution Prevention and Environmental Improvement and Corporate Environmental Education
Leading to Increased Profitability. EPA's Water Quality Standards Academy was honored in the
Clean Water/Safe Drinking Water category.

In the six years since EPA began the Water Quality Standards Academy, over 1,300 people in
state and local agencies, Indian tribes and others have received high quality, intensive training in
the basics of water quality standards.  By continually upgrading the course materials to reflect the
latest EPA programs, by using EPA's most knowledgeable standards experts as instructors, and
by focusing on implementation not just theory, the Water Quality Standards Academy has set a
high mark against which similar environmental training programs should be measured. There is
always a waiting list for these courses. The NEETF is a national leader in bringing objective and
scientifically sound environmental education to America, from business leaders and public
officials to adult educators and children.


On August 5, 1997, EPA published a proposed rule (62 FR 42160) which, when finalized, will
establish numeric criteria for priority toxic pollutants in the State of California. This rule
(referred to as the California Toxics Rule or CTR) proposes to establish aquatic life criteria for
29 priority toxic pollutants and human health criteria for 65 priority toxic pollutants to replace
those rescinded as a result of litigation in California.  This rule, when finalized, will fulfill the
need for water quality criteria for priority toxic pollutants (as required by Section 303(c)(2)(B) of

the Clean Water Act).  Two public hearings on this proposed rule were held in California (one hi
San Francisco and one in Los Angeles). The public comment period for the proposed rule closed
on September 26, 1997.

Currently the Agency is working to develop a final rule.  Additionally, the Agency is consulting
with the Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. For
additional information, contact Diane Frankel at 415-744-2004 or Karen Gourdine at 202-260-
1328 orgourdine.karen@epamail.epa.gov.


EPA has reported in past issues of this newsletter that it is preparing an Advance Notice of
Proposed Rule Making on the Water Quality Standards Regulation (ANPRM). At this writing,
we anticipate publication of it in the Federal Register in June 1998.  EPA had originally expected
to publish the ANPRM earlier than 1998.  Public interest in development of the ANPRM was so
keen, however, that we decided to spend more time meeting and discussing the scope of the
ANPRM with representative stakeholder groups. The additional discussions with stakeholders
have been invaluable to EPA in narrowing the scope of issues outlined in the ANPRM and
sharpening the requests for public comment.

What is the ANPRM?

The ANPRM is a review of the water quality standards regulation (40 CFR 131), the policy and
guidance that supports it, and current practice under it. In the ANPRM, EPA discusses the
current water quality standards program in detail and outline EPA's current thinking on
important new directions in water quality standards, such as incorporation of new science into
water quality protection programs (e.g., biological assessments and criteria) and advancement of
the watershed management approach to water quality protection, including iterative problem
solving. The ANPRM will also serve to educate interested parties on the current water quality
standards program, inform the public debate over possible changes in the program, and develop
workable proposals. Then, using specific questions, the ANPRM requests public comment on
potential changes to the program and regulation, and on current EPA thinking in a number of
areas addressed by the current regulation, policy and guidance.

The ANPRM reviews and requests comment on the three major components of water quality
standards: water body designated uses, water quality criteria, and the antidegradation policy, as
well as in the general implementation policies for mixing zones and independent application of
water quality criteria and assessments.  In the ANPRM, EPA expresses its view that the water
quality standards program  should continue to evolve into a program in which: the best possible
information on whether designated uses are being attained and how to attain and maintain them'
is available and used,  water quality criteria are scientifically sound and tailored to each

 watershed, and national norms of consistency and flexibility in state and tribal water quality
 standards programs are clear.

 One of the main themes of the ANPRM is updating and modernizing water quality standards to
 that standards may be better implemented on a watershed basis using refined use designations
 and tailored criteria. New science and assessment methodologies, as well as better data, and new
 types of data and analysis would need to be used by states and tribes to refine water quality
 standards in this manner.  Efforts to refine the water quality standards program could, therefore,
 encounter significant resource constraints in some states and tribes. In order for a new, data-
 intensive, watershed-specific approach to succeed, it must be workable for the states and tribes
 that will have to implement it. The ANPRM highlights the potential resource challenge for states
 and tribes and requests comment regarding concerns over resource constraints and ideas for how
 to address them.


 A rising level of scrutiny of water quality standards is anticipated as EPA, states and tribes work
 to resolve remaining water quality problems in the nation's waters. These problems are often
 difficult to assess, define and solve. EPA believes that pressure on the regulatory and policy
 underpinnings of water quality standards will be increasing, making it imperative to identify
 where these underpinnings may need to be strengthened, clarified or revised. Through the public
 discourse the ANPRM will spark, all interested parties will learn about and have the opportunity
 to evaluate the diverse and creative ways that states, tribes and the public have addressed water
 quality-related problems through their water quality standards.

 What Next?

 Once the ANPRM is published in the Federal Register, the public will have  180 days to develop
 and submit comments.  During this period, EPA, together with the Water Environment
 Federation, will sponsor three public meetings in which focussed, issue-oriented discussions, led
 by expert panels will take place. In these public meetings, participants will have the opportunity
 to join the debate, learn about the differing views on each issue, and formulate their comments on
the ANPRM. After these public meetings are completed, EPA will request that public comments
be submitted to the Agency. The public meetings are planned for July, August and September
 1998 and EPA will mail a flyer with the details as soon as the meetings are set.

This important and informed public discourse will be a vehicle to a more informed and effective
water quality standards program and ultimately to national water quality improvement.  Contact:
Rob Wood (202) 260-9536 or Wood.Robert@epamail.epa.gov.


This is a relatively straightforward question that can be fairly difficult to answer. The difficulties
that can arise in answering the question include determining which Bear Creek is being
discussed, what the most current designated use is, what that use (e.g. fish and wildlife) really'.
means, and what site-specific provisions might apply. Part of the difficulty faced in responding

to such questions is that standards, including uses,  can and do change over tune as states and
tribes conduct their triennial reviews, or as site-specific issues develop. Another challenge is
based on determining the areal extent of the standard as it relates to Bear Creek (i.e., all of Bear
Creek or only part of it).

The Office of Water has committed to developing a data system that will enable EPA, states,
tribes, and the public to know what the designated uses are for the Nation's waters. To that end,
the Water Quality Standards Branch will be working with other EPA offices to perform a
requirements analysis and to develop a prototype design for a national relational database system
for designated uses this fiscal year.  A commitment has also been made to work with states and
others over the next two fiscal years to ensure that the system functions on the several levels
required to meet the needs of all users. All ideas and suggestions are welcome (please contact
Jeff Bryan at 202-260-4934).

In addition to the database, new technologies and technically advanced computer software
programs improve our ability to respond to many water quality related questions. These
technologies include geographic information systems (GIS), georeferencing tools, and reach
indexing. A GIS makes it possible to retrieve and manipulate information that has been
georeferenced.  In water programs, georeferencing tools such as the Reach File (RF) make it
possible to conduct more  sophisticated analyses based on which sites are located upstream or
downstream from other sites.  An example of designated use information georeferenced to EPA's
RF-3 stream segments (e.g., Bear Creek) is:
Designated Use
Catalog Unit
Segment #
Beginning Mile Point ;
Ending Mile Point
A simultaneous effort is underway to develop a system that will be able to field questions that
cover several Office of Water programs.  The system would be able to search several databases
(e.g., STORET, PCS, 305(b), 303(d), Designated Uses).  An example of the type of query this
system could accommodate would be, "Show the water bodies with municipal dischargers that
have less than fishable/swimmable use designations."  (Or with a nonpoint slant... "Show the
water bodies without municipal dischargers that have less than fishable/swimmable use

The goal for these systems is to make water quality standards information accessible to the
widest possible audience, including making the system available over the Internet.

Future issues of the Newsletter will provide progress reports on these efforts. We are open to
comments and suggestions, and would be particularly interested in working with others who have
already started efforts along these lines. Please feel free to call or write Jeff Bryan at 202-260-
4934j bryan.jeffrey@epamail.epa.gov with your ideas.

(202) 260-538


To address the ecological and human health risks that contaminated sediment poses in many U.S.
watersheds, EPA announces publication of its Contaminated Sediment Management Strategy. Also
available, through the Office of Water Docket, is the Response to Public Comments Document.  The
Strategy is an Agency workplan describing actions the Agency believes are needed to bring about
consideration and reduction of risks posed by contaminated sediments. In the Strategy, EPA
summarizes its understanding of the extent and severity of sediment contamination, including
uncertainties about the dimension of the problem and describes the cross-program policy framework in
which the Agency intends to promote consideration and reduction of ecological and human health risks
posed by sediment contamination.

The Strategy establishes four goals to manage the problem of contaminated sediment, and describes
actions the Agency intends to take to accomplish these goals. The goals are: 1) to control sources of
sediment contamination and prevent the volume of contaminated sediment from increasing; 2) to reduce
the volume of existing (in-place) contaminated sediment; 3) to ensure that sediment dredging and dredged
material disposal are managed in an environmentally sound manner; and 4) to develop a range of
scientifically sound sediment management tools for use in pollution prevention, source control,
remediation and dredged material management.

Concerns About Sediment Contamination

Recent studies of the quality of the nation's lakes, rivers, and bays, and concerns about the economic
impacts associated with contaminated fish and disposal of contaminated dredged material make sediment
contamination an important issue.

      EPA estimates that 10 percent of the nation's lakes, rivers, and bays have sediment contaminated
      with toxic chemicals that can kill fish living  in those waters or impair the health of people and
      wildlife who eat contaminated fish (Listing of Fish and Wildlife Consumption Advisories, EPA
      823-C-97-004, 1997; The Incidence and Severity of Sediment Contamination in Surface Water of
      the United States, EPA 823-R-97-006, 007,  008, 1998).

      Fifteen percent of the nation's lake acreage and five percent of the nation's river miles are under
      state-issued fish consumption advisories. All of the Great Lakes and a large portion of the nation's
      coastal waters are also under advisory (Listing of Fish and Wildlife Consumption Advisories, EPA
      823-C-97-004, 1997).

      Billions of dollars of economic activity are potentially affected by contaminated sediment because
      of the loss of recreational and commercial fishing and the  increased cost of disposing of
      contaminated material dredged to aid navigation.

Why EPA Needs a Contaminated Sediment Management Strategy

EPA needs an Agency-wide Contaminated Sediment Management Strategy because contaminated
sediment is an environmental problem in the nation's water bodies that is not handled by a single EPA
office or authority, and the multimedia sources of ongoing contamination and the need to remediate
historical contamination require coordinated Agency-wide actions.

What the Strategy Will Accomplish

The Contaminated Sediment Management Strategy sets forth an EPA plan to accomplish a number of key

      Agency programs will use consistent and scientifically sound sediment assessment methods in their
      prevention or remediation processes.

      Agency programs will use the first National Sediment Quality Survey Report to Congress (EPA
      823-R-97-006) and future biennial updates to target chemicals and watersheds for further
      assessment, pollution prevention, and remediation.

      Where watersheds are clean, EPA will prevent sediment contamination through point and nonpoint
      source controls, promoting best management practices, and by testing new pesticides and other
      chemicals to ensure they will not cause sediment contamination.

      Where watersheds are being contaminated, EPA will take appropriate action through its point and
      nonpoint source control programs to reduce or eliminate contaminant inputs.

      Where watersheds are already contaminated, EPA will develop risk management strategies and
      implement source controls, and undertake remediation of contaminated sediment to limit serious
      risks to human health and the environment and restore designated uses.

To Obtain Copies of the Strategy

Copies of EPA's Contaminated Sediment Management Strategy (document number EPA-823-F-98-001)
are available from the U.  S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental
Publications and Information,  11029 Kenwood Road, Building 5, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45242. They may
be ordered by phone at 800-490-9198; by fax at 513-489-8695; or on the Internet at
http://www.epa.gov/ncepihom/orderpub.html.  The Strategy can be viewed or downloaded from the
Office of Science and Technology's home page, at http://www.epa.gov/ost.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as requested by Congress, released its first-ever
national report on the quality of sediments in the nation's rivers and other inland and coastal
waterways on January 7, 1998. The report finds that every state has some sediment
contamination  accumulation of toxic chemicals sufficient to pose potential risk to people who
eat fish and to fish and wildlife  and that streams, lakes and harbors can be affected. Sites