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           Water Quality Standards
              for the 21st Century
             Proceedings of a National Conference
March 1-3,1989
 Dallas, Texas
                U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                      Office of Water
                      Washington, D.C.


Prepared by JT&A, Inc. and Dynamac Corporation under contract 68-C8-0052 for the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views and
policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does mention of trade names or com-
mercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
                            Editor: GretchenH. Flock
                       Production Manager: Lura K. Taggart


    Foreword	vii

Opening Addresses

    Welcome	1
      Robert Layton, Jr.

    Opening Address	3
      Rebecca Hanmer

    Water Quality Standards for the 21st Century	7
      JayD. Hair

    A Historical Perspective   	11
      William Eichbaum
    A Framework for Action: Water Quality Standards Planning for 1989-1995  	15
      Martha Prothro

Nonpoint Sources and Water Quality Standards

    Nonpoint Sources and Water Quality Standards   	19
      John Clausen (Moderator)
    Nonpoint Sources and Water Quality Standards: The Oregon Situation   	21
      John E. Jackson

    Organization and Management of Environmental Data Sets: The Ecoregional Perspective    .  . 25
      Spencer A. Peterson

    Water Quality Standards for the 20th Century—The Nonpoint Source Agenda   	37
      Paul Thompson

    Integrating Fish Habitat Into State Water Quality Standards	41
      Stephen B. Bauer

Diversity and Innovation in State Standards Programs

    Idaho's Antidegradation Program: A Model   	49
      Gregory W. Forge

    A Strategy for Nutrient-Enriched Waters in Virginia     	55
      Jean W. Gregory

Identification and Control of Toxic Pollutants

    Identification and Control of Toxic Pollutants	63
      Kenneth L. Dickson (Moderator)

    Looking Backwards and Forward at the Water Quality Programs	65
      Richard A. Kimerle, Donald R. Grothe, William J.Adams

    Developments in Sediment Criteria    	71
      Nelson Thomas

    Identification and Control of Toxic Pollutants	73
      Jessica C. Landman

    Tackling Toxics Through the Chesapeake Bay Program   	75

Developments in Sediment Criteria

    Developments in Sediment Criteria    	83
      Howard Zar (Moderator)

    Identification and Control of Toxic Pollutants	85
      Nelson Thomas

    Developments in Sediment Criteria: Sullivan's Ledge Superfund Site  	87
      Jane Downing
    Developments in Sediment Criteria    	89
      Arthur J. Newell

    Developments in Sediment Criteria    	93
      James M. Conlon

Water Quality Standards and Indian Tribes

    Water Quality Standards and Indian Tribes	99
      Kathleen Sisneros (Moderator)

    Water Quality Standards and Indian Tribes	101
      Richard Du Bey, Attorney
    For Water Quality Act Administration, The Federal Government Will Treat Indian Tribes as They
    Do States: A Dumb Idea That Has Come of Age	105

    Environmental Protection and the Rights of Indians	109
      Don Tahkael

Lake Protection Through Standards

    Lake Protection Through Standards   	115
      Douglas Holy (Moderator)

     Lake Protection Through Standards-A State's Viewpoint   	117
      Steven A. Heiskary

    Water Quality Standards for Lakes	123
      Robert J. Johnson

    Lake Protection Through Standards   	129
      Donald B.Porcella

Development of Biocriteria

    Development of Biocriteria	133
      Donald Steffeck (Moderator)
    Implementation of Biocriteria in the Water Quality Standards Program    	135
      David L. Courtemanch
    The Development and Use of Biological Criteria for Ohio Surface Waters   	139
      Chris O. Yoder

    Ecoregional Biological Criteria    	147
      Robert M. Hughes

    Development of Biological Criteria	153
      Suzanne K. MacyMarcy

Criteria and Advisory Development by EPA: Their Derivation and Applications

    Criteria and Advisory Development by EPA: Their Derivation and Applications   	161
      RolfHartung (Moderator)

    Status of the Development of Water Quality Criteria and Advisories	163
      David J. Harisen

    Water Quality Criteria - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (a Matter of Perspective)	171
      James T. Ulanoski

    Issues in Applying Water Quality Criteria    	175
      Mark Van Putten

Implementing Antidegradation

    Implementing Antidegradation    	183
      Charles Sutfin (Moderator)

    Implementing Antidegradation Policy in Colorado	185
      Paul Frohardt

    ERES — Delaware's Priority for Antidegradation Protection	189
      Mark C. Blosser

    Outstanding National Resource Waters	191
      Barbara West
    Implementing Antidegradation    	195
      Mark Van Putten

Extending Standards to Wetlands

    How States Can Use 401 Certification and State Standards to Affect Federal Permits	203
      Thomas J. Dawson

    Extending Standards to Louisiana's Wetlands   	207
      Robin S. Knox

Setting Human Health Standards

    Setting Human Health Standards   	211
      Shing-Fu Hsueh (Moderator)
     The Human Health Issue Pertaining to Risk Assessment     	213
      Cynthia Sonich-Mullin

    Setting Human Health Standards   	217
      Philip H. Vorsatz

    Louisiana's Approach to Setting Human Health Standards—One State's Perspective   .  .  .   .219
      Dugan S. Sabins

    Water Quality Standards and Human Health: New Approaches    	221
      Douglas N. Rader

Water Quality, Quantity, and Conservation

    Water Quality, Quantity, and Conservation	231
      MaxDodson (Moderator)

    Water Quality, Quantity, and Conservation	233
      Darlene E. Ruiz

    Integration of Water Quality and Water Quantity    	235
      Lawrence/. MacDonnell

    Supplying Denver with Water Efficiency-An Alternative to Two Forks Dam	239
      John C. Wood-well

    Water Quality, Quantity, and Conservation     	245
      Elizabeth Tabbutt

Closing Remarks

    Priorities and Timeframes for the Water Quality Standards Framework   	253
      Martha Prothro

    Participants	257
        Questions, Answers, and Comments that follow each session were transcribed from audio-
        tapes. Speakers' names were included whenever possible; often, they either were not given
        or were unintelligible on the tape.


   The term "consensus" appears frequently throughout this proceedings — but if
one were to apply the word literally, one would miss the true spirit of the Con-
   This was a gathering of diverse groups: all the constituencies involved in
protecting our Nation's waters.
   Each — the States, the Federal Government, the environmental groups, the
Indian tribes, industry — brought to the forum a valid point of view on water
quality standards.
   Many expressed concern about insufficient funding, and by extension, a lack of
commitment by the Federal Government. Others advised caution in developing
new standards; some advocated the ecoregion approach, several questioned the
flexibility of standards relative to risk levels and specific sites.
   If one were to find consensus at all, it would have been in the sense of coopera-
tion, a spirit that imbued this Conference's very diversity with depth and richness.
Time and again speakers urged participants to stop wasting limited resources on
confrontation, but instead, work together to build consensus around programs in-
volving growth and protecting specific aquatic resources.
   One participant observed "there are four cornerstones to the water quality
standards program: the Federal Government, the State government, the public in-
terest groups, and the regulated community."
   Those four cornerstones met in Dallas and opened a dialogue, one that must
continue in the cooperative spirit with which it began if we are truly to protect our
Nation's water resources.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 1
                           Opening Addresses
                       Welcome to  Conference

                                      Robert Layton, Jr.
           Regional Administrator, U, S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VI, Dallas, Texas
Welcome to Dallas, Region VI, and to this first-ever
national conference on water quality standards. I'm
pleased that the meeting is here in Dallas, not only
because many of my water quality staff can attend
and are attending, but also because I am proud of the
accomplishments that we have made here in water
quality standards.
   During the next three days we all will endeavor to
further the understanding of  our  Nation's  water
quality standards and, hopefully, establish the direc-
tion that these standards will take in years to come. In
this region, as in your regions and States, we are
deeply concerned about the quality of our waters,
specifically how to gauge water quality as it relates to
the protection of aquatic life and human health. Over
the course of the conference, we will seek insight into
the future direction of water quality standards. We of
Region VI will be sharing our experiences, and we ex-
pect to benefit from hearing about the ways other
regions and  States have developed  and imple-
mented their water quality standards. We welcome
this Information exchange and encourage everyone
to participate, whether you represent EPA, industry, a
State, a local government, or Indian government, or if
you have come just as a concerned citizen.
   EPA Region VI is composed of a diverse group of
jurisdictions that include 68  Indian tribes and  5
States. From  the arid, mountainous area of New
Mexico to the humid lowlands of Louisiana, Region
VI encompasses a wide range of features that
present a challenge for our staff who are overseeing
the development of appropriate water quality stan-
dards. We have had many successes; for example,
Texas has adopted 30 numeric criteria for protection
of aquatic life. Arkansas has been a leader in employ-
ing an  ecoregion-type approach in its  standards.
Louisiana has proposed adoption of 47 numeric
human health criteria. Oklahoma and New Mexico
are also revising their standards to better address
toxics.  And there is the  unprecedented process of
working with the  Indian tribes to  develop  water
quality standards.  I hope you who represent these
entities will share your experiences in these areas
and those of your counterparts.
   We do have challenges here in Region VI. For ex-
ample, we must apply water quality standards to our
coastal wetlands to protect these areas from future
losses. We must assist in the development and adop-
tion of appropriate human health criteria in water
quality standards. We  must  further  develop bio-
criteria to use as a tool  for assessing  attainment of
uses and, most importantly, we must continue to
respond to the challenges of the requirements in the
amended Clean Water Act.
   It is critical for  States to establish  water quality
standards as the  mechanism for  driving  water
quality-based permits that include limitations for
toxic chemicals. Most municipal permits in Region VI
are water quality-based, requiring advanced  treat-
ment techniques and state-of-the-art technology. We
fully appreciate the significance of and importance of
the issues you will be dealing with over the next few
   Again, I appreciate seeing each of you at this valu-
able conference. Working together, we can meet the
challenges facing us in the 1990s and beyond.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 3-6
                              Opening Address

                                       Rebecca Hanmer
                                Acting Assistant Administrator for Water
                         U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
The issues we are focusing on in water quality stan-
dards are extremely important. I was part of the first
water quality  standards staff, which was one of the
greatest learning  experiences of my  life and con-
vinced me of the importance of standards.  I still
remember the excitement that we felt in June 1967 as
the States' standards packages began to come in to
the Department of Interior. The excitement began to
build, and on June 30, the very last day (EPA was still
meeting deadlines then), Alaska's standards arrived,
completing the 50 States.  It was really a  great
achievement. Since that time, the States and EPA
have gone beyond the original interstate standards
to standards  for essentially all waters in the United
States. We have also added dramatically to the num-
ber of constituents covered, especially now as we
add to the list of water quality standards for toxic sub-
   We also did an interesting thing back in 1965 - we
absolutely  insisted that all State standards include
what were then called the "four (or five) freedoms" or
"free froms." At that time, these  narrative standards
were just a base. We weren't sure what we were
going to do with those narrative  standards, but sure
enough, all the State  standards had them.  About
1982 we decided to erect a numerical  framework on
the narrative  "no toxics in  toxic  amounts," and you
know what we have been able to do with that.  I have
been looking lately at  the other narrative standards.
"No  objectionable deposits on the bottom," for ex-
ample, is a standard just waiting to be rediscovered
in an analytical program. If we just look back at those
old standards, we will get a lot of inspiration.
   In the Clean Water Act there is a very healthy and
active relationship between the  national standards,
which  are  largely   technology-based, and the
geographic-based standards —  that is, the State
water quality standards. We have  been able to use
both the national technology-based approach and
the  geographic-specific approach very well  in this
 program,  but there are many new programs and
challenges that we now have to face. For example,
despite all of our progress we are still  losing coastal
 habitat and coastal water quality at a very dramatic
 rate. We are still losing wetlands,  and we have a huge
agenda in nonpoint source pollution  control. There
are many areas where discharges from the past have
resulted in contaminated sediments, and we have to
figure out what to do with them.
   I think that the standards program can be central
to dealing with these dilemmas. In fact, for me the
standards program is the framework that holds all of
these other things together - the way in the clean
water program that we can take science and marry it
to values and to the ever-changing array of discharg-
es and source types. In fact, I think that the water
quality standards, of all of our mechanisms, are our
road map to the 21st century and, in fact, beyond.
This is why we are holding this conference - to look
forward on a very long-term basis as well as a short-
term basis to what we want the water quality program
to look like in this country, to articulate what our
vision is for the waters of the United States and,  in
fact, the world.
   For me, at least, this unfinished agenda provides
no more exciting enterprise in all of EPA and certainly
in the water program, nothing more worthy of our
best administrative skills, our best legal skills, our
best scientific and technical skills, our best ideas. We
all have some different priorities for what we want to
do with this program, but I think we can all agree that
having a long-term  master plan for the standards pro-
gram in which we specify priorities and set a course
toward  what we want to achieve in  the triennial
review laid down in the law, for the next triennium
1991-1993, for the triennium after that - that setting
these kinds of priorities and making some choices
will enable us to have a much more effective stan-
dards program.
   The master plan that we have offered is the Draft
Framework  for the Water Quality  Standards Pro-
gram, now expressed on a five-year basis. What we
are all here to do, besides share our experiences and
our visions,  is to discuss and debate specifically this
Water Quality Standards  Framework and decide
what should be accomplished in this last decade as
we get ready to enter the 21st century. What should
be our priorities, what tools do we need, when should
we expect to accomplish what tasks, what are the
resource implications, and to what should the public,
the Congress, and we, ourselves, hold us account-
able? The goals of this conference are to build a con-

sensus on this Framework: the program priorities,
the activities, and the timing. From that consensus
will come a commitment to carry out this Framework.
   During our discussions it is crucial to keep in mind
how the standards program fits into a broader en-
vironmental perspective. The water quality standards
have been a critical part of the  national water pollu-
tion control programs since 1965 because they have
played a central role. These standards are more im-
portant now than they have ever been in the past. We
have worked our way through  most of the technol-
ogy-based agenda, and the water quality standards
have become more and more central. Standards pro-
vide the goals for many of our water programs; they
provide the legal authority and the regulatory basis
for all water-quality-based treatment standards that
go beyond the minimum technology requirements.
Standards provide a way to address a number of new
program priorities  — for example, protection of the
marine environment, protection of wetlands, and
dealing with nonpoint sources.  Finally, the standards
provide a crucial yardstick for measuring success.
   It is the goals and the yardstick function — the
goals for the water quality program that can be ex-
pressed in specific scientific terms through stand-
ards and can be measured — that unite science,
technology, and public values. For me that is why the
standards  program  is the most critical  of  the
programs that EPA administers. It is a way to  unite
science, to make  sense out of public values  and
translate them  from what  people  want from  their
water environment into terms we all can use as scien-
tists, engineers,  and program  administrators,  such
as effluent concentrations,  best management prac-
tices,  different  kinds of in-stream standards. This
function of  being able to marry public  values,
science, and technology makes the  standards the
road map they are.
   The goals function of the standards was recog-
nized from the very beginning. One of the main ele-
ments  of the standards process  was to  provide
inspiration for the  whole water pollution control en-
deavor by defining our goals  in terms that people
could understand and relate to - fishing, recreation,
water supply. Congress, in creating the first national
standards mandate  in 1965, talked about defining
water uses as the first step in the standards process. I
remember receiving  a letter from a grandfather who
used to be able to swim in the once-clean waters of
Stanford Harbor. He said, "I want my grandchildren
to be  able  to swim  in Stanford Harbor someday."
People said, "We used to be able to see the bottom in
this stream. I want to be able to see the bottom, too."
Those are not things that it takes a scientist to under-
stand; those are the values that people were telling
us they wanted from their water program.
   People want to get involved in this enterprise, and
since they have to pay the price (and the price is
going to get steeper for water pollution control), they
must be involved. We need them to be effectively in-
volved, and standards  are our best means for doing
it. People love to boast about restoring or enhancing
their river, their lake, or their bay where fish can be
caught and eaten and where people can swim, boat,
ski, enjoy the view. The restoration of the Ohio and
Potomac Rivers, which we often cite as good  ex-
amples, could not have been accomplished without
public  involvement. The  efforts  underway in  the
Chesapeake Bay are, in large measure,  in response
to public concern, pressure, and involvement. If suc-
cess requires  the involvement and cooperation of
public  environmental groups, small and large busi-
nesses, towns, cities, and  States, then the standards
program provides a means for allowing people to ar-
ticulate those values  and wishes and  to translate
them into program reality. In the standards program,
then, we need to continue this public involvement
and improve it. In fact, we need to master public in-
volvement again because we have let it slip in the last
few years. As we consider our Water Quality Stan-
dards Framework, we  need to consider how we can
reenergize, if we need to, public involvement in the
standards setting process.
   The second important role for the standards is to
provide the  legal authority and the regulatory basis
for water quality treatment requirements. Goals with
clout-this is what makes the standards more mean-
ingful than just a plan. The standards plan is a plan
with a regulatory handle, something we can use to
make things happen out there.
   Congress was  pretty  clear  in the  1987 water
quality amendments (WQA) to the Clean Water Act
that it  was not totally  pleased with our progress in
setting up regulatory  requirements,  particularly for
toxic pollutants. The amendments to section 303 of
the WQA were a good compromise. EPA talked to
Congress about its concern; in effect we said, "Could
you spare us the kind of thing you  did in the Safe
Drinking Water Act or  some of the other laws, could
you trust us a little bit? Do not give us an endless list
of chemicals that you  want us to do something with,
whether it is the right list or not, but trust us to be able
through  our science and knowledge to pick the pol-
lutants, develop the criteria, set the  standards, and
get the job done." And Congress said OK.
   We now have in this program a lot of trust and con-
fidence that we can lose very quickly if we do not do
this job.  I do not consider this the work of the future,

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 3-6
especially the job of getting State toxic water quality
standards into place. It is a crucial piece of unfinished
business, and it is also a crucial piece of credibility for
this program. EPA will be pressing the States to get
this job done, and we will be helping the States as
much as.possible. Even though this  conference  is
about the future, the future  has to be based on a
strong foundation in the present. We have a job to do
in the next couple of years to  get this particular piece
of business out of the way.
  Another piece of unfinished business, which  is
part of our future, is antidegradation. In 1967, the
water quality standards staff wrote the first guidance
for antidegradation, which the States  all put in their
water quality  standards as a value statement. How-
ever,  many States have not developed the  proce-
dures  that  are  necessary to carry   out  those
antidegradation rules.
  Another piece of unfinished  business  is a  strong
coastal  and marine policy, and antidegradation fits
here. We have simply got to take a look at many  of
the basin areas and decide if we are going to allow
any increased discharges at all. That draconian ap-
proach may not be necessary for many of the river
areas, but  it  is badly needed  for some lakes and
coastal  areas.  Antidegradation cannot  be  just  a
bunch of fancy words  in the  water quality stan-
dards—we have to translate the idealistic words into
regulatory reality, and we have to do it soon.
  Over the years  EPA may not have been tough
enough in promulgating standards. Our  preference
has been to  work through the State agencies be-
cause, after all, these are State water quality stan-
dards. They are subject to Federal approval, but we
need to have  the States create them, buy into them,
and implement them. That is still EPA's preference;
however, in the areas I have just mentioned, our legal
mandate is clear and the timing is  urgent. We may
have to reevaluate soon whether or not we are going
to wait, or how long we are going to wait in some  of
these areas. You may be seeing increased Federal
promulgations. I hope not, because Federal promul-
gation generally represents a failure of our work
together, rather than a success. However, EPA can-
not stand by and do nothing.
   Now, to focus on the Framework. We have to take
a look at how we use water quality standards to rein-
force and put new meaning into the nonpoint source
program. Our old water quality  standards were basi-
cally developed to deal with continuous discharges
and to protect uses under low flow conditions. The
nonpoint source problems,  however, don't come
quite that way;  often they are discontinuous dis-
charges at high flow. We must look at our standards
program and  design standards to fit the reality of the
nonpoint source  program. Many  of our  existing
standards will work, but more attention must be paid
to sediment contamination, for example, or to the
proper regulation of high flow events.
   I would like to ask you to reflect again on the "free
froms" in the contaminated sediments area,  because
I  think that an effective program to deal with con-
taminated sediments has been a long time in coming.
It will be an extraordinarily expensive program, which
is why there is such a demand for standards. We can-
not restore some of these harbor areas by simply
turning off the existing discharges. I am counting on
the standards program to give us the kind  of scien-
tific intelligence that tells us what we need to do and
when to do it, that gives a basis for action.
   There are several different ideas for what sediment
criteria might look  like.  To the designers of the
Framework,  I say go back to your "free from" narra-
tive standard, look at "no objectionable deposits on
the bottom," find out what you want, and make sure
that we have a variety of approaches to deal with that
crucial problem.
   Biological criteria and assessment methods have
been  an integral part of a strong water-quality-based
program, but they must become even more impor-
tant. If use attainability analyses had been done cor-
rectly, we would have been using our biological
criteria all  along. We  should  focus  closely  on
developing   better  biological  assessment  tools,
criteria, and measures of success.
   More research and information gathering will be
needed to  define how we can use water quality
criteria more effectively to protect terrestrial animals
that are using surface waters. We should encourage
these efforts in  the Water Quality Standards Frame-
work. State water pollution control agencies, working
with the State fish and game agencies, are in a good
position to gather data, and some of the State water
pollution control agencies are working actively in
wildlife criteria,  so I think that is something that we
can feasibly take a look at. Next, wetlands criteria.
EPA must help the State water quality programs
protect wetlands more effectively. A tool available to
all State water  pollution control agencies,  401  cer-
tification of permits, is one way to do it. A 401  cer-
tification rests  on what  water quality standards
require. If we have a tool here that we can use very ef-
fectively for  protecting wetlands,  what do  water
quality standards need to look like to do that? Do
there need to be vegetative standards to supplement
water  column and aquatic organism  techniques?
Creativity is possible  in this program;  we are not
restricted  by anything but our  intelligence,  our
science, and our good sense.

  A final challenge is water quality planning, which is
no  longer  confined  to the waters of the United
States—it involves the waters of the world and infor-
mation-sharing with other countries, but it is also a
cross-media effort. Clearly there are linkages and im-
pacts across all of the media, all of the programs that
EPA and  the State  environmental agencies ad-
minister. We must get actively involved, be strongly at
the heart of source reduction and recycling,  and be-
cause we know the adverse water quality impacts of
a lot of different kinds of air pollutants, we must help
develop air pollution control strategies.
  Water quality standards have to be at the  heart of
basinwide  planning to  protect estuaries and wet-
lands and to control nonpoint source pollution. Water
quality standards have to go up the banks into land
use and land management,  into landscape  design.
From EPA's perspective, one of the things that makes
the standards program so exciting is that there is a
role for all of us in it — scientists, administrators, en-
gineers, and other concerned citizens. We need ag-
gressive leadership at all levels to make the stan-
dards a proactive, not a reactive, program. We must
lead pollution control efforts with this program, not
respond to losses. That will be a challenge for all of
   We can accomplish our objectives and  priorities
together by working in a coalition to come up with a
framework, by negotiating compromises where there
might be differences, communicating our objectives
and priorities early, and by talking, for example, of the
things that we can't do in the next triennium because
we just don't know enough. I invite you to start talking
about the triennium after that, and say, maybe we
can't do all the sediment work in this three-year
period but let's set ourselves an objective right away
to build the science that will allow us to finish the job
six or ten years from now.
   Standards are not the total answer to goal setting
and water quality protection in the 21st century, but
they are as good a place to start as any  other. We
have the flexibility to design the standards program
the way we want it. I'm excited about the challenges
and the possibilities, and welcome everyone to join
this endeavor.

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 7-10
Water Quality  Standards  for the 21st  Century
                                          Jay D. Hair
                        President, National Wildlife Federation,Washington, D.C.
I am honored that you have invited me to open this
conference on "Water Quality Standards for the 21 st
Century." I understand it's been many years since
water quality officials from EPA and the States have
gathered in this kind of session.  For that reason,
alone, this is obviously  an important meeting. But,
I'm particularly pleased to be here today for two addi-
tional reasons.
   First, these are exciting and challenging times for
all of us concerned with  protecting the environment.
There is an awakening of environmental conscious-
ness around the globe. As we approach the 20th an-
niversary of Earth Day, April 22,1990, never has there
been more public support for our mission to protect
the environment. This "environmental renaissance"
comes not a moment too soon, as is so graphically il-
lustrated by Time magazine's recent and unprece-
dented selection of the "Endangered Earth" as its
"Planet of the Year."
   History will remember 1988 as the year the en-
vironment fought back. I predict that 1989  will be
remembered as the year governments began to lis-
ten, the year that will illustrate the importance of the
adage: "When the people lead,  eventually the leader
will follow." We have  a new President who proudly
claims the title,  "environmentalist." And he has ap-
pointed the first EPA Administrator to come from the
ranks of the environmental movement, William Reilly.
I know Bill Reilly well as a valued colleague and as a
personal friend. I know of no one I would rather see at
EPA today than Bill Reilly. I know he is committed to
our work:  protecting the quality of our environment,
including the subject of this conference,  our lakes
arid rivers.
   The second reason I'm so pleased to be with you
today is the nature of your agenda. You've set an am-
bitious task for the next three days: to agree on the
water quality goals and programs that will bring us
into the 21 st century. I commend you for this forward-
looking agenda and for recognizing the need to artic-
ulate coherent and ambitious goals. To  borrow a
phrase from President Bush, you've  recognized the
importance of "the vision thing." A clear vision of your
goal is critical, both to direct your efforts and to mobi-
lize public support.
   So,  what should  you be  considering as you
ponder  this  agenda  over the next few days? What
issues does the National Wildlife Federation view as
critical in protecting our Nation's waters into the next
  First, let me put the subject of your deliberations -
water quality standards-in the proper context. It's
essential that you begin by recognizing and reaffirm-
ing the wisdom of the Clean Water Act's basic ap-
proach to water pollution: zero discharge. In 1972,
Congress decided that disposing of our wastes by
dumping them into lakes and rivers was unaccept-
able. Thus, Congress directed EPA to strive for a goal
of zero discharge by developing successively strict-
er technology-based  controls on  water  pollution
  Many policy makers of the 1980s disparage this
vision, arguing that it amounts to pollution control for
its own  sake. In its place, they support only those
controls that seem to be necessary in particular in-
stances. As a result  of  this philosophy,  we have
recently heard assertions that some of America's
lakes and rivers are too clean and that our pollution
controls should be relaxed.
  Sadly, we've slipped back into an argument about
how much pollution is "too much." The difficulties in
calculating how much pollution is too much are com-
pounded when we look at the toxic pollutants. As we
learn more about the impacts of these pollutants on
aquatic ecosystems, we  realize how little we know.
We  can spend years arguing about "acceptable
amounts" of pollution while our lakes and streams
die, our forests crumble, and our wildlife vanish. The
zero discharge goal is more important today in deal-
ing with toxic pollutants than it was in 1972.
   Now don't get me wrong. Water quality standards
and the pollution controls needed to meet them are
very important.  These  controls  help protect par-
ticularly sensitive ecosystems and apply to some
sources not covered by technology-based controls.
But you must not lose sight of their secondary role.
Water quality-based controls put flesh on the bones
of the Clean Water Act's intermediate goal of "fish-
able-swimmable" waters; they do not define the final
goals of our pollution control efforts.
  Contrary to common belief, the zero discharge im-
perative of  the Clean Water Act  has direct sig-
nificance  for your  work.  Its  technology-forcing
principle offers you a way to resolve some of the

knottiest problems you face in developing and im-
plementing water quality standards. What do I mean
by this? Here are some specific examples.
   When Bill Ruckelshaus told a congressional hear-
ing in 1971 that "dilution wasn't the solution to pollu-
tion," the response was laughter. But the results of
the past 16 years indicate that it's not a laughing mat-
ter. Too often, water quality standards do not trans-
late  into meaningful  controls on pollution sources
because dilution is seen  as the solution. Indeed,
there are some pollutants that  are rapidly assimi-
lated; but there are  others—persistent and  bioac-
cumulative  toxic  pollutants, for  example-thai
present a different problem.
   Long-term loadings of these pollutants, even at
low  concentrations, can severely damage aquatic
ecosystems. The Great Lakes are the best example.
Many diffuse sources of toxics at low concentrations
result in elevated levels of these poisons in Great
Lakes fish, and in the humans and wildlife that eat
them.  For these kinds of pollutants, technology-
based  principles  should  be applied  by you to
eliminate, where possible, or otherwise minimize
dilution.  In practical  terms,  you  should  translate
these principles into a presumption that water quality
standards for persistent toxic pollutants apply at the
   Only upon  a showing  by the source that com-
pliance is technologically infeasible and that  no en-
vironmental harm to downstream waters will result
from higher concentrations should any dilution be al-
lowed. This "no dilution" presumption for persistent
toxic pollutants can be used to solve many other dif-
ficult problems you face in implementing standards.
For  example,   it  suggests a presumption against
mixing zones  or "zones of initial dilution"; it  means
calculating stream flows so as to limit or deny dilu-
tion; it requires limited use of rapid diffusers or mixing
devices and it renders irrelevant analytical detection
levels.  Similarly,  understanding  the fundamental
technology-based imperative of the Act provides you
direction in developing strong antidegradation and
antibacksliding programs. It's the only way to protect
our  hard-won water quality victories.
   So far I've talked about how you control pollution
sources using water  quality standards. Another im-
portant issue that you will undoubtedly consider over
the  next three days is which sources to control. His-
torically, we have focused our pollution  control ef-
forts on point sources-the discharge pipe from an
industrial or municipal facility. Overall, you've done a
remarkable job in developing and implementing con-
trols on these sources.
   We  now understand the significance of other
sources, those less amenable to conventional con-
trol strategies, but no less important.  EPA has es-
timated that over 50 percent of the remaining pollu-
tion  in  our lakes and  rivers comes  from these
nonpoint  sources.  They include  pesticide-con-
taminated runoff from farmers' fields and heavy me-
tals in urban runoff. But there are other, even more
problematic sources, including airborne pollutants
and contaminated sediments.
   We're all familiar with the problem of acid rain. It
appears that we've finally got the leadership in the
Federal Government to  develop controls  on the
sources of the precursors of acid rain. But rain and
snow are similarly contaminated with other pol-
lutants—most distressingly, with toxic  pollutants. In
some areas of the country, like the Great Lakes, at-
mospheric deposition is one of the major toxic pollu-
tion sources. For example, it's been estimated that
over 50 percent of the current PCB inputs into Lake
Michigan and over 90 percent of the inputs into Lake
Superior travel through the atmosphere.
   So what's this got to do with your work? Water
quality standards should be the basis for setting our
priorities in controlling sources of atmospheric pol-
lutants.  By applying standards to  evaluate the
cumulative  impacts  of toxic pollutants on target
ecosystems like the Great Lakes, we can identify the
specific  pollutants  that  need  immediate  control.
Using these priorities,_we should quickly control the
"upwind" sources without waiting to prove  a direct
cause and effect relationship between each source
and the downwind pollution.
   Similarly, we should use water quality standards to
identify those  river  mouths and harbors with con-
taminated   sediments   that  require  immediate
cleanup. Here, too, it's important that standards be
developed and applied in a way that reflects the
cumulative impact of pollution from several different
toxics at once.
   In  applying standards to develop controls  on
these pollution sources, it's important that we care-
fully consider the impact of toxics on entire ecosys-
tems. For example, we must consider the impact of
food chain contamination on people and wildlife that
eat contaminated fish. Among people, sport anglers
and their families are probably at greatest  risk and
have historically been inadequately  protected. To
protect these  people, water quality standards must
be based on a consistent and well-founded assess-
ment of the risks posed by consuming these fish.
   The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has under-
way a two-year project  to develop the necessary
methodology. Our Great Lakes Natural Resources
Center is developing a model risk assessment-based
approach to evaluating  the health risks posed by
consumption of Lake Michigan sport fish. Our quan-

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 7-10
titative risk assessment will be completed in draft
form next month. Hopefully, it will serve as a first step
in developing more protective methods for basing
water quality standards on the health risks posed by
consuming contaminated  fish. Also, water quality
standards should consider the impacts of toxics on
fish-eating wildlife, which may be at an even greater
risk than are humans eating the same fish.
   You may have noticed that I've mentioned the
Great Lakes several times. NWF has focused much
of its water quality protection  work on  these mag-
nificent lakes. This focus can be adapted to  reflect
the unique needs of  sensitive ecosystems.  EPA's
Near Coastal Waters Initiative  reflects similar think-
ing, and we heartily support it.  However, implement-
ing this concept in practice requires a commitment to
interstate and international cooperation. This com-
mitment, unfortunately, has been rare in the past.
   Probably the best  example is the Great  Lakes
Water Quality Agreement of 1978. In this agreement,
the United  States and Canada vow to take specific
action to protect these lakes from toxic water pollu-
tion. Unfortunately, the fine rhetoric of the agreement
has  mattered little in  practice. EPA and  the Great
Lakes States have not incorporated the agreement's
provisions  in their pollution control  programs.  In-
stead, they've viewed the  agreement as containing
little more than unenforceable goals.
   It's essential that EPA  and the States take this
agreement seriously. The agreement is widely recog-
nized as a model of international cooperation to
solve common environmental problems. EPA will not
be a credible leader in developing international solu-
tions to global warming and  other global environ-
mental  problems unless EPA  makes good on the
promises of this agreement. NWF has recently peti-
tioned EPA to apply the agreement in  reviewing
revisions to Wisconsin's water quality standards; in
our view, this is a major test of EPA's commitment to
keep those promises.
   Not far from the site of this meeting lies the Gulf of
Mexico, another sensitive ecosystem  shared  by
several States and two nations. Like the Great  Lakes,
it has special  pollution  problems  demanding crea-
tive, shared solutions.  Puget  Sound, Chesapeake
Bay, and all of the Nation's wetlands are other special
aquatic ecosystems that require special protection
from pollution.
   To those of you from these regions of the country, I
urge you to develop pollution control programs that
consider more than the concentration of pollutants in
the vicinity of the source. Develop creative programs
that estimate the total  loading of critical  pollutants
from all sources. Consider the cumulative impact of
these pollutants on the ecosystems and on the food
chain. Develop enforceable mechanisms for requir-
ing targeted reductions of these loadings over time.
Be sure  that you  identify who is responsible for
achieving these  reductions: holding  someone ac-
countable for reducing pollutant loadings is a key
   NWF is committed to this  holistic, ecosystem-
based approach to protecting sensitive aquatic en-
vironments. Recently, in conjunction with a Canadian
environmental research organization, we launched a
five-year  project to develop and implement model
water quality standards for the Great Lakes. The goal
of this project is to develop model standards and to
see them adopted  by all the Great Lake States and
Canadian  Provinces. These standards   will  work
backwards from the  Lakes to estimate the needed
mass loading reductions from all potential sources.
The reductions will be required over a definite time
period based, in part, on the feasibility of reductions
from the various source categories.
   Development and  implementation of these  crea-
tive,   regional  approaches will require   increased
public participation. Since the solutions are interstate
and international, the public needs to be involved at
this level of decisionmaking. Frankly, we reject as
outdated the position of EPA's water quality  stan-
dards program.
   Historically, EPA has said that public participation
in the state review  process is adequate and that no
additional public participation  is  needed in  EPA's
oversight role. But the kind of regional problem-solv-
ing approach I have described leaves certain critical
decisions in EPA's hands. Only EPA can consider the
impact of one State's standards on interstate waters
in conjunction with the impact of  the existing  stan-
dards in another State. Only  EPA can  determine
whether interstate and international agreements are
being satisfied.
   The public demands and deserves to have its
voice heard in this  regional process. Sooner or later
the courts will require it. EPA could gain public con-
fidence and avoid  litigation  by recognizing the in-
evitable and opening up to the public its water quality
standards oversight process.
   Obviously, it won't be easy to implement all of the
concepts I've discussed. But these  ideas, these
themes, are part of our coherent vision for continued
improvements in the quality of our lakes and rivers
into the next century. You need not accept wholesale
the National Wildlife Federation's vision of the kind of
lakes and rivers we will leave to future generations.
But I challenge you, if you disagree with our vision, to
develop  a  competing vision. Free yourselves from

the conventional ways of doing business; ask what       We look forward to working with you to achieve
clean lakes and rivers mean to us; and articulate your     our mutual goals of the development of rigorous
dream of what they should be, can be, in the 21st     standards to protect our Nation's water.

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 11-13
                       A Historical Perspective

                                      William Eichbaum
                    Former Undersecretary, The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
                                      Boston, Massachusetts
I want to commend EPA for holding this first-ever na-
tional conference  on water quality standards. Cer-
tainly a number of us have been what you might call
water quality standards junkies for a long time. It's
nice to be part of a conference that is devoted to this
issue and to explore in great depth the many dimen-
sions that the water  quality standard issue presents
as we look at environmental management questions
in general.
   The title of this conference is important: we will be
looking to the 21 st century. This suggests a notion of
stability, a notion of constancy of approach in the use
of water quality standards in our overall water quality
programs for a period of more than a decade as we
look at the next century.  That is something that has
been missing. As  those of you who have worked in
this area for a long  time are well aware, there has
been a significant oscillation in the degree to which
the use of water quality standards is an acceptable
key element in achieving our goals. Hopefully, that
period is  coming to an end.
   I want to reflect on water quality history somewhat
because  I believe there are some very useful lessons
to learn from it. The first significant point is the period
from 1965 to 1972, when the Federal-State partner-
ship to achieve water quality was in many ways solely
based upon a  water quality standards  approach. It
was largely a voluntary system between the Federal
Government and State governments and relied on a
strong working relationship between a number of
professionals on  both levels who had been long
engaged in this area. It was a system that did not at-
tempt to  address  the terribly sophisticated or com-
plex problems we now face daily. Particularly from
the water quality  perspective,  it was a much more
traditional approach that dealt with what I would call
"conventional pollutants" such  as total suspended
solids, temperature, oil  and  grease, pH, and  dis-
solved oxygen.
   It is important to  remember that there are some
notable success stories involved with the implemen-
tation of that program. One is the restoration of dis-
solved oxygen  levels in the Delaware River, a body of
water that had been virtually poisoned by wastes and
was practically impassable to fish coming up from
the Delaware  Bay to  spawn. The cleanup of the
Thames was a restoration of dissolved oxygen levels.
The Rhine cleanup, at least in part, was again a res-
toration of  dissolved oxygen levels. Each  one of
those examples,  each of those achievements of a
water quality standard, has had a direct, beneficial
impact on the ability of living resources, in this case
the fish that migrate through those waters, to return
to an important habitat.
  As primitive as that program may have been, when
using water quality standards (particularly for dis-
solved oxygen), it did  produce positive  results.
Nonetheless, by the late sixties and early seventies
the overall  accomplishment  of State and Federal
Governments  in  implementing  that  system  and
producing protected water was found by both the
public and the professionals to have not really met
the total need. Earth Day and, following it, the great
concern evinced by the public about the conditions
of our environment-rivers  catching fire,  which
shocked everyone—helped to provide the impetus
for enactment of the 1972 amendments to the Clean
Water Act.
  Those 1972 amendments really had a multiple per-
sonality as  far as this issue is concerned. One per-
sonality was the technology approach, and another
was the continued acknowledgement that there were
State water quality standards and, if they should ever
produce a more stringent requirement than the tech-
nology approach, then that was to be implemented,
but this decision was largely left up to the States.
There  was  also the goal  of  achieving waters that
would  be fishable and swimmable.  And then there
was the final personality-that of the  ultimate con-
trol — no discharge. So there was this period of multi-
ple  emphases,  but the  bottom  line  was the
technology approach.
  Why did this technology approach  come into
favor, and why was the water quality standards ap-
proach rejected? There were probably three or four
problems with the water quality approach as it was
used in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It depended
upon a wasteload allocation scheme, which was
hard to enforce either equitably or in a way that had
scientific merit and therefore could be defended in a
regulatory or enforcement proceeding. A  second
criticism was that there didn't appear to be adequate
scientific data,  either in the hands of the agencies or
of the industries and municipalities that were the ob-

jects of this scheme, to make informed decisions.
There was also a sense that the enforcement tools
were not there even if the theory of the wasteload al-
location system would work and if there were enough
data. A strong permit and compliance system simply
was not in place to translate theory into enforceable
requirements for dischargers.
   When Congress placed prime emphasis  on the
technology approach in  1972,  it had a  relatively
simple concept. That was to find out what the best,
most practicable technology being used somewhere
in the country was and to make everybody use it.
Pretty straightforward-at least it would achieve an
incremental leap in treatment.
   I would make the following two points about the
experiences of the seventies and the early eighties in
implementing that approach. First, in a lot of cases,
for a long time we never knew (or at least couldn't
decide) what the  best  technology was. So  people
used another approach that is called "best engineer-
ing judgment." The engineers writing permits started
the analysis in many cases with the State's water
quality standards and tried, in some way, to  require
technologies to meet them. So even the technology
approach, as long as it worked  out of the best en-
gineering judgment  theories, was a water  quality
standard-derived system.
   Secondly, in many areas it was clearly understood
that the engineering  technology approach was not
adequate, and that,  given what was known about
water  quality  conditions, about  concentrations of
particular materials in the water and the effects those
materials might  be  having on  aquatic resources,
some effort had to be made to go beyond it. One ex-
ample of "going beyond" was the development of the
upper Chesapeake Bay phosphorus strategy during
the mid- to late 1970s,  where we took a look at the
dissolved oxygen problems in the Bay, tried to quan-
tify them in a fairly sophisticated way using then fairly
complex modeling  techniques,  and then derived
limitations  and control strategies for the sewage
treatment plants that were discharging to the Bay
and Susquehanna River. This process produced a
treatment requirement for many of those plants far in
excess of  the technology  of secondary treatment
mandated by the statute at that time,  particularly by
requiring phosphorus  removal. The point  is that,
even during this period of a technology-driven sys-
tem,  the scientific  standard that we wanted  to
achieve in terms of water quality drove many of our
most expensive and  our most adventuresome kinds
of control strategies  during the 1970s and the early
 1980s and really become a very important part of
what was happening  at  the State level.
  Nonetheless, there continued to be nationwide
concern that we  were  still not making  adequate
progress and that the technology approach wasn't
working. So, at least as represented in some of the
important sections of the 1987 Act, there was a return
to the notion of water quality standards, particularly
with respect to toxics, and also in section 319 dealing
with nonpoint sources. It is clear, as represented by
the interest in this conference, and because of dis-
cussions across the country that, on a broad basis,
there has been a reemergence of water quality stan-
dards as a tool to achieve our overall water quality
  As we embrace water quality standards anew, I
want to look back at what people thought was wrong
with the water quality system in the late 1960s and
the early 1970s. First, there was not adequate scien-
tific information to support what people wanted a
water quality standards system to  achieve.  In the
1980s, we need to be very careful when we look at
what we are trying to accomplish to make sure that
the science is adequate.  As we try  to  relate the
problems of wetlands, of toxics in sediments, of non-
point pollution, of eutrophication to  water quality
standards and to controls, we need to remember that
there still are serious scientific problems about the
development and use of these standards.
   Second, there is the question of wasteload alloca-
tion. Even if we can derive a water quality standard
relating to these  more esoteric  environmental
problems,  how do we  then translate that number
back into  proper  allocation of controls? When you
think about the problems of nonpoint sources, for ex-
ample, the waste allocation problems of today make
the problems of 1968 look like child's play. The prob-
lem of wasteload allocation remains as serious as it
was 20 years ago.
   Third, are the problems of enforcement and com-
pliance. Only five or so  States have even a rudimen-
tary system  of regulating agricultural discharges;
other States have cooperative systems. None has a
permit system. Look at  the problem of wetlands. We
have virtually no  particularly good  national system
for protecting and enforcing the protection of inland
wetlands.  Again, the tools for applying water quality
standards in these complex settings are probably as
rudimentary as the 1967-68 system.
   However, a major difference between today and
20 years ago is that then there wasn't much of a na-
tional commitment to make water quality standards
work. In the late sixties, this was an interesting area
for public health people to be concerned about, but it
was not on the public agenda. The public didn't care
about making that program work,  didn't make the

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 11-13
resources  available,  didn't provide  the  political
leadership  or the legislative tools for enforcement
and compliance. After the first Earth Day  in 1970,
however, public opinion changed dramatically. The
result was the 1972  Clean Water Act. What has
changed between 1968 and 1989  is that now there is
political will and public commitment.
   It is absolutely vital that we use standards to really
make an  incremental leap forward in achieving water
quality, and that we remember that public support for
the program will be the key to success. The public is
not only citizens who are technically uneducated but
concerned because there is something in their back-
yard but also the sophisticated staffs of environmen-
tal organizations and elected officials. The  under-
standing and the shared sense of  the value of this ef-
fort has  to  be built and maintained along all the
dimensions of that axis.
   So as not to squander renewed public  support,
the water  quality  standards program should be
based on good, understandable science. A process
that is unintelligible to all but the most sophisticated
will fail. We will lose the clarity and  simplicity and
coherence of our message and of our goal. We will
lose the public's confidence.
   Over the next few days,  think  about whether the
people back in your  community understand what
you are talking about. Remember the bottom line-
why are we doing this? The public asks some pretty
simple questions about water: Can I swim in it? Can I
eat the fish? Is the environment healthy? It  is  impor-
tant to clearly articulate a strategic approach that em-
bodies a set of standards and ultimately relates  to
some important aspect of public health or of protect-
ing the resource in a natural environment.
   In this regard I want to touch on the important role
of monitoring. The establishment of water  quality
standards can set an agenda by  which we  report to
the public about how we are doing. All too often,
however, these reports are  in a form that is unintel-
ligible and noninformative —in other words, they are
data, not information. We need to give the public in-
formation, and monitoring information has to be a
key part of that process. The public needs to be told
about the condition of our environment: why it is that
way, what is the trend, and what kind of progress we
are making.
   Another element is the role of the States, which is
critical in the water quality standards approach.  I
suggest that we need to be cautious as we design a
national program of water quality standards; it must
be responsive to and reflect the peculiarities of the
environment as it actually exists. A system of control
must be tailored to that peculiar and unique constel-
lation of hydrology,  land, natural resources, and
human effects. An overly rigid  national system will
make it impossible to apply standards effectively.
   Finally, a water quality standards program for the
future needs to develop a different approach than the
traditional linear leap from water quality standards to
wasteload allocation and then effluent limitations.
That may have worked for dissolved oxygen 20 years
ago; today we require  a more sophisticated effort.
Water quality standards should be seen as defining a
condition of the environment that is desired. Then the
causes for deterioration of the resource have to be
identified  and a  general strategy for corrections
   Using that strategy, one must examine all sources
in the entire system and, depending on the nature of
the particular source, tailor a variety of control ap-
proaches.  There are  technology  considerations,
economic considerations, and social  acceptability
conditions to be taken into account as well as relative
contributions of various sources of  pollutants. This
somewhat more strategic,  less  mechanistic ap-
proach  will serve us well,  particularly as we move
toward the 21st century. The time is now. Let's do a
little bit  of talking, and then let's do some hard work
for water quality standards.

                                           WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 15-16
      A Framework for Action:  Water Quality

            Standards Planning  for  1989-1995

                                      Martha Prothro
                          Director, Office of Water Regulations and Standards
                       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Our challenge at this conference is to come up with a
realistic agenda and program for water quality stan-
dards efforts over the next several years. We're not
going to be able to do everything that we'd like to do
- we may not even be able to do everything we think
we need to do. Much of the Water Quality Standards
program is choices, hard choices. I want to remind
you of that, and I'm going to suggest some questions
we need to ask as we go through the agenda.
  First, I want to let you know who is attending this
conference. There are 33 States represented, 17 in-
dustrial representatives, 5 Federal agencies (exclud-
ing EPA), 7 national environmental groups, 9 of EPA's
regional offices,  several  laboratories,  and repre-
sentatives from Indian tribes, cities, trade associa-
tions, and various EPA program offices outside of
Water Regulations and Standards. There are enfor-
cement and permit representatives, marine and es-
tuarine  protection   people,  and  the wetlands
protection people. I am very gratified by the turnout
at this conference; it's thrilling. It  is also a  little
  My experience with the water quality program has
been primarily as a consumer of water quality stan-
dards because I came from NPDES permit program
and standards were one of the tools used to produce
permits. Standards were very important to us,  and
we thought we knew exactly what the standards pro-
gram should be doing to serve our program. When I
moved over to the Office of Water Regulations and
Standards, I found that I was not the only one who
was telling the standards people what they should be
doing. Now I was hearing from all of you about what
you wanted and also from the Superfund Office, who
wanted us to do something about sediment con-
tamination. I was also hearing from Congress about
things that it wanted us to be doing. It seems we have
quite a few constituencies to satisfy in our program.
  At the Federal Executive Institute they teach that
the mark of the successful Federal executive is the
ability to at least minimally satisfy all of his or her criti-
cal constituencies. I don't know if EPA can do that or
not in this program. It sounds nearly impossible but,
looking back,  that's  probably what people were
saying 15 or 20 years ago: "How are we going to get
50  States to  develop  water quality  standards
programs?  It's impossible!" Maybe we've been
lucky—or maybe we have just worked really hard. I
suspect that luck plays more of a role than we usually
want to recognize.
  EPA has focused this conference around the Draft
Framework for the  Water Quality Standards Pro-
gram. We're not trying to sell this document; we're
not trying to say this is  the way to go; we're  just
saying we need something to  set our agenda  and
help us recognize what the  tradeoffs are. Because
this is a very ambitious document, we are continually
trying to look at what the resource investment might
be,  not only for EPA but for States and others  that
want to be involved in these efforts.  We don't have
our numbers refined, but it looks like we have twice
as much work in this agenda as we can possibly ac-
complish with our  current resource levels. This
means that we must get more precise about what we
are going to do and decide what it is we are not going
to do, or what we will have to defer to the future.
  I sent copies of the Framework to States, regional
offices,  and many  environmental groups.  EPA's
original hope was to have completed this document
by the end of this fiscal year;  now maybe I will send it
out again  for comment  because I've been disap-
pointed in the response so far. We've received only
17 comment letters: 13 from  States, 3 from  EPA
regional offices, and 1 from the  North American Lake
Management Society.
  The most prevalent State comment received thus
far was that the Framework should not inhibit State
flexibility in the Water Quality  Standards Program.
This comment is a general summary of many specific
issues that indicate  most States' concern that  EPA
might require more commitment  to the standards
program by States than they (the States) really want
to give at this point. EPA needs to know what the
States' reservations are, what your problems are. Is it
lack of State resources or concern about economic
impact on dischargers, or is it the lack of science in
some areas? We need to get more precise about
basic concerns.

  A couple of comments stressed the need for EPA
to distinguish  clearly between statutory require-
ments, regulatory requirements, and guidance or
policy. Let's not forget as we're talking about a long-
term plan that the Clean Water Act is coming up for
reauthorization again in 1992.  It is  very likely that
some of the decisions we make during this con-
ference could be reflected in future amendments. We
need  to think  about what is a good idea just as
seriously as we think about what is  required by the
law because these concepts could easily become re-
  We had several suggestions about adding lakes to
the documents. There are a number of people at this
conference who  are experts in lake management,
and I think they can help us devise ways to put in
some special considerations for lakes. A number of
States recommended that EPA give even  higher
priority to marine, estuarine, and wetlands activities.
   EPA would like to get into the particulars: exactly
what  is it that needs to be done; is it achievable; to
what  extent  can the people  who are in those
programs support our efforts in these areas; how
much of the work is going to be  in the standards pro-
gram? EPA has received suggestions and questions
about some very specific activities by Indian tribes.
What should EPA and the States do to assist Indian
tribes, and what do the Indian tribes need and want
from EPA?
   We had a comment from one State that the Great
Lakes Water Quality Agreement should be reflected
in the Framework. There were suggestions that EPA
needs to  put together more specific guidance ac-
tivities in the areas of antidegradation, toxic criteria,
human  health criteria, sediment criteria, and the
widespread social and economic impacts that result
from  water quality standards advances. Most of the
comments on antidegradation suggested that this is
primarily an implementation and not a standards
issue. Let me know what you think about that — it
may be a bit of both, we need to work that through.
  Two States recommended that we drop the link
between section  304(1) and standards  reviews.
Through our management systems, EPA has tried to
link up  the  identification of  problem waterbodies
under section 304(1) of the statute to the identification
of  waterbodies  needing  additional  standards
development. However, that is just one of the criteria
that we will be using to identify waterbodies that need
more standards work. We may already put too much
emphasis on 304(1) and should supplement it with
greater emphasis on other criteria.
  Three States thought the dates were unrealistic. I
think I agree but obviously  was gratified that only
three reported this opinion.  (Maybe some States
shared but failed to express that concern.) A number
of States suggested that EPA should do the resource
analysis; they did not indicate that they knew where
we would end up once we had done it, however.
  A couple of comments indicated that some States
think that EPA has a lot of unfinished business and
may be a little premature in setting an agenda for the
future. From my  point of view,  it is important to
prepare for the next round, for us to get the science
and the guidance going, and to decide what will be
the next initiatives.  I  planned to go through  the
Framework in detail and suggest some questions we
can ask ourselves. But I think you can look at it your-
selves, go through it and decide what your questions
   I hope we will try to keep our eyes firmly on the fu-
ture of  the program and the business of the con-
ference. This  is not  just a chance for us to  get
acquainted and feel reinvigorated — we really have
some work to do. Somebody once said that even the
best plans eventually degenerate into real work. Well,
that is why we are here.

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  Q.  How do we bring the zero discharge philos-
ophy and the technology-based  principles  of the
Clean Water Act back into  the water quality stan-
dards-based approach?
  A. (Prothro) We have not abandoned the technol-
ogy-based  approach; in fact we are identifying in-
dustries to address in a new round  of effluent
guidelines development. We hope to complete our
plan this year and publish it along with work in the
water quality standards area. The most important
technology-based work remaining is dealing with in-
direct dischargers. In the future, water quality stan-
dards will  provide  controls for  regulating  direct
discharges. Publicly owned treatment works that im-
plement pretreatment programs need technological
guidance to help them deal with industrial discharg-
es.  (Hamner) The phrase "technology-based" was
used very specifically when Congress promulgated
effluent guidelines in the Water Quality Act. There are
significant limitations to the water  quality-based and
technology-based approaches; therefore, you need
both methods. You  can use technology-based ap-
proaches in the broader term, not as effluent limita-
tions  but  (for  example)  as  best  management
practices or for low-input agriculture.
  We will be introducing just such a creative mixture
between science and  technology as part  of the
standards program and overall program. We cannot
effectively relate specific best management practices
to a nonpoint source as we did for point sources or
derive effluent sources limitations for best manage-
ment practices. The relationship between standards
and nonpoint source best management practices will
not be similar to the relationship between continuous
discharges and present-day standards. Continuous
discharges are no longer the problem we should  be
focusing  major  attention  on. We will lose the
resource if we don't focus broadly on land manage-
ment practices, on agricultural practices, and a wide
variety of other things. But no matter what we do, the
technology people will  want to know what they are
getting for their money, and the answer is provided
through the  standards program.  We  must define
terms for technological programs and outline water
quality goals.
  We must have a vision of healthy environment.  To
achieve it, we must use the standards program to
take that goal and translate it into technical terms that
will move programs. This program is a unique oppor-
tunity. There  is no other way to  communicate be-
tween the vision and regulation of nonpoint and point
  I'm going to assume that our purpose here is to
focus on all those goals for the 21 st century. Between
now and the next three years we will be working on a
huge agenda, and the fact that this conference con-
centrates on the future should not demean the impor-
tance  of  the present—in  fact,  it  is  supremely

  C. I find the list of criteria ridiculously small; essen-
tially anything can be toxic if it is present in high
enough quantities. EPA is recognizing that particular
issue and stepping up scientific evaluations, espe-
cially the water quality  advisories. However, if you
base a judgment on less information, then uncertain-
ty gets greater and therefore safety margins grow
larger  and  larger. If  everything  is  working  ap-
propriately, a minimal water quality advisory will have
a much  lower number than if this  material were
elevated to a water quality criterion. This then gets
you into direct conflict if, at the State level, you con-
vert an advisory that is conservatively based to a
standard and later on decide, on a scientific basis,
that you were appropriately overly conservative ear-
  Now we're running into the antibacksliding and
antidegradation statutes. As we try to add materials
that should be controlled, we also should consider
how statutes can contradict themselves internally
(and get us into a hold position) and decide if it is cor-
rect to go only with advisories and forget about any
other criteria.

  C. It is important to keep sight of the substance of
our goals and to let States know what is a regulation
or a guidance.

   C. As we focus inward at the water quality pro-
gram we can also focus outward at other programs
that provide the context for pollution reduction. We
should consider ways to maximize these very en-
dangered dollars we're spending on pollution con-

   Q. Our biggest concern is manpower and resour-
ces; which should take priority?
   A. (Hanmer) Where did anybody ever decide that
clean water was free? We inherited it for nothing, but
we have really done a grand job of messing it up-
keeping this resource from being messed up beyond
the point of any kind of recovery takes  people and
money. Clearly the Federal Government has got  to
make an investment in water pollution control.

                                            WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 19-20
                  Nonpoint Sources and Water
                             Quality  Standards
                                  John Clausen (Moderator)
                        Research Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources
                        Aiken Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
Applying water quality standards to nonpoint source
problems in the 21st century offers several challen-
ges. There are several  differences between point
source pollution and nonpoint source pollution that
influence how and which water quality standards can
be applied to a particular waterbody. The parameters
associated with nonpoint source pollution are dif-
ferent from those used for point source pollution. For
example, nutrients from diffuse sources (rather than
biochemical oxygen demand) are of utmost impor-
tance for preventing eutrophication. A second major
difference influencing standards is the variation in
flow. Point sources typically flow at a fairly constant
and uniform rate. The reverse is true for nonpoint
sources where the  flow rate is highly variable and
standards violations may  occur only during brief
   Sampling to assess compliance with criteria is dif-
ferent between the two sources, it is relatively easy to
set up a sampling station at a pipe, but to establish
sampling stations along a stream that is receiving
nonpoint sources along its entire length presents a
different problem. The water quality response we
might expect from land use controls also is different
between sources. When treatment is applied to a
point source, such as a treatment plant upgrade, the
response  is almost  immediate following a shake-
down period. The water quality response to control-
ling diffuse nonpoint sources may take several years.
The ease  of monitoring point sources differs from
nonpoint sources; it is usually quite easy to sample
pipes, but sampling streams, especially in the winter-
time, can be difficult. The response to flow is different
for point sources and nonpoint sources; point source
pollutants are diluted  by high  flow in-streams,
whereas  nonpoint source contaminants are con-
centrated during stormflow.
   Finally,  in-stream effects from point sources are
different from nonpoint sources. For example, below
the discharge of a point source in a stream there will
be a mixing zone, whereas for nonpoint sources the
entire stream functions as the mixing zone.
   In Vermont, we are attempting to determine the
water quality that can be achieved by using agricul-
tural best  management practices (BMPs).  Larsen
identified the water quality attainable in Ohio in cer-
tain  ecoregions.  My  objective  is to determine
whether we can achieve attainable water quality.
   Point and Nonpoint Monitoring
                in Vermont

We have been monitoring both point and nonpoint
sources in the St. Albans Bay Watershed, a Rural
Clean Water Program project, and in the LaPlatte
River Watershed, a PL-566  land treatment project.
This monitoring has allowed  us to evaluate water
quality standard violations. Sampling of Jewett Brook
in the St. Albans Bay Watershed indicates that we are
violating the  dissolved oxygen  standard  in  that
stream between 30 and 40 percent of the time. There
are 16 farms in this watershed, which is in 88 percent
agricultural land use. Fifteen farms have signed con-
tracts with the Soil Conservation Service and are in-
stalling  BMPs. The fecal coliform  standard of 200
organisms per 100 mLs is  being  exceeded about
three-quarters of the time.  Recently, the coliform
violations have been  declining. We used a phos-
phorus criterion of 0.05 mg/L to relate to eutrophica-
tion  problems. In Jewett Brook, this criterion  was
violated  100 percent of the time. Generally, we  have
not achieved water quality standards in Jewett Brook
during the first eight years of implementing BMPs.
  To assess downstream impacts,  we modeled 138
lakes in Vermont and determined what percent would
shift trophic class from mesotrophic to  eutrophic
given the loadings from  our monitored watersheds.
Almost 100 percent of those lakes would shift trophic
class. A loading from forests as reported by Omernik

would cause 2 percent  of Vermont's mesotrophic
lakes to become eutrophic.
  We also have monitored individual best manage-
ment  practices  in  our  watersheds   including
vegetated filter strips for treating milkhouse waste
and  barnyard runoff as well as the proper land ap-
plication of animal wastes. The milkhouse filter strip
was  very  effective in  improving water quality and
reduced  concentrations and  mass  of  milkhouse
wastes by over 90 percent. However, the water leav-
ing that filter strip would  still not be highly polished.
We researched the percent of Vermont  lakes that
would switch from mesotrophic to eutrophic based
on these various best  management practices. Milk-
house waste treatment could reduce the  percent of
lakes becoming eutrophic from 41 percent to 1 per-
cent. Runoff from the barnyard filter strip would still
adversely influence 12 percent of Vermont's lakes.
   An eutrophication indicator for streams in Ver-
mont has been 20 micrograms per litre,  which has
been reported as a threshold for periphyton growth.
We modeled Vermont streams to determine the per-
cent of streams that would exceed that 20 micro-
grams per liter criteria where perphyton would likely
grow. Following barnyard treatment,  over half  the
streams  in Vermont should still  show periphyton
   Biological monitoring has been used to determine
changes in stream biocommunities as BMPs are im-
plemented over a 10-year period. When results from
1982 were compared to 1986, biomass and the num-
ber of taxa of invertebrates and periphyton declined
in the streams. However, we could not relate these
changes to  water quality. Based on  bioindicators,
water quality was deteriorating in those streams, but
the chemistry did not support these changes. Our ex-
perience suggests that water chemistry does not re-
late  well to  the common  bioindicators,  at least in
Vermont's agricultural  setting.
     Nonpoint Source Standards

There are three  potential approaches to applying
standards to nonpoint source pollutants. The first in-
cludes chemical-specific standards — the traditional
method  applied to point sources. The second ap-
proach is through the use of performance standards,
such as requiring best management practices. The
third approach could  be  termed discharge  stan-
dards,  which  are not that  much  different  from
NPDES. This third approach could be applied to non-
point sources by establishing loading functions for
different nonpoint source emissions.
   Perhaps these approaches should be  combined
and  applied  to  different  sources.  The  standard
should  be  matched with  the particular  nonpoint
source problem.  For example, in agricultural areas,
water quality standards, discharge standards, and
performance standards could work well  to protect
against  impairment from eutrophication.  Biological
indicators may not work as well  in this  situation.
Biological indicators may be more appropriate for
agriculturally  related  toxics  problems.   For  lake
eutrophication problems, either biological or chemi-
cal approaches will work since they are highly re-
   In conclusion, there are several new approaches
that must be evaluated when  considering the ap-
plication of water  quality standards  to  nonpoint
source  water quality impairment. Assuming  water
quality standards are  used,  for nonpoint sources,
there will be difficulty in locating any violators. Perfor-
mance standards that might be applied to every field
would facilitate compliance monitoring.

                                            WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 21-23
         Nonpoint  Sources  and Water  Quality

            Standards:   The Oregon  Situation
                                       John E. Jackson
                  Water Resources Manager, Unified Sewerage Agency, Hillsboro, Oregon
Today I  bring you a different perspective in water
quality protection: a view of water quality standards
from the regulated community. After serving many
years as a regulator for water quality protection in
Oregon's Department  of  Environmental  Quality's
(DEQ) nonpoint source group, I have recently shifted
over to the other side and am now working for the
Unified Sewerage Agency, an organization regulated
by the same water quality standards that I once was
charged to enforce. Up to this point, the agency has
had to deal with the water quality standards as a
point source discharger; soon it will have to deal with
those same standards as a regional authority for
managing urban runoff.
   I worked with the agricultural and forest industries
for almost 14 years  while at the DEQ. During this
time, I always believed that a person in a regulatory
capacity should walk at least 10 miles in an industry's
shoes before trying to lay the sometimes heavy hand
of regulation on it. Believe me, it gives you an entirely
different perspective on how to go about providing
for water quality protection.  I am even more con-
vinced that I was right because I now have to wear
those shoes all the time as part of the regulated com-
   Don't get me wrong, I am not saying roll over and
play dead because you might put an industry out of
business. Rather, your having walked in their shoes
gives you a better understanding of what the industry
faces in trying to meet the standards you put in place.
It gives you ways of working with the industry to meet
your needs and, at the same time, allows the industry
to feel that it is being dealt with fairly.
   As a regulator, I was repeatedly striving for practi-
cal,  pragmatic,  realistic approaches  to protecting
water quality.  What I found in the process was that
Oregon's current water quality standards don't work
well  in dealing with  nonpoint sources of pollution.
Now that I  am  working to set  up a water quality
protection program for an urban area, I find  myself
becoming  equally frustrated by those same stan-
dards. They don't give me the goals that I need.
   Oh yes, I have some numbers to meet. I have to
meet coldwater fish temperatures in the summer for a
stream  that  has  historically been a warmwater
fishery. I have numbers for total phosphorus load al-
locations and total maximum daily loads to meet that
people are still arguing over as to the appropriate-
ness of the level when the natural  condition is ap-
proximately the same level.
  The objective of this presentation is to discuss
Oregon's water quality standards and their effective-
ness in the nonpoint source arena. I will discuss them
from the perspective of one who  is charged with
meeting those standards, but first  I must describe
three basic premises by which I operate.

• Premise 1: Water quality standards have to be
achieved in the field, not on paper. Standards are set
to protect beneficial uses of water. If the natural river
system could not provide the desired water quality
before humans arrived, then the standards become a
paper exercise in futility if set too strict. This dis-
credits the agency establishing them, thus setting up
an adversarial atmosphere for any negotiations that
take place. The same is true for cleaning up a river
system once it is out of compliance. If the cost to
clean up a river to current standards that a limited
number of people want is extreme, then society must
tell me if it is worth the expense.

• Premise 2: Water quality standards must be re-
lated to what you are trying to protect in a particular
waterbody. A numeric standard that says fish can't
live above a certain temperature is not credible if fish
are found thriving in deep, cool pools when the rest
of the stream is 10 to 20°F over the standard.

•  Premise 3: Give the resource manager realistic
goals (water  quality standards) that  relate to the
beneficial use, the  character of the stream, and the
character of the nonpoint source runoff. Foresters
need sediment standards, not turbidity standards.
Foresters and resource managers know that turbidity
comprised of very small, particle-sized material may
have no effect on  biological organisms other than
humans and their desire for sparkling, crystal-clear
water.  But give  foresters a cobble imbeddedness
standard that they must meet, then they can relate. If
the research community could give us percent fines
criteria in spawning gravels in real streams  rather
than laboratory streams, then we  could approach
what is needed for the fish to live and for the forester
to manage.

 Oregon's Water Quality Standards
     Capabilities in Dealing With
           Nonpoint Sources

Oregon's standards were written in  an era when
point source control was the total focus. Oregon has
numeric and narrative standards intended to protect
the beneficial uses of water and address the needs of
the consumptive users of water, the in-stream needs
of biological organisms, and the aesthetics needs of
people. They have performed well in the point source
arena as evidenced by the Willamette River cleanup.
   However, the standards and their applicability
have  not worked  well when dealing with nonpoint
sources. They have been misinterpreted as to their
application. A Federal judge ruling on a timber sale in
northeastern Oregon found that the standards did
not apply to  nonpoint sources, that applying best
management practices was all that was necessary. It
was his interpretation that the standards applied to
point  sources.  The ruling  was later amended to
recognize the standards after an appeal was upheld.
There are also those in industry who believe that the
current water quality standards do not apply to non-
point  sources for the same reason.
   Nonpoint sources also cause temporary changes
in water quality.  The discharge that comes and  goes
along with the rain, for instance. Oregon's turbidity
standard allows for a temporary disturbance from an
in-stream activity such as construction. However, the
standards do not  define  "temporary" for uses when
controlling  nonpoint sources. Industry says the in-
creased  temperature from removing  streamside
vegetation will last only one season for a stretch of
river.  But next year and  the year after industry will
remove vegetation again along other stretches of the
same river.  Now the stream  has  had  warmer
temperatures for two or  more years.  Best manage-
ment practices  were applied in each case to  allow
small incremental  increases within the standard, but
the cumulative effect of separate land management
actions now has become a serious problem for the
 stream and the organisms that need colder water.
      BMPs as Technology-Based
 Industry has thought for years that all it had to do to
 comply with  the  Clean Water  Act was implement
 BMPs. In addition, if a particular BMP was needed to
 correct or prevent a problem and was too expensive,
 industry didn't have to install the BMP This, in effect,
 was a loophole for it to squeeze through. Oregon's
standards first require industry to apply best avail-
able control technology (the BMP) and then comply
with the water quality standards. Why then the prob-
lem in interpretation and the resultant continued
degradation of water quality from nonpoint sources?
   First, we must recognize the nature of nonpoint
sources and what happens to a stream and its benefi-
cial uses when nonpoint sources are operating. By
nature the nonpoint discharge is usually diffuse; it
usually doesn't  produce  the same gross,  rapid
change in water quality as  a point source.  The
change is subtle over time or over some length along
the stream. These subtle minute shifts in quality may
cause a large change in aquatic organisms. An ex-
tended period of warmer water will allow undesirable
fish to compete with the desired game fish,  thus
changing the character of the  overall fish population
in a stream. It also may cause a shift  in food or-
ganisms,  thereby  putting further  strain  on  the
desirable fish populations.
   A technology-based standard works well for the
gross problems. You will see  improvement in water
quality when the first BMP is applied. However, a
technology-based approach tends to lull people into
thinking that just to install the BMP is sufficient. Not
so! Subtle cumulative effects can play a major role in
changing a stream's use. A judge in the 9th Circuit
Court, San Francisco, reminded all of us that BMPs
are just a tool to meet water  quality standards. We
must still actually meet the water quality standards-
the bottom line.
      The Need for Improvement

As we look at the current water quality standards and
try to make them work for us when dealing with non-
point sources, we must keep in mind the kind of
standard (numeric or narrative and chemical, physi-
cal,  or biological) that the beneficial use of water
needs. By their nature, most consumptive water
users need numeric physical or chemical standards,
and in-stream water users need numeric or narrative
standards based on the biological needs of the use.
Narrative standards leave lots of room for interpreta-
tion, so we must strive for the more objective numeric
standard for the in-stream use. People are comfort-
able using numbers to describe the desired quality of
the water. Why don't we develop numeric standards
that describe the desired  quality of the in-stream
   Foresters know that past logging can create a
temperature problem in a stream. But, at the  same
time, they see fish in the stream that shouldn't be
there according to the temperature standard and the

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 21-23
philosophy behind the standard. In this case, the
standard should be changed to better reflect reality. If
the goal is to protect the fish, why not have a numeric
standard that  describes  the desired  level of fish
population for that stream? If the forester is a good
manager of the forest and associated resources, like
water quality  and fish, this  person  will  also  be
monitoring the population of fish. When the forester
sees the population starting to decline,  he or she
could modify the BMPs to stop the decline if there
was a standard that stated "Allow  no  more than a
median  10 percent reduction from baseline popula-
tions in  returning spawning adults." In  this  way, the
manager can  focus on  the  fish  population  (the
beneficial use in this case), rather than on a physical
parameter than  may  not accurately describe the
desired  condition of the fish population because of
the variations in stream character.
   Monitoring of nonpoint source impacts needs to
be improved  in  Oregon.  Most  land  resource
managers know how well they implement BMPs, but
they don't know how well those BMPs are protecting
water quality. This problem stems from the BMP tech-
nology-based focus over the years.  It is also a result
of not letting the manager know what kind of water
quality  is  needed in the face of temporary distur-
bances  and unrelatable standards, as I  discussed
   Water quality  monitoring  is  a must for  land
managers.  How else  do they know how  well the
BMPs are working? Land managers need to do the
monitoring with  an  occasional check from the
regulatory agency. If the standards  become percent
reductions from the baseline condition, then the ini-
tial baseline condition must be set by a cooperative
sampling  effort  of the  land  manager  and  the
regulatory agency. Without the cooperative spirit
here, suspicion of the other side's motive in setting a
certain level of baseline condition will play a large
role in making this approach fail.
   In conclusion, I want to put in a strong pitch for the
development of  biocriteria. Some of the existing
water quality standards will continue to work to
protect consumptive uses from point and nonpoint
sources,  but in-stream uses of water severely lack
criteria from which to develop standards. Cumulative
effects on the uses will always be there and now must
be dealt with within  the standard. The standard
should be expressed as a description of the desired
quality of the use for that waterbody. Doing so will
return our focus to the required water quality-based
   But why two to four years to finalize the criteria as
suggested  in the  Draft Framework for  the Water
Quality Standards  Program? We have been talking
about these criteria for years, why must we wait? Re-
search has been  done on the critical  factors of
habitat for the organisms in streams. The States' non-
point source management planners need the criteria
now as   they   begin  implementation.  Resource
managers like me are  asking what goal must be at-
tained to  maintain a use in a stream. Is it 90 percent of
the baseline population? Or is it a temperature stan-
dard that, when exceeded, doesn't seem to kill fish?
   Let's bite the bullet,  take the pain, and get on with
the development  and publishing  of the criteria.
Speaking as a resource manager  who now has to
abide by the criteria you develop, just make sure that
you bite the right end of the bullet! Your credibility
and success in the field are at stake.

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 25-36
            Organization  and  Management of

                   Environmental  Data  Sets:

                  The  Ecoregional  Perspective
                                    Spencer A. Peterson
                        Regional Scientist, Office of Research and Development
                   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region X, Seattle, Washington
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 and
its 1977 and 1987 amendments state clearly that the
intended purpose of the Act is to restore and main-
tain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of
the Nation's waters. This sounds straightforward, but
in the case of nonpoint sources of pollution both the
degree of restoration and the method of determining
that degree have been disputed.
   Generally, the effects of nonpoint source  pol-
lutants are more subtle than point sources, recovery
rates resulting from mitigations are not always ob-
vious, and  the levels of recovery are less easily
defined. To what level should degraded  systems be
restored — to their presettlement state? Should we
maintain degraded  systems? Hopefully not in the
deplorable state of waterbodies like the Cuyahoga
River, which used to catch fire periodically.
   The chemical integrity of water is not  easy to
determine without  a good spatial and temporal
monitoring  scheme.  There  has been considerable
discussion over what that should consist of and what
variables should be measured to assure proper as-
sessment of water quality integrity. Another terminol-
ogy enigma of the Clean Water Act is biological
integrity. This term means  many different things to
different people; not even a small group of biologists
can agree on it.
   Given these problems and uncertainties, can we
assess the status and trends of the Nation's waters
relative to nonpoint  sources of pollutants? Is it a
hopeless task? I think not. However, it will require a
different perspective, including a  combination of
scientific  logic,  common  sense,  and,  above all,
flexibility in our thinking. The latter is not inconsistent
with the concept of water quality standards. Rather, it
means the standards must be developed in light of
environmental reality or relevancy.  Water quality of
any  region will be determined primarily by the ter-
restrial setting  of  the region per se and  by
anthropogenic activities in the area. Therefore, in my
opinion, a fixed numeric standard applied uniformly
across a broadly diverse landscape is unjust, un-
reasonable, and technically indefensible. A method
of organizing integrated environmental similarities
and anthropogenic effects into their natural spatial
units based on biogeoclimatic similarities will permit
us to better interpret water quality standards in light
of environmental reality.
   Organization of nature based  on biogeoclimatic
similarities and differences is not  new. Any basic
ecology text (Smith,  1966) will show the  major
biomes of North America (Fig. 1). However, today we
have few areas remaining where nature alone deter-
mines the units of temporal and spatial extent of
recognizable  community  structure,  and  major
biomes are units too large for water quality manage-
ment purposes. Human activities have altered and, in
some instances, completely replaced natural com-
munity  identities. Since prairie will never again
replace agricultural fields and cities, one of the major
concerns of water quality managers is to determine
what constitutes reasonable water  quality goals for
an area  given its natural biogeoclimatic setting and
its intended use. How can these areas be defined?
One way to define these areas is to integrate natural
landscape features such as climate, soils, vegeta-
tion, and physiography with land use according to
Omernik (1987). This approach  hypothesizes that
ecosystems and their components display regional
patterns that are reflected in spatially variable com-
binations of causal and integrative factors. From this
approach emerges a natural ordering of areas or
ecoregions based on their causal factor similarities.
Basically, the approach says that  while  charac-
teristics may overlap from ecoregion to ecoregion,
more similarity exists within any given ecoregion
than across ecoregions.
   Omernik's ecoregions are established  in four
phases.  The  first  evaluates  mapped variables
(climate, geology, soil, potential natural vegetation,

 |  | Tundra

     I Coniferous forest

     Aspen parkland
       Coniferous forest —
       grassland ecotone

     Coniferous — northern hardwoods
       (deciduous — conifeious ecotone)
  t-I-d Deciduous forest
  [vff;j Southern pine
       (deciduous Ijiome)
 cool desert



Tropical forest
Figure 1.—Major biomes of North America (figure from Ecology and Field Biology by Robert Leo Smith, ©1966,1974. Reprinted by
permission of Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.).
general land form, and land uses) for patterns. The
second phase delineates regional boundaries such
that each region is relatively homogeneous in terms
of the different  variables (Fig. 2).  The third  phase
compares within ecoregion and across  ecoregion
variances by statewide field studies or analyses of
large historical  data  sets. The fourth phase  estab-
lishes reference or  background conditions by as-
sessing variables at a series of minimally impacted
regional reference sites. These reference sites lack
point source or notable  nonpoint  source pollution
and exemplify the ecoregion's least disturbed  condi-
tions given a human presence. Although these refer-
ence sites rarely can  be considered  pristine, they do
represent the highest quality conditions in the region.
Thus,  they  are intended  to represent  the best
                   reasonably attainable water quality for the ecoregion.
                   They thereby provide not only an  environmentally
                   realistic spatial framework within  which to evaluate
                   data but also water quality  goals toward which to
                           Standards Modification

                   The 1983 revised water quality regulation (U.S. En-
                   viron. Prot. Agency, 1983) recognizes environmental
                   variability across landscapes and allows States to
                   adjust their standards to that variability if they choose
                   to do so. The basic requirement (more or less) for im-
                   plementing these adjustments is a reliable means of
                   delineating  the environmental  boundaries of vari-

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 25-36
»   OCO-DC««~C.«
1  «?£l§'ilsll1
                                                                  2, c -" ^ L -t
                                                                  £ J5 E 5 « > j
                                                          3=«2 O«OfllQ-3cOi
                                                                                       . EC :
                                                                                       4> £
Figure 2.—Ecoregions of the United States (Omernik, 1987).

ability. Are Omernik ecoregions adequate for this pur-
pose? That question, with some variations, has been
addressed in studies done in Minnesota, Arkansas,
Ohio, and Oregon.
             Case Examples

•  Minnesota. Moyle (1956) recognized that distinct
regional  patterns in  lake  productivity occurred
across Minnesota.  He  associated  these  patterns
generally  with  variations in geology,  vegetation,
hydrology, and  land use, and his observations have
helped guide fisheries and wildlife management in
Minnesota. More recently,  a reassessment of this
concept, using Omernik ecoregions, was conducted
by Heiskary (1985) with data from more than 1,000
lakes (Fig. 3).  The  study  confirmed that distinct
regional similarities in lake water quality can be better
understood and interpreted when the data are or-
ganized according to ecoregions. For example, a
quantitative analysis of lake water quality patterns by
ecoregion revealed  major  regional  differences in
median  epilimnetic  phosphorus  concentrations
Gable 1).
Figure 3.—Distribution of mean total phosphorus concentra-
tions by ecoregion in Minnesota (from Heiskary, 1985).

   Graphic depiction of the median total phosphorus
concentration  by  ecoregion  provides  additional
perspective on the ecoregional water quality differ-
ences in Minnesota (Fig. 4). Bar widths in the figure
provide a relative sense of the number of lakes in-
cluded in the analysis.
   Table 1.—Median total phosphorus concentration for
   lakes in four Minnesota ecoregions (Modified from
   Heiskary, et al. 1987).	
                         MEDIAN TP     NUMBER OF
                           CONC.     LAKES SAMPLED
Northern Lakes and Forests
North Central Hardwood
Western Corn Belt Plains
Northern Glaciated Plains


    Heiskary, Wilson, and Larsen (1987) drew the fol-
 lowing conclusions from the Minnesota Lakes Study:
    • Aquatic ecoregions can be used effectively to
      identify patterns in lake nutrient status and
      associated characteristics.
    • Aquatic ecoregions can be used to develop
      strategies for water quality management of
      lakes on a regional basis, i.e., protection,
      restoration, and nutrient level goals.
    • No single phosphorus level should be used for
      setting in-lake nutrient standards where
      regional characteristics vary considerably.






            NLF       CHF     WCP   NGP

  Figure 4.—Box plots of Minnesota lakes' total phosphorus
  concentration by ecoregion (from Heiskary et al. 1987).

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 25-36
   • Standards or criteria by ecoregions might be a
     viable management approach.
An excellent report on the Minnesota Lakes Study by
Heiskary and Wilson in 1988 describes  in detail a
proposed method for  deriving ecoregion specific
phosphorus criteria for lakes.

•  Arkansas. The purpose of the Arkansas study was
to evaluate the efficacy of a  regional stream clas-
sification system based on the premise that streams
reflect the character of the lands they flow over and
through (Rohm et al. 1987). Since terrestrial features
that form  the  basis  for  natural differences  or
similarities in streams tend to be spatially associated,
the  landscape  can  be  divided  into geographic
regions of similar character with  respect to chosen
terrestrial  features.  These  geographic  regions
(ecoregions) of similar character can then  be used as
classification   units  for the streams.   If  these
ecoregions successfully integrate major spatial vari-
ables that determine  stream water quality,  then
limited   representative   sampling   (statistically
designed stratified sampling)  in these areas should
permit more  general extrapolation of site-specific
sampling across the ecoregions.
   The Arkansas study was conducted using Omer-
nik ecoregion  classification  units for the  State (Fig.
5). Basic stream water quality of each ecoregion was
identified by assessing least disturbed stream seg-
ments according to Hughes (1985) and Hughes, Lar-
sen and Omernik (1986). The approach was to collect
and analyze data from several relatively unimpacted
streams within each ecoregion and assess how well
that data   reflected   presumed  differences   of
ecoregions based on the criteria that went into their
   Specific objectives of this study were to evaluate
how well the  ecoregion classification predicted dif-
ferences among the streams as characterized by fish
assemblages, 13 physical  habitat variables, and 12
water chemistry variables. The second objective was
to determine whether the pattern of differences was
relatively similar for all three types of data. Confirma-
tion of this objective would indicate  that the clas-
sification  system  was  addressing fundamental
differences in streams.
   Candidate watersheds ranged from 35 to 500 km2.
Stream sizes were from the smallest with permanent
flow to the largest that were not influenced by more
than one ecoregion.  Two to  five  streams were
sampled in each ecoregion and all ecoregions ex-
cept the South Central Plains were sampled during
more than one year (Fig. 5). Fish sampling was ac-
complished in 100 m stream stretches by using block
nets downstream and  applying rotenone upstream.
Electroshockers were used where rotenone use was
undesirable. Work hours per site ranged from 12 to
24 hours.
                                                                        Mississippi Floodplain
                                                                        South Central Plains
                                                                        Arkansas Valley
                                                                        Ouachita Mountains
                                                                        Boston Mountains
                                                                        Ozark Highlands

                                                                        o 1983 watersheds
                                                                        • 1984 watersheds
                                                                        D 1985 watersheds
                                                                        - censused with electrofisher
 Figure 5.—Six Omernik aquatic ecoregions in Arkansas (solid lines). Dotted lines indicate the major river basins from right to left:
 St. Francis, White, Arkansas, Ouachita, and Red. Inset legend indicates different sampling dates (from Rohm et al. 1987).

  Chemical water quality measures included  am-
monia, nitrate, nitrite, orthophosphorus, total phos-
phorus, turbidity, sulfate, conductivity,  alakalinity,
BOD, and dissolved oxygen. Analysis of the fish data
included use  of the Jaccard dissimilarity index
(Boesch, 1977). The dissimilarity values for all pos-
sible pairings of sites within an ecoregion and across
ecoregions were calculated. The  final calculation
yielded a mean within ecoregion dissimilarity as a
percentage of the  mean between ecoregion  dis-
similarity. Also, fish species presence/absence data
were   subjected  to  detrended   correspondence
analysis (DCA).
  The physical and chemical habitat variables were
subjected to principal components analysis (PCA).
This analysis is designed to evaluate the relationships
among the sites based on the similarity in their physi-
cal  and chemical attributes. Principal components
analysis also provides a  mathematically clear way of
interpreting the variables responsible for separating
the sites.
  Without going into detail  on results of statistical
analyses of the data, I will summarize the major con-
clusions of Rohm, Giese, and Bennett (1987):
   • Results show that similarities among sites with
     respect to the fish, physical habitat, and water
     chemistry variables were spatially related.
   • Stream characterization based on these
     variables forms regional patterns.
   • The regional patterns generally correspond
     with Arkansas aquatic ecoregions as mapped
   • The fact that patterns for biological, physical,
     and chemical data were similar and that they
     corresponded with  the ecoregion classification
     in all three instances indicates that ecoregions
     incorporate fundamental features that account
     for differences in streams.
As a result of these and  other findings, the Arkansas
Department of Pollution  Control and Ecology has es-
tablished  regional temperature  turbidity  and  dis-
solved  oxygen standards for the  State.  Biological
goals have also been developed  based on fish as-

• Ohio and Oregon. Experience with the ecoregion
classification system in  Ohio and Oregon has led to
similar conclusions regarding its utility for organizing
and understanding environmental data. This system
was not intended to, nor will it replace water quality
standards  per  se. On the contrary, it is a system
designed to assist water quality managers to better
interpret  standards,  both  laboratory-derived   and
field-developed, in the most realistic manner possible
relative to environmental variability.
   Each of the previous ecoregion evaluations was
designed to demonstrate a specific potential use of
the ecoregion classification system. In doing so, con-
siderable  data  were  strategically  collected  and
analyzed for each study. The results of these studies
leave little doubt that ecoregions are logical, techni-
cally  defensible tools  that  help  water quality
managers conduct their work in an environmentally
sound manner.
   Ecoregion evaluation projects in Ohio and Arkan-
sas have prompted these States to develop quantita-
tive biological and modified stream chemical criteria,
respectively. These  modification plans were  sub-
mitted  to  and  subsequently  approved  by  EPA
Regions V and VI. While the  current ecoregion clas-
sification appears adequate for a number of manage-
ment decisions, some refinements could be made.
For example, higher resolution of key environmental
variables could be defined through the development
of subregions and determination of uncertainties as-
sociated with ecoregion boundaries could be shown.
Drafts of these modifications have been completed
by Clarke and White (1988) (Fig. 6).
          Available Data Bases

 Considerable environmental monitoring data are col-
 lected annually for various purposes and much of the
 data is entered into the STORET system. People have
 asked if these data can be  used in conjunction with
 the ecoregion classification system to determine the
 general environmental health of ecoregional entities.
 In other words,  can currently available  monitoring
 data be extrapolated  from  their site-specific collec-
 tion locations across ecoregions? Researchers at the
 Corvallis  Environmental  Research Laboratory had
 the  opportunity to explore  that  question  with  a
 project that focused  on  available  environmental
 monitoring  data for  the State  of Colorado. The
 analysis and writing for the project are underway and
 most of the following is from that report (Gallant et al.
   The approach used STORET data to produce dot
 maps  of  single  chemical  variables   and  the
 Geographic Information System (GIS) data base to
 extract values for box plots. (Box plots depict the
 spatial  ecoregion  distribution of  chemical values.)
 Three variable groups were accessed from STORET:
 metals  (cadmium, zinc, lead, mercury, and copper);
 nutrients  (nitrate/nitrite, Kjeldahl-nitrogen,  total am-
 monia, total phosphorus, and two orthophosphorus
 measures); and  miscellaneous (total dissolved solids

                                                       WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 25-36
                                            Based  on work by  James Omernik
                                             ProduclioD bj Jelf Irish aDd Sandi AifHn
 Note  The fuiij areas along each boundary indicate Ihe relati?e sues of the transition zones belneen subregionv but are not to scale
 1 Coast Range  Mountains
 I Coost Rtwqe  Coastal Lowfonds
 3 Wtllametle  Volley Plains
 4 Willamette  Valley Foothills
 5 WillameMe  Southern Hills and Valleys
 6 Klomalh   Mountains
 7 Klamath   Volleys
 8 Cascades  Weslern
 9 Cascades  High
10 [oslern Cascades  Slopes and Foothills
tl Eastern Cascades  lake Basins
12 Eostetn Cascades  Marshes
13 High Desert  Mountain Ranges
14 High Desed  Uplands
15 High Desert  Dry Barren Bosms
16 High Desed  Bosms tith Fresh Water
\1 Columbia Ploleou  Bosms
18 Columbia Plateau  loblelands
19 Columbia Plateau  Disserled Uplands
?0 Blue Mountains  Alpine ond Subotpme
21 Blue Mountains  Non-olpme Foresls
22 Blue Mountains  Uplands and Valleys
?3 Blue Mountains  Basins
Figure 6.—Draft map of Oregon ecoregions and subregions showing relative transition zone size (Clarke and White, 1988).
and  suspended  sediments).  Median  values  for
samples taken in the last  10 years were requested.
From these data, which spanned 21,000 STORE! sta-
tions in Colorado, dot maps were  produced  using
750-1,000 of the more uniform station sets.
   Examples  of  the single  variable dot maps  are
shown in Figures 7 and 8 for Kjeldahl-N and conduc-
tivity,    respectively.   While   differences   among
ecoregions  do appear across the State, particularly
for  conductivity, it is  not  easy  to see  distinct
ecoregion patterns.  Therefore, box plots of the dot
                             map data  sets were constructed (Fig.  9,  10). They
                             tend to confirm the feeling about differences across
                             ecoregions gained from the dot maps and to quantify
                             the results. The low values for the southern Rockies
                             became obvious, but similarities between the Wyom-
                             ing Basin and the Arizona/New Mexico Plateau also
                             became apparent.  Nutrient median values did not
                             vary greatly, but major regional differences occur in
                             the skewness of the data sets above the median.
                                Principal  components  analyses  using  hardness,
                             conductivity, and alkalinity for  ionic  strength and

                                                                                                  —   V  —  A
                                                    WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 25-36
                                                                                                    CO  O
                                                                                                    -*->  «J
                                                                                                     a  t-
                                                                                                     aj  o
                                                                                                e=>   E  «
                                                                                                SE  -*
                                                                                                o      «
Figure 8.—Conductivity from STORET ambient stream stations in Colorado (modified from Whlttler, 1989).



I  5l

5 -
4 -
19. (




omlng Colorado
Basin Plateaus





ona/ Wes


ern Southwest
Mexico High. Plains Tablelands
  Figure 9.—Regional patterns of Kjeldahl-nitrogen in Colorado streams (from Gallant et al. 1989).
  nitrate/nitrite-N, Kjeldahl-N, and total phosphorus for
  nutrients were proposed to further indicate water
  chemistry patterns. However, principal components
  analysis  cannot be run  with data sets having any
  missing values. Therefore, Corvallis researchers ex-
  amined the STORE! nutrient data files, which contain
  more than 1,100 stations, for uniform data sets. After
  culling data  set  inconsistencies,  only 48 stations
  remained for principal components analysis. This ex-
  ercise pointed out some of the shortcomings of the
  STORET data. They are highly variable  in terms of
  completeness,  consistency,  precision,  accuracy,
  location, and collection frequency. A scatterplot (Fig.
  11) of the first principal components of each analysis
  on the 48-station set showed regional patterns:
    Southern Rockies
    Colorado Plateau and
    Wyoming Basin

    Southwest Tablelands

    Arizona/New Mexico

    Western High Plains
Low ionic strength and low
Overlapped, with high ionic
strength and moderately low to
moderately high nutrients
Low to moderate ionic strength
and moderate to high nutrients
Lowto moderate ionic and
nutrient levels
Very high ionic and nutrient levels
It can be said from these analyses that STORET data
sets appear to suggest ecoregional differences. I em-
phasize "suggest" because certain aspects of the
STORET data must be kept in mind when making this
assessment. They are the following:
   • STORET data are skewed toward problem
     areas near population centers and major
     resource developments, thus they do not
     represent regional reference sites.
   • Location of sample sites is not always precise.
   • Sampling sites are not located on the basis of
     any stratified, statistical scheme, thus making
     extrapolation across ecoregions problematic.
   • Completeness of data is highly variable and
     thus inefficient in its current form, relative to
     ecoregional assessment,  i.e., 21,000 sample
     stations reduced to only 48  consistent ones for
     principal components analysis.
Because  of these limitations, definitive  statements
concerning attainable water quality in Colorado can-
not be made. Only rough approximations are  pos-
sible.  Limitations of  STORET data are somewhat
discouraging for ecoregional  assessment, but then

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 25-36
     4000 -l
     3500 -
>  w
H  O
O  I
3  =
New Mexico
  PI n I o a u
  Figure 10.—Regional patterns of conductivity in Colorado streams (from Gallant et al. 1989).
  ecoregional assessment was not its intent. The very
  encouraging aspect of the Colorado study is that
  ecoregional class distinction can  still  be suggested
  from  principal  components analysis of only 48 sta-
  tions  out of an original 21,000-station set.
     In  my opinion,  the Colorado  experience is yet
  another,  albeit  less  definitive,   verification  that
  ecoregional  classification  is a  viable 21st  century
  water quality management tool. An obvious exten-
  sion of current monitoring techniques is the redesign
  of station locations in a stratified, statistical manner
  so that attainable water quality, as well as  regional
  status and trends, can be established  nationwide. In
  addition, there should be  much stronger emphasis
  given to monitoring  biological communities since
  they  tend to integrate all chemical and physical vari-
  ables in a system thus rapidly  providing  an in situ,
  chronic bioassay of environmental health.
                                                    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Iwanttothankmycolleaguesin
                                                    the Water Division of Region X, Phil Larsen, Corvallis Environmen-
                                                    tal Research Laboratory, and the anonymous reviewers who of-
                                                    fered several helpful suggestions for improving this paper. I am
                                                    especially grateful to Gallant et al. for sharing a prepublication
                                                    copy of their report and allowing me to cite that work. However, the
                                                    conclusions and opinions in the last paragraph of this paper are
                                                    my own. Any questions concerning them should be directed to

                                                    Boesch,  D.F.  1977. Application  of Numerical Classification  in
                                                       Ecological Investigations of Water Pollution. EPA-600/3-77-
                                                       033. U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency, Corvallis, OR.
                                                    Clarke, S. and D. White 1988. Draft map of Oregon ecoregions and
                                                       subregions (Fig.6). U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency. Corvallis, OR.
                                                    Gallant, A.L., T.R. Whittier, D.P. Larsen, J.M. Omernik, and R.M.
                                                       Hughes. 1989. Regionalization as a Tool for Managing En-
                                                       vironmental Resources. U.S.  Environ.  Prot. Agency, Environ.
                                                       Res. Lab. Corvallis, OR (In Review).
                                                    Heiskary, S.A. 1985. Trophic Status  of Minnesota Lakes. Min-
                                                       nesota Pollut. Control Agency. St. Paul, MN.





 1 .7

 J .1




-1 .3

-1 .9
j     Wyoming

2    Colorado

3    Soutntrn

4    Arizona/
   New Ueilco

5    w.norn
   Mien Plains
           -3.5     -2.9     -2.3     -1.7     -1.1     -O.S      0.1      0.7      1.3       1.9      2.S
                                                   ionic  strenoth  PCA

  Figure 11.—Regional patterns in stream nutrient richness and ionic strength as indicated by Principal Components Analysis (from
  Gallant etal. 1989).
  Heiskary, S.A.  and C.B. Wilson. 1988. Minnesota Lake Water
     Quality Assessment Report Minnesota Pollut. Control Agency,
     St. Paul, MN.
  Heiskary, S.A.,  C.B. Wilson, and D.P. Lansen.  1987. Analysis of
     regional patterns in lake water quality: using ecoregions for
     lake management in Minnesota. Lake Reserv. Manage. 3:337-
  Hughes, R.M.  1985. Use of watershed characteristics to select
     control streams for estimating effects of metal mining wastes
     on extensively disturbed streams. Environ. Manage. 9:253-62.
  Hughes, R.M., D.P. Larsen, and J.M. Omernik. 1986. Regional ref-
     erence sites: a method for assessing stream potentials. En-
     viron. Manage. 10:629-35.
  Miller, D.L., et al. 1988. Regional application of an index of biotic
     integrity for use in water resource management. J. Am. Fish.
     Soc. 13(5): 12-20.
  Moyle, J.B. 1956.  Relationships between the chemistry of Min-
     nesota surface waters and wildlife management. J.  Wildl.
     Manage. 20:303-20.
  Omernik,  J.M. 1987. Ecoregions of the conterminous United
     States. Map (scale 1:7,500,000). Freshw. Ann. Ass. Am. Geogr.
     77(1): 118-25.
                                                         Rohm, C.M., J.W. Giese, and C.C. Bennett. 1987. Evaluation of an
                                                            Aquatic  Ecoregion Classification of Streams in Arkansas.  J.
                                                            Freshw. Ecol. 4:127-40.
                                                         Smith, R.L., 1966. Ecology and Field Biology. Harper & Row Pub-
                                                            lishers, Inc. New York.
                                                         U.S.  Environmental  Protection  Agency. 1983.  Environmental
                                                            Protection Agency Water  Quality  Standards  Regulation.
                                                            Federal Register 48(217): 51400-51413.
                                                         Whittier, T.R. 1989a. Map of Kjeldahl-Nitrogen from STORET Am-
                                                            bient  Steam  Stations  in  Colorado,  la Gallant,  et  al.
                                                            Regionalization as a Tool for Managing Environmental Resour-
                                                            ces. U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency, Environ. Res. Lab. Corvallis,
                                                            OR (In Review).
                                                         	.  1989b.  Map of  Conductivity from  STORET Ambient
                                                            Stream Stations in Colorado, la Gallant, et al. Regionalization
                                                            as a Tool for Managing Environmental  Resources. U.S. En-
                                                            viron. Prot. Agency,  Environ.  Res. Lab. Corvallis, OR (In

                                            WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 37-39
        Water  Quality  Standards  for  the 20th

      Century—The  Nonpoint  Source Agenda
                                       Paul Thompson
                 Research Associate, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C.
Water quality standards are receiving renewed atten-
tion and this is encouraging, especially as this inter-
est also extends to nonpoint source pollution, where
water quality standards and water quality-based con-
trols are the strongest means provided in the Clean
Water Act for controlling diffuse pollution sources.
   I have recently completed a study on the manage-
ment principles behind an effective nonpoint source
(NPS) management program. The report, "Poison
Runoff: A Guide to State and Local Nonpoint Source
Pollution Control," will be published soon and dis-
tributed to EPA and State water quality management
   I have chosen to stress the 20th, not the 21 st cen-
tury, in this  presentation. Since water quality stand-
ards (especially as applied to nonpoint sources)
have existed for so long in the shadow of the Clean
Water Act's  "point source" programs, I think it is time
we start speaking of their use in the present, not fu-
ture, tense.
   The  Natural Resources Defense Council study
describes   a  water  quality-based  approach  to
management on a watershed-by-watershed basis. Its
approach  requires that  water  quality standards
reflecting nonpoint source impacts be  in  place in
each affected watershed; that an  effective water
quality monitoring network be established; and that
strong  implementation mechanisms be in place.
Therefore, in each watershed affected by nonpoint
source pollution the following series of actions must
be undertaken to:
   1. Measure water quality and compare it to water
      quality standards;
   2. Calculate total  pollution load reductions for
      each pollutant needed to meet water quality
      standards, taking into account seasonal and
      hydrologic variations;
   3. Estimate  total  loads  from each nonpoint
      source category or group of nonpoint sources;
   4. Estimate load reductions achievable for each
      load under various control scenarios;
   5. Choose and implement the controls that will
      achieve compliance with water quality stand-
  6.  Measure water quality periodically to measure
      program's success; and
  7.  Modify controls if necessary.
  Water quality standards have not been generally
used to drive nonpoint source programs; therefore
bridging the gap between water quality standards
and nonpoint source management requires a good
deal of effort. To accomplish this, we must begin with
a thorough understanding of the differences in the
role that water quality standards should play in EPA's
point source NPDES program and  nonpoint source
319 program. Understanding the proper relationship
between  water  quality  standards and  nonpoint
source management can shed  light on how our
present level of knowledge can be  used to improve
the  use of these standards  in current nonpoint
source management and to determine where we
should concentrate our research efforts. We can also
learn whether scientific knowledge or other factors-
such as political  or administrative decisions-limit
the application of water quality standards to nonpoint
source control.
  Besides narrative, numeric,  biologic, and  habitat
criteria (most directly amenable to scientific inquiry),
State water quality standards also contain desig-
nated uses for all its waters to define the water quality
goals, and  an antidegradation statement that re-
quires the maintenance of existing uses of water.
  Not attaining beneficial uses in State waters sig-
nals the need for initiating the process for developing
water quality-based nonpoint source controls as re-
quired under the Clean Water Act.
  In determining these waters, EPA's Water Quality
Standards Handbook indicates that:
      State[s] should ensure that . . .  water
      quality criteria reflect  what is needed to
      assure protection of beneficial uses ....
      there should be flexibility in water quality
      standards to address the impact of time
      and space  components of  nonpoint
      source as  well  as naturally occurring
      events. This involves the consideration of
      the variability of natural conditions, mag-
      nitude and  frequency of impact, and the
      level of acceptable risk.

Determining nonattaining  waters then triggers  a
series  of actions that ideally should lead to the
development of a "watershed management plan."
Based  on adequate water quality criteria,  a Total
Maximum Daily Load should be calculated to deter-
mine the pollution load reduction from both point and
nonpoint sources needed  to attain  or maintain
beneficial uses. Based on these estimates, nonpoint
source controls should be impl.emented to achieve
compliance with water quality standards.
  The controls should be implemented on a water-
shed-by-watershed  basis  and be based  on site-
specific conditions and  water  quality  protection
needs. EPA's  Water Quality Standards Handbook
stresses the development of a process by which the
controls are determined, not just the implementation
of best management practices  (BMPs).  The four
steps to this process as described in the Handbook
consist of designing BMPs based on site-specific
conditions,  technical, economic, and  institutional
feasibility, and the water quality standards of those
waters potentially impacted; monitoring to ensure
that practices are correctly designed  and applied;
monitoring to  determine the effectiveness of prac-
tices in meeting water quality standards and the ap-
propriateness  of water quality criteria to reasonably
assure protection of beneficial uses; and adjusting
BMPs  when water quality standards are  not being
protected to a desired level and/or possibly adjusting
water quality standards.
   This last step in the process indicates that, except
in certain silvicultural and  mining situations, com-
pliance with the BMPs required by a State-approved
watershed management plan will  normally constitute
compliance with water quality standards for the land-
owner. Therefore, the burden is on the State to en-
sure that the proper level of BMP application is taking
place  in a  given watershed to  maintain  or attain
beneficial uses. Therefore,  an ongoing monitoring
process to  determine progress  is needed  in each
   Obviously, this concept of water quality standards
does not require knowledge of each individual non-
point source polluter's discharges to improve con-
trols-only that additional controls in the watershed
are needed to improve water quality and that their
cumulative  implementation  lead  to  maintenance  or
attainment of  beneficial uses. This description helps
to  make the obvious evident: without water quality
standards  and  the watershed  management plan
there is no mechanism to provide a minimum level of
control; no goal forwater quality protection in a given
watershed;  and  no State  accountability for water
resources protection.
  The water quality-based approach merges point
and nonpoint source controls to allow coordination
and optimization  of  controls. It  also brings State
water quality management agencies into a position
of leadership  in  nonpoint  source  management,
which, in turn, addresses directly a number of impor-
tant  nonpoint  source management  needs  that,
without water quality standards, seem  impossible.
These  standards give States  the legal authority to
control diffuse sources, thereby strengthening the
State water quality agencies in nonpoint source pol-
lution control. This,  in turn, places agricultural and
soil conservation  agencies in their most  effective
management position-as an  integral part, but lead
agency, in an overall nonpoint source program.
  Thus, nonpoint source programs (typically carried
out under State soil and water conservation laws that
often do not authorize mandatory requirements can
become incorporated into a  State's overall Clean
Water Act program. Once this transfer is achieved,
any undesirable reliance on local voluntary programs
that are not targeted  sufficiently to water quality
goals (and brought on by a perceived lack of State
authority) can be improved. Programs and BMPs can
be implemented that are more directly responsive to
actual water quality protection  needs and can  be
overseen by State and regional water quality officials.
  This role of water quality standards contains the
current research and administrative agenda for the
application  of  these criteria to  nonpoint source
management. Identifying waters that are not main-
taining or attaining fishable and  swimmable condi-
tions  because of  nonpoint sources is not a perfect
science, but many States have already developed ex-
tensive lists of such waters. States that have not often
lack  sufficient  monitoring  networks or have  not
developed adequate water  quality  standards  (or
have  not applied  existing ones), which implies that
administrative and political forces may  be respon-
   Researchers and State officials should investigate
efforts to define and categorize polluted watersheds
by  Oregon, Wisconsin,  and Florida. If these  ap-
proaches are feasible, they should be generalized
into a generic model or set of models.
   It is also difficult to estimate pollution load reduc-
tions needed to clean up waters, but progress  has
been made in this area as well.  Again, States have
used various chemical, biologic, and habitat criteria
to classify a waterbody's potential uses and protec-
tion goals. These goals are often translated into load
reductions through  some type of modeling -one of
the most debated areas in nonpoint source manage-

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 37-39
  The methods to estimate load  reductions that
have  been developed by various States and  re-
searchers should be systematically evaluated, and
the most effective approaches adopted as models.
There is very little action on this at the State level,
which might indicate that there are not only technical
barriers at work.
   It may be too early to gauge the success of exist-
ing methods to monitor nonpoint source program ef-
fectiveness. Clearly, progress is being made by some
States, while  others have stagnated. Variability can
be accounted for through various statistical techni-
ques and  monitoring designs, and a combination of
narrative,  chemical,  physical, and  biologic para-
meters can be used to determine the health of a
stream. However, scientific  progress cannot  be
counted on if States are not using available infoma-
  Additional technical progress in nonpoint source
programs is always desirable but alone, it is inade-
quate to ensure effective implementation. Progress is
needed in both the scientific and the administrative
aspects of nonpoint source management. Science is
not an  "independent variable" in public policy-with
water quality-based nonpoint source controls a pas-
sive entity that is shaped and  molded by develop-
ments  in research. If anything, it is the other way
   Science cannot serve public  policy without a well-
conceived management context to guide research.
In other words, without valid questions that reflect
the legal and administrative  needs  of  nonpoint
source  management,  any value found in the so-
called answers provided through research is purely
coincidental. This is the real value of understanding
the legal and administrative needs of effective non-
point source management.

                                            WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 41-43
    Integrating Fish  Habitat  Into  State Water

                            Quality  Standards
                                      Stephen B. Bauer
                               Senior Environmental Quality Specialist
          Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Environmental Quality, Boise, Idaho
It is exciting to  note that State and Federal water
quality agencies are questioning the use of point
source concepts that no longer serve the overwhelm-
ing water quality impacts of nonpoint source pollu-
tion. This requires a different mind set-focusing on
areas that are  not traditionally regarded  as  our
domain. Indeed  it  means rethinking  what the term
"water quality means. It can no longer refer simply to
a cubitainer of water shipped off to the lab if we are to
do our job in protecting  and restoring  beneficial
   Since we  are being futuristic, let's start out by
symbolically  giving the EPA Gold Book a drop-kick
into the nearest  muddy river. Those  standards  and
criteria apply to the Pacific Northwest and the north-
ern Rocky Mountain ecoregion. In  Idaho the non-
point sources of  major importance are historical and
current logging,  mining, and grazing. Road construc-
tion associated with these activities is the most sig-
nificant source of sediment to streams.
   Much of Idaho's national forest lands occur  in a
geologic formation called the Idaho Batholith. When
road construction exposes the parent material to
weathering, it rapidly decomposes to large, sand-
sized  particles.  This  decomposed  granite easily
erodes and is transported to stream courses as bed-
load sediment. This is "clean" sediment that affects all
the life stages of the valuable fishery in Idaho.  The
restoration of Chinook salmon and steelhead trout
runs in the Columbia Basin has been described as
the most comprehensive conservation effort in the
United States. This concern for the fishery resource
is international  in  scope and  includes commercial
fishermen from  three  States  and   Canada, sport
fishermen in four States, and four treaty Indian tribes
that use the fish for commercial, subsistence,  and
religious purposes.
       Desired Future Condition

The  first case study is  based on  a  proposal in
progress between the Columbia River Intertribal Fish
Commission and the United States  Forest Service
(USFS) to settle appeals on national forest manage-
ment plans. It is based on describing the desired fu-
ture condition (DFC) in forest plans required by the
National  Forest   Management  Act.   The   DFC
describes measurable aquatic habitat characteristics
that represent predisturbance or unmanaged habitat
condition. Since nonpoint source activities, primarily
logging and road building, affect fisheries habitat in
many ways in addition to sediment impacts, DFC in-
cludes  elements  to describe the  optimum habitat
   Draft land management plans used narrative fuzzy
statements to describe DFC, which provides "maxi-
mum management flexibility" to the Forest Service
but little assurance to the public that the fishery will
be adequately protected. The Indian tribes are flexing
their considerable legal muscle with the  Forest Ser-
vice to specify quantitative stream quality goals.
   DFC is being developed for  salmonids in the
Pacific  Northwest based  on species  and channel
type. Table 1 represents the DFC for steelhead parr in
"A" channel types. Other  tables, not included  here,
show DFC for Chinook salmon and cutthroat trout in
types A, B, and C channels. This procedure recog-
nizes habitat preferences for key indicator species, a
giant step toward site-specific criterion.
   The first element in the table is density of parr at
full seeding. Fish density is the end product. The DFC
is based on empirical data collected in this channel
type that is derived from direct counts in the habitat,
for example, by snorkeling or electrofishing. The next
two parameters are measures of bedload sediment in
fish habitat.  Cobble embeddedness is  directed at
measuring the effect of bedload sediment on winter-
rearing habitat. Fish seek shelter in the interstices of
cobble and boulders to avoid the lethal winter condi-
tions of the water column. Fines by  depth is  a
measure  of  the  sand  deposited in fish spawning
gravel.  The sand reduces flow through the gravel,
restricting the supply of  oxygen to the eggs and
developing fry. In  addition, fish that do hatch may be-
come entombed by the excess sediment.
   Pool/riffle ratio provides a diversity of habitat for all
life stage  requirements.  Optimum ratios produce
more fish in a stream. Temperature is a  well under-
stood water quality criteria.  Management in the

  Table 1.—Desired future condition of steelhead parr rearing habitat in "A" channel type. "A" channels are charac-
  terized by a steep gradient and a boulder substrate. This table is taken from a proposal developed by a Columbia
  River Intertribal Fish Commission/U.S. Forest Service working group.









 riparian area can influence both summer maximum
 and winter  minimum temperatures.  Large woody
 debris or large organic debris is recognized as one of
 the most important habitat components in forested
 areas of the Pacific Northwest. This element is being
 addressed in State Forest Practice Rules and Regula-
 tions.  Oregon  and  Washington  have  recently
 adopted leave tree requirements for riparian areas,
 and Idaho is in the process of adopting leave tree re-
 quirements in the Forest Practices Act. Acting debris
 is based on actual  counts of woody debris  in "un-
 managed" riparian areas.
   The remaining elements  are  standard habitat
 quality descriptors that are readily recognized. Pool
 quality rating is an index of length, width, depth, and
 cover. In-stream cover is an important  security fea-
 ture for fish.  Fish will not use habitat  that doesn't
 have  in-stream  cover  such as logs,  rough water,
 boulders, shade, and so forth. Bank cover is an es-
 sential habitat element. Undercut banks and vegeta-
 tion within 10 to 15 feet of the water provide cover for
 fish. Bank stability  relates both to sediment supply
 and bank cover. Stable banks are an indicator of high
 quality habitat and watershed health.
    State Water Quality Standards

 The  issues are  basically  the  same for  sediment
 criteria in Idaho Water Quality Standards.  However,
 we are far from the 21st century in Idaho and not
 ready  yet  to  incorporate  a variety of  habitat
 parameters. The Water Quality Bureau has worked
 with  a technical advisory committee to develop the
 following sediment-related criteria:
• Salmonid Spawning Criterion: Nonpoint source
activities  may  not  cause  intergravel  dissolved
oxygen in spawning gravels to decline below a week-
ly average of 90 percent of saturation or 6 milligrams
per liter, whichever is greater.
  This criterion is based on a comprehensive review
of the literature (Chapman and McLeod,  1987) com-
pleted under contract with EPA. The review found
deficiencies with the connection between many sedi-
ment parameters such as fines by depth  and fish im-
pacts. The literature, however,  strongly supports a
minimum dissolved oxygen concentration  for suc-
cessful incubation  of salmonid eggs. This criterion
basically shifts the emphasis of the existing  Idaho
oxygen criteria to the sensitive life stages of fish in the
intergravel environment,  which  requires  different
monitoring techniques. We have been testing the use
of an intergravel oxygen pipe installed in the spawn-
ing gravel. Water is pumped via a peristaltic pump
across a dissolved oxygen probe. Whether this pro-
cedure can adequately simulate flow characteristics
of a natural redd (fish spawning nest) is a key ques-
tion that should be researched.

H  Cold Water Biota-Turbidity Criterion: In  sur-
face waters supporting or capable of supporting sal-
monid fisheries, turbidity, as the result  of nonpoint
source  activities, may not exceed background tur-
bidity measured at comparable discharge by 50 NTU
instantaneously or 25 NTU  (standard  unit for tur-
bidity) for 10 days.
   Many States have a turbidity criterion; however,
we were unable to validate the low criteria numbers
used in these standards and also found that most
States do not really apply them. These criteria  are

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 41-43
based on a recent literature review by Lloyd (1987).
The proposed turbidity criterion is based on protec-
tion of sight-feeding for salmonid  species. The 25
NTU for 10 days is based on literature documenting
the chronic effect of reduced growth at these tur-
bidity levels.

•  Cold  Water  Biota-Percent  Embeddedness
Criterion: No statistically demonstrable increase, at
the  95  percent  confidence interval,  in natural
baseline percent embeddedness as the result of non-
point source activities shall be  permissible in sal-
monid rearing habitats.
   The importance of interstitial spaces in streambed
cobble and gravel as overwintering  habitat is well
supported. This  habitat is  considered  the "bot-
tleneck" in survival of salmonids in the Rocky Moun-
tains. However, there is considerable disagreement
regarding the adequacy of the measurement techni-
que. The Division cooperated this past summer with
the USFS Intermountain Research Station to work
out the bugs in this technique related to random sam-
pling  and  precision. An important  aspect of this
criterion is that it establishes a process of arriving at a
number based on comparison to natural conditions,
rather than trying to establish a statewide numeric
criteria. We think that this will be a more sensible ap-
proach to establishing site-specific criteria.

•  Domestic Water Supply Criterion-Turbidity:
The watersheds listed are designated  as small public
water supplies,  which have 25-500 users for over 60
days per year:... [in the criterion]  Nonpoint source
activities in the listed watersheds may not increase
turbidity at the public water supply intake(s):
  a)  by more than 5 NTU above natural background
      at  comparable discharge when background
      turbidity is 50 NTU or less; or
  b)  by more than 10 percent above natural back-
      ground at comparable discharge, not to ex-
      ceed 25 NTU when turbidity is greater than 50

The last sediment criterion relates to protection of
domestic water supplies. Many surface public water
supply systems in Idaho have very high clarity and
utilize minimal treatment.  Increased turbidity from
nonpoint source activities in the watershed increases
treatment cost.  To make this criterion workable, we
have restricted it to small public systems dependent
on small watersheds. Small communities lack the
economy of scale to bear the burden of increased
treatment costs.  By limiting the criterion to small
drainages, we increase the likelihood of establishing
cause and effect with a nonpoint source activity.
  Now it's time to retrieve the Gold  Book from the
river, that is if we can see it, because these nonpoint
standards cannot replace  existing  standards  but
rather will complement existing water quality criteria.

Chapman, D.W. and K.P. McLeod. 1987. Development for criteria
   for fine sediment in the Northern Rockies ecoregion. EPA
   910/9-87-162. U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency, Washington, DC.
Lloyd, D.S. 1987. Turbidity as a water quality standard for sal-
   monid habitats in Alaska. N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 7(1):34-45.

                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  Q. Why aren't we implementing nonpoint source
controls? EPA should  hear about this from  the
  A.  (Garreis) From  what I have observed in the
Chesapeake Bay, one reason is the will to implement
controls. The second is the money and the man-
power to do it. Money and manpower work in two
ways: you build up State programs to provide resour-
ces for  people to make it happen; simultaneously,
you have to give these people something to help
them so they will begin to do these things as an ac-
cepted practice. Maryland has instituted cost sharing
to get the  agricultural  community receptive,  and
farmers that took advantage of this benefit will imple-
ment  controls on another part of their farm but not
come back and ask for more money because they
have bought the concept and the approach.
   The third reason is the perception, in many cases,
that controls don't  matter or that they are already in
place. When we first went into agriculture, farmers
told us "Well, the Soil Conservation Service has had
these programs for years, and they work." But Soil
Conservation is not an enforcement agency. It helps
when asked, but if not asked,  it doesn't clobber
people over the head.

   C.  (Bauer)  I want to focus back on the water
quality standards issue. We have had a successful
cost-share  program for agriculture for many years;
there are  18  cost-share projects that are water
quality-based. For the last four years, a Forest  Prac-
tice Act initiative has been slowly getting  the  best
management practices  implemented. I was a strong
doubter when we started on the Forest Practice Pro-
gram, but I  have found that, if these best manage-
ment practices  are followed, they work.  But the
question is how to link them to water quality stand-
ards.  How do we convince people that we are trying
for a particular goal—water quality standards?
   Is  the nonpoint agenda appropriate for every
State? We should be looking not at a nonpoint agen-
da generated by EPA at the national level but agen-
das  like the future of  water quality standards as
generated by States and regions and the ecosystems
approach. We should be pushing EPA to stop putting
the burden down from the top level and to think about
it from a State standpoint. Where do the water quality
standards need  to be  addressed in that particular
ecoregion; where are the beneficial uses being im-
pacted? Write the agenda on a State-by-State basis.
  C.  (Bohmfalk) Standards that are developed in
Washington and  carried down through EPA don't
apply to Texas. We have different situations, for in-
stance with the Trinity River where we've had stand-
ards  for  years.  Since  1987,  the  Texas Water
Commission has fined Dallas, Fort Worth, and the
Trinity River Authority (the major operators in this
area)  in excess of $750,000 for not meeting the water
quality standard-based permits.
  How  do I, as a State manager, enforce these
standards? Water quality  standards for  nonpoint
sources will have to consider a different philosophy, a
different approach, than the standards established in
the Clean Water Act.  That whole program is estab-
lished and aimed at point source on a national basis.
The enforcement part is not the water quality stand-
ards,  but the  permits based on those standards.
When you say that we are going to look at water
quality standards for  nonpoint sources that tells me
we  will be setting up a permitting program, and I will
be  put in the position  of telling Texans what they can
and cannot do with their land.
   Before I can adopt those  standards as rules for
Texas, I, as a water  quality  manager, will have to
demonstrate, in dollar amounts, what the benefit will
be whenever I issue permits based on the new stand-
ards. I don't see how I can do that with the current
standards, much less with nonpoint sources. So I
would ask EPA to reconsider the economic benefits
and the costs that are associated with implementing
some of these programs.

   C. (Barnett) The  Colorado River Basin Salinity
Control Forum has a program authorized by Con-
gress that allows us to work with the farmers to com-
ply with the removal  of salts in the Colorado River
system. We were told very clearly by Congress that
this was to be a voluntary program. We  could not
mandate what the farmers were going to do on their
   We have been very successful with that voluntary
program, but we need a few "carrots." We are remov-
ing, in a nonpoint source way, tons of salt to meet al-
ready established downstream numeric criteria. Our
problem is that we have not found a carrot for some
Federal agencies. The largest area that we cannot
control is managed  in the  public  domain by the
Bureau of Land Management, and we cannot seem
to get their attention  or interest.  So we surely don't
want Federal mandates for  nonpoint source stan-

                                                   WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21 st CENTURY, 1989
   C.  (Frohardt) It seems to me that  part of the
reason there is some difficulty in coming to grips with
whether EPA should  do something more on  stan-
dards, with respect to nonpoint sources, is that, un-
like   point   sources,  there   is   no  specific
implementation program.  Many of today's  com-
ments indicate that part of the reason we don't have a
nonpoint implementation side is that it is a much har-
der problem, scientifically and politically, and  mo\<>
varied than point source problems, at least in terms
of control. What does EPA do in response? If you
don't think about nonpoint source standards, how do
you decide what is important or appropriate in terms
of implementation? On the other hand,  until people
have some sense of what sort of implementation you
have in mind, they are very nervous about any sort of
standards. If EPA decides to move forward on non-
point  source standards, it should do so extremely
cautiously.  Usually when  EPA adopts  general  re-
quirements at an  early state, before we know what
they will mean, years later we find they meant surpris-
ing things. EPA has a tendency, once it starts to write
regulations, to get very excited about the process
and to put a lot of things into it that are very specific. I
think that would be a real mistake now.

   Q.  There is a major focus on biocriteria in the
Framework. Is that an appropriate focus for EPA to
take in dealing with nonpoint sources?
   A.  We need biocriteria when looking  at both the
potential influences  of nonpoint  sources and the
potential benefits of  nonpoint  source  controls. A
simple example is a stream running into a lake. If the
purpose of  designated uses and protecting  those
uses  is to protect the  biological  integrity of that
stream, then indeed  biomonitoring and biocriteria
are very relevant to nonpoint or point sources. If the
purpose is to protect a downstream receiving lake
from receiving nutrients and subsequent eutrophica-
tion, there are other measures, biological or chemi-
cal, that may be more relevant. The use  of in-stream
biological criteria is unlikely to catch an effect be-
cause nutrients in general are not going to have an
effect on that small stream.
   Biocriteria and biological measures are relevant,
particularly for the Midwest, because we are protect-
ing biological  integrity in  small  to  intermediate
streams that are influenced by nonpoint sources. In
essence, I would take issue with the use of biological
criteria and biomonitoring in those cases where it is a
direct measure of the designated use that we are
trying to protect.

   C. Water quality criteria might not be adequate or
suitable for nonpoint sources but,  in all cases, the
beneficial  uses that are a part of the standard do
reflect nonpoint source management needs. People
are trying  to point out  that there  is really no
mechanism in the Clean Water Act for States to re-
quire  land managers to control soil erosion as they
do in parts of Minnesota and Nebraska. It is very easy
to get confused between the scientific issues and the
Clean Water Act issues. However, the Act does give
the State authority to require  land managers to
reduce their pollution loads to the water.

  C.  (Rader)  In  North  Carolina  we find  clear
evidence that turbidity related to nonpoint sources is
causing most of the degradation of our streams. The
305(b) report states that about 80  percent of our
degraded streams are polluted by nonpoint sources
(agriculture accounts for about 80 percent), and al-
most  100 percent of this pollution is due to sediment
loads. If you look at sensitive taxa, you will find a fairly
good correlation to nonpoint source pollution; there-
fore, biocriteria are pertinent for nonpoint source pol-
lution but this is a site-specific problem.
   On the other hand, what we are doing now to deal
with nonpoint source pollution is clearly inadequate.
Eighty percent of our streams are degraded by non-
point source  pollution,  yet we have no major non-
voluntary program to  cope  with  this  problem.
Recently, we  presented a  solution to the people  of
North Carolina for their  consideration.  We  have
changed the turbidity standard wording in our water
quality standards:  it no longer says "due to a dis-
charge." To make this proposal palatable, we linked it
to the existing standard and proposed best manage-
ment practices programs. The ruling now says that
this standard is deemed not to apply or you are ex-
empt from meeting this standard if you are in com-
pliance with an approved best management practice
program. In North Carolina this means that, for con-
struction-related activities, a sediment-related con-
trol program must be filed and approved. If you are in
conformance with that  program,  you do not violate
the standard.
   That leaves us with the problem of agriculture and
silviculture. The Clean  Water Act clearly excludes
normal agriculture and  silviculture from many of the
Act's  programs. We have to try to redefine what "nor-
mal" means. If normal could include reasonable best
management  practices for best  management ac-
tivities and silviculture  activities then we  might  be
able to deal with the process through education and
public funds.  There is  a real  role for water quality
standards on a State-by-State basis, or a region-by-
region basis, especially to deal with nonpoint source
problems in degraded streams.

   Q. // we had good water quality standards to deal
with nonpoint sources, would we be any better off?
   A.  (Knox)  Louisiana  had a  violation  of  water
quality standards (the bacterial standard) in the Tan-
gipahoa River, which is widely used for recreation.
The State's in-stream standard is based basically on
pollution  from  sewage  discharges  and  the  as-
sociated risk for disease. In this case, we applied the
standard to what was viewed as a nonpoint source
discharge from dairy farms because we had already
tightened permits to all point source discharges and
the problem continued. Louisiana's regulations don't
prohibit permitting  nonpoint source dischargers;
they don't stipulate point or nonpoint source but "pol-
lutants" or  "substances." So we decided to permit
those discharges: we  required  a permit unless the
farmer was working with the Soil Conservation Ser-
vice to implement their recommended best manage-
ment practices.
   That is a back door approach, but the best one we
have come up with so far. We still have a problem with
that standard; it isn't measuring the dairy farm prob-
lem, but we can fine-tune it by  changing our stan-
dard.  By having the enforcement agency be the  bad
guy, you can send them running for help to the agen-
cies that have the voluntary programs.

   Q.  If we start sorting out nonpoint from point
source we are going to have a recurring situation. All
the requirements  will be put back on  the point
sources and all the voluntary approaches with the
nonpoint sources.  Ten years from now we will have
the same problems. EPA has to get out there and do
some enforcement on nonpoint sources. Is redoing
your standards going to be the only thing that you
are going to need?
   A. (Landman)  It is true  that there is, under the
Clean Water Act requirements, a very clear system to
control point sources. But it  is also true that there is a
requirement that the State address nonpoint source
pollution problems that is spelled out in the Act. Ad-
mittedly, it is more difficult to pinpoint the legal re-
quirements to control  nonpoint  source pollution.
Despite this fact, nonpoint source pollution is being
dealt with. Many people here have described  how
their States are taking the mandate to control  non-
point source pollution and, in addition, are trying to
figure out what standards they need to support that
  The question we need to focus on is what  criteria
at a national level can EPA develop to help the States
with nonpoint sources. If people are saying that EPA
cannot formulate a national criterion that will cover
any given pollutant, then the States are going to  have
to do it themselves. Are the States saying that they
don't want EPA to do anything because they are
going  to  do it themselves, and if  so, are  they
prepared to take on the responsibility for developing
those  standards without criteria documents  from
EPA? The  need to develop the standards is going to
exist whether or not EPA gives States criteria docu-

   Q. (Garreis)  How do you get from voluntary to
mandatory nonpoint source  regulation? I would
think you  could start with voluntary programs, and
the enthusiasm and public participation that  goes
with them, to build a base of public awareness and
support. Then, when control of nonpoint sources is
not adequate, there is an awareness that should help
when you move into regulation.
   A. (Clausen) We all share the same goal (protect-
ing  water resources),  but  we  are not working
together. If I were an EPA or State person, I would be
worried about that because we won't reach our goal
unless we work together. I am surprised at how little
was accomplished in the past  three hours.  Many
people vented their frustrations,  but I don't think we
solved any problems. I'm not sure that the people
here know what to do in the future. My one plea
would be that EPA and the States and others talk
more and get together more. Let's all work together.

Diversity and Innovation in
 State Standards Programs

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21 St CENTURY, 1989: 49-53
   Idaho's Antidegradation  Program:  A Model
                                      Gregory W. Forge
                         Board Member, Northwest Renewable Resources Center
                                       Seattle, Washington
It is a distinct pleasure to appear before you today on
behalf of the Northwest Renewable Resources Cen-
ter of Seattle to discuss antidegradation, that thing
few people can spell and fewer can describe. I will
blow my horn loud and long for the Center later in my
presentation because it was principally responsible
for  the  successful negotiation  of an  Idaho An-
tidegradation Agreement. The agreement is a simple
one, a good one, and one that may serve as a model
for other States that are yet undecided about the
form of their antidegradation program. I hope our ex-
perience in Idaho, and the negotiating approach of
the Center, will also be instructive for regulators, both
State and Federal. I note from the Draft  Framework
for the Water Quality Standards  Program that one
goal for the 1988-1990 triennium is completion of the
States' antidegradation programs. For those States
that haven't resolved this issue, I extend my heartiest
best wishes.
  Let me briefly explain how I came to be involved in
Idaho's antidegradation issue, and what I do for a
living, then we'll get on with it. I had been practicing
law in Seattle  since 1982 in the areas of  general
municipal,  environmental,  natural  resource,  and
utilities law when Governor Cecil Andrus called in the
spring of 1987 and asked for my help on a couple of
projects. He  didn't mention the antidegradation
project; that was added later. We solved the problem,
and I returned to Seattle in mid-1988, where I am now
vice president of Washington Waste Systems, a dis-
posal company for nonhazardous wastes and a sub-
sidiary of Chicago-based Waste Management, Inc.
   Antidegradation: History of the
              Idaho Dispute
In my mind, antidegradation is one of the most am-
biguous and divisive issues posed under the Clean
Water Act. In Idaho, timber, mining, and agriculture
industries and  conservation groups and the tribes
were at each other's throats for nearly five years over
this issue. Industry thought the law required nothing
new, that Idaho's feedback loop (which I will discuss
later) and the continuing planning process for natural
resources satisfied antidegradation  requirements.
Conservationists took quite a different view. They ar-
gued that antidegradation required a process of prior
approval of commercial activity project by project —
a prospect that sent industry people running for their
shotguns.  State and Federal  agencies didn't help
matters; their interpretations of the law can fairly be
described as inconsistent.
  So we had  a mess. Lawyers sifted through all of
this and salivated. With ambiguous statutory  lan-
guage, inconsistent  guidance from governmental
agencies, and a general dearth of case law on the
subject, attorneys could argue just about anything.
And politicians, ever searching for that hallowed mid-
dle ground, ran from the issue like a cat from a bath.
Everyone was confused and angry. No one under-
stood antidegradation. No one could explain it or
define it, no one could envision how it might work on
the ground.
  Let me  give you a brief chronology of events in
Idaho so you have an appreciation for the context in
which we forged a solution. For all intents and pur-
poses, the controversy began in 1983 with the En-
vironmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) adoption of
regulations that required  States  to  develop an-
tidegradation  policies  and implementation  plans.
Boiling it down to its essence, antidegradation re-
quires a program to fully protect existing beneficial
uses in high quality waters. High quality waters, of
course, being those waters whose quality exceeds
the minimum necessary to support beneficial uses -
the famous "fishable-swimmable" standard.
  In 1985, EPA informed Idaho that its water quality
standards  did not satisfy  antidegradation require-
ments for pollution from nonpoint sources. EPA im-
posed  a deadline of May 1986 for compliance, a
deadline that slipped several times.
  In early 1986, the Idaho Legislature passed HB
711, an industry-backed measure opposed by en-
vironmentalists. Then-Governor John Evans vetoed it
and directed State resource agencies  to form an in-
teragency  team on nonpoint  source pollution. The
so-called Nonpoint Source Team, or NPSI, was com-
prised  of  industry,  tribal,  environmental,   and
resource agency representatives. NPSI's major ac-
complishment was formulation of the feedback loop,
which, simply put, is a program  establishing and
evaluating the efficacy of  best management prac-
tices (BMPs) in meeting water quality standards. An-
tidegradation, however, remained unresolved.

   In  early 1987, the  legislature  asked  NPSI to
produce  an antidegradation proposal for its con-
sideration during the 1988 session.  NPSI did its level
best and  moved toward a stream classification sys-
tem to implement antidegradation, but, pardon the
expression, the waters became muddy. From August
19, 1987, with EPA's rewrite of SAM-32, through the
end of the year, Idaho received no fewer than eight
separate, formal communications from EPA explain-
ing what antidegradation required. The number of in-
formal communications was untold. It is fair to say
these communications  were not internally consis-
   Now, before you rush to the conclusion that I am
insulting our host today by suggesting that Idaho's
problem was all  EPA's fault, let me hasten to point out
that conservationists and industry were looking for a
reason to disagree so they would not have to com-
promise. EPA handed them a reason. All it took was a
hint of ambiguity. Let me also hasten to point out that
there were plenty of inconsistent interpretations of
the law among State agencies as well.
   So, industry retreated to its position that the BMP
feedback loop and the continuing resource planning
process were good enough to satisfy antidegrada-
tion. Conservationists likewise retreated to their posi-
tion that  antidegradation  required  site-by-site prior
approval of commercial activities. NPSI  collapsed
after 18 months of work amid bitterness and resent-
ment. Industry promised to write its  own bill and push
it  through the legislature, while  conservationists
promised to sue, whether or not the industry bill
   Into this dismal state of affairs on a spirited white
stallion rode Governor Cecil D. Andrus. Together with
State  Senator  Laird Noh,  the  moderate chair  of
Idaho's  Senate  Natural   Resources Committee,
Governor Andrus convened a  smaller negotiating
group, with me as mediator, to give consensus one
more chance. The Governor and State Senator Noh
agreed that having  a  Federal  judge decide how
Idahoans would use Idaho water was not a  happy
prospect. Invited to the table were seven parties rep-
resenting timber, mining, agriculture, the  Nez Perce
Tribe,  the Wilderness Society,  sportsmen, and the
Idaho Conservation League.
   In  preparing this presentation, I  reviewed my
notes of our first meeting in October, 1987.1 cannot
overemphasize the bitter, suspicious, and downright
hostile feelings  among   the  negotiators.  They
squirmed in their chairs;  they avoided eye contact
with their adversaries. One industry negotiator said,
"What are we negotiating? No one knows for sure
what antidegradation is. We're just going to write  a
bill and take it  to the legislature." A conservationist
replied, "Consensus is a joke. We'll negotiate in good
faith, but industry will just string us along like they did
in NPSI, and they'll do an end run in the legislature.
We're going to court!" Sound familiar?
  Nevertheless, with healthy doses of handholding,
cajoling, scolding, and encouragement, we began to
make progress.  We covered some  of the same
ground as NPSI and identified some common objec-
tives. The ember  of compromise began to flicker.
Negotiations carried  over into 1988 when the legisla-
ture came to town.  But time ran out. Industry had
drafted HB 652, which spooked the conservationists.
And conservationists moved for summary judgment
in the suit they had  filed the previous fall and that
spooked industry. Talks ended.
  Everyone had thrown in the towel, save Governor
Andrus. He didn't think HB 652 would  protect the
water, and he didn't want a  Federal judge making
natural resource policy in Idaho. So, we huddled and
devised a strategy. We  negotiated a six-month stay of
the conservationists' lawsuit in exchange fora veto of
the bill and reconvened negotiations.  The veto was
sustained  by one vote in the senate  in  the face of
tremendous pressure from industry.
  This was, and this is an understatement, the vilest
of shotgun weddings  as far as industry was  con-
cerned. Obviously, the veto precluded me from con-
tinuing  as mediator,  so I  called the  Northwest
Renewable Resources Center.  I was aware of the
Center's record  of resolving natural  resource dis-
putes in Washington, and I thought they could help. I
explained to the Center's Jim Waldo and Frank Gaf-
fney that the lawsuit was on hold, that both sides
would  draft regulations reflecting their respective
positions  on  antidegradation, and if either side left
the table the Governor would direct adoption of the
other side's regulations (hardly a subtle incentive to
stay at the table and talk), and that industry was mad-
der than wet hornets. Undaunted, Waldo and Gaffney
accepted  the challenge. We received a  generous
grant, for which we are grateful, from  the Northwest
Area Foundation in Minnesota to fund negotiations,
participants and  the  Governor  chipped in some
money, and we went back to work.
         The Idaho Agreement

 Let me describe for you the highlights of the Idaho
 Antidegradation Agreement. Then I want to close by
 emphasizing why negotiation is far preferable to
 litigation of natural resource disputes.
   As  I noted in my introductory  remarks,  an-
 tidegradation essentially requires a  program to fully
 protect beneficial uses in high quality waters and to
 find some  economic  and social justification if the

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 49-53
quality of those waters is to be lowered. Idaho's pro-
gram  accomplishes  these  goals  with  beautiful
simplicity and by utilizing to the fullest extent pos-
sible existing regulations and processes.
  At its heart, the agreement establishes six biennial
Basin Area Meetings. The purposes of the Basin Area
Meetings are five:
   • To assess current water conditions, fish
     habitat, and trends in water quality;
   • To identify and discuss current and projected
     commercial activity in the basin;
   • To consider the propriety and efficacy of water
     quality monitoring in the basin;
   • To discuss social and economic
     considerations associated with commercial
     activities; and
   • To identify stream segments of particular
The Idaho Division  of Environmental Quality (IDEQ)
will produce a Basin Area Summary Report for each
Basin Area Meeting.  After the meeting, IDEQ will
produce a draft final report for review by a working
committee  comprised  of appropriate  State  and
Federal resource agencies and interest groups. The
working committee will  identify stream segments of
concern, or the Governor will select them if the com-
mittee cannot agree.  Among other things, the final
report will discuss the social and economic justifica-
tion for permitting the lowering of the quality of high
quality waters.
   The agreement also establishes a monitoring pro-
gram to be coordinated between State and Federal
resource agencies and tribes. Another working com-
mittee with similar representation is  established to
oversee development and implementation of this
monitoring program.
   There are separate  and specific  provisions for
each  of the  three, major industries: mining, agricul-
ture, and timber. I won't go into the details except to
note a few important provisions for timber that are, in
my view, new and substantial and terribly important
in their bearing on sedimentation of streams and fish
habitat. On  lands adjacent to stream segments of
concern, landowners and operators  must employ
BMPs that exceed those generally prescribed in the
Idaho Forest Practices Act. On these lands, the Idaho
Department of Lands (IDOL), IDEQ,  and the Idaho
Department of Fish &  Game will convene a local
working committee comprised of interest groups and
stakeholders. The committee will discuss watershed
goals, including fishery objectives; review, at the op-
tion of the landowner, management plans; and iden-
tify,  with  IDOL, site-specific  BMPs   for the  area.
Landowners/operators are expected to enter  into
written agreements with IDOL adopting BMPs for tim-
ber operations. In addition, a 10-day notice require-
ment is established for all logging operations. If a
landowner/operator files his  10-day project  notice
but refuses to enter into a written BMP agreement,
IDOL will not issue a slash permit and the proposed
logging operation may not proceed.
   I cannot overstate the significance of these timber
provisions. When negotiations began, timber inter-
ests would accept new regulations for private lands
only over their dead  bodies. Their  agreement to
these  provisions is a tribute  to their willingness to
open their minds, check their guns at the door, and
genuinely pursue consensus. The timber industry
deserves credit and respect for their movement on
this issue.
   That's generally how it will work in Idaho. Industry,
conservationists, and  tribes are walking shoulder to
shoulder, carrying this agreement to the legislature
for ratification. That alliance is turning some heads in
the Capitol, I can tell you. The agreement has been
translated into appropriate statutes and regulations.
Governor Andrus has  included about $250,000 in his
executive budget to initiate the monitoring program.
Memoranda of Understanding will be drafted and ex-
ecuted with Federal agencies, principally the Bureau
of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.
   For Idaho, the Antidegradation Agreement heralds
the dawning of a new era of cooperation on natural
resource matters. The enthusiasm was reflected in a
newspaper column by Rod Gramer appearing in the
Boise Statesman that hails the agreement as a model
of problemsolving that ought to be applied to crack
other  tough nuts like wilderness, forest plans, and
even  issues not related to natural resources. The
spirit is infectious. It's been a long time coming, and it
feels great. And the spirit should be nurtured under
the agreement because it establishes a Basin  Area
Meeting  working committee, a monitoring working
committee, and a stream segment working commit-
tee. These working committees will cement the new
relationships that have been struck between industry,
tribes, and environmentalists. If the committees don't
work together, the Idaho  program will fail. I  remain
confident the user groups will build on  the achieve-
ment the Antidegradation Agreement represents.
      The Northwest Renewable
            Resources Center
This infectious disease of cooperation actually blew
into Idaho from across the Cascade Mountains in
Washington where its carrier, the Northwest Renew-

able Resources Center, is building an  impressive
record in  natural resource dispute resolution. The
Center was born in 1984 from the vision of Seattle at-
torney Jim Waldo. Waldo had witnessed and par-
ticipated  in years  of  divisive  litigation in  which
industry, tribes, and environmentalists had beat each
other's brains out over fish and logging. Battles were
won and lost,  but the war raged on.  There was no
final victor, only increasing numbers of vanquished.
Waldo thought there had to be a better way, and he
was right. He  convinced others to drop their guns,
take a deep breath, and just talk.  Cooperation now
   The Center's first project was to help the State of
Washington devise a fisheries management plan fol-
lowing the controversial Boldt Decision, in which a
Federal  judge found, and the U.S. Supreme Court
agreed, that certain tribes held treaty rights to half the
harvestable salmon and steelhead returning to tradi-
tional tribal fishing  grounds. The  impact  of the
Center's work was dramatic. In 1983, more than 60
lawsuits existed between  the State of  Washington
and tribes over fish. In 1984, there were none. In 1985
there were six, but the number of lawsuits hasn't
reached double digits since the Center  became in-
   In 1986, the  Center came up to bat again on
another major issue. The  Washington Forest Prac-
tices Board was about to adopt new  regulations af-
fecting  logging along  streams with  important fish
habitat, and none of the  stakeholders  much liked
them. The Center convened a meeting of 45 in-
dividuals  involved in the  issue and  assessed the
prospects for a negotiated settlement. One year later,
the Timber/Fish/Wildlife Agreement was born. This
agreement essentially rewrote forest  practices  in
Washington from top to bottom. At the back of this
text is  a  copy  of  the  ground rules for  the Tim-
ber/Fish/Wildlife Agreement negotiations. I  urge you
to read  them carefully; they're a road  map for reach-
ing consensus through negotiation.
   Jim Waldo  and Frank Gaffney wanted to be here
today to meet  you all. But I'll delivertheir message, to
which I  subscribe wholeheartedly, as succinctly as I
can. Adversarial confrontation is the method  of least
preference for settling natural resource disputes. We
simply are not at our best in adversarial relationships
before courts, regulators, and legislatures. We spend
too much time creating paper trails and advancing
hardline rhetoric in an effort to sway opinion our way.
Too often, regulators, and  especially  legislatures,
make decisions based  on the  caliber  of the bullet
fired rather than on the accuracy of the aim, so inter-
est groups spend precious resources buying more
and bigger bullets.  Courts aren't much better be-
cause their decisions generally resolve the battle, but
not the overlying war. Soon, the means take on more
importance than the end. We live for the fight, not the
natural resource. Suddenly, we have begun talking at
one another instead of with one another. We certainly
have stopped listening. We've lost our view of the big
picture. And our actions are determined solely by
what we think our adversaries' reaction will be, not by
what is best for the resource.
   This is the sort of mindset Idaho user groups had
been  in for years. The will of natural resource  in-
dustries usually prevailed in the Republican-control-
led legislature in Idaho. Industry therefore preferred
the legislative  forum  to solve its  problems and
thought it generally unnecessary to deal directly with
environmentalists or tribes on natural resource is-
sues primarily under State jurisdiction.  Conversely,
environmentalists turned  to  the courts  as their
favorite forum. Thus the two sides were locked in an
adversarial  relationship.  Their  posturing,  their
rhetoric,  their public relations,  their political com-
munications were all geared to confront and combat
their black-hearted adversaries. They rarely talked,
and they rarely listened to each  other's real con-
   Waldo, Gaffney,  and I  spent months trying to
penetrate this mindset.  The  real  break  came in a
closed-door,  no-holds-barred  exchange  between
Waldo and Gaffney and the board of directors of the
timber industry association in the early  summer of
1988. What industry really wanted was  certainty—
certainty that they  could  go about their  business
without the prospect of a lawsuit on every project
claiming violations of water quality standards. Waldo
and Gaffney succeeded in convincing the board that
a negotiated agreement could give them that certain-
ty. It was possible because during negotiations the
environmentalists had backed off their hard position
that  antidegradation  required  project-by-project
prior approval. Instead, what environmentalists really
wanted was  a  comprehensive  watershed planning
process in which they had a meaningful role. Industry
had heard this new position stated at the table, but I
guess they weren't really listening,  or  they didn't
believe it.  But  when they heard  it  out  of Waldo's
mouth instead of an environmentalist's mouth, they
got the message. This marked the first time industry
and environmentalists had departed from their tradi-
tional mindsets and really listened to what the other
side actually wanted out of an antidegradation pro-
   It was almost a religious experience. Industry real-
ized it could  negotiate a deal without having to ac-
cept  a  new and  rigid  permit process.  Environ-
mentalists noticed the industry's more constructive

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 49-53
behavior at the table and began to realize they could
negotiate a deal that included a meaningful role for
themselves in watershed planning without fearing in-
dustry would dump the deal and go back to the legis-
lature with another bill. There was new energy at the
table. They actually listened to each  other's con-
cerns. They had opened their minds to a new ap-
proach. You know now how it all turned out.
   I've tried to tell you the war story of Idaho, outline
the Idaho agreement, and I've even lectured at you a
little bit  (for which I apologize) about the wonders of
negotiation over litigation. I'll resist the urge to close
with soaring  rhetoric about how we must carefully
husband  our resources  and  work  together  to
manage the growing pressure on our environment.
You all know that or you wouldn't be here today. I just
want you to understand how we solved  the an-
tidegradation challenge in Idaho in the hope that our
experience and the Center's expertise may help you
resolve the issue in your States.
   Winston Churchill once commented about the ap-
parent "wishy-washyness" of American democracy
and foreign policy: "In the end, Americans will always
do the right thing, after exhausting all other alterna-
tives." I  submit that in environmental  policy, we have
exhausted all other alternatives. It is time to do the
right thing. The right thing is to pursue cooperation
and consensus.
  A Better Future in Our Woods and
        Streams — Ground Rules for
 Timber/Fish/Wildlife Agreement Negotiations
      As Promulgated by the Northwest Renewable
        Resources Center, Seattle, Washington

 Each of the participants in these discussions agrees
 to the following ground rules:
   1.  We will attempt to develop a system  which
      a. minimum guarantees for everyone,
      b. incentives which maintain and enhance tim-
         ber, fisheries and wildlife resources, and
      c. future  flexibility,   accountability,   better
         management, compliance with regulations
         and resource goals.
   2.  All participants in the negotiation bring with
      them the legitimate purposes and goals of their
      organizations.  All  parties   recognize  the
      legitimacy of the goals of others and assume
      that their own goals will also be  respected.
      These negotiations will try as much as possible
   to maximize attainment of all the goals of all the
3.  This effort will receive priority attention, staffing
   and time commitments.
4.  The same priority will  be given to solving the
   problems of others as you would give to solv-
   ing your own.
5.  A commitment is made to listen carefully: ask
   questions to understand and make statements
   to explain or educate.
6.  All issues identified  by any party must be ad-
   dressed by the whole group.
7.  Needs, problems and  opportunities, not posi-
   tions will be stated - positive candor is a little
   used but effective tool.
8.  A commitment is made to attempt to reach
   consensus on a plan.
9.  A commitment is made to be an advocate for
10. Participants will protect each  other and the
   process politically  with their  constituencies
   and the general public.
11. Weapons of war are to be left at home (or at
   least checked at the door).
12. Anyone may leave  the process and disavow
   the above ground rules, but only after telling
   the entire group why  and seeing if the prob-
   lem^) can be addressed by the group.
13. All communications with news media concern-
   ing these discussions will be by agreement of
   the group.  Everyone will be mindful of the im-
   pacts their public and private statements will
   have on the climate for this effort.
14. No participant will attribute suggestions, com-
   ments or ideas of another participant to the
   news media or non-participants.
15. In  the event this effort is  unsuccessful,  par-
   ticipants are free to pursue their interests in
   other   dispute  resolution  forums without
16. Participants are free  to, and in fact are en-
   couraged to, seek the best advice from people
   who are not in the room.
17. All of the individuals who are participants ac-
   cept the responsibility to keep their friends and
   associates informed on the progress of the dis-
18. Participants  agree to  check  rumors  with
   facilitation team prior to acting.

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 55-57
      A  Strategy for Nutrient-Enriched Waters
                                    in  Virginia
                                       Jean W. Gregory
                                  Environmental Program Manager
                           Virginia Water Control Board, Richmond, Virginia
The quality of Virginia's surface waters, particularly
those in the Chesapeake Bay drainage area, is being
affected by the presence of excessive quantities of
nutrients. In recognition of this, the Virginia Water
Control Board has developed a strategy to protect
the surface waters of the Commonwealth of Virginia
from the effects of nutrient enrichment.
   In the mid-1980s, the State's General Assembly
formed a joint legislative subcommittee  to study
these problems in Chesapeake Bay. One of  the
recommendations in their final report was to direct
the Virginia Water Control Board (VWCB) to develop
water quality standards by July 1, 1988, to protect
Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from nutrient en-
richment. The VWCB decided to expand this stand-
ards-setting activity statewide to include other river
basins  and lakes where there were  known nutrient
enrichment problems. A second legislative mandate
to develop implementation strategies for carrying out
these water quality standards was made jointly to the
VWCB, which is responsible for point sources, and
the Division of Soil and Water, which is responsible
for nonpoint source controls. As a result, VWCB
developed two regulations that became effective on
May 25,  1988.  The first established  a water quality
standard that  designated as  "nutrient enriched-
waters" those  waters  of  the Commonwealth that
show evidence of degradation attributable to the
presence of excessive nutrients. A companion policy
regulation  was created to control certain point
source discharges of nutrients affecting State waters
designated as "nutrient-enriched waters."
   When developing the water quality standard, the
VWCB was fortunate to have as background informa-
tion  not only joint State/EPA Chesapeake Bay Pro-
gram studies but also a review  prepared by the
Washington Council of Governments on the types of
water quality standards that other States were using
to control nutrients. VWCB was also aware of the
classification system for  nutrient-sensitive waters
that  our neighboring  State, North Carolina,  had
developed.  As VWCB  reviewed   regulatory  ap-
proaches to controlling nutrients, its lack of technical
expertise on nutrient-related issues soon became ap-
parent. To fill this need, they put together a Technical
Advisory Committee comprised of 19 scientists from
east coast universities and the Federal Government.
  The VWCB used a variety of policy analysis techni-
ques to obtain recommendations from the commit-
tee  for the  best indicators of nutrient enrichment.
First, VWCB mailed a series of three delphi question-
naires to the scientists, asking them to identify major
issues and reach some consensus on topics to focus
on.  The questionnaire responses were made anony-
mously to allow the scientists an  opportunity to
change their minds and not be biased by another in-
dividual on the  committee. VWCB  followed  this
process with a two-day spring workshop run in Wil-
liamsburg by the University of Virginia's Institute of
Environmental Negotiation, which  compiled a sum-
mary report.
  The Technical Advisory Committee recommended
four parameters that could be used as in-stream in-
dicators of nutrient enrichment. Listed in descending
order of  importance they are: chlorophyll  a, dis-
solved oxygen fluctuations,  total  phosphorus, and
total nitrogen. Note that the first two  parameters are
symptoms  of over-enrichment rather than direct
measurements of nutrients.
  Taking into consideration the recommendation of
the committee, VWCB decided to  base its designa-
tions on the first three parameters.  A reference to
these parameters was included in the introduction to
the water quality standard regulation for designating
nutrient enriched  waters.  VWCB  was intentionally
silent on the numeric limits, as the committee had ad-
vised,  because  unacceptable amounts  of these
parameters could vary depending on the type of
waterbody, whether it were a lake, free-flowing river,
or tidal estuary. Since every designation would in-
volve  an amendment to Virginia's  water  quality
standards, and since full public participation is re-
quired by the agency and State rules for adopting
regulations, VWCB  felt that the  public  would be
properly  notified  in  every case of the appropriate
scientific and numeric basis for these designations.
  Average seasonal  concentrations of chlorophyll a
exceeding 25 ^g/L,  dissolved oxygen fluctuations,
and high water column concentrations of total phos-
phorus were the indicators used to evaluate the his-

torical data and to identify those waters affected by
excessive nutrients. Chlorophyll a, a pigment found
in all plants, was used as the primary indicator be-
cause it indicates the quantity of plant growth. With
the exception of the mainstem of the Chesapeake
Bay, the waterbodies designated as "nutrient en-
riched" had a historical record of chlorophyll a meas-
urements in the visible range—sufficient to discolor
the water. The Virginia portion of the Chesapeake
Bay mainstem was  included  because  slight to
moderate enrichment was becoming evident and be-
cause it is part of the whole Chesapeake Bay, which
is  a nutrient-enriched system. Management  pro-
grams are needed to prevent further degradation of
this valuable resource.
   Based  on a  review  of  historical water quality
records, the board designated  as "nutrient enriched
waters" three lakes, one tributary to a lake, nine em-
bayments or tributaries to the Potomac River, the Vir-
ginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay, and  a large
portion of the Bay's tributaries. Since this initial round
of designations,  VWCB has amended the standard
once to designate the tidal freshwater portion of the
Chowan  River Basin in  Virginia. VWCB intends to
continue to review these designations and, during
the triennial review of water quality standards, will
consider additions and deletions to the list. Presently
VWCB is  initiating field studies of a  freshwater river
and a lake that may be designated "nutrient enriched"
during the 1990 triennial review.
   Since VWCB has authority to issue National Pollu-
tion Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits
and thereby  control point source  discharges  of
nutrients, a policy for controlling certain point sour-
ces of nutrients  to those waters designated as
"nutrient enriched" was established. (Another agen-
cy, the Division of Soil and Water, has developed
strategies  for  managing  nonpoint  sources  of
nutrients to "nutrient enriched waters.") The policy re-
quires certain municipal and industrial organizations
that discharge effluents containing phosphorus to
maintain a monthly average total phosphorus con-
centration of 2/
                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 55-57

   The policy regulation states that after the point      chargers of nutrients to control undesirable growths
source controls are implemented and the effects of      of aquatic plants. This policy can thus be viewed as
this policy and the nonpoint source control programs      the first phase of a strategy to  protect Virginia's
are evaluated, VWCB should recognize that it may be      waters from the effects of nutrient enrichment.
necessary  to  impose further  limitations on dis-

                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
   Q. Should there be more water quality criteria for
agricultural chemicals that are currently in use now
and, if so, what will be done if we find that the criteria
are exceeded from the labeled uses? What will one
branch of EPA do if it finds that water quality criteria
developed by another branch have been exceeded?

   Q. By water quality criteria are you specifically ad-
dressing pesticides?
   A. Right.
   A. I can't answer in detail. We don't have our ex-
pert technical people here on the pesticide issue, but
I  can tell you that we are working with the Office of
Pesticides at EPA and that they are very interested in
the surface water impacts. It's one of the factors they
consider in legislation decisions. The stricter law has
many limitations and is not going to be the salvation
for the water quality  program, it's something you
need  particularly for newer chemicals. As for  the
older  chemicals, their legal requirements are very
limited. EPA has an agricultural policy committee that
involves all the other offices that have an interest in
agriculture including the Office of Water and the non-
point  source  people,  the  Office  of  Pesticides'
programs, policy planning and evaluation, and many

   C.  Some  States are working  on  a pesticide
strategy for the future with very little guidance as to
how to proceed. There's no mandate of there being
any water quality criteria associated with that use, as
far as I know.

   Q.  When we talk about water  quality standards,
we seem to be talking only about surface water.
Groundwater quality standards should also  be con-
sidered  for nonpoint source  control,  particularly
when we talk about  best management practices
(BMPs). We are focusing on the impacts on surface
water, but actually some BMPs might have direct or
indirect impact on groundwater and, as a result, they
will be impacting surface water weeks, months, or
years afterward. I don't know if EPA has a plan to in-
tegrate  surface water  and  groundwater  quality
standards Into a water quality standards program.
   A. No, EPA doesn't have plans to integrate stan-
dards for groundwater and surface water in  the next
five years; we do need to extend surface water stan-
dards to groundwater. Groundwater standards are
very hot in the Agency now. The question of whether
or not  we could  have an integrated  program is
primarily a political one, and it doesn't appear to be
likely. We are, however, trying to integrate concerns
about groundwater and our nonpoint source efforts.
Our nonpoint source programs do have to take that
into  consideration in the way  that they're  imple-
mented. They will be limited, though, by not having
water quality standards derived in  groundwater ef-

   Q. Are there any management practices  where
the payoff is so high in terms of pollutant load reduc-
tions that they might be looked at as minimum prac-
tices required for all activities? The kinds of things
I'm thinking of are common buffer requirements for
all agricultural activities such as a strict prohibition
against cultivating right up to the side of the stream.
That could be integrated into any State's program.
   Another one is certain minimum street-sweeping
practices for urban areas. I've heard the director of
the publicly owned treatment works in a  major city
say that he  could achieve far more reduction in cer-
tain toxic pollutants by sweeping the streets on a cer-
tain  schedule  than he  could in  meeting  any
additional controls on metals or other pollutants at
the end of the pipe.
   A. I can handle that for the Telemark situation,
where there was no real storage, no real control over
the  manure as  it was accumulating around the
facilities. The BMP that is now being applied  across
the State is controlling manure: keeping it away from
the streams, keeping water away from the manure
pile,  and so forth. In a lot of cases you come back to
low-cost, logical processes—just get  the doggone
manure pile away from the stream or away from the
ditch. I've had people call me at work, they are hear-
ing about these new requirements, all about the dol-
lars it's going to cost to put in some sort of facility. In
this  particular situation,  we just covered the pile up,
and the farmer distributes it in the summer.
   Setbacks are an  excellent, low-cost procedure,
but you will not get to zero discharge. To do that, you
have to use very expensive processes. If we don't
need zero discharge, but we do need some level of
control where we can still use this stream and are will-
ing to accept a little bit of risk, then fine, but the
theorists insist that we should go with  the Clean
Water Act and take that bottom line zero discharge. I
don't see it happening.

   C. This may seem like blasphemy coming from  a
"research-type,"  but  it  almost sounds  like  what's
needed is a common sense guide to pollution control
from a nonpoint source perspective. We did this sort
of thing in Michigan for lake problems.

                                                   WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
  C.  (Bauer) We've been working  on the Forest
Practice Rules for almost four years, slowly nibbling
away  at  revising  those  practices. Some are only
specific to forestry,  but there others that are more
general. There are some places where we should be
looking, for  example, road construction practices,
which are the primary source of nonpoint source pol-
lutants in Idaho's mountainous areas. Another com-
mon area would be around  a stream channel that
would apply in an agricultural or forested area or for a
mine site use.

  Q. What is the desired level of use that the Forest
Service is trying to get at—is it what we're trying ac-
complish with the use, and what the bottom line is?
  A. (Bauer) The Columbia River Intertribe is really
pushing with the use. The Forest Service is just like a
State  being  sued for not following through on an-
tidegradation for water quality standards. Maybe we
should define goals, rather than think about stan-
dards, because with standards we  have such a
specific requirement that, to be able to enforce and
monitor it,  we  spend a lot of time arguing about
specifics and numbers. The goal really drives the sys-
tem. If we start  setting goals for certain ecoregions,
they might be more acceptable to the regulating in-
dustry and, as we apply a  goal to sites in a specific
area,  we can determine if it makes sense through

  C. That's essentially what I was trying to get at:
what you want for a beneficial use. I know what my
management is doing to  that  stream,  and I can
manage accordingly to protect that use. I don't want
to sit for two hours arguing the appropriateness of a
total phosphorus  load  or  something else  that will
supposedly take care of the aesthetics and then have
to justify an increased rate to the public.

  C. I spend hours arguing about appropriate cob-
ble  embeddedness  level.   Well,  does it matter? It's
somewhere in there and that's the goal—to get close
to what it used to be in unmanaged condition.

  C. For nonpoint source criteria, the only thing we
have to go by is what it was before we messed it up.
Now we're going to get back toward that direction or
some percentage of it.

  C. (Dawson)  Wisconsin has goals, and they're not
being met and that's the reason we have standards.
For groundwater,  we had goals in nondegradation,
no detrimental effect, clean water, and water was get-
ting polluted. No  one was willing to admit that the
water was contaminated because we didn't have a
definition. We  finally came up  with  a definition:
numeric standards. We have defined contamination,
and when it occurs, so we have a trigger mechanism
to make somebody do something. Now we can talk
about goals and  flexibility, which  sometimes is a
code word for allowing bureaucrats to test the politi-
cal winds.
   In Wisconsin, it is standards that are bringing ac-
tion. We have goals, the Clean Water Act sets goals,
our groundwater  laws set goals, our Air Act sets
goals, but they're not being met. We need interim
standards to raise expectations and trigger action. I
disagree, quite respectfully, with the idea that all we
have to do is set  goals, then give us  flexibility, and
we'll go out and do it. I believe in performance stand-
ards, but in the absence of action to achieve perfor-
mance standards, on an interim basis, we're going to
need water quality  standards. Then,  if they're not
being met, the public has a route to ask for account-
ability from not just regulators, but politicians, also.

   Q. Are the standards you're talking about relative
to nonpoint sources?
   A. (Dawson) The groundwater standards are with
regard to pesticide use. For example, in Wisconsin
we've  had administrative  orders issued  by the
Department of Agriculture against the pesticide al-
dicarb. We  have developed standards for other pes-
ticides (common  ones like atrazine and alachlor),
and, as a result of monitoring, the department is re-
quired  to develop rules  and regulations  that are
reasonably related  to achieving  the groundwater
standards. We have other goals and policies, so we
can be stricter in achieving those numeric standards,
but it's the  standards that are enforcement triggers
that  raise  an  agency's  nondiscretionary  duty to
achieve groundwater quality.

   Q. Who do you go after in face of violation?
   A. (Dawson)  In this case, it would be either the
manufacturer and/or certain practices. For example,
the Department of Agriculture imposed management
practices and use practices for aldicarb.  In other
cases where  it  was  found that best  management
practices were  not  adequate,  the chemical was
banned in certain  groundwater susceptible areas. In
Wisconsin we had plenty of flexibility, but we weren't
achieving groundwater quality. Now  that we  have
these numeric triggers for action, we are starting to
achieve it.

   C. I totally agree with you on the groundwater
side, but surface  water, where  you really  have to
protect biological  systems that's where it gets real

  C. (Dawson) I agree that beneficial use is oneway
of measuring the standard. But seeing the fish does
not tell you what kind of condition the fish are in. In
Green Bay, Wisconsin, you can't consume them be-
cause they're full of PCBs and other chemicals. The
great irony of the Fox River is that we cleaned it up in
terms of dissolved oxygen so that the fish can actual-
ly migrate to a point where they're now getting toxics
into  their  systems.   The  ecosystem  is  now
demonstrating that we've got cross-billed  cor-
morants and other deformities and fertility problems,
which are moving up into the human food chain.
Beneficial use is a loaded term, and I think we have to
be careful with the kinds of definitions we make for it.

   Q. Should the EPA modify its regulations for water
quality standards to account for nonpoint sources?
Should there be changes in 40 CFR part 131?
   A. I think there are two parts to the solution here.
One is standards: they should focus on the desig-
nated beneficial uses and that applies to whether the
pollutant source is point or nonpoint. Where I think
we've  fallen down is taking those  standards  and
translating them  to a particular waterbody. Often we
focus on the standard, then we focus on programs,
but we never get to that translation that says for that
waterbody these actions should be taken to fully im-
plement that designated  beneficial use. When  you
get to that level  and try to make that translation of
standards to what's happening on that water, then
you can begin to see what actions you need from the
nonpoint source people and the point source control
people. That's where  I would propose that we  em-
phasize  getting  a  better definition  of  the actual
problems and the actions that need to be taken, and
an emphasis on tracking to see if, in fact, we are get-
ting those actions taken.

   C. (Knox) I see the  permitting as telling managers
specifically what jt is they need to do to address
water  quality problems.  In some cases, the stan-
dards  people are giving  us some definite numeric
criteria to work with, but the missing piece in
Louisiana is how do we get from standards to permit-
ting? In an attempt to address that, we're looking at a
stream classification  project and considering the
ecosystem or ecoregion approach.
   Also, on filter  strips from milking parlors—their ef-
fectiveness in removing  some of the  wastes  and
keeping them from getting in the waterways—were
those treated wastes that were being removed?
   A.  (Clausen)  This is raw  milkhouse  from  a
stanchion barn, so it's a pipeline system.
  Q. (Knox) Is there a point source?
  A. (Clausen) we made it a point source.

  Q. (Knox) Is it being regulated as a point source?
  A. (Clausen) No, milkhouse wastes are not regu-
lated as point sources.
  A. (Knox) In Louisiana, they are now.

  Q. (Clausen) Is there a size limitation, a certain
number of animals?
  A. (Knox) The permit has not been written yet, but
I'm working on it; that's why I was curious as to how if
that was a point source you were getting that kind of
reduction through.

  C. (Clausen) It ends up being a point source just
because we made sure it would end up staying in the
pipe until it got to the filter strip.

  C. Some of you brought up the buffer strip con-
cept as being a bottomline issue, or a best manage-
ment practice that you can  apply uniformly. From
what I'm hearing about Chesapeake Bay, that is cer-
tainly not the case. For many years we thought buffer
strips did great things but some findings are surfac-
ing that are casting doubts; in fact, they treat sedi-
ments  somewhat but they're not treating the soluble
stuff at all. For us to say that farmers should take
acres out of production and create greenways along
waterways would probably not go very far.

   Q. How about wooded or grass bumper strips?
   A. I think primarily the grass, the managed, hay-
cropped strips would be effective.

   C. (Garreis) I'm from the Department of  Environ-
ment  in  Maryland  and  am  involved with  the
Chesapeake  Bay  Program. We certainly would not
concede that implementing things like bumper strips
has no value or even little value. Those are fighting
words  in my State,  and in Virginia,  also.  Bumper
strips do have value. It is true they don't do  all of the
things  that they were originally thought to do, but
they stop a lot of sediments and erosion control, and
many of your toxic substances and other things that
move when dirt moves.
   We  do think it's a very simple science. Everything
you do to keep dirt from moving has a lot to do with
downstream water quality and has a profound effect
on  fisheries  habitat, fisheries, fish, oysters,  and
clams. If your oysters  are buried in silt because of
erosion, they're going to die, so this method does
have value and we're definitely supporting  that pro-
gram. There are manuals on best management prac-

                                                   WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
tices for soil erosion control but, unfortunately, most
of them haven't been implemented. Our program in
the Chesapeake Bay operates through cost sharing
of agricultural practices where we'll put up nearly 50
percent of the cost. In some cases, it's 100 percent of
the cost to implement best management practices
on farms; that includes  everything from building
manure sheds for poultry farms to keep manure from
washing into  waters, to fencing cattle back out of
streams to control erosion and to protect stream
banks and habitat, to putting in those grassy buffer
strips. Instead of getting hung up entirely on the use
of numeric criteria, perhaps a better approach would
be to take  those  practices that are in use and do
some good in sediment and erosion control, and im-
plement them. They've been on the books for a long
time but very few of them have been put into practice.

   Q. Are all  those policies promulgated by  your
   A. (Garreis) I mentioned a standard and a policy,
which  are  both  promulgated through  our  State
regulatory or adoption process and  are legally en-
forceable regulations. They both went together in a
parallel fashion through the public participation route
and are in the process now of receiving a certification
letter from our attorney general so we can send them
to EPA for review.

  Q. Why did you decide not to have nitrogen in
your standard?
  A. (Garreis) There were several reasons for that.
One was that some scientists on our committee said
that algae could find nitrogen sources in the atmos-
phere,  and  so nitrogen was not always  the  best
measure. Also, as part of the Chesapeake Bay Agree-
ment, we are obligated to remove 90 percent of the
nitrogen in the Bay. This, however, is the first phase;
we may very well find we have to go back and add
nitrogen removal. We thought the best first step was
to have it voluntary, and that if someone agreed in
their discharge to remove nitrogen by 10 milligrams
per liter, we would give them that incentive by giving
them an extra year. In the future, we will have to give
additional weight to the nitrogen issue.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 63
                  Identification and Control of
                               Toxic Pollutants
                               Kenneth L. Dickson (Moderator)
                                Director, Institute of Applied Sciences
                              North Texas State University, Demon, Texas
The development of  numeric standards for toxic
chemicals is an issue that many States have been
struggling with for several years. It is a problem that
we have to deal with  now and in the future as the
triennial reviews come up. So it is not a topic that has
been totally addressed, and it is not a topic that will
go away.
  One of the major objectives of this conference is
to examine the Framework that EPA has developed
to make sure that the  Agency addresses the issues
and the problems that States are encountering as
they develop numeric  toxic standards and whole ef-
fluent toxicity testings. What are the major problems
encountered by State agencies in trying to develop
toxic standards? Some States have felt that it is not
possible to devise numeric standards;  other States
have tackled the problem with a variety of different
  Should EPA expand the list of priority pollutants?
States' standards have developed numeric stan-
dards for nonpriority pollutants. How does whole ef-
fluent toxicity testing relate to establishing numeric
standards? What can  be done if a toxic is identified
but no criteria or advisories exist? What is the role of
advisories in establishing toxic standards? How do
States identify chemicals of concern?  How do we
identify those emerging toxic problems? Lastly, how
does a State prioritize chemicals found in toxic
waters so that important ones are addressed?
  Two out of the six objectives in the Framework ad-
dress this topic. One of them is a mandate: to adopt
numeric  criteria for  pollutants.  There are some
proposed activities toward this end in the document,
of which a few have already  been accomplished.
Another objective is to adopt toxicity-based criteria
and whole effluent bioassays and to develop techni-
cal procedures-the other control strategy beyond
numeric toxic standards.
  What are  these  proposed  activities  directed
toward; do they offer solutions to the problems and
issues  States face for  developing  numeric  toxic
standards? This linkage is really critical. How impor-
tant are these activities in relation to other issues
such as advisories, sediment criteria, and protection
of wetlands and estuaries?
  A variety of activities related to toxics are identified
in this Framework, of which many have already been
accomplished to varying degrees. For example, Ac-
tivity 2-A: conduct additional research for  develop-
ment of numeric criteria-in other words, on new
chemicals. The question is, on which new chemicals
do we need criteria developed? We cannot develop
criteria for all of them.
  A second example: adopt toxicity-based criteria
and develop the implementation procedures. This in-
volves a variety of interesting activities, and those
with the 9/88  designator have already been done.
Not all of those deadlines have been met, but at least
draft documents are out.
  A very important activity that I would like people to
consider because of its role in the control of toxic
chemicals is Number A-4-3: assist in the  develop-
ment of guidance on the bioaccumulative potential of
complex effluents. This area is not addressed in
many of the States' approaches.
  The  meaning of the last activity, develop proce-
dures to be  used in biocriteria assessment of toxicity
activities, should be amplified and clarified by EPA.

                                            WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 65-69
      Looking Backwards and Forward  at  the

                     Water  Quality Programs
                        Richard A. Kimerle, Senior Fellow (Presenter)
                       Donald R. Grothe, Senior Specialist (Coauthor)
                            William J. Adams, Fellow (Coauthor)
                              Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri
For 20 years I have been working in the chemical in-
dustry on water quality issues of one kind or another:
toxicity and ecological hazard assessment of priority
pollutants, individual chemicals, whole effluents, and
hazardous wastes. I have also been involved in ac-
tivities in the scientific and regulatory communities
and, most recently, as a member of the EPA Science
Advisory Board Committee on Environmental Fate,
Transport, and Effects. I therefore bring the biases of
my experience to this conference—along with a few
visions. One of my visions is that regulations will have
a sound foundation in good science. It is in this spirit
that we at Monsanto  reviewed  the water quality
standards programs of the 21st century.
   Prior to reviewing the programs, we would like to
discuss Figure 1, which shows the general relation-
ship of the three essential parts  of solving any en-
vironmental issue: identify, assess,  and  control,  in
that order. If we allow ourselves to only identify and
assess environmental problems,  we create a  situa-
tion where we are doing nothing but trying to satisfy
an endless curiosity. Appropriate  corrective environ-
mental controls are never implemented. When we get
into the mode of identifying and controlling per-
ceived  environmental problems without the proper
assessments, that places us in a position of unknown
cost/benefits that frequently is a waste of money.
                   Endless Curiosity
  Waste Of
 Waste Of Money
Can Be Monitoring
Figure 1.—Hazard management model to identify, assess,
and control environmental problems.

   The ideal  situation is to include all  three com-
ponents operating on all environmental problems.
Wise use of this Nation's limited resources suggests
this paradigm be considered in EPA's water quality
standard  programs. Has the  EPA considered the
concepts shown in this figure  in their water quality
programs of the past, present, and future? As we
reviewed the Framework, we have kept these three
aspects of environmental problem solving in mind.
  Another important concept we wanted to explore
is shown in Figures 2 and 3, the aquatic hazard as-
sessment model that has become so important to
our science and that needs to be a bigger part of our
regulations. These are plots of chemical concentra-
tion on the horizontal axis and frequency  of occur-
rence on the vertical axis for acute toxicity, chronic
toxicity, ecosystem toxicity, and  exposure. If you
were to collect hundreds of acute toxicity numbers
on all different species and plot the values,  there
would be some sort of central tendency with a few
values on the very sensitive side and a few values at
the other  end of  the  scale  demonstrating  great
tolerance.  Of course we never collect this much
acute toxicity data, thus we never know with a limited
data base whether it represents the most  sensitive,
the least sensitive, or, in fact, that the selected data
represent the mean toxic response.  Logically think-
ing, the fewer the data points obtained the greater the
uncertainty of our  estimate. Recognizing  this as a
real problem, toxicologists  have come to rely on
species that tend to fall on the more sensitive side of
the acute toxicity sensitivity range.
  Chronic toxicity data also follow  the same prin-
ciples of variation as shown in the acute toxicity data,
with the values somewhat lower. The water quality
criterion concept and the method used to derive the
criterion has provisions built into it  to address the
problems stated. Numerous species are  required;
several of the required species are generally thought
of as "sensitive"; and the calculated "safe" concentra-
tion is conservative. One of the greatest assumptions
of the water quality approach to regulating chemicals
is that the calculated water quality criterion, if not ex-
ceeded, will protect a majority of the species in na-

                             102             103               104
                                   Chemical Concentration
Figure 2.—Aquatic hazard assessment model demonstrating principles of acute, chronic, ecosystem, and exposure data base un-
certainly and the margin of safety concept for comparing exposure and toxicity data. The X-axis is chemical concentration and the
Y-axis is frequency of occurrence.
   This brings in the third curve for the response of
the ecosystems. We could only expect that if we had
lots of data on many ecosystems we would see a dif-
ference in their responses. Some would be more sen-
sitive than others. A few studies have shown that the
calculated  water quality criterion is conservative
enough  that  it  provides adequate  protection for
ecosystems. There  do not seem to be any data to
date that prove otherwise.
   The last curve in  Figure 2 adds an  important part
of  the hazard assessment  model: exposure. Ex-
posure data, just as the toxicity data, if collected in
great quantities from ail over the country would show
some sites with very low concentrations and some
sites  with higher concentrations, and all the data
could be represented by some sort of central tenden-
cy curve. Unlike the toxicity data where we are look-
ing for the more sensitive species response, in the
exposure data we are looking for highest numbers to
better understand worst case exposures. Also impor-
tant are  the exposure concentrations that are en-
countered  with a  high  degree of frequency, for
instance, 50 percent, 90 percent, 95  percent of the
                              Most important in Figure 2 is the relationship be-
                           tween exposure and effects data, and what the un-
                           certainty is of  making decisions with less than a
                           complete data base. When there is a wide margin be-
                           tween  the  exposure  concentrations   and  the
                           laboratory-derived  toxicological  "safe" concentra-
                           tion, the situation can be judged safer than when the
                           margin of safety is much smaller or nonexistent as is
                           shown in Figure 3. The water quality criterion con-
                           cept as it has evolved in this country under the direc-
                           tion of EPA relies totally upon the hazard assessment
                           model in that it conceptually states  that exposure
                           concentrations should not exceed  the  calculated
                           water quality criterion. That means that the margin of
                           safety must be greater than 1. Of course a margin of
                           safety of 10 to  100 is easier to judge as acceptable
                           than is one of just 2 to 5. However, superimposed on
                           any decision must be some understanding of the un-
                           certainty of the data base. With a large toxicity data
                           base, as  is required  to  calculate  a water quality
                           criterion, and a large exposure data base, less uncer-
                           tainty exists, thus a narrower margin of safety can be
                           accepted compared to when the opposite is true.
                              The concepts presented in Figures 2 and 3 pro-
                           vide the tools for identifying and assessing environ-

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 65-69
                                   Chemical Concentration

Figure 3.—Aquatic hazard assessment model demonstrating the concept of no margin of safety compared to the water quality
criteria data base. The X-axis Is chemical concentration and the Y-axis is frequency of occurrence.
mental problems in Figure 1. The water quality stand-
ard programs can now be reviewed in light of these
important concepts.
   The water quality assessment  and engineering
control programs of the past 20 years and  for the
next 3 triennial periods are diagrammatically sum-
marized in the time lines of Figure 4. The lower half
shows the point source control  programs in the
1970s  and earlier as water  quality-driven.  Waste
treatment was implemented to reduce  suspended
solids, biochemical oxygen demand, and bacteria to
make the receiving waters safer for humans and to
improve the oxygen content for aquatic life.  By the
1970s it was realized that even though surface water
quality had greatly improved, further reductions in
pollutants were  needed because  adverse impacts
were still occurring in some waters.
   Thus, the technology approach was introduced.
However, for situations this resulted in treatment for
treatment's sake, which was noted in one of the over-
sight hearings by Congress. A need still existed in
some cases to improve water quality by not allowing
"the discharge of toxic chemicals in toxic amounts."
Note the wisdom in this water quality goal, which es-
sentially stated in a very simplistic way the hazard as-
sessment paradigm. First, you must know the toxicity
of the discharge, i.e., "toxic," and second, you must
know if the concentration of the effluent is of a suffi-
ciently high concentration to cause a toxic response,
i.e., "toxic amount." This water quality goal does not
eliminate toxic chemicals. What Congress was func-
tionally saying in the Clean Water Act was to manage
exposure of the chemicals so the concentrations are
below the known effect concentration. This approach
is consistent with the hazard assessment model and
the water quality  criteria  concept of maintaining a
margin of safety of at least 1.
   Because the  technology-based approach did not
include the important concept of toxicity, the water
quality-based approach was reinstituted by  EPA in
their water quality standards programs of the 1980s.
Over the next three triennial periods, States will con-
tinue to use the water quality and technology  ap-
proach to make incremental improvements in water
quality from point source discharges. Are these addi-
tional costs for  more point source controls justified
based upon proper identification and  assessment as
presented in Figurel?
  The upper half of Figure 4 shows time lines for the
various  water quality assessment programs from
1970 to the mid-1990s. The specific programs of the
next three triennial periods, as they were outlined by

                                            1988 - 1990
                                                                    1991 - 1993
                                                                                         1994 -»
                      Point Source
                                    Water Quality +  Technology
              Water Quality
                                                                           Non Point Source
              1970s         1980s      '       1988-1990        '

Figure 4.—Time line of the water quality standards programs of the 21 st century.
                                                                    1991 - 1993
EPA in the preconference material, are also shown.
Prior to the early 1970s, the primary approach to
water quality assessment was founded  in field sur-
veys of ecosystem health.  Field biologists ("stone
kickers") went out and made the evaluations. Also, in
the   1970s,  the  chemical-specific   water quality
criterion approach gained  new support  with the
development of a method to calculate water quality
criteria and the subsequent issuance of draft criteria
for 65, and later 129, priority pollutants.
   Recognizing that environmental problems existed
that were not necessarily related to the 129 priority
pollutants, EPA initiated the whole effluent toxicity
testing program, which had several advantages over
the chemical-by-chemical approach. It also has had
some disadvantages, which are now being corrected
in a new version of the technical support document.
In the late  1980s, the  water quality advisory concept
came into  being with the realization that the rate of
publishing criteria could be accelerated  if less data
would be required to  derive an estimate of the water
quality criterion. States can misuse water quality ad-
visories if they are adopted as standards and not ad-
                                                     justed over time as new data become available.  In
                                                     their current form, they are more conservative than
                                                     water quality criteria-derived standards, following the
                                                     published 1978 EPA methodology.
                                                       The  water quality criteria  and  whole  effluent
                                                     toxicity programs provide a reasonable set of tools to
                                                     identify and assess water quality if they are used
                                                     properly. The additional programs proposed for the
                                                     following  triennial periods are shown in Figure  4.
                                                     Some of these programs are consistent with the prin-
                                                     ciples of environmental problem solving in Figure 1
                                                     and the hazard assessment  concepts of Figures 2
                                                     and 3, and some of them are not appropriate in their
                                                       Figure 5 shows a more realistic and appropriate
                                                     ordering of the  programs. Consistent with the prin-
                                                     ciples presented earlier, the programs to identify and
                                                     take an "inventory"  of the health of  the Nation's
                                                     waters are contained in the impacted waters and
                                                     biocriteria/ecosystems   programs.   These   two
                                                     programs need  to receive a higher priority because
                                                     the results can help guide use of limited resources to
                                                     continue into the assessment and  control phases of

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 65-69
                                        Non Point
                                           1988 - 1990
                                                                   1991 - 1993
                   Point Source
Water Quality + Technology
                                                                         Non Point Source   A
                                                                             Control      '*-
             Water Quality
             1970s        1980s  r    '       1988-1990       '        1991-1993        '    1994-»

 Figure 5.—Reordering of the water quality standards programs to make them more consistent with the hazard management model.
 environmental problem solving. The biocriteria pro-
 gram appears to be an  extension of the old field
 ecosystem survey approach, in that we are returning
 to the environment itself to evaluate its actual health
 and well being.
    The other programs in the Framework are listed in
 the upper half of Figure  5. Numerics, antidegrada-
 tion,  bioaccumulation,   sediments,  marine,   non-
 points, and wildlife should receive a lower priority
 until the water quality criteria, whole effluent toxicity,
 and biocriteria programs  mature and the results are
 used to guide where emphasis should be placed.
 This is not to say that the listed programs of the future
 should  be  ignored,  only  that  they should be
 evaluated for appropriateness.  For instance,  the
 sediment program, as it could come to be applied to
 NPDES permits, may not be needed except in rela-
 tively few cases because  the existing effluent permit
 system will much improve effluent quality. Or the im-
                  plementation of a chronic toxicity program for ef-
                  fluents may not be needed with the improvements
                  that are taking place in effluent quality because of the
                  existing effluent acute programs. The application of
                  more numerics could lead to overly restrictive and
                  unjustified controls being implemented, thus wasting
                  more of our limited resources.
                     In summary, we have developed many useful tools
                  to identify and assess the health of our waters. Before
                  we jump into new restrictive and very costly control
                  programs, we should be  sure that the cost can be
                  justified based upon a needed improvement in water
                  quality. We need to use the existing  capabilities to
                  identify and assess the status of  our environment.
                  One problem in  guidance  documents and  other
                  preliminary methods  and numbers is misuse. Once
                  new ideas are out there, they are picked up and used
                  with little regard for whether or not they are technical-
                  ly sound.

                                            WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 71-72
           Developments  in  Sediment Criteria

                                       Nelson Thomas
                 Senior Advisor for National Programs, Environmental Research Laboratory
                       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota
About four years ago, EPA began to develop numeric
criteria. Prior to that, Research and Development,
had a program; however, it concentrated on the
generic sense of sediments (sludge) and was aban-
doned when we started this new effort. This is strictly
numeric criteria, as opposed to assessment  tech-
niques one might get with sediment testing, and they
are for in-place pollutants residing in a harbor or bay,
not projected impacts that might occur after the pol-
lutants are moved on to a site, because exposure is
quite a bit different.
   Back in 1984 when EPA started this effort there
was a search to see what was in the sediment—an
analysis of  48  chemicals. This initial survey found
sediment ranges in large concentrations spread all
over the country in different types of environments
that would  present  problems for  criteria develop-
ment. In some areas sediments are localized, in other
areas they spread over a whole waterbody, so it will
be a challenge to bring all these factors together.
   At the root of all of this is bioavailability,  the two
routes of exposure a key issue. When EPA tried to put
an overall program together, it had to assess sedi-
ments for the  effects, then  it  had to formulate a
mitigation program and a monitoring program. There
have been a few studies on carcinogens, some large
sampling of fish populations (tumors on fish usually
result from exposure to contaminated _sediment),
various chemical contamination studies;  and some
that  addressed tissue residue formation.  Various
physical parameters are required  to do  an overall
characterization of the site.
   We see two types of mitigation prevention. One is
in source limitation: this eventually might be through
the permits program, but you need to know the sedi-
ment capacity of the stream, how it flows, and the ab-
sorption resuspension chemical fate. To  handle an
existing historical problem, you must know what the
removal option is, what the rate of deprivation is if the
sediment is left alone, and finally what the degrada-
tion process is and how long it will take. The three
categories-biological,  chemical,  and   physical —
also apply to  monitoring; therefore, for  a well-
rounded program, all aspects must be addressed.
   Currently, eight techniques are
          being investigated:

• The reference approach, where a frequency dis-
tribution is taken of the chemical characteristics of a
contaminated area and compared to that of an un-
contaminated area;

• The equilibrium partitioning approach, where
the interstitial water of the individual chemicals on the
sediments are predicted from partitioning theory and
then compared to water quality criteria;

• The interstitial water method where water is col-
lected, a chemical  analysis is made, and the result is
compared to the water quality criteria (or waters are
poured off the interstitial water, a toxicity test similar
to the whole effluent test is run,  and then toxicity is

• The sediment toxicity test, where the safe sedi-
ment concentration of a particular chemical is deter-
mined   by  running  a  common  dose  response
experiment (e.g.,  take a  contaminated  sediment,
dilute it with a similar clean sediment, and try to get a
dose response to find a safe concentration);

• The  apparent  threshold  method,  where field
data are taken on biological effects (usually distribu-
tions of  benthic populations) and compared to sedi-
ment  concentration of  individual chemicals  (the
apparent effects threshold is defined  as the con-
centration above which biological effects are always
observed that can sometimes be coupled with a par-
ticular compound to determine a safe concentration
in the effects that is somewhere in between);

• The  screening level concentration, which  is
based strictly on field data of individual chemicals
that are  related to the presence and absence of ben-
thic animals (this  method  has been  used to try to
verify some of the other techniques);

• The sediment  quality triad  technique,  a com-
bination of sediment chemistry, toxicity, and biologi-
cal effects that, when all are considered, may provide
major biological effects; and

m The tissue residue approach, which tries to es-
tablish a  safe sediment concentration  based on
back-calculating  from an acceptable residue  to  a
resulting  sediment  concentration. (Basically, this
technique looks  at  the  bioaccumulation factor by
relating it to the sediments.)

  Of the eight techniques,  the greatest  efforts are
being given to equilibrium partitioning, the parent ef-
fects threshold, and, probably, the technique using
tissue residues that has  been used heavily to study
the dioxin problem in Lake Ontario.
  For the long-term, EPA has committed  to develop
over-all sediment quality  criteria. Several things must
be done to implement  these standards, including
classification using toxicity  data from  either the
laboratory  or  field  observation.  For in-place pol-
lutants, particle  deposition  and  resuspension are
very important when  examining  long-term impact.
We must be able to predict whether pollutants will be
buried naturally in the few centimeters laid on every
year, or if a storm will suspend and transport them to
a different site. This is a very difficult problem to solve
and  extremely important for modeling the long-term.
Studies  on  sediment  bioaccumulation  have  in-
creased over the past few years, but the sediments
under study may not be related to the sediments
where fish were collected, so it may be impossible to
determine whether the compounds observed in the
fish came from the sediments. More work must be
done on developing  test methods,  particularly for
bulk sediments and toxicity.
   There are a myriad of problems to be solved. We
are just starting to do carcinogenicity tests with sedi-
ments and fish.  For sediment quality criteria,  the
whole issue of the minimum data set is the same
problem we faced in water quality criteria. If we want
to limit accumulation of pollutants, we will have to
know how to do waste load allocations.
   How do we perform ecological assessment of ex-
posure? There are many sites where option analysis
for the no-action program is a viable alternative, but
we don't have the techniques to analyze them. We
need more methods to help determine the causes of
sediment toxicity. Pilot studies are needed—on Su-
perfund sites, for instance. Of course they would be
very expensive, but perhaps they are our only option.
Finally, we need models for sediment particle  deposi-
tion and resuspension for the modeling techniques.
   EPA has spent approximately $2 million on sedi-
ment criteria and estimates that another $4 million
will be needed to complete the standards.

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 73-74
Identification  and  Control of Toxic  Pollutants

                                    Jessica C. Landman
               Senior Project Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C.
   The Problems and Successes
   States are Having in Adopting
     Numeric Criteria for Toxics

Inconsistent Records Among Regions
EPA's most recent update on State  adoption of
numeric standards, dated August 1988, suggested
that there were significant differences among regions
in the number of criteria that had been adopted. The
summary does not indicate whether the variations
are due to differences in pollutants expected to be
present in the regions or some other unidentified fac-
tor (e.g., all of Region IV shows 40 or fewer human
health  criteria and no new ones planned, for all
States;  Region  IX shows nearly  all  States  with
numeric criteria to protect human health for over 100
   EPA Headquarters should be deeply concerned
about the disparities among the regions. The Agency
needs to determine the reasons for these regional dif-
ferences, and if certain regions are not disapproving
State triennial review results as they should, then
steps should be taken to improve the situation.
   The Framework's agenda should include an as-
sessment of this  problem and  a commitment of
resources to deal with it.

Inadequate Monitoring Programs
One  problem that may be causing  delays  in  State
numeric standards adoption for toxics is the lack of
State monitoring data (a problem for standard set-
ting,  permit writing and NPS program purposes).
EPA's "Surface Water Monitoring: A Framework for
Change" indicates that many of the States' monitor-
ing networks still are geared towards conventional
pollutants, or metals with only a smattering of toxics
being tested (and without appropriate protocols for
assessing contaminated runoff problems).
   The 304(1) program provides a good  model for
EPA  action. Using the same approaches it used to
identify potential 304(1) hotspots - Form 2C data, ITD
data on toxics discharged by a given industry, and so
forth- EPA should be prepared to present each State
with  its own assessment of which toxic 307(a) pol-
lutants need to be covered by State  numeric stand-
ards. EPA then could allow the States to rebut its
assessments, as was done with the 304(1) "candidate
  EPA also needs to make improved monitoring re-
quirements and data  review a part of the Water
Quality Standards Framework. Where State monitor-
ing networks are inadequate to support decisions to
adopt or not adopt numeric water quality standards,
then EPA has to take action.
  EPA also  needs to establish some minimum
criteria for acceptable 305(b) monitoring and report-
ing. The findings of the monitoring Framework are an
important guide: more uniformity in reporting format,
compatibility of States' data bases, and other like
changes are needed to promote comprehensibility of
the information.

EPA as Promulgating Authority
Will the  task of adopting numeric criteria be com-
pleted by the end of  1990 as contemplated in the
draft framework? It will if EPA takes steps to see that it
is. EPA and the States are facing—and must meet-a
statutory deadline.
  At the end  of the current triennial review period,
EPA regional  offices  and  Headquarters  must be
ready to disapprove inadequate State Water Quality
Standards and to publish proposed and final numeric
water quality standards for toxics of concern for each
State that fails to carry out the law's requirements.
  Headquarters should be thinking ahead to its
strategy for action. One option is to conduct a mass
promulgation  for all  States that have not acted,
adopting all 304(a) criteria as State standards or all
304(a) criteria for toxics expected to be present. The
States could revise their standards to account for
site- or State-specific differences.

EPA's Responsibility to Set
Health-Based Standards
Where EPA is the standard-setting entity (i.e., when
the States fail to act), it also will be necessary for EPA
to take a position on what level of health risk is ac-
ceptable. Any federally promulgated State standards
should allow no more than a 1 in 1 million additional
cancer risk for any human health criterion  promul-
gated. That is consistent with  what many of the
States are doing and what several regional offices al-
ready have done in the absence of an articulated na-

tional position. If EPA sets a lower level of protection,
it will send a signal to the States and regions that
could undercut their efforts to protect public health.

How Does Whole  Effluent Toxicity
Testing Relate to 303(c)(2)(B)?
Section 303(c)(2)(B)  requires that States adopt
criteria "based on biological monitoring or assess-
ment methods consistent with information published
pursuant to section 304(a)(8)." Section 304(a)(8), in
turn, requires that EPA publish, by February 4,1989,
"information  on  methods   for establishing  and
measuring water quality criteria for toxic pollutants
on other bases than pollutant-by-pollutant criteria, in-
cluding biological  monitoring and  assessment
  These provisions collectively mean that EPA must
do for toxicity what it has done for certain individual
toxicants: develop toxic effects "criteria" that set min-
imum standards as to, for example, species survival.
EPA should establish "acute and chronic effluent
toxicity criteria," with appropriately protective tests.

What Framework Amendments Are
Needed for This Topic?
The Framework  is  not specific  enough  about
monitoring needs and the problems of inconsisten-
cies and inadequacies in State monitoring programs.
Monitoring is one  of those areas that  straddles
NPDES permitting and standard-setting activities. As
a result, it can fall between the cracks even though it
is essential  to both programs.  Assessment of the
States' data-gathering capabilities to identify gaps
and deal with monitoring deficiencies should be part
of the water quality standards process in the triennial
  The Framework does not address the need for in-
novative monitoring approaches adequately. In par-
ticular, how will EPA test for impacts  from  bio-
accumulative contaminants  (like  dioxin) that  are
below detectable levels in the water column but that
result in contamination of fish flesh? The Framework
should make  development  of new testing tech-
niques, such as caged fish studies, a priority for the
upcoming triennial cycle.
  The Framework does not say anything about
EPA's plans for adopting numeric standards in States
that fail to act by the statutory deadline.
  Additional toxics control actions that are needed
include water  quality standard  rules that  prohibit
mixing zones for toxics, and water quality standards
rules that establish a 1 in 1 million cancer risk as the
minimum acceptable level of protection to be af-
forded by human health-based numeric or narrative
  The Framework  should  call  for  nationwide,
Federal guidance on the minimum  elements  of a
State  antidegradation  implementation  strategy,
rather than simply the reviews of existing State ac-
tions  that it presently lists.  Without Federal  EPA
guidance, there will continue to be inconsistencies
and a nearly total lack of field level enforcement. Anti-
degradation must  be integrated into water quality
standards and permitting, and particularly into non-
point source management plans.
   Finally, the Framework, and EPA generally, should
address the overall need for increased  resources.
Rather than focus exclusively on dividing up the
pieces of an inadequate pie (robbing  Peter to pay
Paul), efforts should be made to obtain a bigger pie.

                                           WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 75-78
                  Tackling Toxics Through the
                    Chesapeake Bay Program

                                         B. J. Caton
                                Deputy Executive Director for Policy
                          Virginia Water Control Board, Richmond, Virginia
The Chesapeake Bay Program represents a prece-
dent-setting regional approach to the restoration of
an invaluable national resource. The Federal  and
State partners in the Bay Program  have acknowl-
edged  that  restoration  and  protection  of  the
Chesapeake Bay require an aggressive, cooperative
program that identifies and controls  toxics entering
the Bay basin. Accordingly, the Basinwide Toxics
Reduction Strategy was recently designed to guide
and coordinate toxics research, monitoring,  and
control activities. To develop the Strategy, the Bay
partners had to consider many of the same questions
being addressed at this meeting, including
   • What is currently being done to identify and
    control toxics in the Bay?
   • What are the priority needs for toxics
    identification and control?
   • How can these critical needs be met?
   • What are the roles and responsibilities of the
    principal parties?
This paper  provides  a brief  overview  of  the
Chesapeake Bay Agreement and highlights key com-
mitments under the Toxics Reduction Strategy that
were crafted in response to these questions.
 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement

On December 15, 1987, Governor Baliles of Virginia,
Governor Schaefer of Maryland, Governor Casey of
Pennsylvania, Mayor Barry of the District of Colum-
bia, Kenneth Cole, chairman of the Chesapeake Bay
Commission, and EPA Administrator Lee Thomas,
representing the Federal Government, signed the
1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement. This agreement
reaffirms the need  for the ambitious  interstate-
Federal Chesapeake Bay restoration effort that was
formally initiated with the 1983 Chesapeake Bay
Agreement. The 1987 Agreement contains the follow-
ing commitment: "Recognizing that the Chesapeake
Bay's importance transcends  regional boundaries,
we commit to managing the Chesapeake Bay as an
integrated ecosystem and pledge our best efforts to
achieve the goals in this Agreement."
  Then the 1987 Agreement goes far beyond the
general coordination commitments of the original
Agreement.  It identifies goals and objectives in six
areas  (living resources; water  quality;  population
growth and development; public information, educa-
tion, and  participation; public access; and gover-
nance) and  supports  them  with  29   specific
commitments. These commitments and associated
deadlines signal an acceleration of collaborative res-
toration efforts under the Chesapeake Bay Program.
     Toxics Reduction Strategy

The partners in the Chesapeake Bay Program recog-
nize  that a more unified,  basinwide approach  is
needed to address the increasing threat of toxic pol-
lution in the Bay. The water quality goal of the 1987
Chesapeake Bay Agreement is to:
     Reduce and control point and nonpoint
     sources of pollution to attain the water
     quality condition necessary to support the
     living resources of the Bay.
   One commitment under this  goal calls for the
preparation of a strategy to reduce the input of toxics
to the Bay:
     To achieve this goal  we agree ... By
     December 1988, to develop, adopt, and
     begin  implementation of a basin-wide
     strategy to achieve a reduction of toxics
     consistent with the Water Quality Act of
     1987 which will  ensure protection of
     human health and living resources.  The
     strategy will cover both point and non-
     point sources, monitoring protocols, en-
     forcement of pretreatment regulations,
     and methods for dealing with in-place
     toxic sediments where necessary.
   In response to this commitment, the Chesapeake
Bay  Basinwide  Toxics Reduction Strategy was ap-
proved by the Bay State Governors and the EPA Ad-
ministrator at the annual meeting in January 1989.
This  Strategy is designed to guide the Chesapeake
Bay toxics programs in the coming years. It addres-
ses two questions: what is being done now and what

should be done in the future to reduce toxic inputs to
the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries? The Strategy
also  establishes a  long-term toxics goal  for  the
Chesapeake Bay Program:
      The long term goal of this Strategy is to
      work  towards  a  toxics  free  Bay by
      eliminating the discharge of toxic substan-
      ces from all controllable sources. By the
      year 2000, the input  of toxic substances
      from  all controllable  sources to  the
      Chesapeake Bay will be reduced to levels
      that result in no toxic or bioaccumulative
      impacts  on the living resources that in-
      habit the Bay or on human health.
To reach this ambitious goal, the Strategy identifies a
number of specific commitments and milestones. It
uses the statutory and regulatory requirements of the
1987 Clean Water Act as a foundation for action but
moves  beyond the Act by establishing  additional
commitments.   The Strategy also  identifies  key
linkages between the commitments to ensure that
the toxics research, monitoring, and control activities
in the Chesapeake Bay basin are mutually suppor-
tive. EPA has committed to a number of actions in the
Strategy that are supported, in  part, by objectives
identified  in the  Draft Framework  for the Water
Quality Standards Program, which is a topic of dis-
cussion at this meeting. The initial emphases of the
Strategy are further identification and assessment of
the toxics problem in the Bay basin and control of
known toxics problems.
    Identification and Assessment
                  of Toxics
A major problem facing Chesapeake Bay managers
is insufficient information on the sources, loads, and
effects of toxics in the Bay. An assessment of the
problems caused by toxics was included in a series
of reports published by EPA in 1983 that detail the
findings  of  a seven-year study  of  the  Bay. Re-
searchers identified a  number of  toxic "hot spots,"
primarily in highly industrialized areas with high con-
centrations of metals and organic  compounds. Out-
side  of these hot spots,  however,  the  data are
inadequate to determine whether other areas of the
Bay are affected by toxics. In response to this critical
need, the Bay partners formulated  an integrated
series of assessment activities. These efforts should
lead  to more effective targeting  of  resources for
toxics management and control.
   To better establish loadings of toxics to the Bay,
the Strategy calls for the development of a Toxics
Loading Inventory (TLI).  The TLI  will address both
point sources, including municipal, industrial, and
Federal  facilities, and nonpoint  sources, including
agriculture, urban,  shipping, groundwater,  and at-
mospheric deposition. The TLI is intended to provide
a meaningful measure of progress in reducing toxic
inputs and to help  establish priorities for toxics
management. Because of the relatively local impacts
of many toxics, the inventory should be most useful
at the river basin, subbasin, or segment levels. The
initial TLI, to be developed by December 1990, will be
based primarily on the States' lists of point sources
prepared to meet the requirements of section 304(1)
of the Clean Water Act. The TLI will be expanded and
updated biennially to include other point and non-
point sources  as data become available. Develop-
ment of a comprehensive TLI will require an ongoing
commitment  to  nonpoint  source research  and
monitoring programs.
  A process that  identifies priority chemicals for
regulatory action was developed to address the need
for water quality management beyond priority pol-
lutants.  The approach adopted  under the Toxics
Strategy is to  generate a toxics of concern list to
identify toxics that are causing, or have the potential
to cause,  problems for the living resources of the
Bay. The purposes of list should be threefold: It will
include  a matrix of  supporting data on  sources,
toxicity,  criteria, and geographical distribution; it will
represent a baywide consensus of key toxics to tar-
get for regulatory and management action, including
the adoption of water quality standards; and it will
help establish priorities for research and monitoring.
The Strategy includes a commitment by EPA to place
priority  on developing criteria  and advisories for
compounds identified through the toxics of concern
list. The initial list  is scheduled for completion by
March 1990, with biennial updates.
   Extensive water quality monitoring has been on-
going in Chesapeake Bay and its major tributaries
since 1984, but the focus has not been on the detec-
tion of toxics and additional work is needed to deter-
mine their distribution and concentration. To address
toxics in a more  comprehensive manner, monitoring
programs will  be expanded to support the develop-
ment of both the TLI and the toxics of concern list.
The Strategy  includes commitments for  ambient
chemical   and  biological   monitoring;  sediment
monitoring to identify the location and extent of con-
taminated  sediments; monitoring of emissions and
ambient air to identify cross-media impacts and to
measure long-term trends in atmospheric deposition
of toxics; and the completion of a pesticide-use sur-
   Two  ultimate  measures  of the  Chesapeake  Bay
Program's success will be the recovery of declining

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 75-78
species and  the reestablishment  of  a balanced
ecosystem. Consequently,  the  Strategy  calls  for
building on the process that has been initiated to
define  habitat  requirements for the  Bay's  living
resources (see Habitat Requirements  for Chesa-
peake Bay Living Resources, August 1987). The Bay
partners have pledged to use the habitat requirement
data as guidance in developing and  enforcing toxics
standards. A  related commitment calls for an am-
bient toxicity  assessment workshop to be held this
year to identify protocols for biological assessment
of toxicity in estuarine waters.
   Because of the diversity and complexity of the
Chesapeake Bay system, data management is a key
concern. The Toxics Strategy includes development
and maintenance of a baywide toxics data base to
support management and policy decisions. The data
base will be  an invaluable  resource for the estab-
lishment of water quality standards for toxics.
   Finally, a toxics research plan accompanying the
Strategy identifies key research areas including the
development   of  source measurement  protocols;
modeling of  fate and  transport   processes; and
studies to increase our understanding of the  origin
and magnitude of toxic effects. Findings from these
studies should support formulation  of a risk assess-
ment framework for future decision making.
            Control of Toxics

The control approach adopted by the Toxics Reduc-
tion Strategy is to control known toxic problems in
the short term, with additional control  actions an-
ticipated as new information becomes available from
the monitoring and research efforts. The Strategy af-
firms  the importance of standards for water quality
protection. The initial toxics  control activities are
designed to meet the requirements of the 1987 Clean
Water Act. The Strategy also recognizes the need to
deal more effectively with the full range of toxic sub-
   To control point sources of toxics, the States and
EPA will enforce compliance of publicly owned treat-
ment  works  (POTWs)  with their pretreatment
programs and will investigate the need for pretreat-
ment programs at additional POTWs. Each State also
commits to have toxics management programs in
place by December 1989; chemical and biological
toxics monitoring programs included in  permits for
priority discharges by July 1991; and full compliance
of all 304(1) list discharges with their individual control
strategies for toxics by June 1992.  EPA will provide
guidance on including control of  bioaccumulative
compounds and addressing nonpoint sources  of
toxics in toxics management programs.
   Commitments to control nonpoint sources  of
toxics are also included in the Strategy. The States
will develop programs to regulate urban stormwater
discharges  after  EPA  promulgates stormwater
regulations. A  consistent methodology  will  be
developed and implemented to quantify and charac-
terize nonpoint source toxic loads from urban areas
and to measure progress to reduce these loads. The
States will develop alternatives to increase the use of
integrated  pest  management  and sustainable
agriculture programs within the Bay basin. Solid and
hazardous waste site cleanups  will  be  prioritized
where there is evidence of, or likelihood of, an impact
on living resources. The States will try to minimize
hazardous waste through information exchange and
public education. EPA will work with the States to
develop a Chesapeake Bay sediment quality evalua-
tion protocol by December 1991  that can be incor-
porated  into   the  States' toxics  management
     Virginia Point Source Toxics

 In addition to commitments that require a collabora-
 tive effort of the partners in the Chesapeake Bay Pro-
 gram,  each State is implementing its own toxics
 reduction  programs to support the Strategy. Virginia
 has a number of initiatives targeted to both point and
 nonpoint sources of toxics. Three point sources ini-
 tiatives of particular  significance  are  highlighted
   The  Virginia   Water Control  Board  recently
 adopted a Toxics Management Regulation (effective
 November 1,  1988) to support the ongoing Virginia
 Pollutant  Discharge  Elimination  System (VPDES)
 toxics  management program. The regulation iden-
 tifies the discharges subject to the regulation and the
 process to address the discharge of toxic pollutants.
 The dischargers  are required to conduct  both acute
 and chronic  effluent  toxicity  tests and chemical
 analysis.  The regulation sets  forth the  criteria  by
 which the results of the toxics testing will  be judged.
 Low intensity compliance monitoring is required for
 sites that pass the criteria.  For sites that fail the
 criteria, the procedures are outlined for the toxicity
 reduction evaluation and for the inclusion  of water
 quality-based  limitations  in  the  VPDES, as  ap-
 propriate. A lawsuit filed by the Virginia Manufac-
 turers   Association  and   several  industries  to
 challenge this regulation is pending.

   During the 1970s, Virginia suffered one of its worst
environmental  disasters—the contamination of the
James River estuary by the  insecticide kepone. To
formulate a method for finding toxic substances of
concern before a major problem develops, Virginia
funded a pilot toxics initiative in 1985. Under this ini-
tiative, effluent, sediment, and tissue samples were
chemically "fingerprinted" at a number of  sites to
determine the impact of the discharges on sediment
and tissue contamination. A toxics data base has
been  established and is  a major part of the toxics
management program. A new class of toxic com-
pounds (polychlorinated terphenyls) was identified in
several locations in the Bay through  this  initiative,
and extensive monitoring is currently underway at
those locations.  A need for regulation of bioac-
cumulative compounds was  also identified because
a large number of discharges failed the bioaccumula-
tive screening. To follow  up  on this finding, the Vir-
ginia  Water  Control  Board is  implementing  an
initiative to screen discharges for bioaccumulative
   The Virginia Water Control Board has acquired a
mobile bioassay laboratory, which is used for chemi-
cal and biological toxicity testing of effluents at in-
dustrial and municipal facilities in the Bay drainage
basin. The testing identifies toxic compounds in ef-
fluents, reveals potential  water quality criteria viola-
tions, and analyzes ambient water quality. All the data
are incorporated into the agency's toxics data base.
The mobile lab is currently working in the Elizabeth
River Basin. The Elizabeth River  is a major deep-
water port that  is suffering  from serious  pollution
problems; testing has identified a number of either
acutely or chronically toxic discharges. These find-
ings have been the basis of a Toxicity Reduction
Evaluation for three discharges at one facility and the
withdrawal  of a permit to discharge from oil/water
separators at another site. Because of the success of
this program, a second mobile lab has been funded
for use outside of the Bay drainage basin.
  Other Elizabeth River restoration projects include
comprehensive long-term monitoring for  conven-
tional pollutants, metals, and toxic organics; creation
of a permit and inspection team to speed  permit
modifications and provide rapid response to permit
violations; a toxics search and identification program
to identify and rank toxic compounds as candidates
for water quality standards; the development of an
oily waste  management plan  to regulate handling
and  treatment of  petroleum-contaminated  waste-
water; and  special short-term studies (an investiga-
tion  of pollution sources  is  currently underway at
area shipyards).
   In conclusion, Virginia realizes that achieving the
goal of a toxics-free Bay will be  an incredible chal-
lenge.  Success of  the Toxics Reduction  Strategy
hinges on the continued commitment of all the in-
volved individuals and organizations. A blue ribbon
panel  of agency managers,  researchers,  environ-
mentalists,  citizens, and industry  representatives will
be  developing an action plan over the next few
months to ensure coordinated implementation. The
costs of toxics identification and control for both the
public and private industry will be high, but the costs
of inaction would be even higher.
   Public involvement has been, and will remain, a
key component of the Basinwide Toxics Reduction
Strategy. As more  information becomes available
from  research and monitoring, the Strategy will be
refined. A  complete reevaluation is  scheduled for
1992 to assess our initial  efforts  and refine  the
strategy where needed.

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  Q.  How do you (Kimerle) see implementation of
numeric criteria for toxic pollutants and the whole ef-
fluent approach  from your perspective as an in-
dustrial representative on the panel?
  A. (Kimerle) I certainly have some appreciation for
the general scientific bases of the program as they
are outlined in the Framework. As a user of some of
those technologies, I don't completely agree with the
way they are implemented. Use isn't consistent
across the States or regions. Monsanto has plants all
around North America, and we support an involve-
ment  in the Federal guidance  document, but it is
being implemented in a lot of different ways. Some
States recognize the concept of receiving waters. For
this reason, Monsanto is involved in the program of
toxic reductions to benefit receiving waters, yet too
often we run  into permits: it's fishable,  swimmable,
and nobody seems to care much about whether the
kinds of programs in place are justifiable in terms of
the receiving water. If you read the policy documents
it is clear that the emphasis is on receiving waters.
   Some of the State people should respond to that;
how do you use the guidance that comes out of the
technical support document? There was a meeting
last December to revise the technical support docu-
ment, if necessary, and a lot of issues were identified
that related to mixing zones. Minimum data bases
were discussed. So the technology of the whole ef-
fluent approach is being worked on as time goes on,
and we really do need to see it implemented properly.

   Q.  (Van Putten) It's essential for EPA to say how
the water quality standards program, in its applica-
tion to all these different sources, will be integrated
with other programs like those for Great Lakes or
Chesapeake Bay. Who in EPA is going to be held ac-
countable for seeing that these fine agreements mat-
ter in practice?
   A. (Caton) The issues you have brought up are the
ones we've gone over for the past few years. How do
you make sure that all this assessment and identifica-
tion are really going  to  amount to anything? One
thing  we have incorporated into the various docu-
ments is a commitment to enforcement. What we've
worked toward in the Chesapeake Bay Program is
not so much to have EPA beat the State over the
head but to have EPA and the State agree on how to
address these problems.
  Q.  (Dickson) Is it your (Van Putten's) recommen-
dation that the Framework include some activities
and plans to put enforcement into these large sys-
tem studies?
  A.  (Van Putten) We would like to do  this in the
Framework when talking about different areas where
it is pertinent.  We specifically  reference the  Great
Lakes, where there are 42 action plans  that  either
have  been developed or are  under  development.
Some of them involve plans for cleaning up sedi-
ments, some involve point sources,  some involve
nonpoint sources, but the points we feel strongly
about in this Framework and in the standards pro-
gram  need to be integrated with the implementation
of those plans that are already underway.

   C.  (To Landman) In New Mexico we have about a
million and a half people. You're advocating a cancer
risk of  10~6. This means  that you think we  can
measure an effect on one and a half persons relative
to a given substance. I don't believe that. Also, anti-
degradation  still does not enjoy statutory authority
under section 303; if you really want it to become a
reality, you had better get Congress to amend sec-
tion 303.

   A.  (Landman) When I spoke about the 10"6 cancer
risk, I  was talking about situations when States adopt
water quality standards, selecting options from the
criteria  document. They have developed numeric
criteria for a 10~5,  10"6, and 10~7 level of risk. When
EPA adopts water quality standards  for States, it
should not select the numeric water quality standard
for those 307A toxics -that presents a greater risk to
the residents of that State than 10"6. That issue of
what is an acceptable level of risk should be opened
up through the rule-making process so  the States,
environmental  community,  and everybody else can
have a say about what kind of risks will be considered
acceptable in  the water quality standard  setting
   As for  the fact that the word "antidegradation"
does  not appear in section 303, I have to agree with
you, but I have to disagree that antidegradation is not
mandated by the Clean Water Act. Infact, inthe1987
amendments the word antidegradation did appear in
the statute in a different provision of the law, and it
has been clear since 1965 that the principle of anti-
degradation  does exist. The EPA regulations have
the force  of law, and this is an issue, although no
court has confronted and dealt with it directly. How-
ever, it is in legislation in Colorado.

   C. (Persell) The talk about papers and what's writ-
ten on them and their value certainly brings to mind
some treaties. One of the things that was brought up
in the opening session was the use of some research
materials regarding phosphorus. It is very important
to look at your particular watershed when calculating
phosphorus, and I would urge managers who are
going to evaluate the use of these particular formulas
for watershed usage and phosphorus export to con-
sider your watershed. We've found them to be, at
best, 30 percent for our clean part of the world, so
they would permit substantial loading.
   Another thing is atmospheric loading: it is a major
form of phosphorus. In northern  Minnesota we've
been dealing with unimpacted ecosystems, except
for atmospheric loading, for the past 10 years.  If we
reduced the phosphorus imports from atmospheric
loading, we could protect  many ecosystems  and
maintain and improve other ecosystems. That means
we have to deal with acid precipitation at the same
time.  From the tribal perspective, we see a  grave
need to coordinate Federal  and State pollution con-
trol activities and to  coordinate,  within the Federal
Government and State governments, activities that
deal with the environment.
   I would like to offer one example: dealing with haz-
ardous and nuclear depositories. In the past 8 to 10
years, the Department  of Energy has wanted to lo-
cate depositories in  northern  Minnesota's bedrock.
We ask where is the Environmental Protection Agen-
cy  in protecting the clean waters-protecting the
three  major  northern American  watersheds —if
others are going to bury toxic wastes in the ground?
My point is that we need to coordinate these ac-
tivities. We fully support raising the EPA administrator
to a cabinet-level position,  and we would urge the
rest of you to support that as well.

   C. (Smith) By the way the law and Framework are
written, we're going to be using numeric criteria; cer-
tainly it is the simplest way for the Natural Resources
Defense Council to become involved in the State's
programs. But  Connecticut's experience, based on
whole effluent testing, has cast doubt on the efficacy
of numeric criteria. We screened industrial discharg-
es  using priority pollutants, came up with 75 that
could violate the Gold Book criteria in streams, and
looked  at  in-stream, not end-of-the-pipe, effects.
Subsequently, we screened those pollutants using
whole effluent testing;  half  of them tested nontoxic
because of the chemistry, the mix of chemicals in-
volved, and so forth. (The real world does not parallel
the data for a single toxicant in pure water.) We
ended up with 30 pollutants that would have  been
submitted if we had gone strictly by the 304L proce-
dure using numeric criteria. We did something else,
however; we passed regulations requiring everybody
to do effluent testing by the end of 1988, which 95
percent of the industries and municipalities managed
to accomplish. We now have a companion list equal
to the one of discharges that do not have priority pol-
lutants but are toxic.
   Whole effluent testing is showing us a great deal
that  numeric standards do  not  reveal.  The best
science is telling us to use whole effluent testing first;
then use data to develop numeric criteria and be very
judicious in  what you  adopt. EPA is  pushing the
States in a very different direction, probably because
of the ease of enforcement, but it may not be produc-
tive in the long run. Connecticut, at least, is going to
have trouble producing enough numeric criteria. We
will try to do this based on scientific data, but we're
not going to take Gold Book criteria and apply them
to Connecticut's streams on  an  ambient basis-it
doesn't mean anything. I encourage us all to redirect
away from  some  of the  numeric  emphasis and
toward good science.

   C. (Garreis) Maryland is also struggling with this
question. Perhaps a three-tiered approach would  be
better: (1) Test for whole effluent toxicity; (2)  get out
there and see what is actually happening in  the en-
vironment;  (3) fall  back on numeric criteria. We're
finding that the numeric criteria do not reflect what is
happening in the stream, and, in many cases, when
we go back  to look at the numeric criteria that have
been  developed,  their  validity  is  questionable.
Everybody has problems with copper. The  copper
criterion for  marine criteria, however, is the same as
the  copper  constituency for seawater.  Does this
mean that natural seawater is toxic? I don't  believe
the fish have been told this.

   C. (Knox) From the Louisiana perspective, there is
merit in both the numeric criteria and the whole ef-
fluent toxicity testing. In some applications, such as
the Mississippi River where dilutions are tremendous,
I  find whole effluent testing  useless,  but numeric
criteria useful to protect human  health especially
since the river is a highly polluted drinking water
source.  In  other  applications,  such  as  smaller
streams that are receiving effluents, whole  effluent
toxicity testing has value in  identifying effects that
can't be found by chemical scans. Numeric criteria
have merit in that they can be used immediately. As a
scientist, I fully endorse the three-tiered approach-
in an ideal world that is the method we would use. In
Louisiana, however,  we don't have the luxury of
going through that  approach  because  we have
bioaccumulation  occurring;  we  have  advisories
against fishing and  consumption of fish in some

                                                   WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
areas; and we have problems with drinking water
   I would ask EPA to consider the following in their
standards Framework: let States that are willing to
accept  numeric criteria  go forward  with  control
strategies based on that method if they can reassess
criteria based on a three-tiered scientific and logical
approach. The problem is, if we accept these num-
bers and start with control strategies based on them,
and if we find this method is a waste of effort and
money,  will we still have to live with it?  If there could
be ways to go back and look at these standards in
the future and reassess the validity of the standards,
perhaps both of these approaches would prove use-
ful and could be maintained.

   C. It is important to point out that the debate about
whether or not numeric criteria are desirable really is
sort of past us. There's a statutory requirement for it
as most of you are well aware, and it's not a question
of whether EPA thinks it's appropriate any more, it's a
question of meeting the legal requirement, and, if the
States don't do it,  that EPA can potentially promul-
gate for  States.  We have  to  consider  possibly
promulgating national standards. The debate should
focus on where numeric criteria are necessary. The
statute  does provide that criteria must be adopted
where reasonably necessary: what  does that mean,
how are we going to interpret that? Secondly, to the
extent that States have some flexibility in adjusting
the criteria using different risk levels or doing site-
specific exposure assessments, how is that going to
be done?
  The sense of Congress is that the time for criteria
is long  since  past. When we were debating this
revision of the Clean Water Act, there were only 16
States that had any numeric criteria for toxic pol-
lutants.  Most States had none. There  were only a
handful  of permits for whole effluent toxicity limits.
Most States had none. That is the reason why we are
working on  this and  why we're facing tight time
frames.  It might be more productive to focus on the
issues that we still  have some flexibility on, rather
than worrying about spilt milk — or spilt toxics.

  C.  (Palachek)  Texas  has  adopted  nearly  30
numeric criteria. To address the question of copper in
marine situations, we set up an advisory panel with
representatives from industries and environmental
clubs and calculated from the national criteria for a
regional number for the Southwest. But you  have to
consider  speciation  of  copper  when  adopting
numeric criteria for marine situations. A lot of the
numbers for marine criteria will be exceeded in nor-
mal freshwater, so you have to consider specifica-
tion-total versus dissolved numbers and issues. All
those factors should be considered when developing
and  implementing  criteria. Some EPA  people in
Washington may not agree,  but from the State
standpoint and from the standpoint  of all the com-
ments heard today about the reasons and reluctance
for adopting numeric criteria, there's  got to be some
flexibility built  into that method  and  into examining
implementation procedures.

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 83
                   Developments in Sediment
                                 Howard Zar (Moderator)
                             Chairman, In-Place Pollutant Task Force,
                   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V, Chicago, Illinois
Contaminated sediments are now in vogue. We are
familiar with well-known contamination sites such as
Waukegan, Illinois; New Bedford,  Massachusetts;
and the Hudson River. Many of us have decided that,
with point sources under substantial control, con-
taminated sediments are the main remaining reason
for aquatic degradation.
  Sediment criteria are the most important tool we
can use to deal with sediment contamination. How-
ever, are  we overestimating sediment problems?
Among other things, are our views colored by just a
few sites? The locations I  have mentioned, for ex-
ample, are contaminated by just one pollutant, PCBs,
and probably  will be handled with case-by-case
evaluations in which sediment criteria would play no
appreciable part. Are sediment criteria needed for
and applicable to water quality control programs?
For sediment criteria development to be worth the
trouble, the problems must be widespread and multi-
pollutant: Are they?
  I am a true believer in sediment contamination and
therefore not a  good person to answer this question.
Fortunately, today I can leave this controversy in the
experienced hands of the panel.

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 85-86
Identification  and  Control of Toxic  Pollutants

                                        Nelson Thomas
                 Senior Advisor for National Programs, Environmental Research Laboratory
                        U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota
It took 20 years to develop numeric criteria, and al-
though whole effluent criteria were established 10
years ago, they came to the fore only 4 years ago,
after a lawsuit. There is something to be learned from
looking at how criteria become standards. There are
certain conditions that must be fulfilled: we must be
sued by both industry and an environmental group to
know that we're somewhere in the middle; if we are
sued  by one side only, we know that we have not
reached a protective value. There are some basic
elements: where do the criteria fit into the  water
quality-based  approach?  When  we  developed
numeric criteria, they were intended for use in any ex-
posure medium (it just depended on how they were
implemented), and if use attainments are to be used
in that context, then they must be linked to a  cause
and effect. If we have assessment but a link to cause
and  effect is missing, the circles are disconnected.
The  criteria for source control, nonpoint or point -
how do they all fit together?
   Then we must consider what we are trying to
protect: is it the single organism, the population of or-
ganisms, the whole ecosystem, or some use  that is
related to a particular item, for example, fish con-
sumption. Currently,  the criteria are calculated to
protect 95 percent of the species most of the time.
How sensitive are the measures that we are trying to
develop? Do we have to lose part of the ecosystem
before we know we have an impact? There's a need
to develop a set of methods or criteria to use in the
standard development process.
   Other  problems are lack of  criteria for  bioac-
cumulation and carcinogens, wildlife criteria, and the
biological  criteria. When developing  both numeric
and  whole effluent criteria, we have to structure
standards to answer basic questions. We must as-
sess these problems because,  in the  eight field
studies that we undertook  to validate the whole ef-
fluent to some ecosystem response, we often found
that  toxics constituted only 20 percent of the prob-
lem. We have two tools to look at toxics but none to
look at sediments and wildlife effects.
   We have recognized bioaccumulation for a num-
ber of years but, whenever we ran a scan, it  would
look like a  snowstorm, peak upon peak.  Since we
knew which compounds were likely to end up in fish,
we  used   high  pressure  liquid chromatography
analyses to eliminate compounds with low lipophilic
levels that don't accumulate in fish, and digestion
techniques to get rid of other compounds that are
relatively nonpersistent. Detection limits are always a
problem because when you are trying to run an ef-
fluent sample and the biomagnification is a million,
detection is difficult. Therefore, we've tried to build all
of this into a protocol to actually measure an effluent
that will be verified by field studies. We go to sites,
obtain effluent samples, and then, over 30 days, ex-
pose selected tissues to see whether they accumu-
late the chemicals in the effluent or whether any were
missed. Field verification is always a critical part of
the process.
   There  must be a way to get at land use. We've
looked at phosphorus criteria twice. I don't believe
that EPA  can come up with a numeric phosphorus
criteria for flowing waters—they're too highly vari-
able, and we don't understand the bioavailability of
them that much. About half the States have imple-
mented the criteria, but others are having problems
doing so. When EPA first came out with ammonia
criteria, it received a number of  calls, particularly on
the subject of chronic value at lower temperatures
because that drove a lot of the winter conditions in
the design flow. To redo the  ammonia document
would  be very costly because there are so  much
data. An advisory costs approximately $10,000, and
a water quality criteria document often runs a quarter
of a million dollars. These are not trivial procedures —
it  usually  costs millions of dollars to establish the
scientific  proof  behind  these  criteria  so they will
stand up in litigation.
   Most of the calls to the  laboratory concerning
water quality criteria involve copper. States should
remember that the values presented in criteria docu-
ments are the lexicologically  relevant concentra-
tions; some States are using different techniques to
adjust from those concentrations to their chemically
different waters, while other States are developing
their own criteria. We have compiled a very large data
base  (AQUIRE), which  is available to the States.
Some States have specific techniques that they use
to do a calculation. The whole effluent was brought in
because  we may have  been missing  some of the
compounds in an analysis. In implementing whole ef-
fluent criteria, we didn't realize at first that the impor-

tant connection was that you ended up with numeric
criteria because whole effluent itself is an impact as-
   I can remember one conference at which States
reported that they had investigated municipal  plant
wastes and  had found that many were toxic-and
wondered what should they do. That's when EPA got
intotoxicity identification, which has great relevance
to case studies the Agency has performed to develop
numeric criteria. We're getting a great deal of  infor-
mation now on types of chemicals through the na-
tional  survey  for   dioxins  that  also  analyzes
phenobiotics, and it's surprising, but we aren't dis-
covering too many new chemicals.
   To illustrate toxicity reduction: the first step is a
biomonitoring requirement, which gives you an idea
of the toxicity, which then leads into more testing to
make sure that the numbers are consistent. Then you
move into a toxicity reduction evaluation plan that
can  result in either a  treatability approach  or  a
toxicity identification approach. Next you go to  some
corrective treatment such as source control substitu-
tion, and then on to compliance monitoring.
   There are four major parts to monitoring:  charac-
terization, where we treat the toxicity to simplify and
concentrate it; chelation for heavy metals follows;
then C-18 absorption, and, lastly, volatization. We
break down every step that is identified as toxic into
20 portions and check the toxicity on just a couple of
drops of that fraction. Then we go through an impor-
tant,  elaborate  confirmation  stage  because the
toxicant present may vary. Three protocols have ac-
tually been developed: characterization, identifica-
tion, and confirmation.
   To illustrate toxic effects: when we performed all 3
of the protocols, completely analyzing 16 effluents,
we successfully identified the cause of the toxicity in
15 of them. The industrial effluents contained zinc
and several pesticides. EPA has issued criteria docu-
ments for zinc, chlorine, and malathion (currently in
revision); we have  no criteria for manganese or
   In conclusion, EPA is encountering a finite number
of chemicals, only one or up to three of which are
found in any one effluent. We have the tools to deal
with toxics. We must implement test methods to as-
sess the problem toxics, however, and,  when we
develop new criteria, we must have substantial finan-
cial support to ensure their proper implementation.

                                           WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 87-88
          Developments in  Sediment  Criteria:

              Sullivan's  Ledge  Superfund  Site
                                       Jane Downing
                                    Environmental Engineer
                  U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency, Region I, Boston, Massachusetts
As a site manager, I  can state that sediment criteria
are most definitely needed. In particular, they are
needed to answer some  questions on given con-
taminants of concern: what are the risks, and what
are appropriate  remedial  actions based on those
  The saga of Sullivan's Ledge began in the 1940s
when  local industries used it as an industrial waste
disposal site. The 12-acre area is composed of four
quarry pits, where most of the dumping occurred. In
the eastern  portion there  is an unnamed stream, a
golf course area with a forested wetlands (the Middle
Marsh), and golf course water hazards that are con-
taminated with  PCBs.  The remedial  investigation
revealed three sources of contamination including
the on-site soils and, because of erosion, the off-site
sediments (all contaminated with PCBs and PAHs). A
biological investigation was done on the unnamed
stream, where we found areas that are impacted from
the site.
   Finally, we looked at  the  habitat. The Middle
Marsh, which is a large portion of the golf course,  is a
productive, forested wetland. The trail of PCBs starts
with on-site soils where the maximum concentration
is 2,500 parts  per million. The unnamed stream, with
maximum concentration of PCBs at 118 parts  per
million, starts at the site and continues on through
the golf water hazards where the maximum con-
centration of PCBs is 16 parts per million. North of
the Sullivan's Ledge disposal site, the maximum con-
centration is 60 parts per million within Middle Marsh
and 19 parts  per million within the Apponagansett
   As a site manager, I had to answer some  tough
questions-what did the levels of contaminants
mean in terms  of environmental  risks, and what
would be the appropriate remedial  actions—so I
turned to  EPA's criteria standards division  for
guidance. We decided to use the interim set of sedi-
ment  quality criteria, based on the equilibrium  ap-
proach,  which generated a  range of numbers.  I
particularly liked this approach because it gave some
flexibility and defined  some options for the  risk
management decision. The sediment quality criteria
values were calculated on a 95 percent confidence
interval of the log KOC.
  We ended up with three different values. The lower
value is the value that represents the concentration
that, with  a  97.5 percent certainty,  will  result in
protection  of aquatic life or its  uses. As with all
criteria, the numbers depend  upon the respective
ambient water quality criteria determined to be ap-
propriate for the contaminants  of concern and uses
of the waterbody. The upper value is almost the op-
posite; it represents the concentration that, with 97.5
percent certainty, will not result in the protection of
aquatic life or its uses.
  We decided to use the sediment quality criteria in
three different ways. The first was for the screening of
contaminants, the second one was in evaluation of
the risk, and the last was  development  of target
levels. When screening contaminants of concern, we
took the most conservative approach. We looked at
the lower value sediment quality criteria and coupled
that with the lowest total organic carbon measured in
the sediment to develop a screening level sediment
quality criteria.
   Just to go over that again, the lower limit criteria
were calculated using the lowest  detectable amount
of organic carbon in  the sediments. The  calculated
criteria were then compared to the respected maxi-
mum detected  concentration of the chemical in the
impacted sediment.  Given that  fairly conservative
number, we compared the maximum PCB level or the
maximum PAH value that was measured in any of the
sediments to see if we had a greater or lesser level or
   The table that was derived from the screening for
the PCBs indicated that the maximum amount, at 118
parts per million, was in the unnamed stream. The
lowest TOC value measured  was .2 percent and,
given that TOC and using the lower value sediment
quality criteria, the lower limit  criteria for screening
purposes turned out to be .008 parts per million. Ob-
viously, we have a problem with PCBs.
   We do  not have as critical a problem with the
PAHs; some of the maximum values are only slightly
greater than the lower limit screening values for sedi-

ment quality criteria. Once we looked at the chemi-
cals of concern, we picked the PCBs and also looked
at the PAHs, Phenanthrene being the most critical.
We wanted to a look at what that meant in terms of
risk- how far above the criteria-and we did this by
calculating  location-specific   sediment  quality
criteria. We went out to every sampling station and
used the organic carbon measured there to calculate
specific sediment quality criteria for that sampling
location. Since there are about 30 sampling stations
in Middle Marsh, we calculated 30 different sediment
quality criteria for an individual comparison.
  The sediment quality criteria calculations were
based upon the percent of TOG measured at that sta-
tion, and  sediment contaminant levels were com-
pared with the location-specific sediment quality
criteria to evaluate risk. With the lower value sedi-
ment  quality criteria, we had a great deal  of ex-
ceedences, and, in fact, basically all of Middle Marsh,
the swamp, and the unnamed stream exceeded the
lower limit, which is the most conservative number.
With the mean sediment quality criteria  we had a
smaller area of exceedence—only 9.5  acres of the
Middle Marsh  area were  greater than the  mean
criteria. Using the upper limit of the sediment quality
criteria,  which is the  least conservative, only 3.7
acres of Middle Marsh exceeded the upper value. To
develop target cleanup levels, we went back to the
unnamed stream and decided to use the mean sedi-
ment quality criteria. One reason for this was that the
detection  limit was a problem if the lower limit was
used, so there was no choice. The TOC ranged be-
tween 2 and 20, so the target levels ranged between
.2, where .2 was determined to be the detection limit,
and .4 parts per million in the unnamed stream.
   As for the Middle Marsh area, because of the na-
ture of the wetlands and some grave concerns ex-
pressed  by wetlands  scientists  on  the appro-
priateness of knocking down trees for the sake of the
sediment, we have decided to defer this decision and
may have to go back to do some biological monitor-
ing. The  options given  us include using the lower
limit, which would mean excavation of almost all  of
that 12-acre area. On the other hand, if we just went
for the hot spots, we would be excavating only 3.7
acres,  but  there  still could  be some  long-term
   In summary, we used the sediment quality criteria
to screen the  PCBs  and  PAHs, so we  knew what
chemicals were of concern; we also used them as a
yardstick to tell us how much of a concern we had
and to set target levels (basically the one in the un-
named stream).
   I would recommend  careful interpretation of the
sediment criteria on a site-by-site case. Since each
site is unique, there are many factors and parameters
to consider. For example, if you have some sensitive
organisms, you may want to look at a particular path-
way and tailor the  sediment  quality criteria to reflect
it. Sediment quality criteria should not be used on a
universal  level; but rather  as a tool for an individual
risk  management  decision  on  the  appropriate
remedial action.

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 89-91
           Developments  in  Sediment Criteria

                                        Arthur J. Newell
         Principal Fish & Wildlife Ecologist, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
                         Bureau of Environmental Protection, Albany, New York
In New York, as in other States, we have a need for
sediment criteria at hazardous waste sites and at
dredging project sites. In addition,  New York and
other Northeast States share a need for sediment
criteria to address problems in some impaired sur-
face waters known as "areas of concern" that have
been identified by the U.S. and Canadian Internation-
al  Joint  Commission and  targeted  for cleanup
through remedial action plans. New York State has
six such areas, all of whose major impairments relate
to contaminated sediments.
  While the involvement with hazardous waste sites
and areas of concern is relatively recent, New York
has had a long involvement with decision making at
dredging projects. Unfortunately, the approach to as-
sessing risk from contaminants in  sediments has
been very inconsistent, ranging from application of
almost arbitrary criteria for specific contaminants to
the  requirement of intensive toxicity  and bioac-
cumulation testing. The test results have also been
used inconsistently.
  In the frantic search for a way to assess risk from
sediments, the Bureau of  Environmental Protection
has become aware of the various approaches that
EPA has been studying. At this time, the Bureau is
currently recommending for use, at least for screen-
ing, the equilibrium partitioning approach for deriving
sediment criteria for nonpolar (or nonionic) organics.
Criteria derived by this method are calculated  by
multiplying a water quality standard or criterion by
the Kow for the chemical, resulting in a value with the
units^g/gOC (organic carbon).
  Table 1 contains equilibrium partitioning sediment
criteria for PCB and 2,3,7,8-TCDD, derived with a
variety  of environmental  protection objectives in
mind. The aquatic toxicity basis criteria are based on

Table 1.—Equilibrium partitioning of sediment
criteria, u,g/gOC.

Aquatic Toxicity Basis
Human Health Basis
(10~6 cancer risk from fish
Wildlife Risk Basis (NYS)
Wildlife Risk Basis (EPA)
2 x 10'6
water quality criteria to protect aquatic life from the
toxic  effects of the chemicals. The human health
basis  criteria  are based on water quality  criteria
designed to prevent bioaccumulation to the 10"6 can-
cer risk fish flesh concentrations.  The wildlife risk
basis  criteria  are based on water quality  criteria
designed to ensure that wildlife food does not ac-
cumulate chemicals to levels that are hazardous. The
New York criterion of  1.4  ^g/gOC and the EPA
criterion of IQ.S^g/gOC are both designed to protect
wildlife, but New York's water quality criterion used to
calculate the  sediment criterion  reflects either  a
higher bioaccumulation factor or lower wildlife allow-
able daily intake (or both).
   Depending   on  the  objective,  considerable
variability among the criteria is apparent. Most impor-
tantly,  the bioaccumulation-based numbers  are
much lower than  the  toxicity-based  numbers.  A
major  concern of  the Bureau  of Environmental
Protection is whether equilibrium  partitioning sedi-
ment  criteria based on bioaccumulation objectives
are appropriate if the fish species of concern occurs
primarily in open water: i.e., the fish does not normal-
ly come into contact with benthic organisms or inter-
stitial  water in sediment. It is well  documented that
residues in benthic animals are accurately modeled
by the equilibrium  partitioning method, but in New
York  most  of the important surface water  impair-
ments are  contamination of open water fish with
highly bioaccumulable chemicals  such as PCB,
dioxin, and mirex. If equilibrium partitioning sediment
criteria are expected to serve a key role in the effort to
remediate sediments believed to cause  the un-
acceptable residues, then the connection between
sediments and fish will need to be established.
   To  address this  concern,  the  Bureau  has
developed some sediment criteria using the tissue
residue approach described by  Nelson.  Recent
studies with PCB  and 2,3,7,8-TCDD  indicate  that
residues in fish can be predicted by sediment-to-fish
bioaccumulation factors. Accumulation in edible fillet
with 3 percent lipid from sediment with 3 percent OC
is about 0.1 to 1 times the sediment concentration for
2,3,7,8-TCDD and about 1 to 10 times the sediment
concentration for PCB. Using these sediment-to-fish
accumulation factors, sediment criteria can be back-

  Table 2.—Sediment criteria derived by the sediment-to-fish bioaccumulation method.

Tolerance or Advisory
10-6 Cancer Risk @1/2lb/
week fish consumption
Wildlife Fish Flesh
  * For PCB and 2,3,7,8-TCDD, the ranges result from dividing the fish residue by a fish-to-sediment accumulation factor of 1 -10 and 0.1 -1, respectively.
calculated from fish residue levels of concern. Table 2
presents some of these criteria.
   Table 3 compares  equilibrium  partitioning sedi-
ment criteria with criteria derived by the sediment-to-
fish approach.  All of the  equilibrium partitioning
criteria fall within the ranges of the sediment-to-fish
criteria. The good agreement between these two
methods  seems to support the validity of the resul-
tant  criteria,  at least for  highly bioaccumulable
chemicals such as PCB and 2,3,7,8-TCDD. Having
gone through this exercise  and arriving at this con-
clusion, the Bureau will feel better about using such
bioaccumulation-based criteria.
   Until sediment criteria, by whatever method,  be-
come well accepted, the Bureau will need, waiting in
the wings, a standardized battery of laboratory and in
situ tests that  essentially  back  up the  sediment
criteria. It will need a variety of tests with end points
that accurately reflect the environmental objectives
of concern; e.g., sediment criteria based on toxicity
will need  backup with sediment toxicity tests. Toxicity
and bioaccumulation tests may also be used to site-
specifically calibrate  sediment criteria.  Implementa-
tion  guidance for both criteria and  tests will be
   A  useful  auxiliary  to  such implementation
guidance would be  information on persistence of
toxics in sediment. Questions to answer include: If in-
puts of toxics to sediments cease, will the problem
go away by itself, either by burying in the sediment or
some other loss mechanism and will the time frames
for self-cleansing be acceptable?
   There  will be much discussion about selecting a
particular environmental objective for a  sediment
                        criterion at a particular site, and, under the heading of
                        risk management, whether sediment at any given site
                        should be cleaned up to the criterion. As a first cut,
                        dredge  and disposal decisions or remediation of
                        sediment should be pursued to the extent necessary
                        to ensure compliance with the narrative water quality
                        standard of "no toxics  in toxic amounts." However,
                        New York standards allow for consideration of social
                        and economic  factors in meeting standards,  and
                        these rules will  undoubtedly  apply to sediment
                        decisions as well.
                          To briefly address some other questions, first, can
                        sediment criteria be incorporated into  the  States'
                        standards? Perhaps, but is that  necessary? Instead,
                        can sediment criteria be considered an extension of
                        water quality standards?
                          How can sediment criteria best be used in the per-
                        mitting  process?  For  State pollution  discharge
                        elimination system permits, I would  argue that ef-
                        fluent limits should take into account in-stream fate of
                        contaminants to ensure that sediment criteria are not
                        exceeded. For remediation of hazardous waste sites,
                        I would like to see sediment criteria receive standing
                        as applicable or relevant and appropriate require-
                        ments.  For dredging  projects,  I  believe there  is
                        enough flexibility in the stream  protection  permit
                        process (which  includes 401 Certification) and stand-
                        ards within regulations to use  the criteria.  If I am
                        wrong, I would  then argue for amending either New
                        York's  stream  protection regulations or the water
                        quality standards to include sediment criteria.
                          How would  sediment  criteria best be  used  in
                        monitoring activities? The New York Department  of
                        Environmental  Conservation  includes sediments  in
  Table 3.—Comparison of sediment criteria by the EP method and sediment-to-fish bioaccumulation method.
                                        PCB ,ig/kg
                                                   2,3,7,8-TCDD, (ig/kg
  10~6 Cancer Risk
  Wildlife Risk
0.06-0 6
                                                                        6 x
1.4 x 10~5
1.4 x 10~4
  "Criteria for sediments with 3 percent TOC

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 89-91

many of  its  monitoring activities. With  sediment     advantage of generally staying put, and they may
criteria,  it will  be better able to interpret this data.     serve well as monitors of pollution activities immedi-
Also,  over time, sediments (like fish) are good in-     ately upstream.
tegrators of pollution. However, sediments have an

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 93-94
           Developments  in  Sediment  Criteria

                                       James M. Conlon
                        Deputy Director, Office of Water Regulations and Standards
                         U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
We have before us a formidable task of climbing a
mountain of technical and policy issues related to the
problem of toxic contamination in the sediments of
waters of the United States. This climb will include
identifying the extent of the problem, establishing
regulatory mechanisms that will trigger appropriate
responses, and developing, understanding, and im-
proving remedial technologies. One need only look
at a handful of the contaminated sediment sites cur-
rently under investigation by Superfund and others to
get an appreciation of the physical, chemical, and
biological diversity of these sites as well as the broad
spectrum of issues associated with their assessment
and cleanup. If we are to maintain the environmental
trust and make any significant progress, we must be
innovative, resourceful, and effective. We do not
have the time or the resources to charge down the
wrong path or grab the wrong tool. We must take full
advantage of every possible foothold. We also  must
be cautious enough to ensure that we do not venture
out in areas that are not adequately supported.
   Each of the other people on this panel has men-
tioned or has at least  implied, serious technical or
policy and  procedural  questions  that  must be
resolved before EPA can formally assess impacts of
in-place pollutants, let alone devise a consistent set
of regulatory or programmatic approaches. I intend
to add a few of my own questions to that list. I also
want to solicit your opinions as to whether the in-
place contaminated sediment problem is truly sig-
nificant enough to warrant the development  of
criteria. If  it is, then I need to  know which impedi-
ments are hindering the practicable use of criteria. As
you heard from Nelson Thomas, there are a number
of methods  being applied that have potential ap-
plicability to an even larger number of unresolved en-
vironmental  decisions. And  note that  these are
biological as well as chemical methods.
   Today I want  you  to  focus on  in-place  con-
taminated sediments in the context of point and non-
point  source control, not the disposal of dredged
spoils. It does not appear that any single assessment
or numeric method is going to give us all the answers
we need to act responsibly. In fact, very  shortly we
will be using combinations of chemical-specific num-
bers and biological test methods in many of our sedi-
ment judgments. In some cases the process will be
quite similar to what we do now in the permit pro-
gram, where there is a mix of chemical-specific and
whole effluent toxicity considerations.
  To get a better handle on which methods should
be used for particular situations, we are approaching
the technical issues on several avenues. First, we
have  sent  two of the more  recently  developed
methods for establishing numbers—the equilibrium
partitioning  and apparent effects  threshold  ap-
proaches-to the Science Advisory Board for review
and critique. We will also brief the Board on a number
of additional methods for assessing risks associated
with toxics  in sediments. An essential  part of that
briefing will include not only a description of each
method, but our evaluation of its strengths and weak-
nesses. We will then add the Board's assessments to
our own and publish a draft compendium for addi-
tional comment later this year. We intend to  rely
heavily on the  Board's findings to identify the most
appropriate uses of each method from a technical
perspective. In addition, we will be looking closely at
each method from an operational perspective to as-
sess how and to what extent it can and should be in-
corporated into specific regulatory decisions.
   As people in the water regulation business know
all too well,  the development and implementation of
water quality criteria are ongoing processes: proce-
dures and practices for developing and implement-
ing criteria  have been continuously evolving  since
early 1960. I expect and plan on a similar evolution-
ary process in the development and use of sediment
criteria and  sediment assessment methods. Initially,
this process is  likely to proceed rapidly; therefore, it
is important to ensure that guidance on the develop-
ment and use  of criteria and assessment methods
keeps in step. We will be doing a disservice to our-
selves and the country if the fruits of our efforts can-
not be promptly and effectively translated into usable
   EPA is developing a three-year plan that will ad-
dress the more significant technical and policy gaps.
(Emphasis will  be put on doing most of the work in
the next two years.) This three-year plan, along with
the compendium, is being drafted by a sediment
technical oversight committee, which  is staffed by
people from the Offices of Research  and Develop-
ment, Superfund, and Federal Activities, plus repre-

sentatives  from  the   Resource   Conservation
Recovery  Act (RCRA) Enforcement Division and
EPA's regional offices.
  This group is also developing what we refer to as
program summaries: descriptions of each program
office's work on contaminated sediments. The sum-
maries start from a list of statutory provisions and
specific kinds of decisions that must be made to use
the laws effectively. This analysis should minimize the
all-too-common gap that  often occurs between the
time we begin to get answers to technical questions
and the time those answers are used for control ac-
tivity. All too often we fail to adequately characterize
the strengths and weaknesses  of the  science and
tend to treat scientific results as absolutes rather than
conclusions that have some inherent uncertainty. A
key to overcoming this problem is the development
of specific implementation guidance in the regulatory
program, rather than new technical tools.  In the sedi-
ments area we are trying to keep the science and im-
plementation  guide  together.  I  expect the first
versions of the program summaries this spring, along
with a list of issues, problems, and pitfalls associated
with each,  and hope to involve some of you in as-
sessing the results. If we identify even 50 percent of
the major difficulties, we will be ahead in the long run.
   Numeric criteria are not going to obviate the need
for site-by-site assessment or eliminate the need for
biological testing, at least not in the foreseeable fu-
ture. But having numeric criteria and a better view of
other methods' strengths can help us evaluate what
and where to worry about first. This procedure is not
going to be quick, easy, or simple (or a repeat of our
experiences with water column criteria) in spite of
what the Framework document implies. But we can-
not develop chemical-specific criteria and  then go
on, as we have with water column criteria, to com-
plex mixtures testing and biocriteria. Instead, we
must (and can) develop these principles in tandem -
a concept that is not in the Framework. (Also lacking
is a forecast of what kinds of documents, guidance,
and policy decisions are needed.)  I would appreciate
your views, not only on documents or decisions, but
also on what needs should come first.
   Finally, I need your input to make a realistic sedi-
ment section for the 1991-93 triennium. A good start
could be made if you will share your estimates of the
major impediments and of what  you  need to mini-
mize these hurdles.

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  C. (Peterson) I have been asked to speak about
the apparent effects threshold (AET) approach that
Region X and particularly the State of Washington
have been pursuing. Washington has been spending
approximately $1.2 million a year for the last two
years to develop this approach. A draft document on
AET sediment criteria is expected in January of 1990
with a final document in July I990. AET values have
been established on approximately 70 chemicals (in-
cluding  high and low molecular weight polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls,
chlorinated organic compounds, phenols, and me-
tals) by the State, using amphipods, oyster larvae,
microtox tests, and benthic community abundances.
The reliability of these tests has been about 85 to 96
percent in terms of their ability to detect problems
where one can actually assess them in the field. This
approach  has been subjected to Science Advisory
Board review; a report is expected soon.
  The perspective from Region X is that AET is not
necessarily the only answer. However, we hope that
the equilibrium partitioning  (EP) coefficient ap-
proach, by virtue of its support by the Office of Water,
does not become the standard either, since both AET
and EP  have applications  under various conditions.
Region  X  also hopes that eventually alternate ap-
proaches could be taken under the sediment criteria

  Q. On the application of the AET, does the sig-
nificance of the contamination appear to be a large
problem in Washington State?
  A. (Peterson) Most of the emphasis for this is com-
ing from a Puget Sound study that has been directed
toward  marine sediment criteria. Researchers think
that there is significant cause for concern about con-
taminants in Puget Sound, and Washington has pick-
ed that up (the State's Department of Ecology has a
very large investment in these tests). We think that
AET will eventually be  extended into  freshwater

   C. (Zarba) The Science Advisory Board is review-
ing the AET method, so their findings have not come
out. It seems that the State has already decided the
method is something  they want to pursue,  even
though they have not gotten peer review.
   A. (Peterson) My understanding from sitting in on
a portion of the Science Advisory Board  review was
that there were no major problems found but I have
not seen the report.
  C.  (Zarba)  The  Board's  review  mentioned
problems of causality. It boils down to what you in-
tend to do with the criteria. If you want to use them for
a screening tool to identify  impacted areas,  that's
one thing. But if you want to use the criteria to identify
a chemical that is causing problems and should be
cleaned up, that is quite a different situation.

  C.  (Peterson) Region  X's perspective is that
criteria will be used to determine a threshold,  in this
case for  contamination problems.  It's the assess-
ment of being generally right relative to a contamina-
tion problem rather than specifically wrong relative to
a particular chemical.

  C. Rather than speculate over what the Science
Advisory  Board might or might not say about AET
(and I do think that opinion is going to be very impor-
tant to any agency's ability to approve or disapprove
a particular standards proposal), I think we should
wait to hear the Board's evaluation.

  C. (Newell) Although the  equilibrium partitioning
test is the current front-runner, I don't think that any
method will be accepted until it has been  used and
has survived challenges.

  C. If anybody believes that one method versus the
other is so well documented and so well defined that
it provides all the answers, I think they're  bound to
make mistakes. I'm not prepared  to recommend a
suite of methods to my management, let alone a
single method, unless I know its exact use.

  Q.  (Dawson)  In some cases,  we will have to
decide whether to clean up contaminated sediments
or leave them in place, but at least we must develop
a methodology  to determine  the  risks  currently
posed to the environment and human health. In Wis-
consin, we have a more immediate problem with the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging to keep
navigational channels open. We have been involved
in issues relating to what is clean sediment for either
disposal in a confined disposal facility or open water
dumping, and  standards for  disposing  of con-
taminated material. The Wisconsin Department of
Natural Resources just developed rules and regula-
tions for disposal of contaminated sediments, as
well as standards for open  water disposal of sedi-
ments. They include such issues as what clean sedi-
ment is for the purposes of open water  disposal;
what is contaminated for the purposes of confined
disposal; and what kinds of standards should  be im-

posed for both performance and/or designed stan-
dards for the disposal of contaminated sediments.
How do the criteria affect open water disposal and
requirements for other kinds of disposal?
   A. (Zar) Our approach so far has been to focus on
in-place contaminants with an  eye toward putting
some additional control in place that would stop con-

   A. (Newell) In New York, one of the objectives is to
have a tool for making dredging decisions, and I have
great hopes that either the equilibrium partitioning
method, or whatever method we decide on, will help
us make these decisions.

   C. In the development of the equilibrium partition-
ing approach,  nothing  has  come up that would
preclude the use of that method for determining the
effects of sediments if they were moved. So if you
wanted to determine what type of effects you would
get if you moved the sediment to another location, as
long as it's submerged and aquatic life are exposed
to  it, then there's no reason  why  those  criteria
wouldn't apply.

   C. (Dawson) Wisconsin has an ad hoc legislative
committee that  is taking a look at this issue. Industry
wants to use the 1978 Federal standards for defining
clean sediments and is arguing  that Wisconsin has
no business developing and promulgating a stricter
set of standards.
   A. (Zar) I can say that EPA is not using the 1978
numbers exclusively but together with other tests
and bioassays until we have something better.

   C. Sooner or later, somebody will have to focus on
the  relationship of Corps of  Engineers' dredge
projects to cleanup.

   C. (Dawson) Wisconsin has to face those project
problems. I understand you may not have all the
answers, but we sure could use some help.

   C. (Dorn) I'm with Shell Development in Houston. I
would recommend that you emphasize technology
transfer when  developing sediment  criteria.  How
these criteria are going to be used,  and then, ob-
viously, the consequences when they are. As far as
technology transfer, don't second-guess the experts
on the Science  Advisory Board. They not only are the
best to evaluate methods, but  the Board acts as a
forum for industry. Lastly, you can't just develop the
number and say, "Go with it," because the States are
going to need a lot of assistance.
  Q. (to Dorn) Do you know of any work going on in
sediment criteria and whole effluents by industries?
  A. (Dorn) Industries are participating in this con-
ference and also will probably research  ambient
sediment concentration and  biochemicals.  My ad-
vocacy is that guidance should  be developed on all
the options from removal to capping to  thermal
destruction to nothing.

  C. People seem to feel much more comfortable
with the idea of sediment criteria as a method for as-
sessing risk when these criteria tell you what biologi-
cal  effects you will see and use to make decisions. I
see the decision tree for sediment criteria very similar
to what Superfund does, in a general sense.  Each
site is unique; you have to weigh lots of factors and
judgment plays an important role. With water quality
criteria, they tend to adopt a  number as more of an
absolute and require that number to be met across
the State, but sediment criteria are more for risk as-

   C. There's risk assessment and then there's the
risk management process. I don't know what  we're
going to do when we get to the risk management
process, but I want to make sure that we know exact-
ly what we're talking about as far as the input of the
risk assessment. I want to be able to say with  some
confidence that this is what will happen if we  make
this risk management decision.

   Q. You're talking about trying to answer the "how
clean is clean" question as a first step?
   A. Yes. For instance, if the sediment exceeds this
concentration, it will cause toxicity to aquatic life, and
I'm confident of that. If we all  agree on that,  then we
can decide whether we can live with certain  con-
centrations in fish and therefore, if you want to clean
up  to this number, it will cost this much, and we'll
have this much  contamination  left over. That's the
risk management decision but at least we're starting
off  knowing what the numbers mean.

   Q. Is there anyone in this room that doesn't think
that "how clean is clean?" or "how dirty is dirty?" is
the first priority? What is its purpose?
   A. First, its purpose is as a rank order that takes
me either to "how dirty  is dirty?" or "how  clean is
clean?" The second purpose is to help determine
how to spend money for remediation. To do any of
that, I've got to have some yardstick to use  to judge
whether this problem is worse in site A or site B.

                                                   WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
   C.  (Dorn) You may have contaminated sediment
that is buried in three feet of clean sediment; it's the
exposure factor that is the key  question on "how
clean is clean?" in terms of prioritizing what is going
to be done. I don't suggest that we dredge up all
these sites, and in fact I think it's better (in at least a
priority base) to leave certain sediments alone. How-
ever, we do not have the choice of even deciding to
leave sediments in a navigational  channel where the
Army Corps is going to dredge. That limits options,
and it does raise serious concerns not only about dis-
posal, but about reintroducing materials back into
the ecosystem. We do not have  any regulation (I'll
say that categorically) on the actual dredging techni-
ques. We've got  clamshell dredges in Green Bay
reintroducing this  stuff  back into the  ecosystem.
What you're talking about here should relate to that
situation as much as the issue  down the road of
whether we leave certain things, and whether we
prioritize certain hotspots and then  decide what to

   C. (Schuettpelz) I'm disappointed that the Army
Corps of Engineers is not an integral part of this dis-
cussion. If we don't get the Corps involved, they're
never going to understand, and they're never going
to buy into the process.

   C. There are a number of Corps people that have
been brought into the process right from the begin-
ning and have been following it. They have been ac-
tually helping to guide us in selecting and developing
the method  and continue to be involved. They are
well aware of what we're doing.

   C. (Knox) Sediment criteria are needed for and ap-
plicable to water quality control programs. I have
done research on the fate of pollutants in sediment-
plant interaction. I was amazed that the water pollu-
tion control agencies just segregated out the water
column like it was an isolated issue and regulated
that aspect only. In the Framework there is an activity
for States to incorporate toxic criteria into their water
quality standards.  I would hope that,  in the next
Framework, there would be an activity to have States
incorporate sediment criteria into their standards.
   Q. Are these sediment criteria applicable from a
nonpoint source aspect? If they are, how do they
treat sediment itself as a pollutant and not as a car-
rier of some other toxicant?
   A. These criteria will be applied to sediment, but
they're chemical specific. There is a need to come up
with what amounts to a clean sediment standard for
runoff situations.

   Q. And once we attach pesticides to them, then
do they become subject to these criteria?
   A. The pesticide would be the limited contamina-
tion value. You might have a situation where, on the
one hand, we developed a noncontaminated sedi-
ment  criteria  and we have  a  chemical  specific
criteria; when those two come together you can end
up having to look at both situations.

   Q. Is there a proposal for a nonchemical sediment
   A. Yes,  there will  be very shortly. Criteria take
about three years to develop. There's been a great in-
terest in straight sediment criteria, but currently no
work underway to develop them. That would be one
thing that could come out of this group and be fac-
tored into the planning process, particularly as the in-
terest in nonpoint sources seems to be increasing.

   C. How many of you are aware of sediment traps?
In their research effort,  the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources has  tried to define this sediment
load in trout streams, particularly. This is a moving
load very similar to a  glacier; by just  digging a sand
trap or a void in a river with a backhoe and reducing
the velocity, the river drops its sediment load. I know
that they have documented that this load has now
built up to four to six feet over the original river bed in
several of the trout streams in Michigan. By digging
these traps over a period of time, depending how
close you put them, you can get that stream to dig
back to the original bed. As a result of this, you get in-
creased flows, you get increased productivity, more
fish, and you're able  to get this sediment back out
away from the flood plain.

                                               WATER QUALiTY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 99
                 Water Quality Standards  and
                                 Indian IHbes
                               Kathleen Sisneros (Moderator)
                                Chief, Surface Water Quality Bureau
                 New Mexico Health and Environment Department, Santa Fe, New Mexico
In enacting the 1987 amendments to the Clean Water
Act, Congress established a new section, 518, which
authorizes EPA to treat Indian tribes as States for the
purposes of the following sections in the statute: sec-
tion 106, grants for pollution control programs; sec-
tion 303, water  quality standards; section 305(b),
reports on water quality; section  308, inspections;
section 309, enforcement; section 314, clean lakes;
section  319, nonpoint source management  pro-
grams; and section 401, certification of NPDES per-
mits as well as certification of 404 permits. The tribes
could also be treated as States for the purposes of
administering the NPDES program as well as section
404, dredge and fill permit programs.
   New Mexico has been involved with section 518
since its inception because 9.4 percent of land in our
State is under Indian ownership or control. There are
19 Pueblo reservations, part of the Navajo reserva-
tion, 3 separate and distinct Navajo chapter reserva-
tions, the Jicarilla Apache reservation, the Mescalero
reservation, and part of the Southern Ute reservation.
Some folks have told  me that New Mexico doesn't
have a lot of water. We are a water-poor State, but we
certainly have many tribes.
   Under New Mexico's water pollution control pro-
gram, by statute a nine-member water quality control
commission—eight  representatives  of State agen-
cies that deal in some respect with water and one
member who represents the public—is responsible
for adopting water quality standards for the State.
Anyone can propose those standards, which then go
through  a series of hearings and promulgations
before being submitted to  EPA for review and ap-
  New Mexico has an unfortunate history of litiga-
tion with the tribes on water rights. Therefore, the
Commission  immediately decided  to  work in a
cooperative agreement program with tribes to try to
adopt mutually acceptable standards even if they
decided to take status as States. We met with the
tribes all over the State, and we told them, come with
us on water quality monitoring  surveys-we will
show you how to collect samples; we will provide
training in how to treat the samples, how to preserve
them; we will  submit  samples  to our scientific
laboratory division and pay for the analysis; and we
will give you the data and provide the report. It is a
win/win situation in which the tribes get training and
information, and the State, in turn, receives informa-
tion from the tribes. So far, the tribes have been very
cooperative:  they  have  given us access to their
lands, and members have come along on intensive
river surveys. I think we are all finally starting off on
the right foot.

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 101-103
  Water  Quality  Standards  and Indian TMbes
                                  Richard Du Bey, Attorney
                              The Du Bey Law Firm, Seattle, Washington
I came to this conference to share some perceptions
and concerns as well as to bring recommendations
for fine-tuning the Framework document so that it
might better address the concerns of Indian tribal
governments. I do not represent any one tribe but a
number of tribes,  and  I have had the privilege of
learning about their values and concerns from the
tribal leadership. I will do my best to describe these
beliefs, realizing that I will never be able to express
them as the tribal members would.
  Probably no group in this country has paid more
dearly for clean water than Indian tribes. The lands
that the reservation environment comprises are the
permanent home and abiding place for those people.
The quality of that environment  is  something they
have an interest in, from the standpoint of regulating
this environment and protecting it as well as living in
it. Environmental  quality is  not  a  program to  be
viewed  through a microscope.  From  the tribal
perspective, it is a way of life and a way to protect the
options for the Indian people, to  insure that Indians
have the quality of life they are entitled to.
   My role as an attorney is to try to translate for EPA
what I understand to be the tribe's concerns. You all
know that if you don't understand how to communi-
cate with EPA, you may have a very interesting story
to tell but you won't necessarily have a willing ear to
tell it to. This advocative role is a little different from
one a consultant or attorney would play for a client
who has been part of the environmental scheme for
the last 24 years. Indian tribes have not had that op-
portunity; they are just beginning to learn how to par-
ticipate in the process.
   First I want to tell you a couple things about the
way Indian law is created in this country. I want to talk
about where we should go from here, both by looking
at the Framework document and  trying to make
some  constructive suggestions  as to how these
relationships can  be enhanced. Let  me begin  by
saying that there are too  few Indians at this con-
ference, and if this is about Indians-and this part of
the conference is about  tribal  governments par-
ticipating in the protection of their lands-then  we
need them. Although  Councilman Tahkael is here
from the Yakima Nation and another representative,
John Persell, from the Minnesota Chippewa tribes,
there  aren't enough tribal representatives here so
that there can be the type of coffee-break time com-
munication that allows the Indians,  EPA, and the
States to all learn something about  each other as
  Rather than talk of technical water quality stan-
dards, what is coming through in this conference is
protection of the resource base, wetlands, the habitat
of streamways, the in-stream values, protection of
the environment as a whole. And a new term is being
used that I am hearing for the first time: ecoregions.
That is a concept that, in my  experience with  the In-
dian people, is the way they live their lives. They don't
see any water quality standards versus NPDES per-
mits versus 404 permits. They see it as a whole. And
perhaps that is something that we are beginning to
appreciate. You can number people to death, but you
can't implant  a desire  to comply  with the law be-
cause, after all, this is water that we all need if we
want to survive. In terms of what is of concern to the
tribes, I think that is really where the water  quality
program is going  now.
  I believe deeply that there is wisdom in the ways
Indian people look at the environment. Why  should
tribes worry about the environment?  After all, for us
environmental cops it's been a headache for the last
20 years or so. You're not liked by the environmental
community because you're not doing  enough; you're
not liked by  business because  you're doing too
much;  and then there's paperwork and  all those
problems. Why do it? I think the answers lie in  the dif-
ferent interests that tribes have as they stand today at
a crossroads within our society. The Federal  Indian
law evolves on a day-to-day basis. There is  some-
thing called the Federal Common Law. Indian tribes
are in a uniquely disadvantageous position of  having
their capability as a government being changed be-
cause of Supreme Court decisions on the actions of
one Indian tribe. No State bears that burden.
  Interest  and   participation  in  environmental
programs come from a set of realizations that have
evolved over time. On  the one hand, it's clear that
tribal   participation   in   Federal   environmental
programs tends to strengthen the very infrastructure
of tribal government. It has that impact because, up
until now, believe it  or not, tribal  environmental
programs have existed on one-time administration of
Native Americans grants, or  one-time Bureau of In-
dian Affairs grants, so the program began, went for
12 months, and  disappeared-all the  people  who

gained the skills went away. There was nothing, no
opportunity to institutionalize within tribal  govern-
ment  a program,  no opportunity to educate tribal
children to protect their lands. These are very impor-
tant things—things that are just now happening. The
EPA programs provide annual funding and add some
permanency to a program that has been basically put
together with  grants  here and  grants there and
whatever money that could be found. Self-govern-
ment and self-determination for Indians are concepts
that can be fleshed out further by an environmental
program on Indian reservations.
   One of the biggest problems that has hampered
environmentally safe development is conflict be-
tween the State, the tribe, and sometimes the Feds
about who has regulatory jurisdiction. There have
been suggestions that what industry wants and what
the environmental community wants is certainty. You
don't  get certainty in an environment of inconsistent
statements on who has the law and who has the last
word. The banks tend to be conservative entities by
their nature, and, except for those Savings and Loans
that   have  provided  rather  creative  financing
mechanisms, funding and the economic develop-
ment  opportunities must have a more fertile environ-
ment  if the regulatory program is to be a known
entity. That's  not magic, that's something that you
can com ply with.
   Indian  and  nonlndian  social  and economical
preferences are often at odds. Developers' values
are not necessarily consistent with tribal values. The
tribe  should decide what type of license and what
type  of permit is  issued, in  conjunction  with the
Federal Government, so that the project will meet its
needs. This can't really be done by anyone else.  In-
dian  participation  in environmental  programs will
define and encourage effective business ventures,
and business entities can go to tribal governments to
cooperatively determine the requirements. Tribal par-
ticipation  in  Federal  programs  allows Indians  to
develop the  necessary skills to  implement these
programs and assist their (usually) rural neighbors in
assessing environmental consequences. Often it's
not just the Indian reservation that is impacted  by
some type of development project, it's also the ad-
jacent county.
   One example is the Colville Confederated Tribes in
eastern Washington, which  were always having
some  problems with  the  local farmers. Then
Washington Water Power decided to build a coal-
fired  power plant that presented potential  environ-
mental problems, including possible impacts on the
wheat crops. Although most of the farmers had  al-
ways felt that their Government would protect them,
that wasn't necessarily how it was going to  turn out;
the State had decided to license the project. Then the
farmers met with the Indian tribe.  For many,  many
years they both had been fighting over water  rights
and everything else, yet now the farmers were sitting
down and saying, "We need your help, Indian tribe,
because you have authority, you have power, you
have  protected rights on your reservation. If you
protect the impact of this flume on your reservation,
then our wheat will not be diminished and we will gain
as well."
   This cooperative effort worked; that project was
never built, and the relationship between the farmers
and the tribe has continued to be positive. Perhaps it
is one of the reasons for the successful fish-wildlife
agreement that recently was completed by Wash-
ington's Indian tribes and the timber industry.
   I think there is a climate for cooperation out  there,
but there have to be some rules of the road. The tribal
government is entitled to be recognized as one of the
three sovereign governments in  our country, and
tribal leaders are entitled to respect and to be  a part
of the process. Nobody likes surprises. The way for
surprises to go away is to have people be a part of
the process.
   Water is one of the things that Indian tribes are
particularly sensitive about. Not only for ceremonies,
or for drinking purposes, but also because water sus-
tains the land, the wildlife, and the habitat. A program
that will protect groundwater, and surface water, that
will preclude off-reservation insults from different
types of projects that are visited upon Indian reserva-
tions, benefits everybody.
   A classic example of this is the problems the St.
Regis Mohawk Tribe in  New York had with the
General Motors Superfund site on the border  of that
reservation. The sediments of the St. Lawrence River
were being polluted with PCBs that were bioaccumu-
lated by the fish. A Federal flash goes out to 4,000
Mohawk Indians: "Thou shall not eat fish more than
once a week." Well, that's great if you have an alter-
native protein  source,  but they don't. They are
people who must be sustained by the land and, un-
fortunately, some actions of our society have  visited
consequences upon the  reservations that we may
never be able to undo.  The  existence of an environ-
mental program allows a tribe to protect their reser-
vation environment for  everybody, whether they are
living on or coming to do business on that reserva-
tion. That's why, from a tribal perspective, I am a very
strong advocate of tribal environmental  protection.
And water quality is the fundamental baseline  of any
environmental protection program.
   There is a need  for a more open dialogue but not
necessarily one where a certain high level of  under-
standing of laws and regulations is expected. That is

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 101-103
an unfair burden-you people have been doing this
for a long time, and tribal staff have not had the op-
portunity to get up to speed. On the other hand, the
States have a tremendous wealth of knowledge they
can  share  through  a  cooperative  agreement
mechanism. Many Indians want to protect the en-
vironment. Why turn your backs on  them—they're
the ones that can augment, at a very limited cost to
the Government, the capability of each of you in im-
plementing your environmental programs.
  In developing the Framework document, one
thing should be spelled out: EPA's goal to work with
tribal governments in a vigorous and assertive way.
There are enough people willing to work with tribes
both within industry and within government to make
this a reality. Perhaps there's a way to allow tribes to
come into the system and share some of the scien-
tific benefits right now, rather than going through and
implementing just a numeric standard and five years
from now looking for an total effluent. Whatever that
watercourse could naturally  sustain as a  habitat,
that's what the goal should be. Let's find a science
and a technology to allow that to take place. Tribes
are really entitled to nothing less.
   For the Framework document to be a success,
there should be a solid Federal/tribal/State partner-
ship. The Framework provides an opportunity, a set
of goals and achievements that are rather ambitious.
I  believe that the goals will be made achievable by
participation of tribal governments, and I think it's our
charge to make that happen.

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 105-107
        For Water Quality Act Administration,
    The Federal Government Will Iteat Indian
                      Tribes  as They Do States
                    A Dumb Idea That Has Come of Age
                                      Jack Barnett
              Executive Director, Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum, Bountiful, Utah
The Water Quality Act of 1987 (PL 100-4) requires
that EPA promulgate regulations to allow  Indian
tribes to be treated as States for various provisions of
the Act. I have titled my presentation "A Dumb Idea
That Has Come of Age." It represents my personal
point of view after a limited involvement with the
Clean  Water Act,  as a person who has worked in
detail  with the Act in  a limited  geography,  the
Colorado River Basin.
   One's views can be strongly influenced by inter-
ests, exposure, and experience. From where I'm
coming from, the notion that Indian tribes should be
treated as States under certain provisions of the Act
is a dumb idea, perhaps promoted by officials within
EPA who have had little or no hands-on experience
with implementations of certain  aspects of the Act
and, more importantly, very limited experience with
the needs or  problems of the  tribes.  Several ad-
ministrators in the EPA Washington staff assigned to
this task have told me that, before being assigned to
their particular lead role in this  effort, they did not
know  the number of tribes nor their location. They
had never talked to an  Indian, and they had never
been on a reservation, yet these administrators are
now advocating implementation of section 518.
   Let me be more specific with respect to  my  ex-
perience and my point  of view.  I am the executive
director of the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control
Forum. The Forum is an organization created by the
Governors of the seven  Colorado River Basin States
to work out a cooperative effort to control the salinity
of the Colorado River in close cooperation and con-
sultation with Federal agencies. The Forum's involve-
ment is with setting water quality standards and then
implementing  programs that  ensure  that those
standards are met.
   An  understanding of the history of the relationship
between each of the seven Colorado  River Basin
States and the relationship between the Basin States,
the Federal agencies, and the Republic of Mexico is
important as one analyzes the  potential impact of
treating Indian tribes as  States with respect to water
quality standards and programs such  as National
Point Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and
nonpoint source efforts.
  The right to use the waters of the Colorado River
has been contested for more than three-quarters of a
century.  In 1922,  a  compact between the  Lower
Colorado River Basin States (California, Arizona, and
Nevada) and the Upper Colorado River Basin States
(New Mexico, Utah,  Colorado, and Wyoming) was
entered into after long and difficult negotiations. That
compact, ultimately  ratified by each of the States'
legislatures and by the Congress, provided for  an
agreement on how the waters of the Colorado River
would be divided between the two divisions (the
Upper Colorado  River and  the  Lower Colorado
River).  More than two decades later, the  Upper
Colorado River  Basin States  determined how they
would divide their compact-apportioned water sup-
ply among the four Upper Basin  States. Agreement
was not forthcoming in the Lower Colorado and ulti-
mately, in a very long and expensive lawsuit, the U. S.
Supreme Court  decreed how the waters were to be
divided among the Lower Basin States.
   With all of the waters allocated, the United States
then entered into a treaty with Mexico, providing that
a  certain amount of additional waters would  be
delivered on an annual  basis to the Republic of
Mexico. How, you might ask, can all of the waters be
divided among the States and additional waters go to
Mexico? The answer from  Congress was that once all
of the waters had been placed in use by the States as
provided for by  compact and  decree,  then the
Department of the Interior will augment the flow of
the Colorado River to an extent that additional flows
are available to satisfy the Mexican commitment.
   Some of the Basin States are currently using all of
their entitlement (or soon  will  be), while other States
are proceeding with developments that will  not  be
fully implemented until sometime in the next century.
Hence, the  problem of an augmented flow of the
Colorado River to meet the Mexican commitment has
not yet become an issue. I think it is important to un-
derstand the sensitive and complex nature of the
water rights in the Colorado River when one looks at

the impact of overlying water quality standard  re-
   In the early 1970s, the salinity of the Colorado
River was increasing, and users in the Lower Basin
were suffering from poor quality waters. In addition,
the Mexican Government was complaining about the
quality of the water that it was receiving. There were,
however, no provisions in the treaty with Mexico as to
water quality requirements of these waters. These is-
sues, if not complicated by the Clean Water Act, were
at least brought into sharper focus when the Act was
enacted. The Act required that each of the States es-
tablish water quality standards to prevent pollution of
the streams,  in this case to prevent  increased salt
loading in the Colorado River System.
   One might imagine that given the history of com-
petition and conflict for the  limited water  supplies in
the Colorado River, it would be almost impossible to
reach a negotiated agreement on how to proceed
with water quality control measures so that all seven
Basin States, the Federal agencies (including  EPA,
the Department of the Interior, and the State Depart-
ment),  and the Republic of Mexico could agree on an
approach. However, with a spirit of cooperation and
after many compromises, an accord was reached. In
1974 the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act
was passed by the Congress.
   The  Act has  two  titles. The first  deals with
deliveries of water to Mexico.  The last diversion of
water for use in the United States is at Imperial  Dam,
near Yuma, Arizona, not far from the Mexican border.
Title I deals with the water qualities that are delivered
past Imperial Dam and allowed to flow south, in  ac-
cordance with the  treaty  with Mexico. A  large
desalinization plant is being built in the Yuma area by
the Bureau of Reclamation to assure that the United
States can meet its water quality commitment to
   Title II of the Act identifies a basinwide program to
remove salts above  Imperial Dam, where it can be
done most effectively. This will ensure that the salinity
levels  in the  river system, as measured at  three
downstream  measuring points, do not exceed  the
1972 levels while the Basin  States continue develop-
ing their compact-apportioned water.
   This basinwide approach does not require that in-
dividual States adopt State standards. Title II states
that the Secretary  of the Interior will take the lead in
identifying and implementing a program that will en-
sure that water quality standards are  met. The  Basin
States, working through the Colorado River  Basin
Salinity Control Forum, will adopt policies that help to
ensure that additional salt loading does not occur in
the Colorado River System.  The Basin States are also
required to reimburse the Federal Government for a
portion of the costs associated with the Salinity Con-
trol Program.
   Through  the  first decade  of  involvement  (as
authorized by the 1974 Act), the Department of the
Interior  primarily studied  the  most  cost-effective
ways that salt could be removed from the river sys-
tem. In very round numbers, the Department of the
Interior determined that 9  million tons of salt enter
Lake Mead each year. For the standards to be met
while the Basin States developed their compact-ap-
portioned water supplies, 1 million tons of salt must
be removed annually by the turn of the century.
   Initially, it appeared that, although most of the salt
could be removed cost-effectively, removing the last
of the million tons would be very expensive, possibly
requiring brines to be exported from the Basin. Fur-
ther study, however, identified some very cost-effec-
tive, on-farm strategies.  In modifications to the Act in
1984 sponsored by the  Colorado River Basin States
and their representatives in  Congress, the  Depart-
ment of Agriculture was given new authorities to im-
plement, on a voluntary basis with Basin  farmers,
these cost-effective, on-farm strategies. The program
as now envisioned will probably cost only 25 percent
of the earlier estimates, but ultimately, early in the
21st century, somewhere between $550 million and
$600 million will have to be spent to maintain these
water quality standards.
   Every three  years  the Colorado  River Basin
Salinity Control  Forum prepares a triennial review
report that examines whether or not the standards
established at the beginning of the program are still
appropriate. The report also describes the program
necessary to meet those standards. Each State for-
mally adopts the report as a part of its triennial review
process and then submits  it  to EPA. Three EPA
regions (Dallas, Denver, and San Francisco) split the
responsibility of the Colorado River, so in those three
regions, one or more of the individual State's submit-
tals is approved triennially.
   These triennial reviews have been accepted and
approved by EPA through the most recent submittal
in 1987. The standards approved by EPA are basin-
wide, with no areas excluded. This basinwide ap-
proach was once contested in the courts by an
environmental group.  The  courts ruled  that  this
cooperative, seven-State  approach to maintaining
water quality was in keeping with the mandates of the
Clean Water Act.
   When the States get together to  consider the
many-faceted  issues bearing on water quality con-
trol, each State is prepared to discuss the program's
local impacts. Since the Forum has no authority to
mandate to each of the States the program that will
be adopted, a strong spirit of cooperation is needed.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 105-107
Thus far, 15 years into the program, the States have
been unanimous in their positions. This has been ac-
complished by a very concerted effort. Issues are
discussed by a work group, then reviewed by many
Federal agencies. Long and serious negotiations that
result in, at times, major compromises take place
before decisions are reached.
   The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Pro-
gram is in good shape—it is not broken; it doesn't
need to be fixed. To impose new provisions that allow
the potential involvement of all the Indian tribes
within the Colorado River drainage area could  be
very disruptive. The Basin States are concerned that
some interpretations might disallow certain stan-
dards throughout the Colorado River Basin; that, by
some interpretation of law, there are "windows" on In-
dian Reservations where no standards exist. The
Basin  States  could envision, to  take the worst
scenario, areas where industry could proceed with
development and where there would be discharges
of wastes without the current stringent constraints for
discharge that now exist throughout the Basin.
   For instance,  it could be determined that  until an
Indian tribe or the EPA proceeded with the adoption
of standards that no standards existed. If  a tribe
chose not to  become involved in the program, then
areas of Indian reservations would not be subject to
standards until  EPA  acted to adopt  them. The
Forum's experience with EPA is that, given its limited
resources and occasional lack of  initiative,  it could
take an indeterminable amount of time to put stan-
dards in place. The Basin States have been assured
by EPA that this will not be the case.
   After receiving oral commitments from high-rank-
ing EPA officials in Washington,  the Basin States
finally, for the first time,  received some written con-
solation when, on Septembers, 1988, General Coun-
sel Larry J. Jensen wrote to David Frohnmayer, the
attorney general of Oregon, and  said  (and  I'm
paraphrasing), that EPA will presume (without decid-
ing) that water quality standards previously adopted
will remain in place  until new standards are adopted
to replace them. The States have further been  as-
sured that this language will be incorporated  into the
preamble of the rules and regulations now being
promulgated by EPA but have yet to see that lan-
guage in draft documents. This evasive language
would, however, be better than nothing at all.
   On a somewhat related issue, EPA had initially in-
dicated that section 510 of the Clean Water Act would
not apply to the implementation of section 518,  be-
cause section 510 was not mentioned in the  amend-
ments brought about by section 518. Obviously, if
Congress had intended for section  510 to apply to
section 518, Congress would have so declared. How-
ever, more recently EPA has indicated to the States
that, as one reads the Act, it is apparent that section
510 must apply. Section 510 potentially would allow
Indian tribes to move in and set more stringent stan-
dards than have been adopted throughout the Basin.
The States are concerned about the potential impact
of that action. The States  are also concerned that
tribes might try to establish less stringent standards.
These actions have the potential of disrupting the on-
going Salinity Control Program.
   The States within the Colorado River Basin do not
perceive a need for amendments to the Act to define
the role of Indian tribes in the program. The 17 tribes
in the Basin do not speak, by any means, with one
voice. The complexities  that seven States, various
agencies  of the Federal  Government,  and  the
Republic of Mexico have in coming together to dis-
cuss common water quantity and water quality is-
sues could  be greatly   compounded  by  the
involvement of 17 Indian tribes.
   I am not aware of initiatives by the tribes within the
Colorado  River Basin to seek  amendments to the
Clean Water Act. My understanding is that, to a large
degree, section 518 was drafted and promoted  by
EPA in Washington. The initiative was based on legal
theories and not upon in-the-field needs. Now we
have laws  on  the  books  that EPA-Washington
promoted and feels obligated to implement. Indian
tribes may be enticed into contemplating involve-
ment in various aspects of the Clean Water Act,
believing that it might bring to their governments
large Federal grants to implement the program. Per-
haps they will believe that tribal technical capabilities
would be enhanced. Perhaps they will think that op-
portunities for self-determination concerning the en-
vironment of their reservations will increase. A review
of the history of the long relationship of the States
and EPA and a more recent and objective look at the
funds that Congress might make available to imple-
ment the Clean Water Act could lead one to conclude
that little opportunity exists for the tribes to benefit
from Federal grants or other Federal funding assis-
   In summary, from my perspective,  a major  and
very important water quality program now exists in
the Colorado River Basin. It has been agreed upon by
consensus  of many governmental  bodies. It  has
been moving ahead in an exemplary way, without
significant controversy. The amendments to section
518, particularly with respect to  water quality stan-
dards, provide very little, if any, promise of improve-
ments to the program. Instead, the amendments
offer the potential for, at  the least, more complex in-
tergovernmental discussion, and, at the worst,  sig-
nificant disruptions to the program and the harmony
that now pervades the Basin.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 109-110
             Environmental Protection and the
                             Rights  of Indians
                                        Don Tahkael
                    Tribal Councilman,Yakima Indian Nation, Toppenish, Washington
I am a member of the Yakima Indian Nation Tribal
Council; a member of our land irrigation and roads
committee; a member of our timber overall economic
development and grazing committee; chairman of
our nuclear waste, toxic waste committee; and I am
chairman of our timber, fish, and wildlife committee.
My background is geology, which is why I attend
these off-the-wall water  meetings throughout the
country where I attempt to bring out a little bit of truth
and get back to the basics.
   I would like to start off today's discussion with a
quote: "Like the miner's canary, the Indian marks the
shifts from fresh air to poison gas in our  political at-
mosphere. Our treatment of Indians even more than
the treatment of other minorities reflects the rise and
fall of our political faith." It has been proven that as
early as 25,000'years ago there were Indian people
traversing the  land,  which  gives credence to the
legends, to the stories of my people that have been
handed down through time,  to the very institution of
our social structure of protection of the environment,
protection of the water, protection of a way of life.
   The  first Congress spent much time in 1789 and
1790 enacting  legislation  relating to the Indian
people. During that Congress, the War Department
was established and  given substantial responsibility
over Indian affairs. The  Northwest Ordinance was
enacted with the famous pledge, "that the utmost
good faith shall always be observed toward Indians."
The first of several trade and intercourse acts were
enacted to prohibit the acquisition of Indian lands by
non-Indians without  Federal approval. During this
same period, Secretary of War Henry Knox advised
President Washington on the  military necessity  for
negotiating treaties with the Indian people who pos-
sessed the territory that today comprises the United
States. Secretary Knox also believed that this policy
was necessary to distinguish the national character
of the new American Government from  that of the
British Colonial Government and its conduct toward
the Indian people. So Indian policy is derived from
the very wellsprings of  the  development  of  this
   The  Constitution  of  the  United  States is the
cornerstone of your  liberty,  and the cornerstone of
the democratic process.  How does this cornerstone
relate to an Indian's environmental rights? I'd like to
answer with a story. After a hard day at the office, a
young husband goes home, opens  the door, looks
around, and says, "Where's my favorite seat?" He lies
down on the couch, looks up at the ceiling and says,
"Oh, I'm gettin' my Mac attack now." So he goes in to
the refrigerator, but it's not in its usual spot. "Now
where's the refrigerator?" He walks back into the
living room. "Where's the TV, where's the stereo?" His
wife is standing there beaming, smiling. "You notice
anything, dear?" What she wants, of course, is a little
recognition that she has changed a few things in the
   This is the situation that Indian people find them-
selves in today. The house has been rearranged, and
the Indian people are sitting there saying, "Hey, what
happened to the fine clean water we used to have?
What happened to the clean air that we used to
breathe? What happened to our poor lakes and
ponds that even the cows and the deer and elk and
the antelope don't even want to be near. There must
be  something wrong."  And so the Indian people
begin to look around, and then they come to my of-
fice, look me square in  my eyeballs and say, "What
have you allowed to happen out there?" I don't know
what happened. They begin to relate  a chronological
order of events that have taken place within the last
couple of years. Grandma's going tell me that she's
got no more roots out there.  She's got no more
medicine, she's  got no  more herbs. These plants
have all disappeared because the white man is out
there, and he has changed it.
   Indians have not had the luxury of a Safeway on
every other corner, which means their subsistence
came from the land, from the streams, and from the
lakes. Because this subsistence pattern withstood
the test of time, it gave credence to the social struc-
ture, to the religious belief that was formed and car-
ries on even today, which all relates back to the giver
of life-water. EPA is one of the few Federal agencies
that have come  out with a proclaimed Indian posi-
tion, but fine words upon a piece of paper do not help
to clean this water. And so, the good businessman,
the good bureaucrat, the fine mouthpiece, and you, a
worker out in the field, must sit down at the table and
discuss the environment with the Indian tribes of your

area who are involved, affected,  impacted by your
   Let's get back to reality. I would like to read from a
letter that was sent to me. It said, "What are the ap-
propriate roles for various groups involved that are
partly or half-heartedly represented or even opposed
by the State or the Federal Government?" It was pre-
dictable that  none of Reagan's  officials would  be
committed  to the Indian cause, but yet in 1988 the
head of EPA, Lee Thomas, did take time from a meet-
ing with the States and EPA to sit with the Indian
people and ask their concerns, because there  is
something  owed to the Indian people, based  upon
the Constitution that we all abide by. There should
have been 319 tribes sitting in that room; instead,
there were a few  tribes  represented from  each
region. As I said, the first Congress spent many hours
discussing the  Indian people, and the negotiation
process ended  in 1871 with Congress' decision that
while there would be no more treaties with the In-
dians, every previous treaty would be upheld.  How-
ever, in 1904 the Yakima Indian Nation took its case
to the Supreme Court, which  ruled that the United
States gave nothing to the Indian people, but rather, it
was the Indian people that gave something to the
United States—in something called a treaty. Anything
not specifically enumerated within that treaty, the In-
dians could retain.
   Protection of the water, protection of the air, and
protection of the environment are not listed within the
treaty, so  that means we still  own  those rights.
Whether there  are exploiters  of the  environment,
businesses with permits from EPA or from the States
acting arbitrarily  and capriciously on the environ-
ment, the Indians still retain the right to protect that
environment. The Supreme Court further determined
that whether  a  State or its grantee owns a piece of
land, or the Federal Government or its grantee owns
a piece of land, there is still an encumbrance upon
that property today—the treaty  right  of the Indian
people. And so because of these chronological lists
of historical events, the United States  is playing the
lead if not always noble role because the treaties and
the agreements and the recurring theme of Congres-
sional legislation reflect the Constitution. However,
EPA's attorneys still remain Government attorneys.
They do  not represent the Indians or the Indian
tribes, or their interests. A State attorney general still
represents a State, not the Indians or Indian tribes.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Indian leadership
to make sure that our lawyers are being heard.
  The economic considerations and administrative
convenience  cannot play a part  in the so-called
negotiation process with Indians,  but  rather it is
protection of rights that the Indians are focusing on
and  would like to implement—self-executing pro-
grams that will actually  protect the environment.
There will be some tribal claims that never reach the
Attorney General, oryouthedecisionmaker, because
they become administratively buried. A government
official who makes decisions affecting Indian inter-
ests may not be actually hostile but could be unsym-
pathetic, which can indicate a  resistance to the
reality of the Indian people's  unique  legal status.
These are points that the Indians would like to set
straight so  the  tribes  can   start to  implement
programs in Indian country.
   Advocacy for Indians and Indian tribes is not in-
herent in the bureaucracy. Maybe you have an "In-
dian Desk" at your office or your region, or an Indian
expert, but these officials don't really relate to how In-
dians perceive protection of the environment, which
is through protection of their rights as an  Indian
people. A lot of good appointees are there for four
years  and  move  on.  I hope that  short terms for
bureaucrats and fleeting moments of involvement
with Indians won't be the  hallmark of EPA's relation-
ship with the Indian people.
   Today, the Yakima Indian Nation, along with other
tribes, faces many significant threats to the quality of
the environment on their reservation. As an Indian
people we have been active on a number of fronts.
We were involved  in the effort to  amend  the Safe
Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water  Act,  and the
Comprehensive Environmental Response Compen-
sation and Liability Act, and we are lobbying during
this Congress for the other environmental laws.
   The Indian people hope you will take the  time and
opportunity to sit down with them to learn the "other
side of the story." When  EPA considers whether to
pick  up this flat rock and skip  it,  I hope that its
decisions do not become a reality, because the In-
dians once possessed the whole mountain and the
whole river, and we would hope that the pollution of
the environment can be addressed now while there is
an opportunity. Don't let your bureaucratic stumbling
block hinder you but  rather utilize  it as a stepping-
stone where EPA, along with the Indian tribes, can go
hand in hand and step on into a better future-a bet-
ter tomorrow—that is what the Indian people would
hope and desire.

                                                    WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  Q.  (Sisneros)  / would like to echo Richard Du
Bey's disappointment that we don't have more tribes
here, and I do have a question for EPA: how many
tribes were invited to the meeting?
  A. Forty.

  C. (Freeman)  What I was hoping to get out this
session was an identification of ways we can work
with water quality standards on Indian lands. I don't
think it's an issue of whether Tribe 18 should be there
or shouldn't be there. Tribe 18 is there. I was hoping
to get more in terms of how we can work with those
tribes and our States in the definition of water quality

  C. (Barnett) I agree with you that it's not a ques-
tion of whether Tribe  18 is  or is  not there. It's the
tribes that have the choice as to whether or not they
decide to apply to have certain authorities given to
them under section 518. (I used the term "authorities"
wrongly. EPA attorneys  say that  they  have  no
authorities  to give.) If the States do not  have the
authority, then the tribe doesn't have the  authority
and cannot become eligible for the program. So, it's
a question of whether States conclude that they have
the authority  or want to clarify further, through their
own legislative process, the laws that qualify them for
EPA programs. What I think is lacking in your com-
ment is the basic lie that came forward, that  we're
going to do something good for the tribes. There's no
money to do  that, there's no personnel to  do that. I
meet with EPA Washington and they say, "Oh, we've
written a letter to the regions and asked them to be-
come  proactive."  I  meet  with  the  regional ad-
ministrators and they say, "We wrote a letter back to
EPA and said, 'Forget it. We have no resources. Why
don't the States become proactive?"1
  So,  I'm frustrated for the Indians. What do they
really expect out of this? If Washington doesn't have
the  wherewithal,  the regions  don't have the
wherewithal, and the States aren't the ones who in-
itiated the effort. All the Indians can hope for is that
they might become  eligible for  a  grant  program
sometime, and I'm not sure that's a favor to them. So,
you say, how are we going to get involved, and I'm
saying I think it's a frustrating issue because there are
no resources to go with that promise.

  C. (Du Bey) I've tried hard to be objective in this
process, and  I guess I just can't listen to the concern
for tribal governments being expressed by someone
who has not pointed out  a problem. Whenever
there's a change in the status quo, there are going to
be those who are threatened by it. I would suggest
that if there is a problem in how the Colorado River
Salinity  group is functioning, that we should hear
about the problem and not the potential for a parade
of horribles, which always seems to be a justification
for doing  nothing.  The focus was to address the
Framework and to talk about that as a way of plan-
ning in the future from a rather broad policy directive.
If it would be helpful to discuss what programs are
out there,  how  they  are  put  in place,  what the
governmental structure would be, and if that would
be of interest to everybody here, then we can discuss

   C.  (Sisneros)  I'm not only disappointed that we
don't  have more tribes here, I'm really disappointed
we don't have more States present in the audience,
which seems to be made up primarily of EPA people.
I  also was hoping to be able to come up with some
point  of discussion of where we go from here, how do
we get together and make this thing work. Certainly,
in New  Mexico we  have recognized section 518 as
the law, and where we're at right now is let's make
this work and let's work together. EPA sponsored two
meetings  back in June 1988 in Denver: a one-day
session for the States and a one-day session for the
tribes. At that meeting, EPA committed to hold a fu-
ture meeting with tribes and the States together.  I
think  that is needed, and several  of the western
States have urged EPA to hold this meeting. Get us in
the same room and let us start talking to each other.
We need to do it at the State level and at the national
level,  as well. I'd like  some feedback from you EPA
folks as to whether you think it's doable and if there
are plans to do that.

   C.  (Persell) If Indians are given the hope of a pro-
gram  to protect the environment then this is for Con-
gress to appropriate money on. We realize  that
States are in trouble,  that EPA funding for States is
going up.  Well, States are feeling threatened by the
300 tribes that are after money.  States think they are
going to lose money. That's their perception of our
saying we don't want to pay for what the States al-
ready have. States have a tough job in front of them.
Indians should go get  their own money.
   I believe that efforts such as Mr.  Barnett's are com-
mendable. They're going to try to clean up the water,
and we Chippewas support that. However, if we
could get support from groups such as yours to go to
Congress, then let's all go battle  at the same time.
This is what is needed, not to fight over whether
tribes are going to  impinge  upon existing water

quality agreements. Let's have recognition that tribes
are governments, that tribes have  authorities for
water quality control, and let's proceed to get dollars
from the Federal Government.

   C. (Sisneros)  I'll give you some feedback from
New Mexico. One of the recommendations that our
water quality control commission made in its 305(b)
report to Congress was that Congress should come
up with money for tribes. We recognize there isn't
enough money available to do everything the States
or the tribes are going to be required to do under this
statute, and we feel that the tribes shouldn't have to
compete with  the States for the monies, and the
States shouldn't be penalized by specific set-asides.

   C. (Barnett) Despite your good idea that the
States and tribes ought to meet together, any long
discussion and meetings really tax tribal resources. If
EPA really wants to get dialogue going with the
States, they've got to figure out a way to finance that
involvement. Trips to Denver for 40 or 50 tribes are
expensive. And secondly, EPA's got to  get enough
people funded to really get involved in the program.
This passing the buck back and forth between Head-
quarters and the regions and  saying what  are we
going to do, we don't have enough resources, but we
have entered into a noble cause-that doesn't help
promote the program at all. If there are no dollars to
promote the program, then it's all just wishful think-

   C. I couldn't agree more. If 275 tribes could attend
this conference on Federal Government per diem or
private per diem from 106 money, you'd probably see
275 tribes here.

   C. There was a discussion about the fact that
somehow States and the Federal Government find
the money whenever they are in litigation with tribes.
Where is that money? Perhaps this would be a good
first challenge for the new EPA Department of Pollu-
tion Control. On many Indian reservations there is the
opportunity for EPA to start  a preventative program
against pollution. For much less expenditure, we can
stop the problem at the outset. Why  not allocate
funding  and  the  mandate to have  a  series of
workshops to the Department of Pollution Control?
   We as the Indian work group charged with meet-
ing the Indian  coordinator's concerns from Region V
should come up with a set of recommendations for
how we would deal constructively with this issue.
Then these solutions  would be reported back at a
plenary session, after which we would begin im-
plementation.  We all go to lots of conferences, and
then we go away. Why not have the conference be an
opportunity to create an action plan that we will then
work together to implement?

   C. (Wilson) I would like to make one proposal. The
foremost standard framework is a vision of several
years because  it is difficult for the States to make all
these changes. This is an opportunity, perhaps, for
the tribes to take the lead in showing how to effective-
ly provide good protection programs. In Region X,
the tribes have excellent fisheries files;  they have
been leaders in resource protection. It would seem
useful to provide a little bit of seed money to fund
some of their time to try to come up with some good
biological wetlands-type of  criteria  language that
would provide the basis in the standards for resource
protection that could then serve as information and
guidance to other tribes.

   C. There are  two  ways of doing  that: First,
programs that  would serve within Indian country as
microcosms of what could  be expected in larger
areas within States. They would be a learning ex-
perience and also an  opportunity for tribal  staff to
develop  expertise. And secondly, agreements  like
the one for implementation of the Resource Conser-
vation  Recovery Act for hazardous waste manage-
ment  on  the  Puyallup  Indian   Reservation  in
Washington between  the  Department  of Ecology,
EPA, and the State. This tribe had a similar problem
with funding: they were unable to fully participate in
this negotiation, so EPA's administrator for Region X
elected to fund a consultant to be the facilitator for
the agreement so that no one party was in control of
the negotiations, and then let a sole source contract
to the tribe to fund  its participation  in the process.
There  are a number  of creative mechanisms out
there, through cooperative agreements, sole source
contracts, or other resource uses, that, if we were to
put our collective energy into those issues, we could
use to come up with a feasible program.

   C. (Pollock) Who were the tribes involved in the
compacts and agreements that were cited over the
Colorado River Basin? At some point  tribes were
brought in, and they are part of it today. Water quality
standards, as new as they are for us are just as new
for tribes.  EPA has striven recently to find ways to
communicate with the tribes. We are all searching for
ways  to communicate effectively  with the tribes.
Don't  look at the lack of tribal participation here
today as a'lack of tribal interest. The tribes are very in-
terested. They want to tap the  machinery here to be
able to produce some of these programs.

   Q. How best can we help to develop the water
quality standards program for the tribes? We see it

                                                    WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
as a tribal responsibility. Is communicating with the
tribes best done through letters and telephone calls
or through conferences? Can the best help be
provided  by  standards  based on some  of the
ecoregion concepts? We need to hear from tribal
representatives; what do they think would be the
most useful kind of assistance?
   A. (Pollock) To go back again to funding, I would
start with tribes or suggest that EPA start with tribes
or with States, and put out a large sum of money (if
106 were involved in planning things, it would be a
start). Communication is needed, and I assure you
that communication abilities will increase.

   C. There are those in Washington that are trying to
find out how to proceed, but they talk about the tribes
as if they are all the same. You have to spend the time
and the resources to go out and communicate initial-
ly with Indian governments to find out what their
needs are, and how they want to communicate. How
are they organized?  There is a belief that there is
some generic body out there that's an Indian tribe,
and that they all can be categorized as the same, but
they are very different. You have to give EPA the
resources so  the Agency can understand and assist
with tribal problems and then treat each tribe  in-

   Q. Do you  have multi-tribe meetings or Indian or-
ganization meetings  where it would be appropriate
to invite EPA  people or  others to  start the basic
educational process? (What the standards program
is about, who we are, what the documents are.)
   A. (Tahkael) There are numerous intertribal or-
ganizations. EPA is busy making memorandums of
understanding, memorandums of agreement, with (it
seems) everyone  in the  world  except tribes.  In
Washington State there is a tri-party agreement over
Hanford. Where was the tribe? You guys are talking
about  my land, my rights, and you are out there
spending multi-billions  of dollars on what you call
cleanup. So there  is a  serious breakdown  in com-
   The Yakima Nation is fortunate, or unfortunate, to
have developed a fine staff. My grandfather had the
right to brag, "I could walk across the river on the
backs  of salmon." Today I look around and  all  I see
are biologists, hydrologists, geologists, technicians,
and it  seems like everyone else beneath the sun. I
guess  I have to line them up in the river so I can walk
across their backs to get to the other side. But that's
not doing my people any good because they need to
fish, and they need the water to be clean enough for
the fish to return. As a tribe that is struggling in times
of austerity, we are attempting to make  sure to get
our  penny's  worth for a  better  future for our
grandchildren. But because we are talking in a linear
fashion-a, b, c, then we expect that to happen. You
and I are in that process, we hope that everything
comes in order,  but the reality of the environment is
that this guy is talking about "z," and this guy is talk-
ing about "a,"  so we get the alphabet all gummed up
and blame it on communication. Face-to-face com-
munication, I believe, is best for Indians because they
are a traditional  people. In forums such as this if I'm
going to lie, you'll know that I'm lying because you
can see me and you will also see that I'm telling the
   The Indian people as a group, on the whole, desire
the truth because we have seen the formation of the
United States of America, and we see a better future
for this country. We would hope that through your ef-
forts and combined work with Indians that it will be-
come a reality. As do-gooders who flit in and out of
Indian country you perceive that you can't communi-
cate with anybody, so there is a breakdown. I hope
that there are going to be more meetings, that we will
be able to sit down face-to-face and I believe that the
communication  effort that has gone forward so far
has been adequate. I would hope that the regional
concept becomes more of a reality. There is room for
improvement  in  EPA, and there is room for improve-
ment in the tribes. Yet I think we can do more improv-
ing if we get  together. I would also advocate more
work sessions,  more  communal efforts where we
would get back to the basics.

   Q. To the tribal representatives here: do you think
there should be a role for the States to play in your
water quality standards setting and, if you do, what
should  that role be, and how should the States

   Q. I would ask you a question: were the tribes in-
volved in setting the State water quality standards?
   A. (Sisneros)  Only very recently, within the last five
years in New Mexico.
   A. My reply then would be, initially, I don't think
States have much of a role to play. I know that Indians
are going to draw on the scientific data produced by
the States, by EPA, or by the universities, as well as
developing our own standards.

   C. (Tahkael) I hope the tribes have the opportunity
to set their own standards. The State programs that
exist are inadequate, and they are also erroneous in
some of their assumptions. They include geographic
locations on the amount of acres of a reservation and
the populations  as statistics but  yet do  not address
the actual situations upon reservations.

   My particular reservation is  on midstream of a
river, the longest tributary to the Columbia in the
Northwest, and every inch was ceded by the Yakima
Nation. So the tribe gets into discussions of ceded
land areas and traditional land areas, as well as usual
and custom land areas. If EPA were going to come up
with some type of clarification, not restricting Indians
just to today's reservation land area, that would cor-
rect errors that the State has made as assumptions,
and then the tribes would be pleased with the State's
performance.  The  tribes should be afforded the
luxury to develop  their own reports because the
baseline data for each reservation and each Indian
tribe have not yet been developed.

   C. (Pollock) I don't know what the role of the State
is in establishing tribal water quality standards. Our
concerns are mutual, I  believe,  between the States
and the tribes, and  I would hope that with this role of
involvement and friendship that we could avoid ever
presenting a window of invisibility to the State  or to
any other interested parties.

   C.  (Sisneros) The tribes should have the oppor-
tunity to make use of the information that we have;
the data for tribal waters are very limited; however, in
terms of getting through the EPA bureaucracy,  we
can suggest a format, protocol procedures, that sort
of thing. I would hope that the States are providing
opportunities for tribes to use the experience and the
expertise that States have in setting water quality
standards, and I would hope the tribes would make
use of the opportunity.

   C. (Du Bey) Having  been involved in  several of
these   cooperative   agreements   in   Montana,
Washington, and other States, I think that, among the
program people, there is little  disagreement that
there is a desire to have as much input to the process
as possible. It is for the tribes,  however, to define
what role they wish to have the States play. That  is a
key component. I know of no situation where a tribe
would not be willing to circulate its rules for comment
to improve  them because, in fact, that serves  the
tribe's purposes as long as there is not undo delay in
that process.
   The focus seems to be between the tribe and EPA;
the unknown entity is what the State may or may not
do. Why doesn't EPA as a matter of policy decide that
States that  have  Indian  reservations  within their
boundaries have a burden to contact those tribes this
fiscal year and to meet with them. States were edu-
cated on Federal tax dollars for the last 20 years, why
not make  it pay off? Another suggestion: for EPA
regions to feel that this is important and a priority, the
transition of commitment to the tribal governments
must  make its way  down into the management
scheme. You have to know that, as a part of your
responsibilities, "beans" are going to get counted for
regional administrators or, for water program division
directors, contacts with Indian tribes-whether you
have been successful in putting  in place a coopera-
tive agreement, how far you have gone in 106 fund-
ing. Rather than make it an add-on when everyone
has a full plate to begin with, make it a part of the way
they are required to do business.  Then the normaliza-
tion of relationships between tribes, States, and the
Federal Government can begin to take place. It is not
going to be considered a unique,  freakish event.  It
will be the way that business gets done.
   Dave Sabock deserves a tremendous amount of
credit in the work that he has done with Indian tribes
because back eight  or nine years  ago, when the
Coville Tribe first knocked on his door to talk about
water quality standards, he was a little bit resistant at
first. But he listened to what the tribe's concerns
were, and to his great credit, and to the benefit to the
Coville tribe and other tribes, he  is a person who
once convinced of the appropriateness of an action
will follow up on it.

   C. (Sisneros) To sum up, I think we all recognize
the tribal respect for water. It has been in place since
Day 1. We have an opportunity for the tribes to be
leaders in water quality standards setting and water
quality protection.  However, we need resources for
the tribes.  I would hope that the States, the tribes,
and EPA could join  to try  to come up with those
resources. EPA needs to develop some knowledge,
recognition, some sensitivity concerning the tribes. It
does appear that EPA has proceeded  on the as-
sumption  that all the tribes are  the same. They are
not. The States and the tribes have a real challenge to
come together on standards.
   I would like to hope that the State of New Mexico
and the tribes of New Mexico can put an effective
program together. At this conference we have taken
a step in improving State and tribal communication,
and certainly today was a part of that, but it is only
one step. We have a long way to go, but certainly it is

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 115
                    Lake Protection Through
                                Douglas Holy (Moderator)
                                   Clean Lakes Coordinator
                    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VI, Dallas, Texas
We are here to discuss lake protection through
standards.  First, I would like to  review what the
Framework said concerning lakes. Having done that,
.  . . well, I did see one mention of lakes in the
Framework. It states that EPA will be conducting
some target monitoring efforts in selected nonpoint
source high priority watersheds to evaluate the utility
of lake, biological, marine, wetland, and estuarine
criteria for assessing the impacts of nonpoint source
implementation activities.
  As you can see, the priority that has been placed
upon lakes in this standards meeting is not great. In
fact, we were not even on the program three weeks
ago.  The present Framework  does not address
standards to protect lakes. If we decide these criteria
are necessary, we have the opportunity to influence
statutory revisions that will be made to the Clean
Water Act. Indeed, this session might have the most
impact as far as potential revisions to the Framework.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 117-121
         Lake Protection Through Standards
                          A   State's  Viewpoint
                                      Steven A. Heiskary
                             Research Scientist, Division of Water Quality
                        Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul, Minnesota
To appreciate Minnesota's view on this issue I think it
is necessary to take a brief look at the resources the
State is charged with managing. Minnesota has over
12,000 lakes; therefore, the determination of lake
management strategies, such as carrying capacities,
restoration goals, and lake protective standards can-
not be made readily on a lake-by-lake basis. In light of
this and the wide spectrum in trophic state, ranging
from  oligotrophic  to  hypereutrophic,  Minnesota
employed a regional approach to examine spatial
patterns in lake water quality, lake morphometry, and
lake uses and, ultimately, to develop regional phos-
phorus criteria for protecting water quality.
  Ecoregions provided the framework for evaluating
these regional patterns. Ecoregions are areas of rela-
tive homogeneity that were developed from mapped
information by U.S. EPA  Corvallis-ERL  (Omernik,
1987). The seven ecoregions defined for Minnesota
are based on land  use, soils, land and surface form,
and potential natural vegetation (Fig. 1).  They pro-
vide a means to group various land and surface water
characteristics. Ninety-eight percent of Minnesota's
 Red River Valley
Northern Glaciated
12,034 lakes occur in four of the seven ecoregions:
Northern   Lakes  and  Forests,  North  Central
Hardwood Forests,  Northern Glaciated Plains, and
Western Corn Belt Plains. Land use varies regionally:
the Northern  Lakes  and  Forests  ecoregion  is
dominated by forests with some water and marsh,
while  the Northern Glaciated Plains  and  Western
Corn Belt Plains are primarily cultivated with some
pasture and open land. The North Central Hardwood
Forest ecoregion consists of  a mixture of various
land uses.
   To understand the wide spectrum in trophic status
in  Minnesota's lakes, let us take a quick look at the
quality of lakes in two contrasting ecoregions. The
Northern Lakes and Forests ecoregion contains ap-
proximately 5,500 lakes (about 46 percent of those in
Minnesota). These  lakes are generally small and
deep: surface areas are typically  100  to 550 acres,
while  maximum depths are typically from  20 to 60
feet. The  trophic status of  lakes in this ecoregion
range from oligotrophic to hypereutrophic (Fig.  2).
The vast majority (92 percent) of the 800 assessed
lakes fully support swimmable use, while less than 2
percent do not. (Minn. Pollut. Control Agency, 1988)
(Fig. 3).
   In  contrast,  the Western Corn  Belt  Plains
ecoregion  contains approximately 600 lakes  or
about 5 percent of the lakes in Minnesota. In general,
they are quite shallow and have larger  surface areas
than the ones in the Northern Lakes and Forests and
North Central Hardwood Forests ecoregions. Typi-
cally, surface areas are between 250 and 1,000 acres
and maximum  depths are between 5 and 20 feet.
Based on the lakes we have assessed (n = 60) in this
ecoregion, all are either eutrophic or hypereutrophic
and less than  10 percent  support swimmable  use
(Minn. Pollut. Control Agency, 1988).
Figure 1.—Minnesota's seven ecoregions.
                                                            Developing Criteria
                                                  I may use the words "standards" or "criteria" inter-
                                                  changeably. When I refer to Minnesota's approach, I
                                                  am speaking  of criteria. These criteria are intended
                                                  as quantitative estimates of the concentration of a

  Figure 2.—Distribution of lake trophic status by ecoregion.

                                                     WATER QUALIPY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989:  117-121
Figure 3.—Distribution of lakes supporting swimmable use by ecoreglon.

constituent (phosphorus) that represents a quality of
water that supports a particular use. They are not for-
mal rules or laws, i.e., true standards.
  A variety  of  approaches have been  taken to
develop standards or criteria for protection of lake
water quality. A  review of State water quality stan-
dards specific to nutrient enrichment  (Metro. Wash.
Counc. Gov.  1982) revealed a wide range in phos-
phorus concentrations used by various States (7 to
200 ppb). This range reflects variations in water-use
classifications, lake types, natural background phos-
phorus concentrations, economic factors, and the
expectations and tolerances of lake users.  Because
of regional diversity in lake and watershed charac-
teristics,  it is unlikely that a single total phosphorus
value could be adopted  as a statewide criterion for
lake protection in  Minnesota (Heiskary et al. 1987).
Rather, a methodology is needed for developing lake
water quality criteria on a regional or lake-specific
basis (Heiskary and Walker, 1988).
   The  methodology  for  establishing lake  water
quality criteria in Minnesota considers the following:

   • Phosphorus impacts on lake condition (as
     measured by chlorophyll a, transparency, and
     hypolimnetic oxygen depletion);

   • Impacts on lake uses (aesthetics, recreation,
     fisheries, drinking water supply, etc.); and

   • Achievability (as related to watershed
     characteristics, regional phosphorus export
     values, lake morphometry, etc.).

   In this respect,  we  have used  the ecoregion
framework as  a  means  for   gaining a  regional
 perspective on these issues. Table 1 summarizes the
 most sensitive uses of lakes by ecoregion. "Most sen-
                           sitive use" is that use(s) that may be impacted or lost
                           as a result of increased trophic status in a lake. The
                           corresponding phosphorus criteria are intended to
                           protect those uses, taking into account differences in
                           attainable levels and user perception between the
                           regions. The emphasis, here, is on protection when-
                           ever  possible.  For restoration  purposes,  these
                           criteria can serve as goals. The  criteria in Table 1
                           reflect over three  years' worth of  sampling,  data
                           analysis, and literature review.
                                         Role of Criteria

                           Phosphorus criteria will play an important role in the
                           protection and restoration of lake water quality  in
                           Minnesota. The criteria can be used as resource
                           management  guidelines  with  existing regulatory,
                           management, and educational programs. Some ex-
                           amples of uses and application of the criteria are as

                              • As an element in prioritizing and selecting
                                projects to be funded through Minnesota's
                                nonpoint source program, the Clean Water
                                Partnership Program (Minn. Stat. section
                                115.091 to115.103,Supp. 1987), and the
                                federally funded section 314 Clean Lakes and
                                section 319 Nonpoint Source Management
                                Programs authorized by the Clean Water Act.

                              • For use by resource managers in developing
                                water quality management plans. For example,
                                over 80 water management organizations in
                                Minnesota are now preparing comprehensive
                                local water management plans required or
                                authorized under Minn. Stat. section 473.878
                                or Minn. Stat. chapter 110B.
 Table 1.—Most sensitive lake uses by ecoregion and corresponding
 phosphorus criteria (Heiskary and Wilson, 1988).
                           MOST SENSITIVE USES
                                                 P CRITERIA
  Northern Lakes and Forests
  Northern Central Hardwood
  Western Corn Belt Plains
  Northern Glaciated Plains
- drinking water supply        15 p.g/L
- cold water fishery           15 |xg/L
- primary contact             30 p.g/L
 recreation and aesthetics
 - drinking water supply        30 jxg/L
 - primary contact            40 |xg/L
 recreation and aesthetics

 - drinking water supply        40 p,g/L
 - primary contact
 recreation and aesthetics
 (full support)               40 (jig/L
 (partial support)            90 \ig/L

 - recreation and aesthetics      90 (i,g/L
 (partial support)
• As an educational tool for
  communicating what can
  reasonably be expected in terms
  of lake quality. In the case of
  degraded lakes (e.g., lake
  restoration projects), the criteria
  can serve as reasonable targets or

• As a guide for enforcement
  decisions. Particularly important
  for protecting the quality of lakes
  currently at or below the criterion

• As a guide to interpret
  nondegradation requirements.

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 117-121
  EPA's Role in the Development of
    Lake Water Quality Standards

Minnesota's (phosphorus) criteria should not be con-
sidered final. The State expects that the criteria will
evolve with additional data  and  a  better  under-
standing  of lake resources. What role then can EPA
play in this process (criteria or standards setting), not
only for Minnesota but for States nationwide that may
be interested in improving the management of their
lake  resources  by establishing  lake  standards
(criteria)? In this vein, we offer the following recom-

• Provisions for States to develop and implement
lake water  quality standards  (criteria).  In  these
provisions  it will be important, however, to keep
flexibility in the process so that States can meet their
individual needs.

• Financial assistance to the States seeking to
develop lake water quality standards (criteria). This
assistance  would allow for the development of ap-
propriate monitoring programs to evaluate the condi-
tion of the resource and dedicate time to analyze the
data. Also, financial assistance could be  provided to
environmental research laboratories, such as Corval-
lis,  to allow them to interact more directly with the
States in developing these programs and analyzing

• Technical assistance to the States would also be
valuable. One avenue  might be a joint project with
the North American Lake  Management Society to
develop a guidance document for the States in which
alternative   approaches  to  standards  (criteria)
development  could be presented, such as para-
meters to  consider, numeric  versus  narrative ap-
proaches, and sampling programs for assessing the
State's lake resources could be presented.
  These are a few examples  of  how  EPA could
(should) play a role in the development of lake water
quality standards. However,  actions that are  not
needed include: development of lake water quality
standards that apply across the United States, or a
mandate that every State  have the same type of
standards. While numeric standards (criteria) may be
essential in some States, a narrative standard may be
adequate  in others.  In States with  very few lakes,
standards may not be necessary, as problems can be
dealt with on a lake-by-lake basis.

Minnesota  has  developed  regional  phosphorus
criteria  for lakes that will  be used as  resource
management guidelines in conjunction with existing
regulatory, management, and educational programs.
These criteria will evolve as new information is ob-
tained.  EPA  can assist  Statesin  developing  lake
standards through  provisions and financial assis-
tance, and technical assistance. These efforts will go
a long way towards protecting the quality of lakes
nationwide and  helping  achieve  the goals of the
Clean Water Act.

Heiskary, S.A., C.B. Wilson, and D.P. Larsen. 1987. Analysis of
   regional patterns in lake water quality: using ecoregions for
   lake management in Minnesota. Lake Reserv. Manage. 3:337-
Heiskary, S.A. and W.W. Walker, Jr.. 1988. Developing phos-
   phorus criteria for Minnesota lakes. Lake Reserv. Manage. 4:1 -
Heiskary, S.A. and C.B. Wilson. 1988. Minnesota Lake Water
   Quality Assessment Report. Minn. Pollut. Control Agency, St.
Metropolitan Washington Council of Government. 1982. A review
   of state water quality standards which pertain to nutrient en-
   richment. Dep. Environ. Prog., Washington, DC.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 1988.  Minnesota Water
   Quality-Water Years 1986-1987: The 1988 Report to the Con-
   gress of the United States. St. Paul.
Omernik, J.M. 1987. Ecoregions of the conterminous United
   States. Ann. Ass. Am. Geogr. 77(1): 118-25.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 123-128
           Water  Quality  Standards for  Lakes

                                       Robert J. Johnson
               Manager, Environmental Performance Department, Environmental Quality Staff
                            Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee
In 1972, after six years of trying, the U.S. Congress
passed the National Clean Lakes Act as section 314
of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act amend-
ments of 1972. Section 314 was a direct response to
the public, which had sought governmental interven-
tion, guidance, and support to reverse the downward
trend in the quality of the Nation's lakes.
  The Water Pollution Control Act required for the
first time  both  minimum  end-of-pipe, technology-
based  discharge  limits and  minimum  in-stream,
water quality standards. Where water quality stand-
ards could not  be achieved, wasteload allocation
studies  would  be performed  and more stringent
waste controls imposed.
  Incredibly, EPA chose not to implement section
314 in the  belief that the process otherwise outlined
in the Water Pollution Control Act, when combined
with a strong program of discharge permits and en-
forcement oversight, would correct the problems
facing lakes and impoundments. In effect, EPA said
the Clean Lakes Act incorporated in section 314 was
  By the  mid-1970s,  however, the public  had be-
come disenchanted with this  approach  and com-
pelled the  appropriation of Federal funds to initiate a
National   Clean  Lakes  Program.  Funding was
provided to the  States to assess the quality of their
lakes and  to prioritize remedial actions on problem
lakes. Lake demonstrations for protective and res-
torative purposes were supported. At about the same
time, the National Eutrophication Survey (1971-77)
found that 68 percent of the 800 lakes surveyed were
  In  1977, the Water  Pollution Control Act was
amended  to strengthen section 314, once  again
recognizing the public's concern about lake water
  I was involved with a lot  of  people in  these
developments, and I can tell you honestly that there
was little faith at this point in  the Federal  Govern-
ment's attention span or its accountability for respon-
sible lake  management. Because someone had to
develop and disseminate state-of-the-art information
on lake protection and enhancement, concerned
citizens established  the North  American  Lake
Management Society (NALMS)  in 1980.
  In 1983, NALMS solicited  information from the
States about the extent and  severity of their lake
quality problems and  the  institutional  constraints
they faced in restoring and protecting lake quality.
Thirty-eight States completed and returned the 37-
question form.  Significant findings included the fol-
lowing: almost 9,300 lakes  had excessive levels of
nutrients; about 12,000 lakes had noxious growths of
weeds and algae; and more than 120 lakes were con-
taminated  by toxic substances. About 4,200 lakes
and  reservoirs were identified as having impaired
  These findings contrasted greatly with the lack of
information in the 1984 EPA water quality report to
Congress that made only passing reference to pollu-
tion problems in lakes. But, even more significant, the
numbers were greater by orders of magnitude than
those in a 1971 survey sponsored by EPA.
  As you can see by Table 1, which looks at just nine
of the reporting States, the number of problem lakes
increased from 156 in  1971 to 3,329 in 1983, with
more than 875,000 hectares of lake water impaired.
That's more than a 20-fold increase.
  As you can see from Figure 1, 26 of the 38 report-
ing  States indicated that at least half of their lakes
were adversely affected by nonpoint sources, and 15
States indicated that more than 75 percent of their
combined 24,000 lakes were being hurt by nonpoint
  In 1985, EPA released "The Clean Lakes Program:
A Review  of the First  Decade." This report docu-
mented an impressive record of accomplishment,
notably the successes of whole watershed and in-
lake demonstrations that showed that lake protection
and  restoration can be achieved cost effectively. It
reported that  public interest and understanding of
lake quality issues had increased manyfold; that
scientific assessment and modeling techniques were
improving; and that local  and State lake associa-
tions, formed  to improve and protect lake quality,
were mushrooming.
  However, page 16 of the report revealed a dismal
bottom line. It quoted  the  1984 report, "America's
Clean Water," published by the Association of State
and   Interstate  Water  Pollution  Control  Ad-
ministrators: "An estimated four times more lake

 Table 1.—Comparison of lake quality problems reported by state agencies in 1971 and in 1983.
                                                       1983 SURVEY RESULTS

South Dakota

1971 -SURVEY8



  1 From the lake survey conducted for EPA by Ketelle and Uttormark *

acreage had deteriorated in quality (1.7 million acres)
than had improved between 1972 and 1982."
   In 1985, the Association of State and Interstate
Water Pollution Control Administrators disclosed that
4.4 million lake and reservoir surface acres were im-
paired by nonpoint source  pollution, and another 3.7
million acres were threatened:   53 percent of as-
sessed U.S. lakes were adversely affected by non-
point sources of pollution.
   These reports, incomplete as they were, spurred
NALMS to evaluate the adequacy of existing institu-
tional and regulatory programs for protecting lake
water quality.  In 1986, NALMS devoted its annual
conference  to water quality standards and  their
specific application to lakes and impoundments.
   A paper of which I was co-author (Duda et  al.
1987) that reviewed water  quality standards was
presented at the conference. This paper suggested
six categories of lake management approaches that,
in all likelihood, should be integrated to achieve
Clean Water Act goals. These approaches included
the application of technology-based point and non-
point source  controls,  lake inflow criteria, in-lake
water quality standards, use classifications, and in-
novative approaches such as point/nonpoint pollu-
tion trading.
   The paper  pointed out  that in-lake numerical or
ecologically  based  standards  can  serve  as the
cornerstone for an integrated, basinwide approach.
The standards would act as a trigger for more strin-
gent water  quality  management programs where
warranted. They would establish definable, enforce-
able  goals  and  provide  a means  of  measuring
progress and  assuring  accountability  of  new
   The paper went on to note that sufficient legisla-
tive and regulatory authority existed to implement
this approach. Leadership  on the part of EPA and the
States was needed to establish lakes and impound-
ments as priority water bodies deserving special at-
tention in State water management programs.
  This paper was debated, sometimes heatedly, at
the opening plenary of the 1986 NALMS symposium
by a panel of experts drawn from a variety of interests
and professional backgrounds and the  conference
audience. No consensus on the need for lake stand-
ards was reached but support for the approach was
obvious, particularly it is noteworthy to mention, from
the soap and detergent industry, the National  As-
sociation of Conservation Districts, and the States
represented there.
  The 1986 debate led NALMS to undertake another
survey to gather the opinions of State water pollution
control administrators on the subject of water quality
standards for  lakes. This is the survey I was invited to
discuss at this conference.
  This survey was conducted in 1987-88  and the
results presented by NALMS in a November 1988
preliminary report. It consisted of 46 questions in the
following four broad categories:
   • Are lake water quality standards needed?
   • How are such standards used now or how
     would they be used if adopted?
   • What are the data needs for lake standards
     development and use?
   • Should there be lake standards for toxic
   The survey form was developed by a 16-member
task force established by the NALMS board and com-
posed  predominantly  of  State lake  program
managers, with ASIWPCA and EPA also represented.
The task force agreed not to  develop  or  promote
policy positions in the report but only to summarize
the data from the questionnaires.

                                                         WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 123-128
      85         £
      U>         c/>
*    T   *    g
m    <#>   o    tt
N    o   n>    O
A    IO   V    Z
Figure 1 .—Proportion of lakes and reservoirs seriously affected by nonpoint sources of pollution as reported by State water pollu-
tion control administrators in the 1983 NALMS State Lake Survey (Duda and Johnson, 1984).

   From my point of view, the following were the bot-
tom lines of the survey:
   1.  Because 47 States responded to the question-
      naire, the  States are clearly interested in the
      issue of lake water quality standards.
   2.  Twenty-two States do not have specific stan-
      dards for eutrophication; 24 do.
   3.  Eighteen States have numerical eutrophica-
      tion standards; 24 narrative, generally with no
      end points.
   4.  Twelve  States  believe numerical  lake stan-
      dards   could   encourage   environmental
      degradation;  11 do not.
   5.  Twenty-two States indicate they have never at-
      tempted to develop or promulgate lake stan-
      dards   and   clearly  indicate  that  State
      legislatures would not support the attempt, al-
      though the State agencies would.
   6.  Eighteen States indicate that lake water quality
      standards could promote or enhance shore-
      land regulation in the State; 20 say they would
   7.  The survey asked, "Do you see a need for
      developing lake-specific standards, criteria, or
      policy  in your State?", with  the following
      results: (Note: Forthe purpose of this question,
      standards are plans that  include  water use
      classifications, criteria,  implementation,  and
      enforcement; criteria are  legally enforceable
      limits not to  be violated; and policy may in-
      clude discharge  bans or  other management
          27 yes
          17 no
22 yes
21 no
34 yes
 9 no
Table 2.—Survey conclusions.
a) Direct discharges
   containing any Phosphorus
   to lakes                    16
b) Other direct NPDES
   discharges                 17
c) Point discharges with any
   Phosphorus upstream of
   lakes                     25


d) Other upstream NPDES
e) New stormwater
discharges to lakes
f) Herbicide use in lakes








4 *
 Compare this  response with the response to the
 Survey's first question where 32 States believe their
 existing standards protect lakes, and 13 do not.
   8.  The reason for this contrast might be the place-
       ment of the questions in the survey or from the
       response we got to the next question, "Do you
       feel EPA should require States to adopt  lake
       trophic standards?", to which 35 States  said
       no, one even said, PLEASE NO,  and 11  said
   9.  States are more amenable, however, to receiv-
       ing EPA assistance to help States adopt lake
       water quality standards: 22 say they would like
       assistance; 24 say no.
   10. States were asked about permissible dischar-
       ges to lakes; the results are summarized in
       Table 2.
   This table  clearly  shows that  lakes  are used
 routinely or frequently for receiving discharges in the
 majority of responding States.
    11. Table 3 summarizes how States would use
       standards if they had them.
    I'm  particularly impressed  with the number of
 States supporting potential uses for setting priorities,
 establishing water quality goals, managing cumula-
 tive impacts, doing watershed planning, and estab-
 lishing nonpoint source regulatory  controls  (30
 States indicate this is a potential use).  But isn't this
 exactly what water quality standards are for?
    12. Regarding data needs, the following points
       can be drawn:

     • For those States with lake standards, total
      phosphorous is most frequently addressed;
      however, chlorophyll a and Secchi
      transparency are commonly cited as well.

                      .  Professional judgment and
	  literature values are most
                       frequently used to derive
                       these standards.
                       A vast majority of the States
                       feel that special use clas-
                        sifications are a valid
                        means for developing
                        categories for lake stand-
                        ards. Morpho-metric and
                        ecoregion considerations
                        are also frequently cited.
                        Chemical constituents, in
                        particular total phosphorus
                        and total nitrogen, are most
                        frequently cited as the basis
                        for State standards.


                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 123-128
  Table 3.—Survey conclusions.
Permitting (NPDES)
Setting priorities
401 Certifications
Establishing goals
Siting new discharges
Managing cumulative
Non-point regulatory controls
Watershed planning
Allocating lake restoration
  Evaluating the attainment of
   water quality goals of the
   Clean Water Act (for 305(b)
      . Few States characterize their ability to as-
        sess the trophic condition of all their lakes
        as "good."
      . There appears to be little information that
        links user perceptions with quantitative
        measures of lake conditions.
   13. With respect to toxics, the following points can
      be made:
      • State monitoring programs do not compre-
        hensively address toxic substances in
        terms of types or scope of monitoring;
        therefore, the extent of toxic contamination
        in lakes is largely unknown.
      . Lakes and streams support different eco-
        systems, and  pollutants tend to accumulate
        in lakes, but over 70 percent of the respon-
        dents indicate that, in their States, stream
        and lake water quality standards for toxic
        substances do not differ.
      . Almost half of the States that indicate they
        have toxic water quality standards ap-
        plicable to lakes also state that they do not
        have established programs to determine if
        the standards are being met.
      . Twenty-three respondents indicate that they
        would like to see more EPA assistance for
        the development of standards for toxics
        substances in lakes; 11 did not, and 12 had
        no opinion.
All in all, I believe the survey indicates that
   • Most States generally are not satisfied with
     their standards to protect lake water quality.
   • Most States do not, however, want EPA to
     establish criteria for them but would appreciate
     its assistance and money to develop criteria
     specific to their State's needs.
   • State monitoring programs for lakes are
     generally inadequate to document lake quality
     trends or site-specific issues.
   • The accumulation of toxics in lakes has
     become a major concern to the States.
As you can gather, I  advocate lakes standards. I
believe I am not alone, and the list of those support-
ing a standards approach to management  of lake
water  quality  is  growing.  The  Tennessee Valley
Authority is among these advocates. TVA recently
wrote to EPA urging that lake standards development
be included in the water quality standards framework
being discussed at this meeting. This is not an un-
reasonable position for TVA  when evidence shows
that some use  is impaired for 22 of the 32 major TVA
reservoirs, preventing these reservoirs from meeting
Clean Water Act goals (Fig. 2). The impairments
range from accumulations of toxic substances to dis-
solved oxygen deficiencies, siltation, bacterial con-
tamination, excessive  weed  growth, and  taste and
odor problems in water supplies from excessive algal
   The documented downward trends in lake water
quality only intensify  the public's interest. A few
States are struggling to come up with approaches
that have a  basis in fact to protect  their lake re-
sources. As Vermont acknowledged in its November
1988 report on  developing  a method  for numeric
eutrophication standards for Lake Champlain, even
though the methods proposed may not be  perfect,
they  "would   be  a significant improvement  over
Vermont's existing 'no undue adverse effect'  stan-
dard. . . a  standard which leads to subjective and
often arbitrary judgments	"
   I  strongly encourage EPA in cooperation  with
other Federal agencies like TVA, the States, public in-
terest groups like NALMS, industry, and others to im-
mediately initiate a deliberate process to develop
guidance and general  procedures for establishing
lake water quality standard's.
   The procedures must be flexible so they can be
tailored to State-specific needs but detailed  enough
to define responsible protective criteria. The process
should also support enhanced research, improved
resources for  State lake monitoring programs, and
stepped-up EPA oversight.
   Let's not wait until we have lost more than half of
the productive value of our  lake resources, as we
have with our wetlands, before we choose to act. The
time to do something, in my opinion, is now.

Figure 2.—Reservoirs with water quality concerns and impairments in the Tennessee Valley Region, 1986 (locations and effects
vary seasonally).

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 129-130
          Lake  Protection  Through  Standards

                                      Donald B.Porcella
                Project Manager, Ecological Studies Program, Electric Power Research Institute,
                                       Palo Alto, California
I was very pleased to hear the results of the NALMS
survey that were presented by Bob Johnson.  His
conclusions support the thesis of the conference that
what we are really after is a means to maintain and re-
store water quality in aquatic surface waters. That ob-
jective presupposes a management approach for
lakes. The issue is not whether we manage by objec-
tive; that is a  necessary part of  how  our society
should function. The issue is the scope of the objec-
tives: should every lake be identical to others or can
we set objectives to meet certain  uses  in one lake,
county, State,  or  region that are  different from
another area. This issue is particularly relevant to
States where reservoirs are the sole lake-type  en-
  Lakes  constitute a unique resource  because of
their  relatively short lifetime  compared to  other
geologic  entities. Lakes start out  at some point in
time; they last for anywhere from a few to hundreds
to thousands to perhaps a few million  years-and
then they are gone. Art Hasler wrote an interesting ar-
ticle  on  eutrophication  a few decades ago that
described lakes as having a definable lifetime (1947,
Ecology, 28:383). When people begin to affect lakes,
this lifetime is shortened.
  Lake management must be directed at least to
minimize this lifetime shortening.  Lake  Tahoe is an
example. This lake is about 2 million years old, and
over those years sediments have collected (some as
a result of human activity) that now fill about half of its
basin.  The lake still remains at an average depth of
about 900 feet, with a maximum depth of 1,600 feet.
Compare that with a shallow lake in the prairie that
may have a lifetime of a few decades or so.  In the
case  of Lake Tahoe, water quality is deteriorating
from human activity, and though its remaining life is
somewhat shorter, Tahoe's major  failing is that  it is
losing some aesthetic value. The changing aesthetic
value  will minimize what most people  consider its
most important beneficial use. In the case of the shal-
low lake, sedimentation and water quality deteriora-
tion as a result  of human activity  may occur  so
rapidly that its shortened life span will be the most im-
portant beneficial use lost.
  All  of the uses associated with lakes and  reser-
voirs are, in part, a reflection of the background in
which you find them. You cannot consider a lake out-
side of its watershed and really understand how it
functions. In addition to watersheds, reservoirs have
other purposes that define their uses. Reservoirs are
designed for particular and multiple uses, such as
drinking water, flood control, power generation and
cooling, navigation, and  recreational and aesthetic
uses. The natural quality of a lake, and perhaps a
reservoir,  depends  on   climatic,  geologic,  and
topographic factors that set a baseline for what we
would expect to see in the absence of humans. When
humans get involved, then you begin to talk about
some of the management options that would relate to
standards.  Standards should be  set  to  protect
desirable uses. Sometimes it is necessary to change
how a reservoir operates to provide for particular
uses.  Sometimes we interfere with natural proces-
ses; most lakes slowly fill in naturally with sediment,
so we dredge them and extend their lifetime.
   In the original Clean Lakes Program  (PL92-500),
almost all the attention of that work was directed at
restoration of uses, leading to actions like dredging,
nonpoint source controls in the watershed, and
precipitation of nutrients within the system. None of
the original Clean Lakes activities were directed at
point source reductions because the NPDES permit
system was supposed to account for them. However,
you have to take into account point source reduc-
tions as well as nonpoint sources to provide for the
most effective controls that enable most uses.
   I am going to try to relate all these kinds  of con-
siderations to numerical standards because they in-
clude some of the  concerns that were voiced in
earlier sessions of this meeting. Standards are often
very difficult to change; they quickly become set in
concrete. The reason people object to standards for
lakes is because of the  customary rigidity of the
standards and a concern that the standards do not
reflect that lakes are rapidly changing ecosystems,
especially if they have  a short lifetime for  natural
reasons. For example, dissolved oxygen is an impor-
tant standard for streams, but it  may be difficult to
apply to lakes because,  under natural conditions,
lakes may become anoxic in the hypolimnion during
the summer or throughout the water column in the
wintertime during ice cover. For toxicants, I see a
need for research to establish whether existing water
quality criteria will work or whether additional criteria

specifically for lakes are needed. The key question is
whether anyone has any evidence that these criteria
will protect the uses that are desired.
   The use of standards makes sense in a manage-
ment framework. If you decide to do nothing with a
lake, that is a management decision; if you decide to
control inputs to the lake, that is another manage-
ment decision. A standard is a good reference for
how well your action  is done, how to prioritize ac-
tions, and so  forth. Within a region, ecological or
regional bases for setting these standards have been
shown feasibile. Also, it is important to recognize that
there are individual phosphorus objectives for each
of the Great Lakes. I think that reflects some realities;
that there are natural sources for phosphorus, and
there are different activities in the watersheds of the
individual lakes, so it is entirely appropriate that ob-
jectives vary among the different lakes.
  To quickly summarize: it seems very logical for
States to set standards, but these standards should,
even within a State, have the capacity for either site-
specific  or regional  application.  Some  States'
geologic and climatic variations may allow you to set
very broad  regional  objectives for  particular  con-
stituents. In other States, you might set very stringent
criteria for particular cases (good  examples are the
Great Lakes and Lake Tahoe).
  Finally, I think that a management perspective is
required, one that is based on the control of receiving
water quality to guarantee specific uses. Without this
perspective the establishment of  standards for the
sake of standards could lead to very little protection
of our lake resources.

                                                    WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  Q. The Great Lakes are closed systems; there-
fore, are total mass loading concentrations needed?
  A. (Porcella) In the Great Lakes, there is a lack of
understanding of toxics.  EPA's role should be  to
supply funds for research.  All metals data reported in
the water column are an order of magnitude too high
in concentration due to bad sampling techniques.
This means that we don't know the concentration of
metals in the Great  Lakes; therefore, no standards
will have any meaning.

  Q. A letter was written to EPA about the standards
issue for lakes; has there been any response yet?
  A.   (Sabock)  EPA intends  to  re-draft   the
Framework and the cost  estimates:  a  copy of the
meeting proceedings will be sent to all attendees.

   C.  Mississippi's standards for lakes make more
sense than the standards for nonpoint sources. State
criteria are  written  for fish and  wildlife lakes are
covered by default, since, unless a lake is classified
for recreation, it is classified for fish and wildlife use.
Criteria specific to lakes could be more protective.

   Q.   Are  Mississippi's standards   adequately
protecting lakes?
  A.  Mississippi  does not have enough  data  to
determine that.

   Q. Are citizens getting what they want from lakes?
  A. In Mississippi, yes, but there is a general feeling
that the lakes' quality has deteriorated.

   Q. Does Mississippi depend on user comments?
  A. Yes, but we don't have the resources to monitor

  C. The Tennessee Valley Authority has a mature
reservoir system that is about 50 years old. Over the
last 15-20 years,  reservoirs  have shown signs  of
eutrophication, especially of dissolved oxygen lower-
ing; 15 of TVA's 50 lakes are affected. Low dissolved
oxygen water is drawn through turbines and dis-
charged  downstream, causing major problems  to
aquatic life. TVA's board set up a major research and
development program to improve the situation; this
led to a program with the States involved, which em-
phasized the need to go to a phased implementation
  This program includes the following: TVA will ad-
dress low dissolved oxygen by aeration; minimum
flow will be provided; States will take watershed ac-
tions and will also use their regulatory authority to
minimize inputs to lake systems; and watershed and
reservoir management programs will  be developed.
Tennessee is developing standards to  protect lake
water quality to be used as a prototype by TVA. TVA,
the Bureau of Land Management, and the Corps of
Engineers are  working together to  assess  the
program's effectiveness.

   C.  Kentucky's water quality standards are  ap-
plicable to lakes but traditional use of water quality
standards may not be applicable to  lakes in  every
situation. How far into the watershed do you have to
apply controls to meet standards? It is too expensive
to apply controls for nonpoint sources and  point
sources on a statewide basis. Kentucky would like
more emphasis on  lakes in EPA's standards pro-

   C. States have to consider multiple  uses protec-
tion. For example, in lakes there might be epilimnetic
and hypolimnetic differences in water quality as well
as  changes  throughout  the year. Also, I  question
whether water quality should be  controlled by one
agency and water quantity controlled  by another.

   C. The Framework needs to address lake issues.
"Sort of capturing" lakes by overlap, and so forth, is
not sufficient considering the variation and unique-
ness of lake systems. Priorities drive what is  going
on. EPA needs to make lakes a priority for the States
to do so (as far as resources are concerned). The
Gold Book doesn't sufficiently address lake protec-
tion; numeric and narrative criteria are needed.

   C.   I would  like  to  see  EPA extend biocri-
teria/ecocriteria to lakes and reservoirs and think the
Agency should work more closely with other  agen-

   C. I would like EPA to develop bioaccumulation,
site-specific,  and  toxic  substances guidance for

   C. The ecoregion concept may not be applicable
to every lake/reservoir since there can be variation
within a particular lake system (e.g., epilimnion and
hypolimnion water quality difference).

   C. Each State has a specific need for standards
that should be reflected in the guidance document.
Guidance  should be site-specific, and EPA should
take the lead role.


  C. EPA should provide a model standard using a       C. First, EPA might review Gold Book values and
"weight  of evidence" approach (this procedure is     existing standards for deficiencies in protecting lake
being developed in some States).                      water quality and then determine what steps need to
                                                   be taken for any "new" criteria development.

                                                   WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 133
                    Development  of Biocriteria
                                 Donald Steffeck (Moderator)
                Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C.
Criteria are defined as conditions presumed to sup-
port and protect the designated use of a waterbody.
Bioassessmertt is composed of a number of methods
that are used to develop btoeriteria and is the assess-
ment of the condition of a waterbody, using any avail-
able biological method. The panel presentations and
discussion wilt focus on one type of bioassessment,
the evaluation of Fn-stream aquatic communities.
   Biocriteria is defined as the numerical or narrative
expressions of the biological characteristics of am-
bient aquatic communities (often structural mea-
sures such  as  species  composition,  organism
abundance, and diversity). Biocriteria,  as generally
applied in State programs, are designed to reflect at-
tainable characteristics under  minimally impacted
conditions. As such, biocriteria describe the ecologi-
cal potential for aquatic community health in a given
watershed, drainage basin, or ecological region.
  In-stream community evaluation can be viewed as
a validating mechanism for many of the numeric
criteria or other ways of evaluating biology. When
you look at the existing community that is living in
water affected by point and nonpoint sources, that
community is, in effect, giving you valuable informa-
tion on water quality.
  Coordination is a very valuable way of getting and
sharing more current information for each individual
program without necessarily increasing budgets.
This coordination can be  between Federal, State,
and local agencies, or with university or environmen-
tal groups. One thing we have discussed is the need
for funding for additional criteria assessment. I think
coordination is the one way that we can get a piece of
the pie without additional funding.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 135-138
   Implementation  of Biocriteria  in  the  Water

                  Quality Standards  Program
                                    David L. Courtemanch
                     Director, Division of Environmental Evaluation and Lake Studies
                     Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Augusta, Maine
Development of ambient biological criteria has been
identified as an important objective to be integrated
into the water quality standards program (U.S En-
viron. Prot. Agency, 1987,1988). Sections 303 (c) and
304(a) of the Water Quality Act expressly provide for
biocriteria development, and the need for biological
information is clearly expressed in other sections of
the Act such as 305,307,314,319, and 320.
   The  design  and  purpose of a policy for using
biological criteria are more ambiguous. By their na-
ture, biological criteria are unique and  offer certain
specific advantages and disadvantages in a water
quality  standards program (Courtemanch  et  al.
1989). The other commonly applied criteria  (chemi-
cal-specific and effluent toxicity criteria) are most
valuable in designing and enforcing point source dis-
charge permits. These criteria, however, are notably
inefficient at dealing with compound and complex ef-
fluents, fate of pollutants, and other environmental in-
teractions that may affect an ecosystem. Depending
on the  approach taken to the design of a policy for
biological  criteria, certain deficiencies in the stan-
dards program can be corrected.
   One important deficiency of the standards pro-
gram has been the evaluation of goals. In classical
policy design, goals are defined in a policy statement
(definition  of uses), objectives are implemented to
achieve those goals (performance criteria), and an
evaluation is made of the attainment of the goals (im-
pact criteria). The value of ambient biocriteria relative
to existing chemical-specific and effluent  toxicity
criteria has been subject to considerable debate. The
value of ambient biocriteria lies in their use as impact
   This value is  particularly relevant as a conse-
quence of changes  enacted in 1987 to the Water
Quality Act. The Act now stresses the importance of
assessments in the  overall water quality manage-
ment program. Impact standards must be relied
upon to assess multidimensional problems such as
nonpoint sources or coastal water quality, which in-
clude not  just  water chemistry  but sediments and
overall habitat availability. This information also be-
comes invaluable in implementing other policies, in-
cluding antidegradation,  use attainability analysis,
and so forth.
The Water Quality Act's goals are expressed in sec-
tion 101. Appropriate goals for the aquatic biota are
found in section 101 (a), which requires the restora-
tion and maintenance of biological integrity, and sec-
tion  101(a)(2),  which sets an  interim goal  for
protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and
wildlife. It should be EPA's responsibility to succinctly
define these goals for the  States.  Terms such  as
"biological integrity" are very ambiguous. All waters
have biological integrity. It is assumed that this defini-
tion  should approximate integrity  equivalent to a
natural system. Likewise, does the term "propagation
offish" mean all species or just certain ones? If goals
are adequately defined based on accepted ecologi-
cal principles, then the development and implemen-
tation of biocriteria can be relatively straightforward
(Courtemanch and Davies, 1989).
   As an example, the State of Maine's water clas-
sification statute establishes specific narrative stand-
ards that may be  interpreted as encompassing the
bounds of these  goals.   Standards for class AA
(fresh), class A (fresh and salt), and GPA (lakes and
ponds), which are the highest quality waters, require
the aquatic communities to be "as naturally occurs"
and therefore equivalent in integrity to natural sys-
tems. Standards for class C water  (fresh and salt),
which are the lowest quality allowed, specify "sup-
port of all indigenous fish species" and "maintenance
of structure and  function" of the aquatic community.
While these definitions satisfy the water quality
management needs of the State of Maine, other inter-
pretations may  be appropriate  in  other States or
regions (Fig. 1).

Goals of
Water Quality Act
Restore and
maintain biological
Protection and
propagation of fish,
shellfish, and wildlife
                                     Some impairment
Protection and
propagation of at
least one fish species
                             Class AA, A, GPA=
                             ecological equivalency
                             (as naturally occurs)
                             Class B = unimpaired
                                                                  Class C =
                                                                  Protection and propagation
                                                                  of all indigenous fish
                                                                  Maintenance of community
                                                                  structure and function
Figure 1 .—Interpretations of the goals of the Water Quality Act.

If one takes the impact standard  as a model for
development of biocriteria then certain constraints
are relaxed that are required in a regulatory dominant
role. The development of numerical and descriptive
criteria to interpret the narrative standards can in-
clude a greater breadth of parameters. Many of these
parameters might not be defensible in a legal setting
but are relevant in  ecological interpretations such as
the audit function described by  Schaeffer  et al.
(1984). Efficiencies in monitoring also become allow-
able, which lets the biologist use appropriate judg-
ment (Jackson and Resh, 1988).  The impact model
also accommodates the use of  professional judg-
              ment since the primary product is evaluation and
              remedial planning and not the imposition of legal
              sanctions.  Legal  sanctions  or other  program
              modifications become the product of planning. Once
              consensus has been achieved about the boundaries
              of biological integrity, States and regions can imple-
              ment appropriate numerical and descriptive criteria.
                The State of Maine proposes a hierarchical test of
              numerical and descriptive parameters that are uni-
              quely fitted to the specific narrative standard (Table
              1). Parameters are based on their specific interpre-
              tive value and a pass/fail/no decision test is made
              (Courtemanch and  Davies, 1989) rather than an at-
              tempt to scale or index values into arbitrary ranks of

                                                    WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 135-138
 Table 1.—State of Maine determination of biological standards.
                               ECOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES
Taxonomlc equality
Numeric equality
Presence of intolerant taxa

Retention of taxa
Retention of numbers
Absence of hyperdominance
Presence of intolerant taxa

Resistance to change
Balanced distribution

Resource assimilation

Energy transfer

% Similarity, taxonomic similarity, richness
% Similarity, abundance, diversity, equitability
EPT, indicator taxa, biotic indices

Community loss, richness
Diversity, equitability, evenness
EPT, indicator taxa, biotic indices

Diversity, equitability, evenness

Functional feeding group, community loss,
richness, abundance
Trophic group, community loss, richness,
Fecundity, colonization rate, r/k ratio

Debate has recently arisen concerning the value of
biocriteria and conflicts of interpretation with chemi-
cal-specific and effluent toxicity criteria. This debate
is largely irrelevant since each criterion measures a
set of conditions under widely differing variables.
Chemical-specific  criteria  are  laboratory-derived
values applied  to low flow estimates in-stream. The
list is quite limited given the potential list of toxic
materials and  is based  on exposures to a limited
number of organisms  in prepared  water. Effluent
toxicity tests use ambient water at predicted low flow
concentrations in a short-term laboratory exposure
to one or a few species.  Ambient biocriteria  are
based on  exposure  to  all  potential species under
variable flow and operating conditions and in com-
bination with  all other intrusions. It  is  not  un-
reasonable to expect low correlations between the
criteria, given the limited chemical list, problems as-
sociated with single  species testing (Cairns,  1980),
and the highly variable  conditions  associated with
ambient biocriteria monitoring.
   Within  the  textile industry,  Maine  has  found
numerous  conflicts where  reliance  on only one or
two of the criteria would have incorrectly indicated
compliance with classifications. Substances  (e.g.,
tris  1,3 dichloroisopropyl  phosphate)  have  been
identified that are toxic  yet not on  the priority pol-
lutant list.  Impacts to the resident community have
been found (up to 80 percent decline in invertebrate
richness)  where  chemical-specific  and effluent
toxicity criteria were in  compliance. To effectively
evaluate water quality, one  must rely on all available
                       measures.  Chemical-specific criteria and effluent
                       toxicity criteria provide the most effective evaluation
                       of treatment while ambient  biocriteria provide the
                       most realistic evaluation of attainment of use.

                       Maine's water quality standards  program has ex-
                       panded in recent years to include three classes  of
                       standards: Effluent performance standards applied
                       in the traditional sense to wastewater permits that in-
                       clude chemical-specific and effluent toxicity criteria
                       (generic and site-specific), human health criteria that
                       are both effluent criteria and ambient criteria (e.g.,
                       enteric   bacteria,  PCB,  dioxin);   and  ambient
                       biocriteria that establish the overall community im-
                       pact from all sources. A fourth class of standards for
                       aesthetic  quality is presently under review by the
                          It is important in designing biocriteria to  create
                       something  new  that  complements existing  stan-
                       dards.  This  can be achieved  if biocriteria are
                       designed  for their  value in program  evaluation.
                       Recent debate concerning the weight to be given  to
                       each type of standard is unnecessary. Correlations
                       between the criteria, while interesting, are not critical
                       since each focuses on water quality from a different
                       perspective. Each piece of information  is useful  to
                       the water quality manager.  The warning by Sinder-
                       mann (1988) should be heeded: 'To limit  biological
                       indicators of pollution as mere monitoring devices is
                       to diminish their real significance as overt signs  of
                       disabilities  and  potential mortalities  in  resource


Cairns, J. Jr. 1980. Beyond single species toxicity testing. Mar.
   Environ. Res. 3:157-9.
Courtemanch,  D.L and  S.P. Davies.  1989. Implementation of
   biological standards and criteria in Maine's water classifica-
   tion law. Proc. National Instream Biocriteria Workshop. Lin-
   colnwood, IL. Dec. 2-4,1987.
Courtemanch,  D.L, S.P. Davies, and E.B. Laverty. 1989. Incor-
   poration of  biological information in water quality planning.
   Environ. Manage. 13:35-41.
Schaeffer, D.J. et al. 1984. The environmental audit. I. Concepts.
   Environ. Manage. 9:191-8.
Sindermann, C.J. 1988. Biological  indicators and biological ef-
   fects of estuarine/coastal pollution. Water Res. Bull. 24:931-9.
Jackson, J.K., and V.H. Resh. 1988. Sequential decision plans in
   monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates: cost savings, clas-
   sification accuracy and development of plans. Can. J. Rsh.
   Aquat. Sci. 45:280-6.
U.S  Environmental  Protection  Agency.  1987  Surface  water
   monitoring: a framework for change. Washington, DC.
	. 1988. Draft framework for the water quality standards pro-
   gram. Washington, DC.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 139-146
      The  Development and Use of Biological

            Criteria  for Ohio  Surface Waters
                                       Chris O. Yoder
        Assistant Manager, Surface Water Section, Division of Water Quality, Monitoring, and Assessment
                        Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Columbus, Ohio
Although the principal goal of the Water Quality Act is
to restore and  maintain chemical,  physical, and
biological  integrity,  the methods  attempted  by
regulatory agencies are primarily  chemical and
lexicological. Difficulties with defining an ecological
approach to assessing biotic integrity have probably
led to a reliance on these surrogate measures.
   Biotic integrity has recently been  defined as "the
ability of an aquatic ecosystem to support and main-
tain a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of
organisms having a species composition, diversity,
and functional organization comparable to that of the
natural  habitats within  a region"  (Karr and Dudley
1981). This is a workable, practical definition based
on  measurable  characteristics of aquatic com-
munities that also provides an underlying concept for
objective biological criteria using a regional refer-
ence site approach. Thus, compliance with a major
directive  of the  Water Quality Act can  now  be
measured directly.
   The use of biological communities offers a holistic
systems approach to surface water quality assess-
ment and management. Aquatic organisms not only
integrate  a  variety of environmental  influences
(chemical, physical, and biological), but complete
their life cycles in the waterbody and, as such, are
continuous  monitors   of  environmental   quality.
Focusing on major organism groups (such as fish
and macroinvertebrates in flowing waters)  repre-
sents biological  evaluation at the  sub-community
level. This differs from past biological  monitoring
protocols that advocated simultaneous resource in-
tensive monitoring of a variety of different organism
groups. Also,  sampling need not be  conducted
under absolute worst case or critical conditions (i.e.,
Q7,10 flow) to determine attainment/nonattainment
of aquatic life uses. This method is a more powerful
assessment tool  than the steady state approaches
inherent to some of the usual chemical-specific and
toxicity methods. If this type of biological field as-
sessment is included along with traditional chemical
and toxicity  tools  it   can  significantly  enhance
decisionmaking and regulatory resource allocation,
particularly for complex issues.
           Why Biocriteria?

Biological communities are accurate indicators of
overall  environmental  conditions because they in-
habit receiving waters  continuously and are subject
to a variety of long-term chemical and  physical in-
fluences.  Chemical data, on the other hand,  are
biased toward short-term conditions that exist when
a sample is collected.  (This is also generally true of
bioassay tests.) Thus,  the observed performance of
the  biological system that we are attempting  to
protect should influence how chemical and bioassay
techniques are  used in a regulatory program. This
would apply to both site-specific observations and
broader, regional applications.
  Some specific reasons for including biocriteria in
surface water programs are:

  •  A direct measure  of goal attainment is

  •  The ability to discover and characterize
     problems is enhanced.

  •  Habitat effects and limitations can be

  •  Impairment from  nontoxic influences (e.g.,
     sediment) can be measured.

   •  Consistent and ecologically meaningful water
     quality standards can be derived.

   •  General types of impairments can be

Serious consideration of in situ biological assess-
ment is  made possible by  recent advances in
laboratory and  field methods; development of stan-
dard assessment techniques; a practical and imple-
mentable definition of biological integrity; and the
regional reference site concept. Together these ad-
vances  have  provided  a framework  from  which
biocriteria can be "institutionalized" in surface water
quality management programs.

    Factors that Affect Biological

Karr et al. (1986) discussed environmental factors
that affect most  aquatic ecosystems and grouped
them into five major classes. Figure 1 illustrates that
these factors act together to determine the integrity
of water resources which, in turn, is reflected by the
resident aquatic life. Alterations  to the physical,
chemical, or biological  processes associated with
these factors can adversely affect the aquatic biota
and, therefore, the biological integrity  of the water-
            body. Efforts to protect and restore water resource
            integrity that focus on only one or two of these major
            factors will likely fail if other factors are wholly or par-
            tially responsible for the observed impairment (Karr
            etal. 1986).
              Thus, efforts to maintain and improve the quality
            of surface water resources in general and aquatic life
            in particular need to be guided by  methods and
            monitoring  that identify perturbations associated
            with factors in all five classes in an integrated manner.
            Broad-based   approaches  to  water   resource
            management are not only more likely to provide solu-
            tions with real results, they are also likely to be cost



   Reproduction  A    Parasitism-)
— »•
x v ' r
**"^ Hardness
       )  High-Low
      —  Extremes

    "Principal  Goal of  the
      Water Quality Act"
                          1° and 2°
             Organic  Matter
                                                                             Channel ,)
Figure 1 .—Some of the Important chemical, physical, and biological factors that influence and determine biological community
performance In surface waters (modified from Karr et al. 1986).

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 139-146
effective  because  the  development  of abatement
measures is guided by a directly measured response
instead of indirect, surrogate measures that substan-
tially rely on "rule of thumb" assumptions.
Development of Biological Criteria

The tendency in water quality management has been
to make biological measurements "fit" the percep-
tions and use of surrogate chemical criteria. This is
clearly enigmatic because the health and well-being
of indigenous aquatic biota embodies the temporal
and  spatial  chemical,   physical,  and  biological
dynamics of an aquatic environment (Fig. 1).
   Biologists' indecision  about an empirical  mea-
surement of biological integrity may have produced
this situation (Karr et al. 1986). One solution is  to
have in situ biological criteria that can indicate quan-
titatively whether  biological  integrity  is  being
achieved. Chemical criteria and bioassay application
techniques will always play an  important role in sur-
face water quality regulation. The accuracy of their
application, however, would  be greatly enhanced if
used in combination with holistic assessments of the
resident biota.
       Derivation of Ecoregional

Biological criteria for Ohio surface waters is essen-
tially  based on the biological community perfor-
mance that can be attained at regional reference
sites. This is consistent with the definition of biotic in-
tegrity as discussed  by Karr and  Dudley (1981),
Hughes et al.  (1982), and Karr et al.  (1986). The
biological criteria represent the ecological structure
and function that can be reasonably attained  given
present-day background conditions  (Whittier  et al.
1987). Thus, these criteria are not  an attempt to
define pristine, pre-Columbian conditions (Hughes et
al. 1982).
   Three biological  indices, the Index of Weil-Being
Iwb (Gammon 1976; Gammon et al. 1981), the  Index
of Biotic Integrity (IBI) (Karr 1981; Fausch et al. 1984),
both of which are based on fish, and the Invertebrate
Community Index (ICI) (Ohio Environ. Prot. Agency,
1987) which is based on macroinvertebrates, are
used by Ohio EPA. Criteria for each index are defined
by organism group, biological index,  site type  (fish),
ecoregion, and aquatic life use  designation. The
geographic organization of the Ohio biocriteria uses
concepts from the Ohio Stream  Regionalization
Project (SRP) and the ecoregion/regional reference
site approach (Omernik 1987; Hughes et al. 1986;
Whittier et al. 1987). Modified Iwb and IBI criteria were
defined for each of the five Ohio ecoregions for three
site types headwaters (drainage area <20 sq. mi.),
wading  sites  (streams  sampled  with   wading
methods, usually 20-300 sq. mi.), and boat sites
(streams and rivers  sampled with boat  methods,
usually 200-6,000 sq.  mi.).  ICI criteria are based
primarily on an artificial substrate sampling method.
The  calibration  of the indices and the resultant
biocriteria consider the effect of stream and river size
and sampling gear selectivity.
   In establishing biological criteria that are consis-
tent with the legislative goal of attaining biological in-
tegrity in surface waters, a calibration of the methods
is necessary.  The practical definition of biological in-
tegrity as the biological performance exhibited by
natural or "least impacted" habitats of a  particular
region provides the underlying basis for such infor-
mation from a sampling design. Minimum expecta-
tions of how a biological community should  perform
are determined by conditions at "least impacted" ref-
erence sites  within  a  particular  biogeographical
region. Such  sites can serve as references for a
larger  number of streams if they typify the range  of
physical    characteristics    within   a   particular
geographical region (Hughes etal. 1986).
   While  individual waterbodies differ to some de-
gree, the basis for having regional reference sites is
the similarity of watersheds within defined geograph-
ical regions.  Generally,  less variability is expected
among surface waters within a particular region than
between regions. We selected more than 300 refer-
ence sites from Omernik's (1987) ecoregions to ac-
complish this organization  (Fig. 2). This does not
mean  that  the  attainable  conditions  within  an
ecoregion cannot improve over time with changes in
population, land use, and/or progress with activities
like nonpoint pollution abatement.
   However,  it does reflect what is  currently  and
reasonably  attainable,  given present-day  socio-
economic activities.  No sites in direct proximity  to
point sources, obvious nonpoint source degrada-
tion, or within impounded  or extensively modified
areas were used to derive biocriteria for uses consis-
tent with the fishable/swimmable goal of the Water
Quality Act.
   Biological data from the reference sites were used
to calibrate  the  biological  indices  and establish
ecoregional biocriteria for the IBI,  modified Iwb, and
ICI. Both the IBI and ICI first require a calibration  of
the individual metric scores. Sampling results from
the  reference sites  (Fig.  2) were  pooled on  a
statewide basis to derive metric scores generally fol-
lowing procedures described by Fausch et al. (1984)

       C. O. YODER
                                                                                            A Boat
                                                                                            •  Wading
                                                                                            A Headwaters

                                                                                             o  to   to  so

                                                                                             *  ?   ?  «*
                    _                                                    ECOEEGION
                 ^ ~—	TV;*-*  . V/.VFM . \^«y ^~i^ /rs -M_H-i  _w\
                IP        ,.	_.„„  ,    	__
                                                                  ECBP   Eastern Corn Belt Plains
                                                                  HELP   Huron/Erie lake Plain
                                                                  EOLP   Erie/Ontario Lake Plain
                                                                  VJAP    Western Allegheny Plateau
                                                                  IP     Interior Plateau

        Figure 2.—Location of Ohio reference sites for fish within each of the five ecoregions and the three principal stream and river sizes
        (termed boat sites, wading  sites, and headwaters sites) is Indicated by different symbols; dashed lines and shading indicate
        ecoregion boundaries.
        and Karr et  al.  (1986). Several  of the IBI  and ICI
        metrics are related to stream size. Drainage area (sq.
        mi.) was used to  reflect this relationship. Figure 3
        shows the relationship of drainage area with the
        number of native fish species and how the IBI scoring
        ranges  were determined. A similar procedure was
        used for the remaining metrics where this relation-
        ship was demonstrated.
          Once the biological index scores for each site
        were calculated, a notched box-and-whisker plot
method was used to portray the results for each
biological  index by ecoregion (Fig. 4). These plots
contain sample size,  medians, ranges with outliers,
and 25th and 75th percentiles. Box plots have one
important  advantage over the use of means and
standard deviations because they do not assume a
particular distribution of the data. Furthermore, out-
liers  (defined  as  points  that lie two interquartile
ranges beyond the 25th or 75th percentiles) do not
exert as much influence as they do with means and

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 139-146

5    30
                  <  i   '
            ~ .       Range
                                              WADING  SITES
                                IP         EOL.P

 Figure 4.—Notched box-and-whisker plot of Ohio reference site results (wading and headwaters site types) for the Index of Biotic
 Integrity (IBI) showing maximum, minimum, median, and upper (75% percentile) and lower (25% percentile) quartile ranges by








             CSO WWTP
             CSO WWTP
ogy during the  1987 sampling. Other evidence that
biological stress remained in 1987 was indicated by
an  elevated  percentage  of  external  deformities:
eroded fins, lesions, and tumors on individual fish.
Follow-up sampling continued in 1988 to assess fur-
ther anticipated loading reductions. This type  of
analysis, which compares in-stream response with
effluent loadings over a period of time, is what a
recent U.S. General Accounting Office report (1986)
pointed  out  was  lacking in State and Federal
strategies to assess the direct benefits  of improved
wastewater treatment.
        135  130  125   120   115  110   105   100

                      River Mile

 Figure 5.—Longitudinal trend of the Index of Biotic Integrity
 (IBI) for the Scioto River in and downstream from the Colum-
 bus, Ohio, metropolitan area in 1979 and 1987. Major water
 quality impacts are indicated (vertical arrows) and flow direc-
 tion Is from left to right (descending river mile order).
         General Observations

Ohio EPA's experiences demonstrate that aquatic life
impacts appear in places other than point source ef-
fluents and in modes other than toxicity to bioassay
test organisms or as numerical violations of effluent
or ambient chemical criteria. A broad-based assess-
ment tool such as  in situ biological assessment is
needed to ensure that environmental problems are
adequately detected and understood. The aquatic
biota can accurately indicate and  quantify environ-
mental impairments because they are continuously

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 139-146
Table 1.—Format of the biocriteria proposed in the Ohio Water Quality Standards reg-
ulations for the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) and the wading site type for fish (WWH-
Warmwater habltiat; EWH-Exceptional Warmwater).
I. Index of Biotic Integrity (Fish)
A. Wading Sites
Huron/Erie Lake Plain
Interior Plateau
Erie/Ontario Lake Plain
W. Allegheny Plateau
Eastern Corn Belt Plain





subject to all pollution episodes. Biological com-
munity response can also be used as a prioritizing
mechanism for deciding where to conduct more
detailed, site-specific analyses such as bioassay or
chemical specific characterizations. This seems pru-
dent  from  an  environmental  cost-effectiveness
standpoint because limited regulatory resources can
be focused on problems that are having the greatest
realized impairments and, hence, the most potential
for environmental benefit when they are corrected.
This approach has been used in Ohio to develop the
annual list of priority water quality areas for construc-
tion grants and the State revolving loan program. It
also was a key component of the  1988 effort to
develop lists of toxic (section 304[l]) and  nonpoint
source (section 319) impaired waters.
  Biocriteria alone cannot perform every  task in a
surface water quality  management  program. Dis-
ciplines related to effluent  characterization,  chemi-
cal-specific assessment,   bioassay testing,  and
wasteload allocation  are all  essential. The need is for
all of these disciplines to  be truly integrated in  an
analytical  (as  opposed  to  rigidly  mechanistic)
framework in their application to water quality-based
surface water regulation. Although biological field
evaluations can be  used  to characterize general
degradation types, a  precise  definition of cause
usually requires the  inclusion of  these other tools
(i.e., chemical, bioassay). However, in situ bioassess-
ment can provide  insights  into the site-specific ap-
plication of those tools and suggest possible cause
and  effect  relationships.   End-of-pipe wastewater
regulation  is and  will  continue to be primarily a
numerical system; therefore, the use of chemical and
bioassay  techniques  for  establishing discharge
limitations will likely remain an important part of the
process. This is best  accomplished when the results
are interpreted by a trained biologist aided by ex-
amples of community response under a wide range
of perturbations.
                           A  systems approach
                        to surface water assess-
                        ment and regulation  is
                        needed  to complement
                        the traditional regulatory
                        approach. Although the
                        latter  employs  specific
                        methods that identify and
                        quantify specific chemi-
                        cals and levels of toxicity
                        to aquatic organisms, ex-
                        trapolating these results
                        to an assumed level of in-
                        stream  impairment still
depends on making assumptions about exposure
periods and exceedence frequencies.  Determining
how much is too much is usually made on an indirect,
best professional judgment basis. When biocriteria
based on the functional and structural  attributes of
resident  biological communities are included, the
result is a more direct, holistic, and accurate assess-
ment. Such information can be used to determine the
degree to which a waterbody is or is not attaining its
designated use and to characterize  any nonattain-
ment. This type  of assessment  is further streng-
thened when the overall biocriteria  approach has
been calibrated by information about the biological
performance level that can be attained by the natural
habitats within an biogeographical region.
   Finally, a biocriteria approach further fills some im-
portant gaps in surface water resource management.
Biosurveys and biocriteria provide a reality  check on
regulatory actions. This is a significant enhancement
because traditional chemical/toxicity tools can result
in regulatory strategies that may be under- or over-
protective.  A direct measure of use attainment is
provided that portrays the resultant efforts to reduce
water pollution in tangible terms that can be used in a
feedback loop  type of management.  Quantifying
conditions for the application of antidegradation to
the highest quality resources  is another important
function  of biocriteria.  These two functions will be
particularly useful in  several emerging abatement
programs including nonpoint source management
and habitat evaluation.

Fausch, D.O., J.R. Karr, and P.R. Yant. 1984. Regional application
   of an  index of biotic integrity based on stream fish com-
   munities. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 113:39-55.
Gammon, J.R. 1976. The fish populations of the middle 340 km of
   the Wabash River. Purdue U. Water Resour. Res. Center. Tech.
   Rep. 86.
Gammon, J.R., A. Spacie, J.L Hamelink, and R.L Kaesler. 1981.
   Role of electrofishing in assessing environmental quality of

C. 0.  YODER
   the Wabash River. Pages 307-24 in J. M. Bates and C. I.Weber,
   eds. Ecological Assessments of Effluent Impacts on Com-
   munities of  Idigenous Aquatic  Organisms. Am.  Soc.  Test.
   Mater. STP703, Philadelphia, PA.
Hughes, R.M., D.P. Larsen, and J.M. Omernik. 1986. Regional ref-
   erence sites: a method for assessing stream pollution. En-
   viron. Manage. 10(5): 629-35.
Hughes,  R.M., J.H. Gakstatter, M.A. Shirazi, and J.M. Omernik.
   1982. An approach for determining biological integrity in flow-
   ing waters. Pages 877-88 jfl T.B. Braun, ed. Inplace Resource
   Inventories:  Principles and Practices, A National Workshop.
   Soc. Amer. Foresters, Bethesda,  MD.
Karr, J.R. 1981. Assessment of biotic integrity using  fish  com-
   munities. Rsheries 6 (6):21-7.
Karr, J.R. and D.R. Dudley. 1981. Ecological perspective on water
   quality goals. Environ. Manage. 5(1): 55-68.
Karr, J.R., et al. 1986. Assessing biological integrity in running
   waters: a method and its rationale. III. Nat. Hist. Surv. Spec.
   Publ. 5.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 1987. Users Manual for
   Biological Reid Assessment of Ohio Surface Waters. Vol. II of
   Biological Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Life. Div. Water
   Quality Monitor, and Assess.  Surface Water Section. Colum-
Omernik,  J.M. 1987.  Ecoregions of the conterminous United
   States. Ann. Assoc. Am. Geog. 77 (1): 118-25.
U.S. General Accounting Office. 1986. The nation's water: key un-
   answered questions about the quality of rivers and streams.
   GAO Progr. Eval. Methods Div. Washington, DC. GAO/PEMD-
Whittier, T.R. et al. 1987. The Ohio stream regionalization project:
   a compendium of results. U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency Res. Lab,
   Corvallis, OR.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 147-151
                Ecoregional Biological  Criteria

                                       Robert M. Hughes
                            Aquatic Ecologist, NSI Technology Services Corp.
         U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory, Corvallis, Oregon
Biocriteria Needs
For the purposes of this paper, biocriteria are defined
as numerical values that describe  the  biological
health  of  aquatic communities for a designated
aquatic life use. Regardless of whether they are im-
plemented  regionally or  site specifically,  biocriteria
(ambient, community-based) have the following ad-
vantages compared to chemical and toxicological
criteria: biocriteria facilitate direct  assessment of
designated aquatic life uses, are applicable to a wide
range of stressors (physical, chemical,  biological,
point, nonpoint, toxic, nontoxic), and provide a firm
basis for regulating  nonchemical degradation and
antidegradation. They offer a mechanism for evaluat-
ing long-term effects of spills, process changes, and
illegal dumping; for assessing cumulative effects of
multiple dischargers and stressors; and for estimat-
ing bioaccumulation and indirect effects (food chain,
competition, predation, migration, life history).
   Biocriteria and biomonitoring integrate  effects
over a variety of spatial and temporal scales. At least
for freshwaters,  biocriteria  and biomonitoring  are
often less expensive and yield more rapid and direct-
ly interpretable evaluations of the biological integrity
goals of the Clean  Water Act than  bioassays  and
chemical analysis. Thus, they offer a useful screening
or problem detection tool.
   Biological criteria are extremely effective for repre-
senting the impact of permit and chemical violations
during litigation and  for showing progress when  pol-
lution is controlled; they also offer a means of validat-
ing and refining wasteload allocation models.
   In other words, numerical measures of ambient
biological communities show the ecological results
of management actions on  pollution discharges.
Also, biological communities are generally of greater
concern than physicochemical conditions alone (i.e.,
the public is often more interested in  protecting
biological species than water quality per se). Finally,
the development of  numerical biocriteria institution-
alizes biomonitoring and bioassessment, bringing a
key tool into the regulatory process. Recently EPA
(U.S.  Environ. Prot.  Agency, 1987;  Whittier, 1988;
Plafkin et al. 1989) has shown increased interest in
biological monitoring.
   Because biological monitoring and analysis tools
have been greatly improved over the past 10 years
and are readily available, they should be considered
along with chemical  and whole  effluent  criteria.
Management  of aquatic ecosystems could be en-
hanced by ecologically meaningful biological use
designations (i.e., more specific goals than "aquatic
life" or "warmwater fish"); ecologically meaningful
biological  criteria  (preferably numerical);  direct
measures  of biological integrity and environmental
results; increased attention to nonpoint source pollu-
tion; and statistically designed monitoring programs.
However, biological criteria would augment chemical
and whole effluent criteria; they should not be con-
sidered as replacements.
An Ecoregion Framework
It is useful to ask the following three basic questions
in setting water resource (aquatic ecosystem) stan-
dards and monitoring water resource quality. First,
how can  States assess the health of  an aquatic
ecosystem  in  an  ecologically  meaningful  and
economically efficient way? Second, what is  the
status of the entire population of lakes and streams
and  the extent and  character of the problems
detected? Third, how can States extrapolate from a
limited number of sites to that entire population?
Natural   ecological  variability  hinders  answering
these questions.
   To limit natural variability, managers have taken a
largely  inductive approach to assessment  and
prediction. Such work is  based on laboratory re-
search or intensive, site-specific field studies that are
often followed by process or wasteload allocation
models.  However,  both approaches result in data
that  are difficult to extrapolate accurately because
the representativeness of the site is frequently  un-
determined; natural systems necessarily are more
complex and behave differently than laboratory sys-
tems; and all the key variables cannot be measured
practicably.  In addition,  such research  is  often ex-
tremely expensive.
   An alternative ecoregion approach  (Omernik,
1987; Hughes and Larsen, 1988) is a more deductive

technique based on the natural spatial organization
of ecosystems. In this approach, the natural spatial
patterns of ecosystem regions are evaluated through
analysis of available maps,  and ecoregion boun-
daries are delineated by overlaying and integrating
the maps. In turn, these regions are evaluated by field
surveys of minimally impacted, but typical reference
sites. Finally,  quantitative or qualitative reference
conditions are established for the regions. The basis
for this approach is the fact  that the character of a
waterbody (e.g., its water quality, flow regime, habitat
structure,  energy base,  and   migration  barriers)
reflects  the  climate, topography,  geology,  soil,
vegetation, and land use of its drainage basin.
A Biocriterion Example
An example of a biocriterion is the Index of Biotic In-
tegrity (IBI) (Karretal. 1986), which is a quantification
of a fish ecologist's judgment of the relative quality of
a fish community. The IBI is composed of the follow-
ing 12 metrics, each of which measures a different
aspect offish community health:
   • Number of native fish species
   • Number of darter/benthic species
   • Number of sunfish/midwater species
   • Number of sucker/long-lived species
   • Number of intolerant individuals
   • Percent of piscivorous/top carnivorous
   • Percent of green sunfish/tolerant species
   • Percent of omnivorous individuals
   • Percent of insectivorous individuals
   • Total number of individuals
   • Percent of exotics/hybrids/simple lithophils
   • Percent of diseased/anomalies

Metric values approximating, deviating slightly from,
or deviating greatly from expected ecoregional refer-
ence site values are scored 5, 3, or 1, respectively.
The scores are added to give an IBI score of 60 (ex-
cellent) to 12 (very poor). Quantitative indices like the
IBI or individual IBI metrics (Lenat, 1988; Plafkin etal.
1989) offer direct, objective, repeatable measures of
aquatic ecosystem health (Karr et al. 1986;  Lenat,
1988; Ohio Environ. Prot. Agency, 1988a).
  Implications of State Application
     of Ambient Biocriteria in an
         Ecoregion Framework

Site-Specific Criteria
There are  two major approaches  to  developing
biocriteria for lakes and streams—site-specific (or
upstream/downstream) and regional—and each has
advantages and disadvantages. Site-specific biologi-
cal criteria can provide accurate assessments of cur-
rent  conditions  at  a  site   and  are  relatively
inexpensive—if  the total number of sites is small.
They are extremely expensive to develop for a large
number of sites because a minimum of three refer-
ence or "control" sites is needed to  assess natural
variability adequately at each site in question. A State
soon has to deal with many assessments, especially
if nonpoint source pollution is a major problem or if
there are many point sources of concern.
   There is a tendency to focus site-specific biologi-
cal criteria on point source stressors and inadequate-
ly assess nonpoint sources,  particularly physical
habitat degradation. Ignoring these stressors at the
upstream control site and the suspected chemically
impacted  site results in the appearance of com-
pliance (i.e., attainment of chemical criteria) when, in
fact, biological and physical integrity may not be  at-
tained (Plafkin etal. 1989).
 Regional Biocriteria
Regional biocriteria also have advantages and disad-
vantages. Regional biocriteria facilitate definition and
conceptualization of biological integrity,  i.e., "the
ability  to support and  maintain  a balanced,  in-
tegrated, adaptive community of organisms having a
species composition, diversity, and functional  or-
ganization comparable to that of natural habitat of
the region"  (Karr and Dudley,  1981). They may be
less expensive to develop  on a statewide  basis if
States have numerous environmental problems and
can set benchmarks based on the highest quality
conditions attainable acrpss a region. Also, regional
biocriteria are particularly well suited for wetland and
nonpoint source assessments. They are  more ap-
propriate than site-specific criteria for evaluating
regional recovery potential and the regional results of
compliance,  including  interstate   comparisons of
States sharing the same ecoregion.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 147-151
  Regional biocriteria offer a meaningful method of
reporting status and trends to the public. Ecoregions
reflect  landscape differences far better than river
basins  (which typically cross ecoregions and thereby
include markedly  different  ecosystems  such  as
mountains   and   plains).  To   date,  Omernik's
ecoregions have successfully stratified the biotic
characteristics of streams in Arkansas (Rohm et al.
1987),  Ohio (Larsen et al. 1986), Oregon (Hughes et
al. 1987; Whittier et al. 1988), and Wisconsin  (Lyons,
in press).
  Regional biocriteria attainment or nonattainment
can be used to help decide where and how to invest
limited  pollution control resources in a more cost-ef-
fective  manner than site-specific criteria. Therefore,
the public and decision makers are helped to under-
stand that the natural capacity of waters for support-
ing biota differs regionally to a considerable degree.
  The  disadvantages of regional biocriteria include a
sizable initial  investment  in the  assessment  of
regional  reference conditions. Spatially  extensive
biological data of appropriate quality  are  lacking
nationwide, so it is unwise to rely entirely on  them in
developing biocriteria. The ecoregion/biocriteria ap-
proach depends heavily on how reference sites are
selected and  how regional standards are deter-
mined. Standards will be deficient if reference sites
are naturally different (i.e., not representative of at-
tainable conditions)  from most other sites  in the
region; if the reference sites are overly impacted or
inadequately sampled;  if  the  biological  groups
chosen are insensitive to key stressors or too vari-
able; or if the criteria developed are not sufficiently
stringent.  Problems  of  interpretation occur where
streams cross ecoregion boundaries because boun-
daries  represent transition areas with characteristics
of both regions.  Also, large rivers are influenced by
the upstream region for some distance downstream
of the boundary.  These potential problems are
manageable, as demonstrated by the States im-
plementing the approach.
   The  ecoregions   do   not  eliminate  natural
variability; they simply stratify it. Many ecoregions
still  contain  considerable variability and  further
refinement or stratification of ecoregions is needed,
especially in mountainous regions. Although it  is
being considered by a majority of States in one way
or another  (Plafkin,  pers. com., 1988),  the eco-
region/biocriteria approach  has  been  or is being
evaluated in only seven states: Arkansas, Nebraska,
North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Wiscon-
sin (Whittier, 1988). Thus, this approach may create a
research and regulatory burden for States even if it
results in more accurate assessments and more ap-
propriate and protective management of  lands and
waters. A national assessment of regional reference
sites would offer considerable efficiencies of scale
because States generally share ecoregions.
Biocriteria Application
In general,  biocriteria are more of a reactive than a
proactive tool.  That is, they are  most useful for
screening  effects,   discovering   problems,  and
developing hypotheses regarding probable causes;
chemical and physical criteria and assessments are
needed to  limit stressors and refine diagnoses of
specific causes. Polluters and land managers cannot
directly control the ambient  biota: chemical and
physical stressors must still be regulated.  Where
evaluated to date (Ohio, Oregon, and Montana field
studies),  ecoregional   ambient biocriteria have
revealed many  more noncomplying sites than are
suggested  by  State  chemical or whole effluent
criteria. EPA is developing guidance to handle these
biocriteria  limitations  so that  resources  can  be
protected   from  further damage   and  polluters
protected from arbitrary actions.
   Finally, and perhaps most importantly, wise use of
biocriteria requires well-trained, experienced, and in-
telligent staff in State and EPA regional offices-as is
true of any scientific discipline. Reassignments of
poorly prepared staff will result in major problems be-
cause of the need for educated judgment and quality
control in  biological assessments  (including use
designation, criteria, monitoring, and data interpreta-
tion). Clearly, use of the ecoregion/biocriteria ap-
proach requires  careful thought  and  competent
technical assistance, rather than the mechanical ap-
plication of numbers.
     Examples of an Ecoregional
 Approach for Developing Refined
  Biological-Use Designations and
            Biological Criteria
Arkansas and Ohio use an ecoregion/biocriteria ap-
proach in their standards programs (Arkansas Dep.
Pollut. Control Ecol., 1988; Ohio Environ. Prot. Agen-
cy, 1988a).  Arkansas developed refined biological
use designations  based  on  regional  indicator
species.  This resulted in separate species expecta-
tions for warmwater  streams  for each  of the six
ecoregions in the State.  For example, minimally im-
pacted Boston Mountain streams are characterized
by the wedgespot shiner, shadow bass, longnose
darter, and fantail darter. Reference streams  of the
Mississippi Alluvial  Plain are  characterized by the

pugnose  minnow, mosquitofish, pirate perch, tad-
pole madtom, and banded pygmy sunfish. Relatively
undisturbed streams of the Arkansas River Valley
(which  is ecologically  intermediate  between  the
mountain and lowland  regions)  are  characterized
by  the   orangespotted sunfish and  the blackside
   Ohio developed quantitative biological criteria for
different-sized  streams in each  of the State's  five
ecoregions.  Ecoregional  reference   sites  were
sampled several times for fish and macroinvertebrate
community structure. Criteria values  based  on the
25th percentile of two fish community indices  and
one macroinvertebrate index are used to determine
whether use designations are attained.
   Several  other  States  are evaluating  the  ad-
vantages and  limitations of ecoregional biocriteria.
Generally, conducting such baseline studies requires
an  investment on the order of $100,000 per year for
four to five years,  as estimated by the seven  test
States. This  may  appear expensive,  but where
ecoregional biological criteria and  use designations
have been tested, they have proven a cost-effective
and protective tool.
   Biocriteria are applicable to several  other topics
discussed at this conference: nonpoint source pollu-
tion standards, toxics identification, lake standards,
sediment  criteria, wetland  standards, antidegrada-
tion, and water quantity conservation.  Ecoregional
biocriteria give States  an improved framework for
monitoring and regulating nonpoint source pollution
(U.S.  Environ.   Prot.  Agency,   1989).  Improved
management of diffuse sources is possible because
regional reference sites provide realistic benchmarks
for attainable water resource quality, even in exten-
sively disturbed areas (Hughes, 1985; Ohio Environ.
Prot. Agency, 1988b). Stream biocriteria are effective
measures of the  impacts of siltation (Berkman  and
Rabeni, 1987), channelization (Karr et al. 1986), mine
drainage (Hughes,  1985; Leonard and Orth, 1986),
nutrient  runoff (Fiske, 1988), and agricultural runoff
(Steed man, 1988).
   Further, the relative environmental impact of toxic
point sources has  been successfully evaluated by
ambient  biocriteria  (Karr et al.  1985; Hughes  and
Gammon, 1987; Ohio Environ. Prot. Agency, 1988b;
Penrose  and  Overton,  1988).  Algal biomass  and
communities have long been used to assess  lake
eutrophication (Stephenson and Lowe,  1986; Moore
and Thornton, 1988). The presence of toxic sedi-
ments is typically first suggested by fish tumors and
other anomalies, by especially low IBI scores, and by
distinctive assemblages of species.
   Biocriteria are used to assess  compliance with the
antidegradation clause (Bauer,  pers. com.,  1989).
Biocriteria are being used in Oregon to protect in-
stream water rights for fisheries (MacDonnell, pers.
com.,  1989).  Finally,  recent  work  with  wetland
biocriteria, particularly vegetation and vertebrate as-
semblages,  also  appears to  hold  considerable
promise (Brooks and Hughes, 1988).
   Biocriteria can  add an additional but essential
layer of protection when used together with whole ef-
fluent and chemical criteria.  This wide suitability to
most of the major standards issues of the conference
make biocriteria a critical area for increased support.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This paper was supported by
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contract 68-C8-0006 to NSI
Technology Services Corp. and by travel funds from the U.S. En-
vironmental Protection Agency's Office of Water. It has been sub-
jected to Agency review and approved for publication. Manuscript
reviews by Suzanne Marcy, Chris Yoder, and Thorn Whittier were
particularly helpful.

Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology. 1988.
   Regulation establishing water quality standards for surface
   waters of the state of Arkansas. Little Rock, AR.
Bauer, S. March 1,1989. Personal commun. Water Quality Stand-
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Berkman, H.E. and C.F. Rabeni. 1987. Effect of siltation on stream
   fish communities. Environ. Biol. Fishes 18:285-94.
Brooks, R.P. and R.M. Hughes. 1988. Guidelines for assessing the
   biotic communities of freshwater wetlands. Pages 276-82 in
   J.A. Kusler, M.LQuammen, and G. Brooks, eds. Proc. of the
   National Wetland Symposium: Mitigation of Impacts and Los-
   ses. Ass. of State Wetland Managers, Berne, NY.
Fiske, S. 1988. The use of biosurvey data in the regulation of per-
   mitted nonpoint dischargers in Vermont. Pages 67-74 in T.P.
   Simon,  L.L Hoist, and L.J. Shepard, eds. Proc.  1st National
   Workshop on Biocriteria. EPA 905/9-89/003.  U.S. Environ. Prot.
   Agency, Chicago, IL.
Hughes, R.M. 1985. Use of watershed characteristics to  select
   control streams for estimating effects of metal mining wastes
   on extensively disturbed streams. Environ. Manage. 9:253-62.
Hughes, R.M. and J.R. Gammon.  1987. Longitudinal changes in
   fish assemblages and water quality in the Willamette River,
   Ore. Trans, of the Am. Fish. Soc. 116:196-209.
Hughes, R.M., E. Rexstad, and C.E. Bond. 1987. Th* relationship
   of aquatic ecoregions, river basins, and physiographic provin-
   ces to the ichthyogeographic regions of Oregon. Copeia 1987:
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   surface  water protection. J. Water Pollut. Control  Fed. 60:486-
Karr, J.R., and D.R. Dudley. 1981. Ecological perspective on water
   quality goals. Environ. Manage. 5:55-68.
Karr, J.R.,  R.C. Heidinger, and  E.H. Helmer. 1985. Effects  of
   chlorine and ammonia from wastewater treatment facilities on
   biotic integrity. J. of the Water Pollut. Control Fed. 57:912-5.
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   waters:  a method and its rationale. Nat. History Survey Spec.
   Pub. 5.  Urbana, IL.
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   terns in fish assemblages in Ohio streams  and aquatic
   ecoregions. Environ. Manage. 10:815-28.
Lenat, D.R. 1988. Water quality assessment of streams using a
   qualitative collection method for benthic macroinvertebrates.
   J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 7:222-33.

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   index of biotic integrity in small coolwater streams. Trans. Am.
   Fish. Soc. 115:401-15.
Lyons, J. In press. Correspondence between the distribution of
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   ecoregins. Am. Midland Nat.
MacDonnell, L March 3, 1989. Personal communication. Water
   Quality Standards Conference. Dallas, TX.
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   tion  Guidance  Manual.   U.S.   Environ.   Prot.  Agency.
   Washington, DC.
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   toxicity, and biosurvey based  evaluations of water quality.
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   States. Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 77:118-25.
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   techniques for benthic macroinvertebrates: uses in water pol-
   lution in North Carolina. Pages 77-88 iaT.P. Simon, L.L Hoist,
   and  L.J. Shepard,  eds.  Proc.  1st National  Workshop on
   Biocriteria. EPA 905/9-89/003. U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency,
   Chicago, IL.
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                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 153-155
           Development of Biological Criteria

                                  Suzanne K. Macy Marcy
             Biologist, Criteria and Standards Division, Office of Water Regulations and Standards
                       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Biological criteria are unique in the water quality
criteria program. While chemical criteria and was-
teload allocation methods focus on the cause of
potential impact, biological criteria focus on the ef-
fects of impact. As such, biological criteria develop-
ment serves as a natural  progression in the water
quality standards program; it furnishes a mechanism
for assessing program success in protecting biologi-
cal integrity and provides a systematic approach for
evaluating ecosystem change. This is important both
for problem discovery and water quality improve-
  Limited available data on biological integrity affect
the current program. For example, in an effort to final-
ize a water quality criteria document for a pollutant in
salt water the Office of Water Regulations and Stand-
ards (OWRS)  looked for  documented examples
where the pollutant  was adversely affecting  es-
tuaries; few were found. OWRS does not believe this
is due to low impact; rather, data are not available for
two reasons: current water quality criteria rely on
laboratory testing and, since criteria do not exist for
the pollutant, site-specific impacts are not measured.
   Biological criteria can fill these data needs be-
cause biological criteria rely on field assessment of
actual ecosystems and specific chemical criteria are
not required to discover existing problems.
                        (As Decision Criteria or State Standards)
                                              	  System in Place  (8)
                                              I    I  Active Interest   (16)
                                                    Some Interest   (23)
                                                    Minimal Interest  (4)

              State Interest

Recognition that biological criteria serve as a logical
next step in the water quality standards program is
exemplified by current State interest in developing
criteria and establishing standards. Based on current
surveys, 8 States have biological criteria in place, 16
are demonstrating active interest, and 23  are ex-
pressing interest; only 4  States show minimal inter-
est.  Many  States  are  seeking   guidance  for
developing criteria and establishing standards.
   Because of the wide natural variability in ecosys-
tems, one national biological criterion cannot be es-
tablished.  Each State will be required to  develop
biological  criteria for waters within its borders. The
purpose for establishing a national  initiative and
developing basic methodology is to
   • Provide more consistency in the development
     of biological criteria, both to encourage its
     development and to minimize incompatible
     interpretations of biological criteria between
   • Provide States with guidance for research
     efforts and application of biological criteria;
   • Reduce costs: a unified research effort for
     methods development will decrease total
     investment dramatically.
The potential for incorporating biological criteria into
State standards is increased by the lead taken in
several  States.  These  States  demonstrate  that
biological criteria can be developed and effectively
implemented. Often data already collected by these
States in biosurvey work formed the foundation for
biological criteria development,  an important con-
sideration for  States,  the  majority of which have
biosurvey monitoring approaches established and a
significant data base in place.
      National Biological Criteria
OWRS plans three key elements to help establish a
national program and encourage State implementa-
                                                        NO BIOSURVEYS (9)
                                                        SPECIAL STUDIES (16)
                                                        FIXED STATION  NETWORK (6)
                                                        SPECIAL STUDIES
                                                        AND FIXED STATION NETWORK (22)

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 153-155
tion of biological criteria. OWRS is developing the fol-
   • A biological criteria policy statement to
     establish biological criteria as a viable water
     quality program (Assessment and Watershed
     Protection Division);
   • A program guidance document (Criteria and
     Standards Division); and
   • A technical guidance document (Criteria and
     Standards Division).
This presentation focuses on efforts by the Criteria
and  Standards Division to develop program and
technical guidance.
    Program Guidance Document

Targeted toward managers and their staff, the pro-
gram guidance document  will  define  biological
criteria,  explain how it is used in the water quality
criteria program, and provide insights on how it has
been established in some States. The document will
include discussion on using the scientific framework
of  biological  criteria to  systematically  evaluate
biosurvey data currently collected  by the  State.
OWRS  plans  to  publish  the  first draft  program
guidance document  in July 1989. The draft will be
revised in the future, based on feedback from States
and EPA regions using the document.
   Technical Guidance Document

The technical guidance document, which will be tar-
geted toward staff who collect biological data, will
contain four sections. The first will  be a detailed dis-
cussion of the  scientific method applied to bioas-
sessment  methodologies  for  biological   criteria
development. It will be followed by descriptions of
different  available approaches  for bioassessment
(e.g., rapid bioassessment, keystone species, bio-in-
dicators). The  third  section will  describe  habitat
types, how they differ, and which approaches appear
to work best for each surface water type. Finally, a
procedures  section will provide  annotated  refer-
ences for specifics on data collection techniques.
Throughout, an effort will be made to describe the
advantages and disadvantages of each technique for
specific conditions to provide States with options to
determine which approaches  may best fit their
programs. This document will  be a working draft,
available  in  September  1989. Significant  research
work is still required because of incomplete develop-
ment of assessment  methodologies for all surface
   To maximize their value, OWRS will continue to im-
prove these guidance documents over the next five
years  by evaluating  methodologies  for  surface
waters without  accepted bioassessment tools, in-
cluding each major  type of  surface  water (e.g.,
streams,  rivers, lakes,  wetlands, and estuaries).
OWRS will  also continue to  develop  program
guidance based on State implementation of biologi-
cal criteria into standards.

Biological criteria are designed to discover the ef-
fects of impacts in surface waters and therefore are a
supplement to the current water quality standards
program.  When water quality problems are dis-
covered, traditional methods are used to determine
the cause.
   Most States already collect biomonitoring and
biosurvey data that can be used to develop biologi-
cal criteria. Initial investments will, as a result, be
lower than those often required for  new initiatives.
This will be of particular importance to States trying
to  develop  methods  for wetlands  and  estuaries
where significant effort and resources will be re-
quired to produce bioassessment tools.
   A natural progression in the water quality stand-
ards program, the development of biological criteria
will  help integrate  OWRS'  programs  (nonpoint
source pollution, monitoring, standards) and other
EPAprograms (hazardous waste, air quality). Inaddi-
tion, biological criteria will be useful  to other agen-
cies, such as the Department of Agriculture and U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service.

                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  Q. I'd like to know if biocriteria indices have been
set up for lakes in Maine or Ohio.
  A. (Courtemanch, Maine) We have impact stan-
dards:  the  lakes cannot be increasing in trophic
state, and they cannot support the culturally induced
algae  bloom. We also have the trophic state index
and chironomid type index, which we use as quantifi-
able criteria indices.

  Q. You're not using other measures, such as the
benthic one?
  A. (Courtemanch) We are, but we also use the
trophic state index, which is one of  our regulations.
We also use benthic organisms as a long-range level
trend indicator.
  A.  (Yoder) In Ohio,  we've pretty much set the
standard at eutrophic  state. A staff  member has
developed  what he  calls a lake condition index,
which is a  multiple  of different things important to
lake recreation.

  Q. In Ohio, how many reference sites can a region
have? How do you continually monitor and use these
sites? I'm trying to understand the rationale for using
a pristine land use to apply to, perhaps,  let's say,
agricultural   use;  for   instance,  an  unimpaired
forested system that is used as some sort of refer-
ence for a standard.
  A.  I'd like to answer the second question  first.
When we talk about minimally impacted  reference
sites,  we're not talking about pristine sites. I think
there are no pristine sites in this world because of at-
mospheric deposition. There are some sites that are
better than others—those that just sufferfrom atmos-
pheric pollution—and there are some  agricultural
areas like the corn desert studied a few years back.
Those are sites that give you some idea of what you
can attain. The reason that we use ecoregion for the
concept is that you break  large areas out so that
they're mostly agricultural. I'm not comparing them
with a  forested area that's going  to have higher
gradients, different kinds of substrate, different kinds
of validation. You don't mix them; you break them up.
Even within the Rocky Mountain area  you see
tremendous elevational differences.  You have to kind
of "step down" depending on the variety  of, or the
heterogeneity of, the region.
   That gets into your first question. If you're talking
about how many sites you need,  it depends on how
variable your area is. We've gotten by with as few as a
half  dozen  sites   in  some  States  with  very
heterogeneous areas. You improve predictability as
you increase the numbers, as you would in any kind
of evaluation.

  C. I'm not comfortable with that.

  A.  (Yoder) In  Ohio there's a link  between the
ecoregion and the type of land disturbance. For in-
stance, our Huron area lakeline is a flat,  bold lake bed
that is 99 percent agricultural and, to make it produc-
tive, we had to dig all the streams down about 15 feet
to get top drainage. It was massive change. There
are  unmodified  streams toward  west  Ohio;  in
southeast  Ohio,   which   is  unglaciated,   the
predominant disturbance to the land is coal mining
and surface mining, but those  areas' specific  at-
tributes vary widely.  Within its boundaries, however,
each region is fairly homogeneous.
  Ohio also has the Eastern Corn Belt, which within
itself,  has more heterogeneity, but we take care of
this within regions in a multiple tier use system. There
are different levels of the index of biotic integrity (IBI)
for exceptionally warm water versus warm water ver-
sus a couple lower levels. Once you establish a set of
reference sites in a regional framework, you can go
back  and continually monitor  them  over  long

  Q. How complicated do these techniques have to
be? Can you keep a simplistic diversion where you
use fish and use a relatively small number of IBI
things rather than making it more complicated by
using convergents  and more complicated matrix?
My own prejudice is that it might be better to use
something simple and cover more State waters than
use something complicated and run out of time and
money and cover fewer waters. Karr, in some of his
original work, basically said, "Well, you don't need to
do rivers at all times because, after all,  they're harder
to define efficiently."
   A. It's very attractive to say that we can go and
spend a half an hour at each site and get an answer at
less cost but is it equity for what we're doing? The
permit folks would like us to go out and look at every
permit they issue. We can't do that, so we prioritize. I
think that we don't use enough fish invertebrates
every place, every time. In eight different classes of
complexities we  may only use fish; we may only use
invertebrates and we think we must use  one or the
other or both. I think the fewer things you  use, the
less likely you will detect finer and finer problems.
That's a dilemma.

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
  C. Sometimes you don't have to use either. If you
really are concerned about certain very subtle types
of impacts, you're going to need more. In our work
with acid deposition  we think two are not enough
when monitoring lakes. We need to look at several of
these trophically. It  depends  on the impact that
you're trying to evaluate and how certain you want to

  C. We're looking  at  permitting a discharge of
secondary  effluent to a well. We have  asked the
people proposing this project to do some baseline
studies as well, but they didn't want to do fish, and
they didn't want to do invertebrates. We told them we
needed these studies and they objected, noting that
every time the water quality changes,  the whole
structure of the community changes. And, of course,
that's why we want them to do baseline studies.

  C. When measuring for the studies, doesn't it mat-
ter which group of organisms or what framers you
use? I think the first thing you should do is express
what you're looking for, otherwise you will never find
it. Once  you've done that,  you can make some

  Q. / can see that biocriteria would be very useful
for picking up new impacts from nutrient loading,
high turbidity, and sedimentation, but it's less clear
to me whether they would be sensitive to stresses
from toxics. Has there been much work in carrying
out pollution testing results to biocriteria working in
the environment?
  A. By  looking at the different dimensions of the
response, you can get an indication of the impact.
You can certainly separate them from those of other
types of impacts. Often you can get a toxicity in an
area where bio results are affected by channeling a
stream site. I'm not sure there's a tradeoff there, but
often you get  non-toxic impacts layered on top of
toxic impacts in the same receiving strain. That may
determine different approaches to how you manage
that water.

  C. A measure like the IBI, which looks at a number
of different matrixes, is  composed of a  dozen dif-
ferent measures of health. In one site, we caught 15
species of fish we had one site drop off to 2 species
(about 20 percent had external diseases).  Any one of
those measures were clear. That was a very, very
troubled  site that no one except the DER or the
Department of Environmental Quality thought of as
having a  problem. It was a site that produces craw-
fish for the State. They d id a study and tried to control
the problem. In a site  higher up, we had high species
richness and all those matrixes scored very high but
the anomaly was that a number of fish had only one
eye or were missing fins that sort of thing that to us
says PCB.

   Q. What is the relationship between the evolution
of the biocriteria in EPA's Framework and the evolu-
tion of bioassay and effluent testing, toxicity testing,
and numeric standards development? Do you think
that one is more evolved than the others?
   A. We pulled  together information  on our  in-
stream bioassessments and effluent toxicity tests. In
approximately 8 percent of the cases there seemed
to be no problem in-stream. We  have found a prob-
lem  with effluent  toxicity,  which  suggested  that
there's actually a very  good correlation between ef-
fluent toxicity problems  and what we're finding.
There was a broader  range of overlap where we
found problems in-stream, but we hadn't picked up
anything in the effluent. To me that suggests that we
have to do more in those situations. Well, how do we
identify the situations where we  need to be looking
for the additional controls? Maybe it's not a permit
that needs to be fixed,  maybe it's a nonpoint source
problem in the area, but at least it gives you a handle
on the area that needs more work.

   C. Before modifying the permit, you have to do ef-
fluent and toxicity testing  and bioassays.  The
biocriteria would be more of a microtargeting tool to
evaluate the problems. From there you need a more
standard regulatory means to determine the permits.

   C. Exactly.  All the  different ways of evaluating
water quality aren't individual. You need all your dif-
ferent types of information to get an accurate picture
of what's actually going on.

   Q. Will biocriteria stand up in court as it evolves to
a permanent limit?
   A. If you want to make biocriteria stand up, you've
got to have a theoretical basis and system that will
stand up to  challenge, because when you  start
saying that you've got a problem  with  your  dis-
charge, you had better have something behind it. In
almost all cases documented biocriteria alone is not
sufficient; you must have additional data from the ef-
fluent, even if it's just the monthly agar report data. I
would never go to court with only biological criteria
information data.
   It's a good tool for screening, and the process is
evolving, as are the tools, to a point where we can
identify tendencies in the data. We have so many dif-
ferent ways to identify these tendencies that help us
identify the problem. Any biologist who goes out and

looks at the system can, just by being there, give you
an idea of what caused the impact.

   Q. Have you used the IBI to establish a stream
   A. (Courtemanch) Maine doesn't use the fish IBI,
although we've tested it. We're using invertebrate
populations.  We  have  a  very  depauperate  fish
population; there aren't many species. The IBI is not
a sensitive tool.

   Q. Do you have a classification system?
   A. (Courtemanch) Yes.  We're using invertebrate
populations for that purpose.

   Q. How do you take biological criteria and imple-
ment them into water quality-based effluent limita-
tions? How do you get from these IBIs to numbers in
the permits?
   A. It's a difference between cause and effect.
Biocriteria measures an effect, you then need to drop
down to a lower organizational level, like numeric
criteria, or look at your effluent, at nonpoint sources,
or at agricultural  runoff, to identify what is causing
that effect.

   C. You don't know what chemical is causing the
problem, but a law involves regulation of chemicals.
It's important to know that there's a problem in the

   C. It's the  same problem with effluent tests. They
can tell you  there's a problem, but not the cause.
You've got to go find them.

   C. Why do we spend a lot of time and money
doing effluent evaluations? Because we're trying to
characterize  the  effluent so we got something to
regulate. The whole thing's tied together.

   C. We've have chosen the system that measures
performance at the end of the pipe. I'm not sure there
is another system. You can monitor the streams to
see their performance and get a relationship there,
but as far as what you do legally to regulate that per-
mit, toxic units is one approach and there are chemi-
cal  numbers with that as  well.  If you've got an
impairment, you've got the characteristics of the im-
pairment that are related to the processes in that ef-
fluent  and  your  only choice  in  protecting  the
environment is to  meet your water quality-based

   C. I don't think we have the answer, but that's not a
reason not to test. This is kind of where we were on
effluent toxicity. In the beginning we thought it would
just be a way of evaluating effluents, that we'd be put-
ting effluent toxicity limitations in permits. Ultimately,
we were able to show that you can find correlations,
you can justify  printed toxicity limits requirements.
The tests are repeatable, you've got variability under
control. Maybe we'll be able to do that with biocriteria
for in-stream effects, too.
   We did not embark upon this primarily for point
sources. One of the main values that we saw was for
nonpoint sources and fortrying to target areas where
we need to do nonpoint  source work.  Because pes-
ticides aside, the chemical specific approach doesn't
work very well in most streams for nonpoint sources.
We may find  better applications for it there than in
point sources in the near term.

   C.  Biocriteria can be  also used to judge  if
programs are working. The biocriteria are a way of
measuring to see if other things that you're doing for
point or nonpoint sources are, or have been, an im-
provement on the system.

   C. We have biocriteria that are criteria in the same
sense that they are measurable types of things that
we expect space or dischargers to be.

   Q.  Do you allow them into permits?
   A. Not in the  permits, but in the ambient condition.

   C. You've got to get back to your use of the impair-
ment. You're impairing irrigation, drinking water, so
what about  biocriteria?  Let's get something going
that's going to tell me,  the manager, that I've got
some fish to protect, what level of fish do I need to
protect to? That's where I think biocriteria is going to
work very well:  so I don't think it's point or nonpoint,
it's back to use that you're going to defend.

   Q.  Connecticut is real high on biological monitor-
ing, both full effluent testing and in-stream monitor-
Ing as  well.  We used  to  do long-term chemical
monitoring and short-term, intensified biological
monitoring. Maybe we should do short-term chemi-
cal, long-term biological monitoring. We are spend-
ing a lot of our limited  resources on  ambient
chemical stations. How do you see the chemical
monitoring fitting in with the biological monitoring?
   A. We have abandoned most of our chemical
monitoring network; we don't have resources to do

   Q. When you find an Impact, and you're trying to
locate the cause, are you then going back and doing
intensive  chemical monitoring as a tool to find out
what the problem is?

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
  A. There isn't gong to be any kind of fixed totem
pole that is open up a whole new arena for how you
manage licensing. There is no fixed pattern.  It's not
going to make it easy.
  We  had licensed  one of our textile  industries
based  on  chemical criteria. We had done absolute
screening and found no toxicity. A year later, we went
into the stream  and found the population  literally
obliterated. So we went back personally to see if
they'd  had spills or anything, but there were none
from a municipal treatment plant. So we started a
progression back through a woollen mill using ethyl
toxicity testing on different process lines to  identify
where we had done a long-term ethyl toxicity testing
rather than screening and found, indeed, that there
were sporadic events going on from this mill causing
episodes  in-steam  that were  wiping out the  or-
ganisms in-stream; so we had a long-term effect that
couldn't  be  monitored  by  a  short-term,  instan-
taneous-type measure.
  When we went back and started doing extended
effluent toxicity  testing  and   found  there  were
sporadic events occurring, we found eventually that
it was a combination of certain detergents and wool
oils used in processing that were creating the prob-
lem, which resulted in a shift of the use of products.
We think it resolved the water problem.  Biocriteria are
not going  to tell you what's going on in that building
because it's a very extremely complex effluent.

  C. I  think it is important to emphasize that events
can occur, and that you may never  measure that
chemical in the stream. So if you chose doing short-
term chemical testing over long-term monitoring you
might never find it.

  Q. We can develop this guidance, but there are a
million different ways the States can develop and im-
plement  biocriteria.  As  the  States  implement
biocriteria, how much capability does EPA have to
have in both the program offices and in research to
track what the States are doing?

  C. There is a spectrum of what integrity is.  I would
like EPA to define that spectrum.

  C. (Courtemanch) I think it should be in the State's
discretion  to  work within those boundaries. Aside
from that, we look forward to technical support from
EPA in developing methodologies.

  C. EPA needs to actively review the State's par-
ticular program from the ground up, and it also needs
to make sure that the structure of the water quality
standards that contain these criteria is set up proper-
ly. There are two areas to look at: the monitoring folks
in the region's headquarters need to keep an eye on
methods; the criteria and standards folks need to
keep an eye on the system in place. Let's get some
unity, at least in the design of the system.

   Q. (Hughes) Do you need help? If so, what kind of
help do you need?
   A. (Marcy) What EPA ends up doing in technical
guidance documents will depend on what we hear
from States as to what they have done, because the
techniques they are developing will aid us in develop-
ing the technical guidance. Much of what we put in
there will be what States have already done, but will
also be what researchers are doing to assess these
surface waters. We will  require help from you, not
only the technical things you've done, but also what
States need.

   Q.  The historical standards program which sort
of began with narrative standards and then moved
into more numeric criteria—do you see a role here or
a  narrative biological criteria that would play the
same type of a role?
   A.(Courtemanch)  That's  what we've  done in
Maine, we have there a standard  in our law that's
pretty explicit.  It leads us right into identifying what
our numeric criteria could be to be the  descriptor of
that standard.

   C.  Actually Arkansas doesn't call it a numeric
criteria, but a refinement  or a reuse destination.
Rather than  saying "warmwater fish," they say, "We
expect these key and characteristic species to be
there in these abundances in these different regions."
That's  so broad  for  biologists they  don't  know
whether they've got it or not-"warmwater fish" is
much better. Most of the States doing this kind of
work have refined their use designation so they have
some idea how to  break those apart.

   C.  I guess we've always  had narratives for dif-
ferent uses  that were  really the basis for  having
longer lists of chemicals behind them. We cut that
narrative and then we  build a biocriteria system
around it to  settle in the chemical. So,  in effect, the
use is really the narrative and then how you measure
the achievement of that use becomes the criteria.

   C. You have to know what use you're trying to
protect; you  have to make sure that use is reasonably
well defined; and  you  have to take one step further
and develop the criteria to do that. I wouldn't stop at
just refining  the use, otherwise you'd be where the
program was when there were chemical criteria.

  Q.  But you don't go back to see whether you've
got them or not?
  A. It's just that when you have them there, it gives
you something to fall back on. You have to have them
to get to the biocriteria.
  Our lab has been pushing this and working on it
for years now, but we've only been able to do this
with cooperative work with the States. Our program
is funded at about $100,000 a year, which supports
approximately two people in our lab. The work that's
been  developed is mostly State driven-we offer
some guidance framework- but we have had several
inquiries from States about how to develop the same
sort of program. Our laboratory is pretty limited, so if
you want a coherent national program, you will have
to have national support and guidance.
  C. What we're trying to do is meet the States'
needs for guidance. The guidance that we will come
out with this year, the program in May and the techni-
cal in September, are definitely preliminary. We will
continue to develop them; hopefully we can get a
clear initiative in the Framework and funding to start
working on some of the techniques that need to be
developed to make it a viable project.
  I'm really encouraged to see  the  Framework of
biocriteria being developed in a timely fashion. For
those States that aren't as advanced as some, where
suddenly this new imposition of biocriteria may cre-
ate some kind  of tension, remember that it's got
enormous advantages and is well worth investiga-

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 161-162
                         Criteria and Advisory
                   Development by EPA: Their
                  Derivation and  Applications
                                 Rolf Hartung (Moderator)
                               Professor of Environmental Toxicology
                            University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
I am going to take an academic point of view on
criteria and advisory development to give some of
the science background, with relatively little distinc-
tion between the terms "criteria" and "advisories." In
my way of thinking, they are more or less a question
of degree rather than of substance. When you strive
to develop criteria, you are trying to develop a sum-
mary of the knowledge of exposure in relationship to
the biological effect, which has certain basic proper-
ties that are repeated again and again, regardless of
the organisms. One can always find dose levels for
any compound that are  so  low that  one cannot
measure any adverse effect or any effect of any kind.
This does not necessarily mean there are no effects,
but it may mean that the experimental conditions
cannot resolve an effect. Then, as one increases the
exposure, eventually some of the most sensitive in-
dividuals among the most sensitive species may start
to show some very subtle effects that may not have
great influence on their ability to function as mem-
bers of a population or community but often give rise
to scientific arguments as to whether these effects
are harmful.
  As the concentration and duration of the exposure
parameters increase, more and more individuals
among the sensitive  species start to  become in-
volved. When  many begin to show effects, it is ar-
gued, the species will be harmed. Some of the more
resistant species will even start to show adverse ef-
fects. As the exposure is increased, eventually mem-
bers of many different kinds of species will start to
experience adverse effects. Eventually, one reaches
concentrations where the majority are either dead or
nearly  dead.   This is  a  standard toxicologicai
  The kinds of responses we are talking about  can
range from simple lesions to physiological respon-
ses, pathological responses, effects on growth and
reproduction, or cancer.
  These types of responses form a continuum; we
start from  nothing with some questions  about
measurability and move into something, that is clear-
ly adverse, with a zone of uncertainty in between.
That is the natural state of affairs. However, if one at-
tempts to administer a pollution control program in
that kind of uncertain environment, then the regulator
finds the task difficult.  Therefore,  we  set up a
methodology by which we derive a single hard point
to use as a yardstick. That point is not natural, it is
designed  for administrative  convenience. It is the
criteria number that is the point we will eventually
convert into a standard, and it is very dependent both
on the data and on the assumptions used in the algo-
rithm. (In the past, that number was not derived by al-
gorithms but was picked by consensus.)
  These are the data that we have to work with; how
are we going to use them to protect? Once we have
sorted and aligned all of the existing data, we must
again question what we are trying to protect. In the
case of humans, we tend to protect the individual
against all effects with a significant margin of safety.
In the case of the environment, protection  of the
ecosystem is the goal, but we do not quite know how
to do that. What we do instead  is try to protect the
population on the basis of laboratory studies on in-
dividuals.  Next we must determine which aspects of
the population we are trying to support and protect.
EPA's regulations about these aspects are not al-
ways very clear. Sometimes it is a question of popula-
tion numbers,  sometimes it is a  question of fishable
  The next point is the criteria. At this state, criteria
are the Cadillacs of the scientific knowledge bases.
The agency  has also tried to develop advisories be-

cause they require less effort, less information, but
larger safety margins. On a scientific basis, alone,
one could set up advisories on anything-there is
enough information on  structural  activity  relation-
ships to make a reasonably informed calculation to
derive an advisory concentration, but there will be
many errors. With more information, the degree of
uncertainty is less. There is resistance to use data
that will result  in numeric standards when the infor-
mation base is small. There are no clear statements
of error about these data; there can be conflict with
antidegradation and antibacksliding regulations.
   We are developing a number of additional stand-
ards that I would like to make a few remarks on. One
group is the sediment criteria. This case represents a
more complex situation in that there are a series of
logical steps to get from the concentration in  the
sediment to the actual exposure of bottom-dwelling
organisms  and the  subsequent ecosystem effects.
Thus there are additional steps to be considered
when compared to the  normal  process in   the
development of water quality criteria.  Again,  this
gives rise to error and more variability in the system.
  Another area that I would like to caution the Agen-
cy on is the development of criteria for wildlife. EPA
appears to be misnamed; it is acting as if it were a
water and air protection agency, not an environmen-
tal  protection  agency   in  the broadest  sense.
Development of wildlife criteria would be an impor-
tant step in the protection of terrestrial ecosystems.
EPA should not tie these criteria exclusively to water
or use human health standards to develop mam-
malian data. The Agency cannot hybridize methods
developed for the creation of diverse criteria and ex-
pect this approach to work. The methodology should
be developed uniquely to protect terrestrial ecosys-
tems or else there will be major problems.
   EPA should take advantage of the time needed to
develop substantial criteria for the protection of ter-
restrial ecosystems. The Agency could start funding
this effort now and continue over the next five years,
at least. This continuous expenditure of both funds
and effort should result in more dependable, much-
needed criteria.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 163-169
  Status  of the Development  of Water Quality

                        Criteria  and  Advisories
                                        David J.Hansen
                          Aquatic Biologist, Environmental Research Laboratory
                     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Narragansett, Rhode Island
Water Quality Criteria and
Advisory Status
For over 30 years, scientists have recommended the
use of data from laboratory toxicity tests to produce
chemical concentrations that would protect aquatic
life. Several publications from the 1950s through the
1970s list water  quality criteria concentrations for
metals, organic chemicals, and other substances or
conditions (McKee and Wolf, 1952,1963; Fed. Water
Pollut. Control Admin.  1968 ["Green Book"]; Natl.
Acad. Sci./Natl. Acad. Eng., 1973 ["Blue Book"]; U.S.
Environ. Prot.  Agency,  1976 ["Red Book"]). Proce-
dures used to derive criteria in these publications
varied, as did the quality or quantity of data.
   Criteria documents published in 1980 in response
to the legal requirements of the "Consent Decree"
(U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency, 1980) mark the first time
criteria concentrations were derived using standard
guidelines (Stephan et al. 1985). Criteria documents
published since (U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency, 1985a,
1986, 1987a,  1988) have also used these national
guidelines.  Between 1980 and 1988, chemicals for
criteria derivation were selected by using legal re-
quirements, EPA's Criteria and Standards Division's
hazard-ranking methodology, and input from States.
A total of 73 aquatic life criteria documents for in-
dividual substances were published  in the 1980s. Of
these, criteria  concentrations to protect freshwater
aquatic life and their uses are recommended for 27
substances  and  for  21  substances to  protect
saltwater aquatic  life (Table 1). Criteria concentra-
tions for nine metals, cyanide, and toxaphene, pub-
lished in 1985, 1986,  and  1987  supercede those
published in 1980. In addition, criteria concentrations
published between 1980 and 1988 supercede those
previously issued.
   Draft criteria documents for 11  substances are
being reviewed by EPA or have been released for
public comment (Table 1). Toxicity tests  are being
conducted and literature assembled for 14 additional
substances, several of which were selected because
they are likely candidates for sediment quality criteria
 Table 1.—Status of ambient water quality criteria docu-
 ments for aquatic life. Published documents listed
 used the national guidelines to derive numeric criteria
 concentrations for both freshwater (FW) or saltwater
 (SW) aquatic life unless noted.              	
                     Published Documents
 1980       Cadmium, Chlordane, Chromium VI, Copper,
           Cyanide (FW), DDT, Dieldrin, Endosulfan, Endrin,
           Heptachlor, Hexachlorocyclohexane (FW),
           Lead (FW), Mercury, Nickel, RGBs, Selenium,
           Toxaphene (FW), Zinc
 1985       Ammonia (FW), Arsenic III, Cadmium, Chlorine,
           Chromium VI, Chromium III (FW), Copper,
           Cyanide, Lead, Mercury
 1986       Chlorpyrifos, Dissolved Oxygen (FW), Nickel,
           Parathion (FW), Pentachlorophenol, Toxaphene
 1987       Selenium Zinc
 1988       Aluminum (FW), Chloride (FW)

                     Documents in Review
           Acrolein (FW), Ammonia (SW), Aniline,
           Antimony III, DEHR 2,4-DMP, HCB,
           Phenanthrene, Silver, TBT, 2,4,5-TCP

                      Testing in Progress
           Acenaphthene, Atrazine, Carbaryl, Diazinon,
           Dichlorvos, Dissolved Oxygen (SW),
           Fluoranthene, Malathion, Methyl Parathion,
 	Phenol, Propoxur, 1,2,4-TCB,Thallium,2,4-D

derivation. Others were selected  because toxicity
identification evaluations (Mount and Anderson-Car-
nahan, 1988)  have confirmed  their presence in ef-
fluents in acutely lethal amounts.
   EPA has prepared draft guidelines for  deriving
water quality advisories  (U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency,
1987b) and drafted advisory documents for 18 sub-
stances. The Science Advisory Board reviewed the
advisory  guidelines  and,  to  improve technical
credibility, recommended certain data syntheses that
EPA is completing.  Draft  advisory documents are
being reviewed by EPA and  the  public. Following
successful completion of these activities, EPA can
recommend advisory concentrations for substances
in a more cost-effective and  conservative fashion
than that required for criteria derivation.

Observations of a Water Quality Criteria
Document Coordinator
Individuals who  use  numeric water quality criteria
concentrations should be familiar with the national
and site-specific guidelines (Stephan et al. 1985; U.S.
Environ. Prot. Agency, 1982); the data and narrative
contained in the water quality criteria documents;
and the technical support document that guides im-
plementation  of  water quality-based  toxics control
(U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency, 1985b). These guide-
lines and documents  provide insights  into data base
requirements for criteria  derivation  and  relevant
laboratory and field data as well as the toxicological
and ecological significance of a substance. In addi-
tion, they discuss strengths and limitations of criteria
and guidance on their implementation.
   The criteria statement contains a criteria maxi-
mum concentration (CMC) and a criteria continuous
concentration (CCC). The CCC is the highest con-
centration that can  be maintained indefinitely in a
waterbody without unacceptably affecting aquatic
organisms or their  uses.  Organisms can tolerate
higher concentrations (the CMC) and aquatic com-
munities can recover from limited impacts if the mag-
nitude,  duration, and frequency of  exposure are
limited. Therefore, in  addition to the CMC and CCC,
the  criteria  statement  also  contains averaging
periods delimiting exposure duration  and return fre-
quencies that indicate how often water quality criteria
concentrations can be exceeded.

Derivation of Criteria Concentrations
The criteria maximum concentration is derived from
data on the acute toxicity of the substance to fresh-
water and saltwater aquatic life, based on a minimum
number of tests with specific families of organisms
(Stephan et al.  1985). The statistical methodology
contained  in the national  guidelines uses the rank
order of the  acute sensitivity of genera, the acute
values for the four most sensitive genera, and  the
total  number of genera  tested to calculate,   by
modified regression  analysis, the final  acute value
(FAV). This  value  represents  that  concentration
above which 95  percent of the average acute values
(LCSOs or ECSOs) for genera occur.  Results of this
procedure are illustrated for copper where the FAV is
18^g/L (hardness = 50 mg/L) for freshwater aquatic
life and 5.8y«g/Lfor saltwater aquatic life (Fig. 1). The
CMC is derived by dividing the FAV by 2, a factor that
is the average ratio of LCSOs to LCDs.
   Criteria maximum concentrations can vary as a
function of a water quality characteristic if the water
quality-toxicity relationship is consistent for most
sensitive species. For example, CMCs for freshwater
M    18.5
i     ion
«     5.8
               FRESHWATER (n=4t)
                              SALTWATER (n=20)
           5   20   40    60   80   100

Figure 1.—Genus Mean Acute Values for freshwater (shaded
symbols) and saltwater (open symbols)  aquatic life from
Table 3 from the 1985 water quality criteria document for cop-
per. Anthropods are Indicated by triangles; other inver-
tebrates by squares; and fishes by circles. The final acute
value at the 5 percentile rank for freshwater genera is 18.5
^g/L and for saltwater genera is 5.8//g/L

aquatic  life are hardness dependent for cadmium,
chromium III, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc; pH de-
pendent for  pentachlorophenol;   and  pH   and
temperature dependent for  ammonia.  The criteria
continuous concentration is the lower of either the
final chronic value (FCV) or the final residue value
(FRV). The final chronic value is derived from data on
the chronic toxicity of a substance  and is the con-
centration that  protects the long-term presence of
aquatic life. The FCV is most commonly derived by
dividing the final acute value by the average acute-
chronic ratio from life-cycle  or early life-stage tests
(Table 2). This has been done for 8 freshwater and 13
saltwater CCC  concentrations. In contrast, copper
and cyanide acute-chronic ratios are available  only
for acutely  insensitive species. Larval  mollusks  or
crustaceans were acutely most sensitive; it is likely
that concentrations that do not cause acute lethality
to the life stages of these  species will not cause
chronic toxicity, either. Therefore, the criteria maxi-
mum concentration is the CCC.  The freshwater
CCCs are hardness dependent for six metals; pH de-
pendent  for  pentachlorophenol,  and   pH  and
temperature dependent  for ammonia. Freshwater
criteria  were derived  for aluminum and dissolved
oxygen using data on sensitive commercially and
recreationally  important  species.  The   selenium
criterion is based on field-effects data.

                                                   WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 163-169
   The criteria continuous concentration can also be
based on the final residue value, which is derived
from data on the bioaccumulation of substances by
aquatic organisms and is  the concentration that
protects  uses  of  aquatic   organisms  such as
marketability and as prey for wildlife species. The
FDA action level for seafood or fish oil divided by
bioconcentration factors (BCF)  or bioaccumulation
factors (BAF) were used to derive final residue values
for four pesticides (dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, and
toxaphene) and  mercury (Table 2). The results of
monitoring  the  chemical concentrations in edible
portions of commercially important species with the
highest lipid concentrations and limited home ranges
can determine if exceeding the FRV at a specific site
results in  concentrations exceeding  FDA action
levels that affect marketability. Final residue values
were  derived from dietary dose  response data in
mink for PCBs and in brown pelicans for DDT.
   The variety of  procedures for deriving the  CCC
from chronic toxicity and bioaccumulation data, FDA
action levels, and wildlife feeding studies illustrates
                                                     the complexity of these data and the flexibility of na-
                                                     tional  guidelines—and underscores the  need for
                                                     criteria users to be familiar with them both.

                                                     Need for Separate Freshwater and
                                                     Saltwater Criteria
                                                     Is it necessary to derive  criteria concentrations for
                                                     both fresh- and saltwater aquatic life? Could a single
                                                     criterion apply to both? Thirty-three  percent of the
                                                     present CMCs for freshwater and saltwater aquatic
                                                     life are within a factor of 2. Fifty-eight percent of the
                                                     CCCs are also within a factor of 2. However,  48 per-
                                                     cent of the CMCs and 35 percent of the  CCCs for
                                                     freshwater and saltwater species differ by  greater
                                                     than a factor  of 5. Of these, the saltwater CMC was
                                                     lowest for 85 percent of the substances and the
                                                     saltwater CCC was lowest for 67 percent. Therefore, I
                                                     conclude  that, for  some substances,  acute and
                                                     chronic sensitivities to, or magnitude of accumula-
                                                     tion in, freshwater and saltwater species are suffi-
                                                     ciently similar to derive  one criterion.  For  others,
                                                     separate criteria remain necessary.
Table 2.—Procedures used to derive criteria continuous concentrations (CCC) from final chronic values or final
residue values for 27 substances in freshwater and 21 substances in saltwater criteria documents published between
1980 and 1988. Procedures were used for both fresh and saltwater criteria derivation unless indicated by (FW) for
freshwater only or (SW) for saltwater only.	
                                     CCC Derived from Final Chronic Value

                              Arsenic III, Cadmium (SW), Chlorine, Chlorpyrifos, Chromium VI, Cyanide (FW), Endosulfan,
                              Hexachlorocyclohexane (FW), Lead (SW), Nickel (SW), Parathion (FW),
                              Pentachlorophenal (SW), Selenium (SW), Zinc (SW)

                              Copper (SW), Cyanide (SW)
Final acute value -
Acute-chronic ration (ACR)

Hardness or pH adjustment
  -Acute Slope = Chronic Slope
  -FAV calculation procedure
  -Hardness specific ACR

Temperature and pH adjustment

Sensitive important species

Field effects data

Extra guidelines method
FDA action level
  -Seafood - BCF x Lipid
  -Seafood - BAF
  -Seafood - BCF; monitor fishery
  -Fish Oil  - BCF x 100

Wildlife effects data
  -Brown Pelicans - Mean BCF
  -Mink  - Mean BCF
                              Chromium III (FW), Lead (FW), Nickel (FW), Pentachlorophenol (FW), Zinc (FW)
                              Cadmium (FW)
                              Copper (FW)

                              Ammonia (FW)

                              Aluminum (FW)

                              Selenium (FW)

                              Dissolved oxygen (FW)

                                     CCC Derived from Final Residue Value
                              Chlordane, Endrin, Heptachlor

   Applicability of National Water
   Quality Criteria to Specific Sites

National Criteria versus Site-Specific
The  site-specific  guidelines provide  a means  of
modifying  national criteria  based  on unique  sen-
sitivities of species at specific sites (resident species
recalculation procedure); water quality differences
(indicator  species procedure);  and  both species'
sensitivity  and water  quality differences  (resident
species procedure). For resident species recalcula-
tion  procedure, data from nonresident genera are
deleted from the national water quality criteria docu-
ment and a site-specific criterion is calculated using
remaining  data on resident species. This procedure
was applied using six saltwater sites (Galveston Bay,
Tex; Pensacola Bay, Fla; Indian River, Fla; Upper and
Lower Chesapeake Bay, Md.; and Narragansett Bay,
R.I. [Hansenetal.  1985]).
   Acute toxicity  data from water quality  criteria
documents for 18 substances published in 1980 and
1985 (U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency, 1980, 1985a) were
used to calculate site-specific final acute values. A
total of 108 site-specific final acute values were pos-
sible from the combination of 6 saltwater sites and 18
substances. Minimum data base requirements were
not  met; therefore,  8 percent  of the  possible site-
specific final acute values could not be calculated. In
14 percent of the cases the final acute value, did not
change; 62  percent of the site-specific FAVs were
lower than the national FAVs by factors >0.4. Eleven
percent of the site-specific FAVs were greater than
the national FAVs; of these, 7 percent were 1.0 to
2.4X.  Only  4  percent (heptachlor and  lindane  in
Chesapeake and Narragansett Bays) were >9X the
national FAV. This large difference could be the result
of an absence of acute toxicity data on the effects of
insecticides on  sensitive crustaceans from  these
bays, rather than an insensitivity of resident fauna.
These  analyses  suggest that species from different
saltwater sites are  not uniquely sensitive and that,
from  a  species sensitivity  perspective,  national
saltwater water quality criteria may be applicable to
most sites.
   The indicator species approach uses the  mean
ratio of the acute or chronic toxicity of a substance to
two or more species in laboratory and site water to
calculate a  site-specific  criterion to account for the
effect of site water quality on the toxicity of a sub-
stance (Table 3). This approach has been used most
frequently for ammonia  (Alexander et al. 1986; EA
Eng. 1986; Nimmo etal.  in press; Willingham, 1989).
Water effect ratios for ammonia are available for nine
freshwater and one saltwater (Baltimore Harbor, Md.)
location. Ratios  range from 0.7 to 2.0; average = 1.1.
Site-specific criteria for ammonia may not be needed
because  water  quality  adjustments  for  pH and
temperature in  the national criteria document ac-
count  for the dominant water quality characteristics
that affect the toxicity of ammonia. The water effect
Table 3.—Results of the use of the "Indicator Species Procedure" for modifying national water quality criteria for
the derivation of site specific criteria concentrations. The water effect ratio is the geometric mean of the ratios of
acute or chronic values in site and laboratory water for all species exposed to the substance.

South Platte River, CO
St. Vram River, CO
Baltimore Harbor, MD
Tfttabawasee River, Ml
Tittabawasee River, Ml
Clark Fork, MT
East Gallatin River, MT
Hard River, ND
Lake Mead, NV
Jordan River, UT
Mill Creek, UT
St. Louis River, MN
St. Louis River, MN
Mill Race Creek, UT
Naugatuck River, CN
Naugatuck River, CN
0.5 to 1 .2
4.1 to 8.5
C.sp., FHM
M, S
D.m., FHM, BG, W
D.m., FHM
C.sp., RBT, FHM
D.m., BT
C.sp., FHM
S.s., RBT, FHM
C.r., FHM
C.sp., FHM
C.d., S.sp., FHM
CM., S.sp., FHM
Willingham, 1989
Nimmo et al., In Press
EA Eng., Sci., and Tech. Inc., 1986
Alexander et al., 1986
Alexander et al., 1986
Alexander et al., 1986
Willingham, 1989
Willingham, 1989
Willingham, 1989
Nimmo, 1989
Nimmo, 1989
Spehar and Carlson, 1984
Willingham, 1989
Carlson et al., 1986
Carlson et al., 1986
  "Species tested. BG = bluegill; BT = brown trout, C.d. = Ceriodaphnia dubia, C.r = C reticulata; C.sp. = Ceriodaphnia sp.; FHM = fathead minnow,
  JD = Johnny darter; M = mysid; RBT = rainbow trout, S = silverside; S sp = Scapho/ebens sp.; S.s. = Simocephalus serrulatus; W = walleye.
 "Water effect ratio from chronic toxicity tests with Daphnia magna and fathead minnows
 "'Ratio of site specific criteria continuous concentration (CCC) derived using the site-specific acute-chronic ratio of 50 divided by the national (CCC)

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 163-169
ratio for chlorine at Mill Race Creek, Utah, was 1.0
(Willingham, 1989).
   In contrast, water effect ratios  for copper in the
Naugatuck River, Conn. (Carlson et al. 1986) and for
cadmium in the St. Louis River, Minn. (Spehar and
Carlson,  1984) show  that site water quality  did
reduce the acute toxicity of these metals. The water
effect ratio for copper in Naugatuck River appears to
be related to the discharge of a sewage treatment
plant. Above the plant,  the water effect ratio ranged
from 0.5 to 1.2; below, from 4.1 to 8.5.
   The water effect ratio from acute toxicity tests with
cadmium in St. Louis River water was 3.9, indicating
that the cadmium acute criterion could be increased.
However, use of the acute-chronic ratio of 50 for cad-
mium in site water resulted  in a chronic criteria con-
centration one-half of the national criteria value. A
site-specific criterion also was derived for cadmium
in the St. Louis River using  the resident species ap-
proach (Spehar and Carlson, 1984). This site-specific
acute criterion was 0.9^g/L  and the chronic criterion
was 0.05 /*g/L-two concentrations that were  less
than the national values.
   For all substances, these results support the con-
clusion that site-specific criteria frequently do not dif-
fer significantly from national criteria concentrations.
When they do differ,  site-specific  criteria  can be
higher or lower than national criteria concentrations.

National Water Quality Criteria versus
Field/Microcosm Studies
Controlled,  replicated  experiments  in engineered
field ecosystems  or laboratory mesocosm/micro-
cosms provide a method to establish applicability
limits of laboratory-derived criteria  for protecting
aquatic life. Slight exceedence of criteria concentra-
tions for short durations could  produce nearly un-
detectable effects in routine field biosurveys.
   The EPA's Environmental Research Laboratory in
Duluth has  tested laboratory-derived criteria  at its
field station near Monticello, Minnesota, since 1976.
The  site has eight 520-meter outdoor experimental
freshwater streams  consisting  of nine pools  and
eight riffles (Arthur,  1988) that  contain natural as-
semblages and introduced species.  Between 1976
and  1984, the effects of  acidification, ammonia,
chlorpyrifos,   diazinon,  pentachlorophenol,    and
temperature  on  community  structure,  diversity,
ecosystem function and survival,  growth, behavior,
reproduction, and  emergence of individual species
were investigated. Test  durations were from 12 to 75
weeks and consisted of 2 to 4 treatments.
  The results of these studies as summarized by Ar-
thur (1988) and detailed  in other  publications indi-
cate that impacts of each of these substances on
stream populations differed. Concentrations affect-
ing stream  populations  were at or  above water
quality criteria concentrations in all cases. No margin
of  safety  was evident  for  ammonia   or  pen-
tachlorophenol.  Arthur  (1988)  concluded   that
laboratory-derived water  quality criteria and results
from  single  species tests predicted effects  on
populations in these experimental streams.
  A laboratory test that  assesses impacts of sub-
stances on developing communities of benthic es-
tuarine organisms may also be used to examine the
applicability of water quality criteria  derived from
toxicity  tests  on individual species  (Hansen  and
Tagatz,  1980). The results could be compared with
water quality  criteria because sensitive  early life-
stages of a diverse group  of taxa are exposed chroni-
   Communities that develop from planktonic larvae
in the sand-filled aquaria typically consist of about
4,000 individuals that represent 50 species and  7
phyla. One control and 3  treatments receive the test
substance; each treatment consists of 8 to 10 repli-
cates. Results with Aroclor 1254, chlorpyrifos, fen-
valerate,  pentachlorophenol,  and  toxaphene  are
reported (Table 4) because final chronic values for
the chemicals are available from water quality criteria
documents or can be estimated from available data.
   If water quality criteria concentrations provide  a
reasonable level of protection, and this test is a good
surrogate for the sensitivity of communities in nature,
observed effect concentrations should be above,
and no-observed-effect  concentrations below  es-
timated or actual final chronic values (Table 4). In ad-
dition, taxa most sensitive in single  species tests
should also be sensitive in community tests. For the
five substances in Table 4, the concentrations affect-
ing colonization were always above final chronic
values.   The  no-observed-effect   concentration
(NOEC) from the colonization experiment for Aroclor
1254 and  pentachlorophenol were  below  final
chronic value and, for toxaphene, above. The NOEC
was not determined for chlorpyrifos or fenvalerate.
   Some,  but not all, of the  taxa  affected in  the
colonization experiment were also the most sensitive
in single-species tests. These  results support  the
conclusion  that  laboratory-derived  water quality
criteria  are protective of estuarine  organism com-
munities, and that exceeding water quality criteria al-
most always results in measurable  impacts.

 Table 4.—Comparison of water quality criteria (WQC) final chronic values (FCV) and concentrations affecting
 (OEC) and  not affecting (NOEC) benthic colonization.	
                        VERSUS WQC
 Arcolor 1254
Colonization (OEC)           16.0
WQC (FCV)                  7.9
Colonization (NOEC)           7.0

Colonization (OEC)            0.6
WQC (Estimated FCV)         -0.1
Colonization (NOEC)          >0.1

Colonization (OEC)            0.1

WQC (FCV)                 0.01
Colonization (NOEC)           —

Colonization (OEC)           0.01
WQC (Estimated FCV)       -0.002
Colonization (NOEC)           —

Colonization (OEC)           11.0

Colonization (NOEC)           0.8
WQC (FCV)                  0.2
Molluscs, Abundance       Tagatzetal., 1977; 1983
Molluscs, Crustaceans, Fish
Crustaceans, Fish
Crustaceans, Molluscs,
Species Richness
Hansen, 1974;
Hansen andTagatz, 1980
Tagatzetal., 1982
Crustaceans, Chordates     Tagatz and Ivey, 1981
Crustaceans, Species

Crustaceans, Fish
Hansen andTagatz, 1980

EPA's Criteria and Standards Division continues to
publish aquatic life water quality criteria documents;
73 have been issued and 25 are being prepared or
reviewed.  In  addition, recommendations for water
quality  advisory  concentrations  for  other  sub-
stances, which  are based on small  toxicity data
bases and therefore more conservative  than water
quality criteria, are planned.
   EPA's guidelines for deriving numeric national
water quality  criteria have been used to derive water
quality criteria concentrations for 27 substances for
freshwater aquatic  life  and  21   substances for
saltwater aquatic life. Data in criteria documents sug-
gest  that, for some substances,  one aquatic life
criterion may be justified.
   Frequently, site-specific criteria do not differ sig-
nificantly from national criteria when the  methods in
EPA's guidelines  are used.  Use  of the resident
species recalculation procedure at six saltwater sites
demonstrated no unique  sensitivities of local fauna.
Use of the indicator species approach at 13 sites indi-
cated that national criteria are appropriate because
site water quality did not alter the toxicity of ammonia
at 10 sites or chlorine and copper toxicity at  1 site.
Local water quality decreased the acute toxicity of
cadmium  in the St.  Louis River and copper  in the
Naugatuck River;  however, the  chronic toxicity of
cadmium  increased  in St. Louis  River water.  For
these studies, modification of the national criterion
                                was rarely justifiable, and when it was, the specific
                                criteria were less and greater than  national criteria
                                equally often.
                                   The limits of applicability of laboratory-derived
                                criteria for protection of aquatic life have been tested
                                in controlled, replicated outdoor freshwater streams
                                and laboratory marine benthic  colonization experi-
                                ments. Results demonstrated that concentrations af-
                                fecting  populations  in  freshwater  streams  and
                                saltwater communities were at or above water quality
                                criteria concentrations;  limited  or  no  margins of
                                safety were evident for some substances; and single
                                species tests predicted population impacts on fresh-
                                water and saltwater communities. Therefore, national
                                water quality  criteria should  be   considered  ap-
                                plicable to most sites.

                                Alexander, H.C., P.B.  Latvaitis, and D.L Hopkins. 1986. Site-
                                   specific toxicity of un-ionized ammonia in the Tittabawassee
                                   River at Midland, Michigan: Overview. Environ. Toxicol. Chem.
                                Arthur, J.W. 1988. Application of laboratory-derived criteria to an
                                   outdoor stream ecosystem. Int. J. Environ. Stud. 32:97-110.
                                Carlson, A.R., H. Nelson, and D. Hammermeister. 1986. Develop-
                                   ment and validation of site-specific water quality criteria for
                                   copper. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 5(11):997-1012.
                                EA Engineering, Sciences, and Technology, Inc. 1986. Proposed
                                   modified  effluent limitations for ammonia. EA. Rep. BET54E.
                                   Prepared for Bethlehem Steel Corp., Sparrows Point, MD.
                                Federal Water Pollution Control Administration. 1968. Water
                                   Quality Criteria: Report of the  National  Technical Advisory

                                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 163-169
   Committee to the  Secretary of the Interior. U.S.  Dep.  Inter.
   Washington, DC.
Hansen,  D.J.  1974.  Aroclor  1254:  effect on  composition of
   developing estuarine animal communities in the  laboratory.
   Contrib. Mar. Sci. 18:19-33.
Hansen, D.J. and M.E. Tagatz. 1980. A laboratory test for assess-
   ing impacts of substances on developing communities of ben-
   thic estuarine organisms. Am. Soc. Test. Mater. Spec. Tech.
   Publ. 707.
Hansen, D.J., J. Cardin, L.R. Goodman, and G.M. Cripe. 1985. Ap-
   plicability of site-specific water quality criteria obtained using
   the resident species recalculation procedure. Int. rep. U.S. En-
   viron. Prot. Agency. Washington, DC.
McKee, J.E. and H.J. Wolf, eds. 1952. Water Quality Criteria, 1st.
   ed. Calif. State Water Qual. Control Board, Sacramento.
	. 1963. Water Quality Criteria, 2nd edition. California  State
   Water Quality Control Board, Sacramento.
Mount, D.I. and L Anderson-Carnahan. 1988. Methodsfor aquatic
   toxicity identification  evaluations.  Phase I  toxicity charac-
   terization procedures. EPA 600/3-88/034. U.S. Environ.  Prot.
   Agency. Washington, DC.
National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering.
   March 1973. Water Quality Criteria 1972. EPA-R3-73-003. U.S.
   Environ. Prot. Agency. Washington, DC.
Nimmo, D.R. et al. Comparison of on-site and laboratory toxicity
   tests: derivation of site-specific criteria for unionized ammonia
   in a Colorado transitional stream. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. In
Spehar, R.L. and A.R. Carlson. 1984. Derivation of site-specific
   water quality criteria for cadmium in the St. Louis River basin,
   Duluth, MN. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 3(4):651-65.
Stephan, C.E. et aj. 1985. Guidelines for deriving numerical na-
   tional water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic or-
   ganisms  and  their uses. PB85-227049. U.S.  Environ.  Prot.
   Agency. Natl. Tech. Information Serv. Springfield, VA.
Tagatz, M.E. 1977. Effects of pentachlorophenol on the develop-
   ment of estuarine  communities.  J. Toxicol. Environ. Health
Tagatz, M.E. and  J.M. Ivey. 1981. Effects of fenvalerate on  field-
   and-laboratory-developed  estuarine benthic  communities.
   Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 27:256-67.
Tagatz, M.E., N.R. Gregory, and G.R. Plaia. 1982. Effects of chlor-
   pyrifos on field-and-laboratory-developed estuarine benthic
   communities. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 411-21.
Tagatz, M.E., C.H. Deans, G.R. Plaia, and J.D. Pool. 1983. Impact
   on and recovery of experimental macrobenthic communities
   exposed to pentachlorophenol. Northeast Gulf Sci. 6(2):131-
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1976. Quality Criteria for
   Water. EPA-440/9-76-023. Washington, DC.
	. 1980. Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Acenaphthene-
   Zinc. EPA440/5-80-015 to EPA440/5-80-079. Washington, DC.
	. 1982. Water  Quality Standards Handbook. Off. Water
   Reg. Standards. Washington, DC.
	. 1985a. Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Ammonia-Mer-
   cury. EPA 440/5-84-026 to EPA 440/5-84-033 and EPA 440/5-
   85-001. Washington, DC.
	. 1985b. Technical Support Document for Water Quality-
   Based Toxics Control. Off. Water Enforce. Permits, Off. Water
   Reg. Standards. Washington, DC.
	. 1986. Ambient Water Quality Criteria for  Chlorpyrifos-
   Toxaphene.   EPA  440/5-86-003   to   EPA   440/5-86-009.
   Washington, DC.
	. 1987a. Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Selenium and
   Zinc. EPA440/5-87-006; EPA440/5-87-003. Washington, DC.
	. 1987b. Guidelines for Deriving Ambient Aquatic Life Ad-
   visory Concentrations. Off. Water Standards. June 1987. Draft.
   Washington, DC.
	. 1988. Ambient Water Quality  Criteria for Aluminum and
   Chloride. EPA 440/5-86-008;  EPA 440/5-88-001. Washington,
	. April 1989. Briefing Report to the EPA Science Advisory
   Board on the Equilibrium Partitioning Approach to Generating
   Sediment Quality  Criteria.  Off.   Water Reg. Standards.
   Washington, DC.
Willingham, T. 1989. Personal communication. Selected results of
   acute and short-term chronic toxicity tests: water effect ratio
   test results. Region VIII Water Manage. Div. Denver, CO.

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 171-173
  Water Quality  Criteria — the  Good,  the  Bad,

       and the  Ugly  (a  Matter of Perspective)
                                     James T.Ulanoski
                      Chief, Standards Unit, Bureau of Water Quality Management
              Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has had some type of water pollution
control program since 1905. The State's first com-
prehensive pollution control legislation,  the Clean
Streams Law, was enacted in 1937. This law has been
strengthened by amendments a number of times,
most recently in 1980. It provides the State with an
excellent legal framework for managing water quality.
  Chapter 93 of Pennsylvania's Department of En-
vironmental Resources' rules and  regulations, en-
titled  "Water Quality  Standards," is  the basic
regulatory mechanism for managing  the quality of
the State's waters. Water quality standards are an im-
portant element  of Pennsylvania's water  quality
management program in that they set general and
specific goals for the quality of the streams. From
1966 through 1973, specific water quality standards
were developed for all surface waters in the State.
  These water quality standards were designed to
protect existing water uses and uses that would be
possible if there were no pollution. Specific numeric
criteria were developed  (uses  plus  criteria equal
standards). The statewide water uses listed in chap-
ter 93 are aquatic life, potable water supply, livestock
water supply, irrigation, boating, fishing, water con-
tact sports, and aesthetics.
  Since all waters in Pennsylvania are protected for
all uses, whether actual or potential, the water quality
criterion set for any specific parameter is that which
is required to protect the most critical use. For ex-
ample, benzene is a far greater concern for human
health  than  for  aquatic life, so the  criterion  that
governs it is based on a human health consideration.
This, of course, provides for protection of aquatic life
and all other designated uses. The converse is true
for zinc.
          Sources of Criteria
Pennsylvania's water quality criteria are contained in
the following two documents:
   • Chapter 93, "Water Quality Standards," lists
     conventional parameters (e.g., bacteria,
    dissolved oxygen, iron, ammonia,
   • The "Water Quality Toxics Strategy" is a
    supplemental policy document in support of
    the toxics regulation that lists the EPA priority
    pollutants and other toxic pollutants of
    concern to the State.
These criteria are used to develop appropriate ef-
fluent limitations for NPDES permits for protection of
designated water uses. These criteria are derived
from the following sources:

Aquatic Life
   • U.S. EPA 1986 Quality Criteria for Water (Gold
   • U.S. EPA Quality Criteria for Water 1976 (Red
   • Water Quality Criteria 1972 (Blue Book)
   • Clean Water Act 304(a) aquatic life criteria
   • U.S. EPA ambient water quality criteria
    development documents
   • DER criteria based on toxicity data available in
    the published scientific literature and from
    EPA's computerized toxicity data base AQUIRE

Human Health
   • Clean Water Act 304(a) human health criteria
   • Verified reference doses in EPA's Integrated
    Risk Information Systems (IRIS)
   • Finalized drinking water health values, i.e.,
    Maximum Contaminant Levels Goals (MCLGs)
   • Drinking water health advisories
   • Ambient water quality advisories
           Criteria Conflicts
The Bureau believes that the use of  these water
quality criteria has generally resulted in an effective

water quality control program in Pennsylvania, as at-
tested to by the improvement  in water quality over
the last two decades. However,  implementation of
these criteria has not been without problem or con-
troversy. As would be expected, wastewater  dis-
chargers often question the stringency of the criteria
while, at the same time, environmental groups advo-
cate more restrictions. In addition, several largely un-
resolved areas of conflict and  concern remain with
EPA. Specifically, these controversial issues include
the following:

• Discrepancies  between  drinking water stan-
dards and 304(a) ambient  water quality criteria.
The longest running controversy award goes to the
discrepancy between drinking  water standards and
the 304(a) criteria for ambient waters. The classic ex-
ample is chloroform. Chloroform is usually the major
component of trihalomethanes, for which the maxi-
mum contaminant level  (MCL)  or  drinking water
standard is 100 //g/L By contast, the 304(a) health-
based criterion for protection from carcinogenic ef-
fects at a 1-in-1-million risk level  is 0.19 ^g/L Water
suppliers have commented that they  can sell or drink
their effluents but not discharge them because of this

• Discrepancies  between  IRIS information  and
304(a)  ambient water quality criteria.  Recently
more problems arose after the introduction of IRIS,
EPA's Integrated Risk Information System. The  new,
improved risk assessment information available to
the world on IRIS presents the rationale for calculat-
ing "new" water quality criteria, arguably more scien-
tifically  correct than the 1980 304(a)  criteria because
they are based on more recent and  more defensible
toxicology interpretation. To continue the illustration
of problems with chloroform, the data on  IRIS pro-
vide for a health-based criterion of 6 fiQ/L at a 1 x 10"6
cancer  risk. EPA agrees IRIS data  are  superior to
those upon which the 304(a) criteria are based but
have been reluctant to promulgate new criteria to
reflect  these  changes.  At  the  same  time,  EPA
promotes IRIS and encourages States to revise their
criteria  based on that information. Pennsylvania has
not, however, been able to  secure  a specific EPA-
written  endorsement or defense of criteria  based on
this information.

• Discrepancies in derivation of criteria for Class
C carcinogens. Class C  or "possible human" car-
cinogens are controlled  in  304(a)  criteria as  non-
threshold carcinogens. However, more recently the
EPA Office of Drinking Water (ODW)  and the Office of
Research  and  Development  have  treated  such
chemicals  individually.  They  use  a   weight-of-
evidence approach to  control some  "Cs"  using
threshold level toxicity conventions (i.e., use of un-
certainty factors) to derive regulatory levels. This can
result, and in fact has resulted, in large discrepancies
between 304 (a) criteria and these derived levels. For
example, for 1,1-dichloroethylene, the 1 x 10"6 304(a)
criterion is 0.033 ^ug/L; the MCLG i
•  Discrepancies in application of relative source
contribution. Recently EPA's Office of Water Re-
search and Standards has been saying (although not
changing any criteria) that if ODW has promulgated
an MCL for a chemical, that MCL can be used as the
health criterion. MCLs for threshold toxics  incor-
porate a relative source contribution (RSC) that dif-
ferentiates them from 304 (a) criteria even if they are
based on the same toxicity data. Since there  is little
chemical specific data, the default RSC for organics
is 20 percent. The 304(a) criteria assume 100 percent
of the level of the toxic can be attributed to the water
exposure  via drinking water and eating fish.  There-
fore,  it is likely that an MCL and 304(a)  criterion will
differ by a factor of 5. If EPA ascribes to the relative
source contribution, then all 304 (a) criteria should be
adjusted to reflect that.

• Criteria based on  structure activity relation-
ships. Several groups  of chemicals have  304(a)
criteria based upon structure activity relationships,
with the criteria derived based upon toxicity data for
one chemical, and then, because of chemical family
similarities,  the criterion  was applied to the other
chemicals. This is the case for benzo(a)pyrene and
the other polyaromatic hydrocarbons  (PAHs), and
chloroform  and  other halomethanes.  Particularly
since there is more evidence to suggest that some of
these chemicals are not carcinogens than to assume
that they are, we at the Bureau  believe, and EPA
health effects staff have expressed agreement, that
for regulatory purposes criteria should be developed
only if chemical-specific— not generic— data support
that development.

• Legal  status   of ambient  water  quality ad-
visories.  EPA has recently started  to issue ambient
water quality  advisories  for  selected chemical
parameters. EPA has apparently decided to go with
advisories because of the lack of data to fit national
guidelines for  criteria development and  because
promulgation of criteria is extremely resource inten-
sive and time-consuming. We make use of such ad-
visories and have  in cases considered them as best
available  scientific information  for development  of
permit effluent limitations. We are concerned, how-
ever, as to their defensibility in a court of law, if and
when challenged.  We assume that EPA will provide
that defense.

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 171-173
•  Chemicals without criteria/advisories. EPA has
not developed criteria or issued advisories for many
chemicals. In these cases a State has several op-
tions: develop criteria using the  available scientific
data base; impose technology-based controls, which
are equally hard to define; or don't regulate.
   Pennsylvania  uses  the  first  two  options.  It
develops criteria when data are available and im-
poses  technology-based limits when data are not
available. This approach, while providing for control
within  the  State for specific parameters, does not
promote consistency on the national  level. In this
regard, EPA and the States need to develop a proce-
dure for prioritizing chemical criteria/advisory needs.
EPA can then assign resources for their develop-

Pennsylvania recognizes that water quality criteria
development is  a dynamic process  that  is also
resource  intensive,  costly,  and  controversial.  It
should be apparent, however, from the preceding in-
formation that one of the adverse results of criteria
conflicts is the real potential for inconsistent, inequi-
table water quality management programs between
States. It is important that EPA take the lead to
resolve these issues in the interest of consistent, ef-
fective, and equitable national water  quality  stan-
dards and water quality management programs.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 175-177
    Issues  in Applying Water  Quality  Criteria
                                        Mark Van Putten
                             Director, Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
                           National Wildlife Federation, Ann Arbor, Michigan
I want to address water quality criteria application or
implementation issues that we have encountered in
our work in the Great Lakes region; what we have
proposed (in certain situations) to resolve these is-
sues; and  how the  EPA, in the context of this
framework, might assist in the process.
  The first issue I want to touch on is wildlife criteria.
We view the  development and implementation of
wildlife criteria  as very important for at least two
reasons: First,  we have several  important wildlife
species that are at the top of the food chain in the
Great Lakes region, and, according to available infor-
mation, they are suffering some severe impacts from
consuming contaminated fish.  Recent reports indi-
cate that bald  eagle reproductive success is sig-
nificantly less along the  shores of the Great Lakes
than inland. Also, populations of mink and otter living
near the mouths of Great Lakes tributaries appear to
be  less healthy. Finally, there is new  information
about   deformities   in   cormorants  and   other
shorebirds in certain areas of the Great Lakes. We
believe these effects are related  to toxic pollution,
and we think it is important to develop and  apply
criteria to protect wildlife.
  The second reason why wildlife criteria are impor-
tant relates more to the role of water quality criteria
and standards as goals-goals that the public can
understand and that the public can support. If you
have a regulatory system that can be justified in
terms of protecting highly visible species like eagles,
and you can identify the goals of water pollution con-
trol programs around positive themes like that, there
will be a great deal more public support. Moreover,
the development and application of wildlife criteria is
likely to take some of the pressure off the estab-
lishment of human health criteria. Information from
recent observations indicates that, if you develop
wildlife criteria by looking at the higher metabolism,
the greater rate of fish consumption, and so forth,
and adjust the data base for those factors (just as the
data base is adjusted for those factors to develop
human criteria), in many instances the wildlife criteria
will drive pollution control limits beyond the human
health limits. In a sense, it can be a double-barreled
legal and scientific support for  requiring the neces-
sary controls.
  A second issue is the inconsistencies between the
approaches used in criteria development and ap-
plication  for  human health  and  those used for
development  of  consumption advisories on sport
fish. What we have in the Great Lakes basin, in some
instances, is a statement to the public that the waters
of the Great Lakes  meet the Clean Water Act's fish-
able, swimmable goals; on the other hand, the public
is advised  not to  eat the fish.  This  contradiction
results in a confused public and,  therefore, a lack of
support for  pollution control programs. The regional
public health agencies use a different  methodology
to develop  fish  consumption  advisories than  that
used by the pollution control agencies and  EPA for
developing  criteria to protect human health  from
consumption  of contaminated fish. There needs to
be  a methodological convergence so that we are
using consistent methods in both applications.
  Another issue we have  seen coming up time and
time again has been characterized as "relative source
contribution." The National Wildlife Federation (NWF)
has promoted the  use of  an "exposure  adjustment
factor" in criteria or criteria application procedures.
This is a default factor to use in situations where there
are no data to determine what the other  roots of ex-
posure to a toxicant might be; a default factor that is
applied to reduce the amount of the criteria, in effect,
that can  be allocated to a point source. Wisconsin
recently adopted this approach, and we are currently
promoting a similar concept in Michigan's triennial
standards review.
  Another  issue that is  coming  up  frequently  is
"ZIDs," zones of initial dilution,  as EPA  calls it; zones
of immediate death, as we like to call it. The issue
here  is  very  disturbing  on  both technical  and
philosophical grounds. Let me take the philosophical
grounds  first. In our experience,  this issue arises
when a  State articulates its  criteria in terms of
protecting certain species in those areas of a lake or
stream that are inhabitable by the organisms. Well,
clever dischargers and their attorneys  soon seize
upon this language to argue that there are charac-
teristics of their discharge  that make part of the  river
uninhabitable. Then,  since the  aquatic  organisms
can't  inhabit  that  part of the public  waters,  why
should they be protected from pollution effects?  This
occurs most often with acute criteria.

  We think that approach is backwards. As far as
we're concerned, if there is something about the
characteristics of a pollution source that prevents
aquatic organisms from inhabiting all of the public
waters, we ought to regulate and change those char-
acteristics so organisms can inhabit all of the waters
and  then the final acute  value  can  be  applied
everywhere. Therefore, we are involved in a number
of situations in fighting proposals in State standards
or their application rules that  would allow these
zones of initial dilution. In terms of the technical argu-
ment, we are concerned about the way that many
States, like Michigan, calculate the final acute value
to protect 95 percent of the species in the data base,
instead of 95 percent of the species in the actual en-
vironment. Given this technical shortcoming, zones
of initial dilution should not be applied to weaken fur-
ther protection of aquatic life.
  This is an issue that EPA is going to have to pay
more attention to and address explicitly in revising
the technical support document. The existing docu-
ment has somewhat cryptic references to ZIDs, and
those references have been used by States to justify
incorporating them into  their rules. If there is to be
any use of ZIDs, EPA must provide firm guidance,
restricting when and how they are used.
  Another issue in the application  of criteria is the
adequacy of the State's data base. In some situa-
tions, States develop criteria without a minimum data
set requirement. We support that. We have great dif-
ficulties with criteria or  application rules that have
minimum  data  set requirements  and  that  don't
develop criteria  if those requirements are not met.
There is an important philosophical and legal point to
be made here: who should develop the information
needed to  make more sophisticated  and  more
refined judgments about how much pollution is too
much? In  our view,  the answer  as a legal and
philosophical matter is clear: it should be those that
would use our waters for waste disposal purposes.
   As States address questions such as minimum
data base requirements, they ought to consider the
kind  of incentives   provided  for  discharges to
generate more information. If  you have a no-mini-
mum-data-set  requirement, and  if, as  the data
diminish, the safety factors  increase, you provide an
incentive for those who use public waters for waste
disposal purposes to generate more information to
show that the State can  cut the margin of safety a lit-
tle closer. We think it is very important to consider the
incentives created by minimum data base  require-
   Another question is how to  address multiple pol-
lutant  situations in developing criteria. We are not
necessarily talking about interactions, where one of
those pollutants mediates the effect of the other. We
are talking here about the combined effect of having
more than one pollutant present. Again, this can be
viewed as an issue of inadequate data. In many in-
stances, particularly with carcinogens, there are no
experimental data or any other data that can be used
to determine what those combined effects might be.
EPA's 1986 risk assessment  guidelines contain a
statement implying that, in this situation,  it  is ap-
propriate to assume that the combined effects of car-
cinogens are cumulative or additive. That is also the
approach NWF has proposed. However, if data exist
that  show there are other noncumulative, nonaddi-
tive  effects, those data should be considered. The
point is that not having an assumption of cumulative
effect  is,  itself, an assumption. The choice isn't
whether or not to make an assumption; the only
choice facing the State agencies is which assump-
tion to make.
   Another issue is one that we characterize as "dilu-
tion." It is often articulated in terms of mixing zones,
but  many States  have moved away from using a
mixing zone as a spatial concept in developing
chronic human health-based limits. Instead, they use
a volume- or flow-based formula for giving a dilution
credit. There are many questions to be considered
when this dilution credit is developed. What stream
flows will be used? Should it be a worst case stream
flow, or since we are considering chronic effects over
a lifetime, should it be a mean or average flow? This
can  make a big difference in permit limits. Michigan
uses one-quarter of the 95 percent exceedence flow
for  carcinogens as  its dilution credit;  Wisconsin
recently adopted  a rule that uses the mean annual
flow. While there are specific features of Wisconsin's
rules that are better than Michigan's, the difficulty is
that, with no EPA guidance on these issues, there is
no way to determine if the Great Lakes are getting
consistent  environmental  protection  from  these
   This is an important issue that the standards pro-
gram needs to address in its Framework document.
EPA can't just look at criteria and standards but must
address how  they are applied  to  specific kinds of
sources. EPA must provide more leadership in this
area to ensure some minimal level of consistency.
 EPA has already  backed into this issue with  the
proposed  regulation implementing section  304(1),
which is supposed to be the 'toxic hot spots"  rule. In
the  proposed rule and preamble,  EPA also partially
confronted the issue of when water quality-based ef-
fluent limitations are required. This is a key issue, one
that should not be addressed piecemeal in the con-
text of the section 304(1) rule making. It is an issue
that needs to be systematically addressed  by the

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 175-177
water quality standards program and should be in-
corporated in the Framework document.
   Another dilution issue (as we characterize it) con-
cerns analytical limits of detection. As we look at pol-
lutants with high  bioconcentration and bioaccum-
ulation factors, we find that the effluent limitations or
the criteria levels  are often below current detection
limits. In this situation, the Federation contends that
analytical  limits  of  detection  are a  compliance
monitoring issue,  not a criteria development issue. It
has nothing to do with human health protection re-
quirements or with determining what is necessary to
protect the ambient environment. Our position has
been  that, though less than the limits of detection,
water quality-based effluent limits should be put into
permits as enforceable permit limitations. Then there
are innovative ways to monitor for compliance, using
fish bio-uptake studies, monitoring internal waste-
streams, or doing a mass balance of the wastewater
treatment system.
   Another detection limit issue is calculating back-
ground pollutant  concentrations.  What do you do
when the background  concentrations are less than
the limit of detection, and you are developing a water
quality-based effluent limit for a source? Our position
has been (and this is where the incentives come in
again), that where States have a reasonable basis to
believe there are background levels of a pollutant-
there may  be a fish or waterfowl consumption ad-
visory-the States should assume that background
concentrations  measured as nondetectable are at
the detection level. In effect, that would deny any as-
similative capacity to a downstream source, but it
gives that source an incentive to prove that this as-
sumption is not correct, to go out and generate addi-
tional information on background concentrations to
prove that  there is  some  available assimilative
   The final  issue I want to address is the antiback-
sliding issue. In one sense, this isn't a water quality
standards or water quality criteria application issue.
But in the real world, it is. State program managers
are finding  that regulated  entities are very fearful
about antibacksliding and use it as an argument for
delaying the development of water quality-based
controls. It is also an issue that comes up in the con-
text of using water quality advisories as opposed to
criteria. The way the Federation views the issue (and
we were very involved in the inclusion of this section
in the Clean Water Act) is that it represents a recogni-
tion  by  Congress of  a convergence  between the
technology-based and the water quality-based ap-
proaches.  If pollution control requirements  for a
given facility have been met,  it represents pollution
control technology in place. The original reasons for
requiring the development of that technology are
now irrelevant; the treatment capability is in place.
   The issue then is the cost of continuing to operate
treatment capability or practices in place as opposed
to the incremental benefits of having water quality
better than standards. I remember listening to a con-
sultant for a wastewater treatment plant testify at a
Michigan Water  Resources  Commission  hearing
about the "awful situation" in the Kalamazoo  River
where we now had "artificially induced water quality."
The  current water quality was better than the mini-
mum water  quality  standards  required for the
Kalamazoo River, and the suggestion was that this
could not be tolerated, that we should  immediately
back off from pollution control requirements and use
up that unused and,  according to this consultant,
"wasted" assimilative capacity.
   Water quality criteria are not the be-all and end-all
of pollution control efforts.  They are intermediate
goals on the way to zero discharge, to total elimina-
tion  of pollutants added to the Nation's waters. That
doesn't mean that you never back off.  I want to be
very  clear  about this  because we  have  been
misunderstood. What it does mean is that, in decid-
ing whether or not a new water quality standard, a
new water quality criterion, or a little new information
suggests relaxing pollution controls, the issue  is not
just the  effect on water quality criteria or the environ-
ment. Rather, it is now an issue of the costs of  main-
taining existing treatment capabilities, as opposed to
the incremental benefits to the environment of having
water quality that might be a little better than required
by criteria or standards.

                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
   Q.  The Colorado Commission that I work for is
developing statewide organic pollutant standards
for both surface and groundwaters. The Commis-
sion is considering two separate sets of standards
for surface water:  one for water supplies and the
other for aquatic life. For water supplies,  maximum
contaminant  levels  (MCLs) are  generally more
lenient for toxic organics than are 70"6 risk criteria.
The Commission is focusing on the 10~6 risk level
but has not resolved what to do about the MCLs.
Does EPA recognize that those numbers come from
a different office with a  different statute  within the
Agency? Is there any internal discussion about that
inconsistency? Does EPA consider technology-
based MCLs a public health risk? What numbers
should we use? What are other States doing?
   A.  (Ulanoski) Pennsylvania is using the 1 x 10"6
risk levels for surface waters; however, the drinking
water programs are using MCLs. I hope that EPA's
Office of Drinking Water and Office of Standards are
considering these inconsistencies. Is the public fully
informed about the health risks from MCLs?
   I am an advocate of clean water and of promoting
compliance to water quality standards. I think that
Pennsylvania cannot, in good faith, use MCLs to set
effluent limitations because they will not give the 1 in
a million protection level established by the State. We
protect all streams at all points for drinking water and
don't differentiate between  aquatic life and human
health limits when we develop effluent limitations. We
assume that there could be a water supply in that
area and will have it ready for potable water supply
use, but that can present some problems.
   If you take a look at criteria for organics, you'll see
that human health limits are much more stringent
than those for aquatic life. When we put limits on dis-
chargers, they ask us why  we are protecting for a
non-existent water supply. We tried to make changes
to the policy a few years ago for a couple of nontoxic
parameters by  implementing criteria for human
health at the point of exposure, and all  hell broke
loose. We decided if the public would not accept that
policy for nontoxics, there's no way they were going
to accept it for toxics and have remained with what,
today, could be considered a conservative policy.
However, we use MCLs for groundwater because it is
a public water supply use.

   A. (Hartung) There may be one misconception.
The goal for all drinking water supplies, as far as car-
cinogens are concerned,  is zero. Technical feasi-
bilities and other kinds of considerations are spelled
out in a couple of Agency documents that explain
why some of these inconsistencies occur.  (It is too
bad that they are not that widely distributed.) This,
then, is an area that can be considered useful to the
extent to which criteria advisories are scientifically
   What is the minimum data set? The law says zero
discharge, but there's going to be waste, no matter
how stringent we are. Zero discharge is a very
laudable goal but, in reality, it may be a pipe dream.
Using the data as best we can still runs us into the
antibacksliding problem, where there are important
issues that, frankly, need to be faced and resolved in
an equitable way that covers the interests of the en-
vironment, regulator, and the regulated.
   There's confusion about what all these  numbers
are, and EPA should develop and distribute a short
and simple  document that  explains all  of  these
things, their strong  points, shortcomings,  and ap-
propriate uses.

   Q. (Blosser) The backsliding issue is the key be-
cause the States are leery of adopting a laundry list
of numbers that are  changing as the science is im-
proving. They're afraid that if those numbers become
less stringent they won't be able to go with the better
science. We adopt a risk level and use it as the level
from which we won't backslide. We're going to try to
adopt W4 because if we find that it is not protective
enough, we can backslide from it  or can make it
more stringent. We will also have other require-
ments, such as adaptivity and antagonism.
   Should the class C and D  carcinogens have
standards? We think not because there isn't enough
good information about human effects. We're going
to try to regulate the A's and B's. Should advisories
be used? Our opinion currently is no. There's not
enough information, and we're afraid that if more in-
formation comes in that shows that the number
should be less stringent, we won't be able to reduce
those numbers.
   A. Regardless of what one thinks about  ad-
visability of 1 x 10~4 as a risk level, we have  to recog-
nize that States are  taking  different views on
acceptable risks, which indicates that there should
be more aggressive EPA involvement. As for mixing
zones  and backsliding, it's important to recognize
how we apply zero discharge that where we can
economically and technologically achieve pollutant
productions, we will, and we don't have to prove cor-
relation in every case between an environmental
benefit in the receiving medium to justify continued

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
progress  toward  reducing  pollutant sources.  It
doesn't mean we ignored intermediate transfers but
that we're constantly rationing down, so that recy-
cling, waste reduction,  and minimization  become
realities wherever they can be.
   Mixing  zones are not mentioned in  the  Clean
Water Act. They probably were a technology-based
concept, a concession to industry's inability to meet
water quality criteria end-of-pipe. That view of mixing
zones, when applied to toxic pollutants, is even more
environmentally sensitive and appropriate. We need
to review  mixing zones with regard to  those pol-
lutants and, more broadly,  dilution and all of its
manifestations as a technology-based issue. There
should be no per se rule to give everybody a mixing
zone; it should be an issue of whether technology ex-
ists to apply the criteria end-of-pipe. The burden
should be the other way: a presumption that they
apply end-of-pipe, and a requirement for the source
or discharger to prove that it won't work in that situa-

   C. (Blosser) If we were to backslide on  numbers
for permits  in  effect in Delaware, the technology
basis for meeting those limits would remain in effect.
We're not going to let dischargers back off on num-
bers if the technology's there.
   The life-style risk for cancer in a lifetime is about 35
percent, so we're talking about a  10"6, which is 1 in a
million. (Program decisions made in other EPA areas
are typically in the 10~2 to the 10~5 range.) From my
standpoint, mixing zones are going to apply for acute
and aquatic life, not persistent or bioaccumulative
toxicants,  which we would look at in a different way.
Once  we better understand the technology and
science, we may have to eliminate mixing zones for
some applications.

   Q. (Hsueh) How do  we define  acceptable  risk
levels  and the  insignificant risk  level? I think they
should be different.

   C. (Hartung) The year is now 2500, and I can write
permits because I've got all sorts of super criteria. If I
have everything within criteria control, will I find areas
where pollutants have been introduced and there are
biological  effects even though all criteria are being
met? Or, will I be able to predict, on hand,  what the
toxicity will be to beasts and humans?
   My answer is, even in 2500, I cannot because it
would be nearly impossible to predict all the interac-
tions of all the chemicals in the biological organism.
The technology and science that would allow us to
do that is hundreds of years away. Therefore even
under  the most ideal  conditions, the  chemically
based water  quality approach has some inherent
flaws in it that cannot be overcome now.
  Where does this drive us? Will we look at the biol-
ogy to find where the areas are, where there are ef-
fects as the second line of attack? And then once you
have  found  areas where  there  are  biological
problems, do we evaluate  toxicity  sources and
causes and then  remove it step by step? Perhaps
that sort of approach  should achieve equal  stature
with the chemistry-based approach.

  C. (Hansen). We have identified a rather small list
of chemicals that seem  to  be causing  indirect
toxicity. When there was more than  one chemical
causing toxicity, the number never exceeded 3. The
problem  of  understanding  synergism  and  an-
tagonism is a tractable one; however, I don't want to
minimize the role of the field ecologist who  tries to
use all the available tools to identify whether there is a
problem occurring, even though our best toxicology
technology cannot find it.
  Over the next year or so, EPA will revise the water
quality criteria guidelines. Because I believe there are
some things that can stand improvement—minimum
data base requirements, expressing criteria in terms
of bioavailable form, rather than total — I urge  the use
and  scientific community to  participate with their

  C. (Palachek)  I would also push for revision of the
inconsistency between all the different approaches.
For example, the MCLs are the not-to-exceed num-
ber,  so you look at one flow regime for that; the
human health numbers may be an annual average, or
some percentage of an annual average, a harmonic
mean flow. As a result, a permit limit may not be that
different between the two different regimes once you
consider the in-stream concentrations and calculate
a permit limit. The greatest differences come through
the States'  implementation  of these criteria  and

  C. (Hartung) It is clear that there are some  real dif-
ferences among  the States. So what  are the trade-
offs of trying to have uniformity and flexibility? That's
really what the question boils down to.

  A. (Van Putten) The kinds of inconsistencies that
we see  in water  carp are particularly disconcerting
because they're  not paper inconsistencies without
environmental consequences. We see inconsisten-
cies  between States that have a shared resource—
the  Great Lakes—and  in a situation  like that,  it is
particularly important  for the  States to have some
uniform level of approaches and in applying stan-

   On the water quality criteria and advisories issue,
I've concluded that EPA is, in large measure, a victim
of its own success with regard to  the water quality
criteria documents.  It  raised  unwise expectations
through the way it approached those documents, ex-
pectations that they were going to be comprehensive
assessments of the impacts of these pollutants that
could be used in a predictive sense and applied with
rather small adaptations to a wide-ranging variety of
situations. The advisory approach  holds more hope
for the future in terms of the kinds of trade-offs that
Martha (Prothro) charged us to discuss over these
three days. EPA ought to spend less time and fewer
resources on producing these thick criteria docu-
ments and more time  on advisories and  uniform
guidance in areas where there's no data to answer
questions about combined effects, interactions, and
acceptable  risk levels. The  advisories, or these
criteria,  are nothing  more  than  presumptions,
   The burden should be on the sources. If they have
some reason to believe that a given ambient number
is not appropriate in a situation, they should generate
the data, produce the proof. I don't believe there will
be money on either the Federal or State level to do
that kind of monitoring. Every day we confront the
regulated community's pleas for State monitoring to
develop  site-specific criteria to meet some barely
defined standard of proof before  regulating starts.
Then when the Michigan legislature finally appro-
priates money for monitoring, it is eliminated from the
budget. The environmental community was there ar-
guing for  those  dollars,  but  not a single repre-
sentative of the very vocal discharge community was
there. That's why I feel so strongly that it's not the
regulator's job, it's not your job as State officials, it's
not EPA's job to do comprehensive assessments that
prove there is a problem. You need to have some
reasonable threshold of scientific  belief. There may
be a problem, but it's up to the sources to come back
and rebut that in a specific case or face the controls.

   C. I agree generally and have the same skepticism
about industry when it  says it needs more data and
then will  nothing do to help data generation. This is
an area where we also need some reorientation, or
maybe the major  national  environmental groups
should reoriented their agendas,  which principally
have  been what new controls can we get in place
   Maybe we should be  looking  at some  new ap-
proaches. You can create incentives for industry to
do it themselves or look at trade-offs in negotiating
Federal legislative and budgetary  issues. I  think we
might get  some  more  long-range  environmental
benefits from a different focus, a shift in priorities.

   C. (Alexander, Dow Chemical) I am not aware that
the State is paying for monitoring of NPDES permits
or water  quality in the Tittabawassee River or any
other  locations  within  Michigan. They  have  a
monitoring program,  but Dow's program of NPDES
permits within Michigan  is self-monitoring.  We pay
our own monitoring and  turn ourselves in when we
violate the permit. That's what responsible  industry
should do.
   One water quality criteria versus standards, States
set standards to protect the water. These standards,
hopefully, reflect the criteria. Most of the NPDES per-
mits for  industry  and communities  have certain
stipulations on toxics to protect the standard that are
usually based on some figure of flow, like a 7Q10, so
most of the time they're well below the standard, well
below any toxic limit.

   C.  (Van Putten)  I would like to respond to that. I
was not speaking of generating compliance  monitor-
ing data. It's one thing to say, "once we've put a per-
mit limit in here—permit for a given substance—it's
up to you to monitor it."  However, data needs to
demonstrate that an environmental harm is occurring
in the stream. There is a need for limits, a need to look
at sources. Heretofore it has been largely left  up to
the government agencies to generate that  informa-
tion and satisfy some initial burden before a  problem
occurs. I  would  suggest that this is a burden that
might be more appropriately shared by sources.
   As for the issue about variation in flows,  it is true
that, historically, we have set permit limits based on
an assumed low regime, limits that have to be met
year-round. But  don't sell short the staff  in  EPA's
Water Innovations Project. Their better idea was, and
I presume still is, that we  should have flow dependent
permit limits  seasonable flows and the rationale is
that we've got them. From an economist's point of
view, we must efficiently use every iota of assimilative
capacity in our streams, or somehow we are not
being rational.
   In terms of the future, I am concerned that we may
be seeing more proposals to deviate from the  situa-
tion that  Mr. Alexander from  Dow mentioned. In
Michigan, four seasonal flows can be used. As I men-
tioned, there have been EPA proposals for flow-de-
pendent permit limits.

   C. (Schuettpelz) Wisconsin has been the target of
a number of comments over the last couple of  days.
We have just gone through a rather extensive stan-
dards promulgation process, including water quality

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
criteria for toxic substances, and developing an im-
plementation code to specify how to calculate ef-
fluent  limitations  based  on  these  criteria  and
  We need consistency among the States because
we, as agencies, are pulled  back and forth by dis-
chargers and by environmental groups about what
different States and dischargers are doing. We need
implementation guidance. We also need EPA over-
sight and involvement. In our standards program, we
have intimately involved EPA all along the way. Some
other States do  not  involve their regional office
people as much as we did in standards development
and have sort of an antagonistic relationship.
  I was on a disinfection task force to review EPA's
policy. Chlorine is the  issue with toxic substances. I
was disappointed to hear people in other regions,
particularly in Region VI, say that Texas has a 1 mil-
ligram per liter chlorine discharge for their publicly
owned treatment works.  That's hardly  consistency
across the country when Region VI  is advocating
very strong chlorine criteria.
  One last comment about in-stream criteria and the
use of in-stream biomonitoring and biocriteria: often
dischargers use that as a cop-out for not putting in
appropriate controls. Years ago industry in Wiscon-
sin stated that there's nothing to protect no fish in
that river. Well, there were no fish because the river
was polluted. I'm concerned that would be the result
of these in-stream criteria.

  C. In Region VI in  Texas  the chlorine went, and
even though we don't have  criteria and State stan-
dards for that, we're handling it, at least through the
whole effluent toxicity test, and saying they've got to
spike it up to 1 or higher, which everybody knows is
going to kill  everything, so it's being required on all
the major plants.

   C. (Hartung) There are issues that  need to be
clarified, including the issues of the degree of protec-
tion that is desired in terms of consistencies among
States, especially as these areas' criteria and stand-
ards are applied. There are some obvious advant-
ages to an increased emphasis with advisories, but
there are  some conflicts against the  backsliding
provisions, and there are  probably ways to get that
worked  out that constitute a decent compromise. We
need to coordinate looking at lexicological effects or
biological effects from the chemistry side first as we
do with  single chemicals' standards, and, coming at
it from the other direction, where we look at the biol-
ogy first and then try to find out which particular pol-
lutants are causing the problem.  These are compli-
mentary types of approaches,  so there may be ways
to smooth out the interaction between them.
   We need to start early development of  certain
methods, especially for wildlife and terrestrial life. It is
much more  important that that particular effort have
low-budget  visibility over time rather than a crash
program right at the end to develop it suddenly. This
will require significant new methodological develop-
ment, not merely an adaptation of existing methods,
although many of the existing data can be used.
   All in all, this is a growing effort, and one that has
been useful  because it has provided the yardsticks. I
am looking  forward to some further expansion  of
both the science and applicability in this area.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 183
                Implementing Antidegradation
                                  Charles Sutfin (Moderator)
          Director, Water Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region If Chicago, Illinois
Water quality criteria or standards can define either
success in cleaning up pollution or failure in prevent-
ing water from becoming polluted from waste dis-
charges. To clean up polluted water, we  impose
effluent limitations and best management practices
through NPDES  permits and  other water quality
management mechanisms. The antidegradation rule,
on the other hand, is a policy with implementation
procedures aimed at preventing clean water from be-
coming degraded.
   Antidegradation defines conditions under which
we would allow degradation of water quality. The na-
tional antidegradation policy, published in 40 CFR
part 131, consists of three parts. First, the policy
states that all existing uses of the Nation's water shall
be maintained. The second part  stipulates that for
high quality waters - waters that meet the goals of
the Clean Water Act  - a lower water quality is per-
mitted (after full public participation) if lower water
quality is necessary to accommodate important so-
cial and economical development. A third part estab-
lishes another category of high quality water, called
"outstanding national resource waters," where no
degradation is allowed.
   Antidegradation is considered a part of water
quality standards but  the result of applying anti-
degradation policy can be a more stringent, technol-
ogy-based requirement. For example, we have to ask
several questions in  the antidegradation procedure
for high quality waters: Is lower water quality neces-
sary for an important social and economic purpose?
Will the discharges being proposed maintain the ex-
isting use of the receiving water? Is lowering of the
water quality necessary? And are there any alterna-
tives to the discharge, either alternative treatment
technologies or alternative ways to reduce pollution
load using substitute products or even discharges in
another location?
   Depending on the answers to these questions
there are two possible outcomes. Either you can ac-
cept the lower water quality and implement the dis-
charge as proposed  in the draft permit  or water
quality management  program,  or you can apply
more stringent technology to reduce or eliminate the
lowering of water quality. So the end result could be a
technology-based requirement. One way to look at
antidegradation  is that it bridges the gap between
water quality criteria and standards and technology-
based requirements.
   The  antidegradation policy was established in
1968. In 1988 EPA Headquarters did an evaluation of
the 10 regional offices to determine the status of the
States' implementation of antidegradation policies
and procedures. I  did a quick summary of that
analysis: of the States, 34 did not have complete im-
plementation strategies for antidegradation, and 30
did not have antidegradation policies that dealt with
nonpoint sources.
   We have a long way to go according to that sur-
vey. It is important  to  note,  however,  that the
Framework does not call for any additional EPA ef-
forts to define what antidegradation is or to establish
additional  regulatory or guidance requirements for

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 185-188
         Implementing Antidegradation Policy
                                    in  Colorado
                                         Paul Frohardt
               Administrator, Colorado Water Quality Control Commission, Denver, Colorado
Antidegradation is not a new issue in one sense, al-
though recently it has gained a more specific focus. I
want to give you a brief State perspective on anti-
degradation and, to begin, offerthe following excerpt
from the 1968 proceedings of the  Colorado Water
Quality Control Commission:
      The activities of the Commission since its
      inception in 1966 have been varied and
      many. Both the Federal water pollution
      control  legislation and the State's newly
      enacted law  require that  stream water
      quality standards be adopted and applied
      to the streams of Colorado or segments
      thereof. Federal  legislation  gave the
      States until June 30,  1967, in which  to
      adopt water quality standards and a plan
      of implementation. Consequently, during
      the first year of operation, the Commis-
      sion held eight hearings for the adoption
      of water quality criteria and for the clas-
      sification of Colorado  streams. These
      were submitted to  the Federal Govern-
      ment for approval prior to the June 30,
      1967, deadline. To date the standards have
      not been  officially approved by the
      Federal Government because of a con-
      troversy over the Secretary of Interior's
      announced antidegradation policy, which
      would give the Secretary concurrent ap-
      proval  authority with the Commission
      over the location of new industrial plants
      on streams in Colorado. Governor Love
      and  the Commission  have refused  to
      agree to such a policy as it holds the threat
      of stifling  the State's economic and
      sociological growth.
   I think it is interesting that, certainly in terms of the
State's perspective, things haven't changed a lot in
over 20 years, and I would like to suggest at the out-
set a couple of reasons why that is the case. First, a
major problem has been the reliance on regulations
that state a very general principle  without giving a
practical explanation of how it should work. Second,
from EPA's perspective and those of other people
concerned  about this policy, there has been an ex-
cessive focus on purist policies rather than  practical
  Colorado  adopted new  antidegradation regula-
tions in 1988, which have  now been approved by
EPA, both in terms of the policy and the plan of im-
plementation. That doesn't mean, by the way, that
the issue is dead; there is still a Federal lawsuit pend-
ing by a number of environmental groups. Colorado
adopted  antidegradation  provisions in 1979 that
were a little over a page long: a very brief statement
of the  basic principles,  but no explanation of how
these provisions would  really work or guidance on
how they would be applied  in practice. Very little at-
tention was paid to the policies until the mid- to late
1980s when, after amending its water quality stan-
dards regulations  in late 1983, EPA began a cor-
respondence with  the State that extended over the
next two to three years. Then in 1987, the Environ-
mental Defense Fund (EOF) filed a lawsuit joined by a
couple of other environmental groups against EPA,
challenging that agency's failure to disapprove the
Colorado provisions.
   In response to those activities and also because
the Commission had finally settled some other con-
tentious issues, it scheduled a major  rulemaking
hearing in 1988 to consider revisions to the policies. I
would like to emphasize that what the Commission
was revising was our Basic Standards and Metho-
dologies document that sets up a framework for the
classification and standards-setting system general-
ly, so the outcome of these regulations is a revision to
that framework; then the next step will be, during the
next round of triennial reviews, to begin to apply the
results of that revision on  a site-specific  basis
throughout the State. In the 1988 review there were
two  principal  issues:  which   waters  should be
reviewed and  how to review  them. The principal
focus in concern and debate in Colorado was on tier
2 waters. Frankly, very little attention was given to the
outstanding  national resource waters;  there  are
provisions for those waters in the regulation, but the
principal attention was on tier 2 waters.
   First, what waters should be subject to review?
These are waters where the existing quality is better
than necessary to protect the specified uses. What
does this mean?  Does it  mean that at least one
parameter has better quality than the criteria for the
uses? (That's what EOF suggested.) Or does it mean

that all the parameters have to have a quality better
than the uses? Or some number in between? These
are very difficult questions.
   Under the  old  system, Colorado had  largely
avoided those questions by a classification ap-
proach: waters could be classified as high quality
waters. There were no specific criteria, just a general
principle of classifying waters as high quality waters,
and then an antidegradation review would apply only
to waters so classified. Admittedly, that old system
was applied on a relatively limited basis in Colorado,
and this provided, aside from all the legal procedural
arguments, the principal basis for EDF's lawsuit. It
wasn't hard for EOF to say, "Look guys, you've got
clean waters in Colorado's mountains that are not
classified high quality that clearly have quality better
than required to protect the uses, and you aren't sub-
jecting them to the antidegradation review." That was
the old system in Colorado, classification-based.
   EOF and EPA recommended that the Commission
take a case-by-case approach and, each time new
activity was proposed on a water, decide whether the
water was a high quality water that warranted  review.
The Commission didn't think that made sense for a
number of reasons. It seemed that this sort of reac-
tive approach, rather than a proactive planning ap-
proach, meant the Commission would  be trying  to
decide whether to protect a waterbody precisely at
the  moment that  there was the most  pressure  to
allow development. So the Commission was very  in-
terested in sticking, in part, with a planning-based ap-
   The Commission ended up with a  hybrid ap-
proach. It retained a notion similar to classification,
although now it is called "designation" of waterbodies
as high quality. For the first time it adopted some fair-
ly specific criteria, partially mandatory and partially
discretionary, to guide designation of waters, and I
believe that those  criteria are going to lead to more
waters in  Colorado being designated "high quality."
In addition, the Commission did something  new. It
adopted what  is called  a "use-protected designa-
tion," which is meant to designate waters at the other
end of the spectrum: waters that will not be subject to
antidegradation review because it has been deter-
mined that their quality is not better than necessary
to protect the uses. There will be a planning-based
function, so that developers  can know in advance
that these are waters where they have to meet stand-
ards that have been established to protect uses, but
where antidegradation review is not applicable.
   EPA expressed a concern about what would hap-
pen in the~fneantime,  while the designations were
being put into place, so the Commission established
an intermediate group of waters—for example, ones
with an aquatic life class 1 classification—where cer-
tain waters are presumptively subject to antidegrada-
tion  review.  That presumption  can be overcome,
however. If the Commission ultimately applies a high
quality designation or use-protected  designation,
then the presumption is overridden. I think that this
approach makes sense.  It combines some of the
benefits of planning with  some flexibility in the sys-
tem. I also think that it has been at the cost of some
added complexity to the Colorado system, but that it
will be more workable in the long run.
   Second, the review process: what has Colorado
done with that? The activities subject to the new anti-
degradation review provisions are NPDES permits
and 401 certifications, which are principally related to
404 permits in Colorado. Nonpoint sources would be
brought into the system as "control regulations" -
new regulatory programs-are adopted for nonpoint
   The review process has been set up as a sequen-
tial process, asking a series of questions. First, is the
degradation  from  the  new  activity  significant?
Colorado has tried to put into the regulation  some
specific  criteria  that  define the circumstances  in
which degradation will be  considered insignificant.
(For example, if impacts are temporary or if a dis-
charge will  be diluted by at least 100 to 1 at low
   A second interesting concept that was put in at
that point is that the determination of significance will
be based upon the net impact of the activity, taking
into account any mitigation  that  has  been  incor-
porated into the project. Initially, EPA was very nerv-
ous about considering mitigation at this stage in the
process,  but we put it in here for a very  conscious
reason that has  some real environmental  benefits;  it
creates an incentive for project proponents to build
mitigation into their project up front. They  know they
can avoid further steps in the antidegradation review
process if they  can convince the Commission that
impacts have been mitigated to the point of insig-
nificance. We think this creates some constructive in-
   If there is significant degradation, the next point in
the review is to decide whether the activity is an im-
portant social or economic development. That's the
step that our Commission and many other people
like least about this analysis. Why is a water pollution
agency deciding what is or isn't an important social
or economic development? Our Commission tried to
give deference  in the regulation to local land use
 planning  because it thought that was where these
decisions are traditionally and more appropriately
 made, but it maintained the opportunity for a different
 result with the public input process.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 185-188
  The third step, if the development is important and
the degradation is significant, is the last step: is the
degradation necessary? We think that this is the real
water quality issue —that it should be the principal
focus.  Colorado has  chosen  an approach that
focuses on the availability  of  alternatives. Is the
degradation necessary? Well, it depends on whether
you've got an alternative that is economically, en-
vironmentally, and technologically reasonable under
the language  of our regulation-one that would
result in less or no degradation. How do you decide if
something is economically reasonable? Our Com-
mission debated many options and ultimately came
around  to  an   approach  that   provided  some
guidance; it included in the regulation a list of factors
to be considered when trying to decide which alter-
natives are economically reasonable. For instance, in
the  case  of   publicly owned  treatment works
(POTWs), what the impact would be on user charges
and how that would compare with similarly situated
   That is a very quick overview of what Colorado has
adopted. What  has happened since the regulation
went into  effect in September 1988? Approximately
fifty 401  certification projects have been reviewed
overall, and approximately 60 percent of them have
been on presumptively reviewable  waters.  Remem-
ber that the Commission has not implemented the
new high quality or use-protected designations on a
basin-by-basin basis,  so right now it  is principally
focusing on that category of presumptively review-
able waters. Of those activities on presumptively
reviewable waters in the 401  context (the Commis-
sion is looking  principally at 404  permits),  ap-
proximately 90  percent have insignificant  impacts
because their nature is temporary.  Two projects on
the 401 side have been initially disapproved  because
the Commission decided that there were  feasible,
less damaging  alternatives available.  I  might also
mention that, in this brief time period, the Two Forks
Reservoir Project went through the antidegradation
review process under the new system and was deter-
mined to meet the insignificance test on impacts for
the streams where antidegradation review applied
once mitigation was taken into account.
   On the NPDES permit side, the majority of new or
expanding discharges  (and  remember that we are
not talking about the status quo or rereviewing exist-
ing impacts)-about 80 percent or approximately 15
projects-have been on reviewable waters.  Of those
15  all but 2 have insignificant impacts  under 1 or
more of the tests that have been established; of those
2, 1 project has been allowed to degrade  down to
standards because no feasible alternative existed,
and the other project review is in process. The staff is
inclined to  disapprove that project because a
feasible alternative  is available,  again unless  the
project proponents modify their proposal.
   Briefly, here are five very general lessons learned
from the Colorado experience, from my perspective.
First,  States, EPA, and  the  environmental groups
bringing  the  lawsuits  need  to  recognize  the
legitimate, continuing paranoia of those on both
sides of this issue and help  provide some specifics in
State programs to reduce the uncertainty. I think that
uncertainty has been the real crippling factor in this
program. States must recognize that this is going to
require  some  complexity  in  their  regulations.
Colorado has found that unless it wants to agree with
the extreme position on one side or the other, it ends
up with some complexity. States need to retain some
   Second, EPA needs to be practical and not overly
purist in the approval process. Endless "what if's" can
be asked about any specific potential proposal,  but
more environmental progress will be made if we all
get something concrete and practical  in place and
refine it later-certainly more progress than the  last
20 years of paralysis due to uncertainty. After some
somewhat painful negotiation, Region VIII ultimately
took this approach with Colorado.  It approved  the
regulation but also gave the State a letter containing
a long list of concerns that  indicated the agency was
still nervous about how Colorado was going to do all
these things in practice;  and, if the State doesn't do
them in a way that EPA thinks makes some sense, it
will hear about it. I think that is very fair.
   Third, unless a State already has a regulatory non-
point source program in place, don't bog the anti-
degradation program development down with  an
insistence that nonpoint sources be addressed now;
insisting that States  somehow address nonpoint
sources in a specific antidegradation context can
only further  paralyze efforts  to get meaningful  an-
tidegradation programs in place,  and it will also
paralyze further efforts to  develop nonpoint source
programs. Be willing to take one step at a time.
   Fourth, if EPA feels that certain aspects of an anti-
degradation program are critical, its regulations
should be revised to  say  so. Trying to strong-arm
States with informal guidance is  disingenuous and
unfair: it  puts  States in  an extremely  politically
awkward  position  when  trying  to  adopt  State
programs, and it unnecessarily fosters an adversarial
relationship between the State and EPA.
   Now, having said that,  my fifth and final point is
that right  now I don't think  we need  new Federal
regulations.  I think that this is a good  area for State
experimentation.  Nevertheless,  expanded Federal
guidance  would  be useful to  explain  the array of

options that help States find a way to put specifics in     tell the States that if they really want their program
this  program.  However, when  that  guidance is     approved, their regulation better look like a carbon
developed, EPA needs to treat it as guidance and not     copy of the guidance.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 189-190
              ERES  —  Delaware's  Priority for

                   Antidegradation Protection

                                       Mark C. Blosser
                          Program Manager, Water Quality Management Branch
           Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Dover, Delaware
EPA's water quality standards regulation contains its
policy on antidegradation (40 CFR 131.12). Section
(a) (3) of the policy states:
     Where high quality waters constitute an
     outstanding National resource, such as
     waters of National and State parks and
     wildlife refuges and waters of exceptional
     recreational and ecological significance,
     that water quality shall be maintained and
  Delaware is a small coastal State wedged snugly
within the  highly  urbanized  Boston-Washington,
D.C., megalopolis  of the eastern seaboard. While
Delaware's orientation on the coast has spared it
some of  the'intense  development in neighboring
States, favorable demographics have accelerated ur-
banization in northern and southeastern  coastal
Delaware in recent years. Also, the poultry industry
has expanded rapidly in southern areas of the State.
These pressures have resulted  in  degradation of
some of the State's more valuable waters. In 1985,
these waters were designated 'ERES' in Delaware's
water quality standards.

The acronym ERES stands for waters of "exceptional
recreational or ecological significance." Waterbodies
designated ERES are surface waters that are impor-
tant, unique,  or  sensitive;  however,  they  do not
necessarily   have  excellent  water  quality.  In
Delaware's case, no major  waterways are pristine,
wild, or excellent in quality. The decision was made to
"select the best of Delaware's streams" and protect
   ERES  waters  are characterized  by intensive
recreational or unusual  ecological  uses, which in-
clude swimming, water  skiing, high quality fishing
and shellfishing, and boating, and also by unique or
unusual natural areas of  regional significance. Of 36
stream basins in the State, all of 7 basins and part of 4
others are designated ERES.
  ERES waters are accorded  a higher  level  of
protection  (through use  of more stringent  water
quality standards) than other waters. They also
receive a greater  priority for monitoring  and re-
search, more attention to new and revised NPDES
permits, and they are targeted for nonpoint source
controls through the State's management and cost-
share programs.
   ERES Water Quality Standards

The ERES water quality standards were developed to
protect and  enhance waters considered  to be
Delaware's special  natural  assets.  The standards
adopted in 1985 and, for the  most  part,  those
proposed in the current revisions, are narrative in na-
ture. They compare water quality to natural condi-
tions and, in most cases, do not allow variation from
those conditions. Because none  of  Delaware's
waters can be said to have water quality at "natural"
levels, ERES standards are not attained  and the use
is construed to be a "goal" use. Thus, ERES in effect
takes antidegradation an  additional step, requiring
not just maintenance but also improvement of water
  The State remains cognizant that the potential ex-
ists to turn ERES into a "no development—no dis-
charge" use. However, the language used in the 1985
standards should signal (and the proposed revisions
should clarify) the intent  to avoid major economic
dislocations for  riverside communities.  Delaware
wishes to direct priority use of point and nonpoint
source controls and innovative practices in  ERES
basins but not to stifle development. ERES requires
dischargers to examine alternatives to  stream dis-
charge, most notably land treatment, and to use the
least polluting option that  is technologically feasible,
highly reliable, and not  cost-prohibitive. Unques-
tionably, however, the  State would be pleased if the
existence of the ERES use for a particular stream
resulted  in  an industry's choice  of other,  lower
priority basins in which to site a facility.

  The ERES standards offer incremental protection
to these waters. All other applicable water standards
remain  in effect unless superseded  by an ERES
       Implementation of ERES

A designated use and its accompanying standards
and  criteria are only  as good as  the  State's  im-
plementation strategy and its willingness and ability
to bring this strategy  to  bear in  critical situations.
Delaware has developed an implementation strategy
for ERES and has made steady progress in refining
and  using it to influence decisions affecting water
   Implementation  involves  considerable coordina-
tion with many government agencies and the use of
existing regulations, policies, and  rules.  This  ap-
proach varies from everyday practice in that ERES
watersheds are given highest (earliest) priority for ap-
plication of resources at control levels more stringent
than normally required. Local  agencies are made
aware of Delaware's concerns for ERES waters and
are asked to pay close attention to pollution conse-
quences related to land  use decisions  they make.
Given that all agencies are  struggling with burden-
some loads of "good  intentions," the State  has
designed ERES to include that limited set of waters
where follow-through in a consistent and determined
manner is possible in all areas of pollution control.
Other waters are not ignored, but Delaware realizes
that it cannot do all the work at the level of excellence
it would wish.  Thus, ERES waters are those waters
where Delaware insists on that level of excellence.
   Delaware has taken the  parameter list of ERES
standards and identified on a basin-specific basis
those types of pollution sources that need to be ad-
dressed. In this way, the State has been able to focus
attention on ERES waters as areas to work on first
and to rally effective  implementors and technical
contributors around a limited number of high value
watersheds. ERES is included as an element of our
Clean Water Strategy, in both of our National Estuary
programs and as a part of the State's Environmental
Legacy Program.  These endeavors are long-term
planning instruments that help to identify resources
and areas of need and to make  efficient use of the
capabilities of many groups.
   As an example, our nonpoint source program has
developed a detailed  priority  action plan for  four
Delaware stream basins. Of these, three are ERES
waters. EPA and agencies of the State have com-
mitted funds to increase field presence, target finan-
cial incentives, manage watersheds, and hire animal
waste specialists to provide technical assistance to,
and develop management plans for, farms. Delaware
has also taken the initial steps to develop a statewide
stormwater management program, with priority ap-
plication  (e.g., ordinance and practice manual for-
mulation, watershed planning) in ERES watersheds.

The  ERES  use  and  attendant  standards are
Delaware's method of giving priority attention  to
maintaining and improving water quality in valuable
watersheds. The use is adapted from the Clean Water
Act provision  for Outstanding National Resource
Waters and applies to waters with special recreation-
al or ecological significance but not necessarily with
excellent water quality.
   Delaware has been developing and phasing in an
implementation strategy for the ERES watersheds. It
has  recognized  and  actively exploited cross-pro-
gram synergies  and  has  succeeded  in obtaining
resources through Nonpoint Source, Clean Lakes,
and National Estuary programs. The State intends to
concentrate future efforts in education, technical as-
sistance, improved ambient and discharge monitor-
ing, and local agency coordination.
   Delaware needs  guidance and ideas in  several
areas. It continues to encounter problems with land
use planning,  which is controlled  at the local level
and  which can,  if not done with an environmental
consciousness, undermine progress. Delaware also
has  had difficulty in  establishing  benchmarks for
comparisons using  its ERES standards that specify
natural conditions. We will examine the potential of
using more readily measured "reference" conditions
and  increasing the use of biological  measures of
water quality.
   Also, changes in water quality,  either positive or
negative, do not necessarily translate into changes in
uses. When do you know when an improvement goal
or unacceptable change has occurred? How do you
measure degradation - how much change  can  be
tolerated?  How can Delaware hold the line against
pollution resulting from rapid population growth in
some areas? Answers to these and other questions
are needed to aid the difficult task of implementing
antidegradation in our waters.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 191-193
       Outstanding National  Resource Waters

                                        Barbara West
                      Environmental Protection Specialist, Water Resources Division
     Policy Planning and Evaluation Branch, National Park Service-Air Quality Division, Denver, Colorado
Clean water is an important attribute of each unit of
the National Park System whether it provides water-
based  recreation, serves as  the focal point of  a
scenic overlook, or adds valuable dimensions to a
historical scene.  Appropriate management is not
limited to  the  management of  water  as  a single
resource;  the National  Park  Service Organic Act
directs the Service to preserve and protect entire
ecosystems by maintaining their  integrity and by
finding ways  to  avoid  interferences with natural
ecosystem processes.
   The boundaries that define parks do not insulate
them from influences that affect the lands around
them. Park resource managers need to make use of
all available tools to prevent external influences from
causing unacceptable alterations to park systems
and resources. "Single resource" statutes, like the
Clean Water Act with its  antidegradation provisions,
offer  opportunities for  National  Park   Service
managers  to preserve and protect natural  systems.
Water quality standards that implement antidegrada-
tion can be successfully maintained. They enhance
water quality by protecting the water from new dis-
charges and limiting changes to waters that flow into
parks, as well.
   The Clean Water Act was designed to restore and
maintain the integrity of the Nation's water,  including
the waters of the National Park System. As part of the
Act, the Congress recognized the primary role of the
States in  managing and regulating water quality
within  the general  framework developed  by Con-
gress. Part of the framework, namely section 313, re-
quires that  all Federal agencies,  including the
National Park Service, comply with the requirements
of State law for water quality management regardless
of other jurisdictional status or land ownership.
         ONRW as a Resource
           Management Tool
If a State has an antidegradation policy but does not
have  an Outstanding National  Resource Waters
(ONRW) program, or its program does not include
waters within units of the National Park System, the
triennial review of  water quality standards public
hearings offers the opportunity for National Park Ser-
vice managers to propose ONRW status for waters in
National Park Service  units. There are significant
benefits to be derived from this. Although the Service
may have responsibility for management of the area
within the park's boundaries, water resource-related
laws and programs are administered by other agen-
cies. In some cases, it may be possible to develop
cooperative working arrangements or agreements
that can result in management that, by and large,
meets  National Park Service  management stan-
dards. In most cases, however, given differing State
goals and objectives for water resources manage-
ment, it may be difficult to develop arrangements that
will result in  comprehensive resource protection
based on a recognition of the interconnected web of
natural systems that constitutes a unit of the National
Park Service. That recognition should also include
acknowledgement of the fact that the interconnected
web is related to systems outside the park's boun-
daries. Designation of waters as ONRW can provide
protection  that closely  approximates  Service
management standards.
   Developers may be less likely to propose activities
for a given area if ONRW would be affected. From an
environmental  permitting  perspective, developers
seek areas free from the  constraint posed by more
stringent  water quality standards like those as-
sociated with ONRW (which one  must presume is
one  of the  purposes  of the  ONRW designation
process). If fewer development proposals are made,
park staffs will be able to spend their time and ener-
gies on management.
   The National Park Service is sometimes perceived
negatively by other agencies and some individuals
because the Service often opposes developments or
activities that pose the potential for adversely affect-
ing park resources. National Park Service resource
managers frequently must seek to protect the status
quo. When  a Federal land manager appears at a
hearing, he or she is rarely perceived as "just another
landowner" and, to many, is considered the Federal
bully. ONRW designation for park waters might result
in fewer permit applications and thus, fewer hearings
and permit reviews.
   It is often difficult to demonstrate a clear and un-
equivocal connection between changes to water
quality and  resource damage. This is the case be-

cause comprehensive data that can clearly prove
resource damage will occur are rarely available and
defining what discharges cause "degradation" has
proved to  be a difficult task. In many cases, the ef-
fects of discharges on Service resources may be
subtle and long-term.  Because changes would not
occur in the short term, it is possible that Service
concerns may be discounted or ignored by permit-
ting authorities.
   Finally, both EPA and the appropriate State agen-
cies issue a  large number of wastewater discharge
permits. The sheer number of permits makes it dif-
ficult for staffs of individual parks to effectively keep
track of all the actions that may result in impacts to
National Park Service  units. Because ONRW desig-
nation for designated waters requires more stringent
standards in and of itself, there may be less need for
additional  monitoring  of  permits by Service  man-
  National Park Service Experience
                with ONRW

In 1986, the staffs of Buffalo National  River and
Southwest Region and  the Interior Department
Solicitor used the Arkansas designation of waters
within the park as Outstanding National Resource
Waters  ("Extraordinary Recreational and Aesthetic
Value")  as one of the bases for protesting the  is-
suance of a permit for a landfill near the park. The Na-
tional Park Service believed that, because of the karst
geology of the area, there was a significant potential
for degrading waters within the unit if a landfill were to
be constructed. ONRW status for waters within Buf-
falo River provided a framework that was used as the
basis for Service arguments concerning the need for
enhanced resource protection. On appeal to the
Department of Pollution Control and Ecology, the
permit was denied, at least partially due to the Park
Service's arguments.  An appeal is pending before
the Arkansas Supreme Court.
   In another case, a  catfish farm in Oklahoma was
discharging nutrient-laden effluent without a permit
into a tributary of Lake of the Arbuckles, an ONRW in
the Chickasaw National Recreation Area that also
serves  as the source of drinking water for several
nearby  towns. The discharge is located  about one
mile upstream of the park's boundary. In the permit
proceedings, protection of the ONRW was the basis
for much of the testimony.  Unfortunately, the water
quality standard applicable to the tributary was much
less stringent than the ONRW classification for  the
lake. The final  decision of the Oklahoma Water
Resources Board put seasonal discharge limitations
on the catfish farm that were designed to limit the ad-
dition of nutrients to the lake during the summer
months when the  potential  for  eutrophication  is
greater. The Service is continuing  to monitor for ad-
verse effects.
   The National Park Service has suggested that park
managers take some, or all, of the following steps to
facilitate ONRW designation for waters that are within
or may affect park units:

•  Work  Closely with  State Officials. State pro-
grams and policies vary widely. Some have prepared
detailed guidance on how to apply for such designa-
tions (Arizona, for example), with  clearly delineated
criteria that the waterbody must meet to be desig-
nated. In other States, the statutes implementing the
Clean  Water Act  may mention  ONRW or their
equivalent but provide no information on how they
are identified or designated. In either circumstance,
work closely with State agency officials to prepare an
application or petition  for designation.  Where the
State  has  not  already  established  procedures,
managers can influence how the  State goes  about
structuring and defining its applications processes.

•  Provide Water Resource Information. The more
information provided to the State on the quality of
water resources, on the ways water functions as part
of the park's ecosystem(s), and on the ways visitors
and wildlife use water resources for which designa-
tion is being sought, the more likely the State will  be
able to act positively on the application for designa-
tion. If the uses of the water or purposes for which the
unit was established are positively correlated with the
quality of the water, for  example, the Service should
make that clear.

• Write Comprehensive Planning Documents.
The information in the park's planning documents
(Statement  for  Management, Development Con-
cept Plans,  General  Management Plan,  Natural
Resources  Management  Plan,  Water Resources
Management Plan, and others) should support the
application for designation as an  ONRW. That infor-
mation should be supported by  National Park Ser-
vice actions, as well. For example,  if any National
Park Service activities, like road or trail construction
or use of pesticides, could  adversely affect water
resources,  environmental assessments  or other
documentation should  make it clear that protection
and preservation of high quality waters in the unit are
important to the Service.

•  Present Clear Proposals. The National Park Ser-
vice should make sure its actions to have ONRW
designated   are  clearly  understood.  Explain
proposals  to local  landowners, industries, civic

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 191-193
groups, and other potentially interested parties.  If
there is tremendous or widespread resistance, it may
be worth reconsidering the way the information is
presented or how the proposal is explained. Work to
ensure that the State  agency  can function as  a
partner, rather than as an adversary.

• Work with Local Groups. The National Park Ser-
vice manager may find it helpful to work as closely as
possible with other interested groups in protecting
the water in the park (local hunting and fishing or-
ganizations, local Audubon chapters, and civic or en-
vironmental groups).  Where waters  of National Park
Service units serve as sources of drinking water, the
local units of government or water management dis-
tricts often support applications for ONRW status.

•  Prepare an All-inclusive Petition. If a State has
more than one park unit with waters that appear to
qualify for ONRW  status, it might be preferable to
prepare only one, all-inclusive petition to the State.
This approach will require close coordination and
consultation between the parks to avoid duplication
of effort.  Such a situation might warrant having the
Water Resources Division serve as the project coor-

•  Be  an Ally.  In some  circumstances, property
owners whose lands  are adjacent to or  near waters
that are  candidates  for  ONRW may  not support
designation. On the other hand, it is difficult to im-
agine a circumstance in which a National Park Ser-
vice manager would not support  ONRW designation.
States that find themselves under pressure from EPA
or the public to conclusively implement antidegrada-
tion policies can find an ally in the National Park Ser-
        Areas for Further Action

Most of the States have ONRW programs that specifi-
cally address "national  parks." When the Service
uses that term, it is synonymous with any unit in the
National Park System as directed by the 1970 Act for
Administration. When the term "national park" is used
by the States, it  may mean only national parks and
may not include monuments, recreation areas, na-
tional  lakeshores,  or national  historical  parks.
Managers may find it useful to consult with the ap-
propriate State agency to determine the reach of the
State program.  If National Park Service units other
than "parks" are not included as ONRW, the triennial
review of the water quality standards is the time for
the Service to  raise the question and resolve the
issue. In addition, some States have petition proces-
ses that  allow individuals or agencies to propose
changes to State standards and policies.
   Many times, the valuable uses for water in National
Park System units are not considered to be "uses" for
the purpose of water quality standards. Or, the uses
in the National Park Service units represent a small
segment of a longer or larger water system and thus
are not accounted for in the State's water quality
standards. For example, the San Antonio River links
the Spanish Colonial missions that make up San An-
tonio Missions  National Historical Park in San An-
tonio, Texas. Upstream and downstream of the park,
the river is used for light industrial purposes, and the
water quality standards reflect those uses. In spite of
the standards,  however, many park visitors wade,
swim, and fish in the river—uses that were clearly not
contemplated  by the existing water  quality stan-
dards. There would be greater protection of park
visitors and resources if the National  Park Service
could identify the uses served by water in Service
units and communicate those uses  to the  State.
Cooperative efforts should enable accommodations
that are mutually satisfactory.
   It is not clear how ONRW designations affect State
policies and programs that concern nonpoint source
pollution. At present a suit brought by the U.S. Attor-
ney against the South Florida Water  Management
District and the Florida Department of Environmental
Regulation is pending in  the Federal  Court  for the
Southern  District of  Florida. It alleges,  among other
things, that an Outstanding Florida Waters designa-
tion (equivalent to ONRW) for Everglades National
Park requires special efforts to abate sources of non-
point pollution that threaten to change the composi-
tion and functioning  of ecosystems that the park was
established to preserve.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 195-196
                Implementing Antidegradation

                                        Mark Van Putten
                             Director, Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
                           National Wildlife Federation, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The National Wildlife Federation heartily supports the
Draft Framework's provision on antidegradation im-
plementing  procedures.   As  stipulated   in  the
Framework, during the next triennium States would
be encouraged or required to adopt these proce-
dures, which would be subject to public review and
comment and also to EPA's review and approval as
part of the regular water quality standards revision
process. I would hasten to  second Paul Frohardt's
observation that this is an area with great potential for
flexibility in how States implement antidegradation
requirements,  including allowances for  regional
variations. This flexibility in methods, however,  puts
an increased  burden on the Environmental Protec-
tion Agency. On the one hand, the regional offices
must participate in the process of developing State
procedures that  recognize the unique needs of the
different regions and, on the other, they should as-
sure that States within their regions and States with
comparable water quality issues are proceeding on a
somewhat similar course.
   In the open waters of the Great Lakes, our most
pressing concern, which has been recognized by the
United States  and Canada and also by the Great
Lakes Governors in their 1986 toxics control agree-
ment, is the problem of persistent toxic pollutants.
We are concerned with the mass loads of the persis-
tent bioaccumulative toxic pollutants that reach
those lakes from a wide variety of sources, both point
and nonpoint.  (It is generally  understood that non-
point sources include such problems as atmospheric
deposition, in-place pollutants, and groundwater dis-
charges.) One of the most important concepts that
the Great Lakes environmental community is looking
for in this region's State antidegradation procedures
is a way to use that rule to prevent any increased
mass loadings into the Great Lakes of the most per-
sistent and bioaccumulative toxic pollutants.
   There has been some rather creative thinking and
discussion in the region about ways of implementing
a concept like this. In 1986, Michigan included in its
antidegradation  rule a  presumption against  any
mixing zone for new or increased discharges of a
toxic pollutant directly into the waters of the Great
Lakes. The genesis of that  provision was a concern
that, as Michigan's water quality standards for toxic
pollutants began to be applied statewide on inland
waters, it could create incentives to expand and lo-
cate new toxic polluting facilities directly on the
lakeshores to take advantage of the tremendous dilu-
tion capability. In fact, we have seen this occur in the
last year with a very public debate over the wisdom of
locating a new bleached Kraft pulp mill on the shores
of Lake Superior in Michigan's upper peninsula. One
of the key locational factors involved was the lake's
dilution  capability for discharges  of 2,3,7,8-TCDD
from such a mill.
  It is this provision of Michigan's antidegradation
rule that has given rise to the debate about control
technology. What kind of controls are available for a
mill like this? Even more important, what kind of alter-
native processes are available for delignification and
bleaching? Those are questions  that might never
have come up in such an immediate and forceful a
fashion were it not for the section of Michigan's anti-
degradation rule that denied the dilutive capacity of
Lake Superior. So one feature that we are interested
in is its focusing of attention away from in-stream
concentrations  in the vicinity of  a source toward
mass loading of a group of key pollutants into the
downwater Great Lakes.
  This approach has been somewhat more refined
in Wisconsin's  recently  adopted antidegradation
rule. That State has identified a list of pollutants that
have a bioaccumulation factor of over 250 and has
provided a more stringent level of antidegradation
review for those pollutants. We have continuing con-
cerns about how the pollutants were identified and
about the  contents of the more stringent anti-
degradation review, but,  nevertheless, I think the
focus on a certain class of pollutants is exactly what
we need to see more of in the Great Lakes.
  Over the next triennium, I would much  prefer to
see EPA expend its  resources on a two-track effort.
First, every EPA region should be required to have a
regional antidegradation policy like that developed in
Region  V. Headquarters should ensure that all the
regions proceed on  a somewhat simultaneous track
when implementing this  policy.  Otherwise,  one
region might be out in front of the others and there-
fore could be subjected to an unfair share of resis-
tance and pressure.
  The second  thing that I would like to  see EPA
focus its attention on when developing antidegrada-

tion policy on a regional ecosystem basis is guidance
for States as to what antidegradation means in the
region. By "region" I mean ecoregion, not necessarily
EPA region. What does antidegradation mean for the
Chesapeake Bay watershed? How does it contribute
to efforts to clean up  and  maintain water quality in
that sensitive ecosystem?  What does antidegrada-
tion mean for the Great Lakes? How can it be used to
assure that their dilution capacity does not result in
new or increased mass loads?
   I do not believe that efforts to develop  numeric
criteria and apply them to existing  sources can
proceed independently of a regional antidegradation
policy. Otherwise, those numeric criteria and those
restrictions,  which are largely concentration based,
are going to provide incentives to discharge into the
Great Lakes. Moreover, as  we begin to put numbers
on specific chemicals and concentrations for certain
chemicals, it may appear that the Great Lakes could
absorb more of these  pollutants-that is a feature of
the lakes' tremendous dilutive capacity. We have to
anticipate this and ensure that for certain  kinds of
toxic  chemicals—the persistent,  bioaccumulative
ones—there are antidegradation provisions in place
that will prevent any increased loads into the basin.
   I would like to conclude with a hint of what an-
tidegradation might  mean to the future of a region
like the Great Lakes. We have proposed in Wiscon-
sin, and renewed a proposal in Michigan, for a Great
Lakes "toxics freeze." We are proposing, in the con-
text of these States' antidegradation rules, a prohibi-
tion against any net increase in the amounts of the
most  dangerous,  persistent, bioaccumulative toxic
pollutants into the Great Lakes. In our view, the way
to begin cleaning up those lakes is not to exacerbate
the existing problems. What we have looked for in
Wisconsin and Michigan,  unsuccessfully  so far, is
use of an antidegradation rule to implement this con-
cept. I think we are going to see more of those kinds
of ideas coming from all over the country as each of
the regions and all of the States struggle to develop
their antidegradation implementation policies over
the next triennium.

                                                    WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  C. (Tague) I have some observations from my ex-
perience in trying to develop, propose, and defend
public hearings  on  water quality standards for New
Mexico over the past 13 years. The battle over anti-
degradation is joined by four ideas: First, all uses of
water degrade  it, including backpacking in wilder-
ness areas and  the multiple-use concept of the U.S.
Forest Service. Secondly, with a few notable excep-
tions all waters  in New Mexico are better than  the
water quality standards so virtually all are covered
under antidegradation. Next, all uses of water and all
activities in a  drainage  basin  (either  existing  or
proposed)  are  viewed by their advocates as  ab-
solutely necessary to the public good, so the battle is
joined between  people for and people against an ac-
tivity. And  finally, in New Mexico the concept of anti-
degradation is most flagrantly compromised by the
mandated responsibilities in programs of two Federal
agencies:  the U.S. Forest Service by the multiple use
of public lands, and the Bureau of Land Management
by its requirement under a 19th century law to issue
mining leases.  The most degrading environmental
activity  is cattle leasing—the contracting to cattle
owners or ranchers of use of wilderness areas. The
greatest destruction to headwaters in New Mexico
takes place right at the top of the  watershed, in the
wilderness areas.

   C. (Blosser)  In  regions like that implementation
will have to include cooperative work so that anti-
degradation provisions will be  used appropriately
and applied among EPA regions, Headquarters, and
other  Federal  land  management activities.  With
regard to the  Forest Service,  the forest planning
process is a major  issue in some of the challenges to
those plans, so the  Service's comprehensive land
management decision-making  process provides a
vehicle for applying antidegradation. Grazing is a
more difficult problem. The National Wildlife Federa-
tion would certainly support a  stipulation that the
degradation of water quality on those lands be an in-
tegral part of the decision to grant or renew those
grazing permits in any decision regarding the grant-
ing or renewal of grazing rights on Federal lands.

   C. I would echo the sentiments on problems with
waters that exceed standards, and  the administrative
work involved to allow a lower water quality in such
waters when trying to implement the review required
under the regulation. The majority of State waters are
better than the  water quality standards,  probably 99
percent are above 5 milligrams per liter deciliter.
  The definition would include looking at social and
economic impacts for waters like that and holding
hearings. The States do not  have the resources or
the policies to handle that. In the question and
answer document's item 8 regarding degradation, it
seems to state  that,  for antidegradation of any
waters, you are required to have existing uses fully
attained and indicates that there cannot be any acute
or chronic toxicity in the surface water. That gets
back to the end-of-pipe limitations for NPDES per-
mits and the impossibility, at this point, for most per-
mittees  to meet  chronic  toxicity  limits at  the

   C.  (Sutfin) One of the issues that has  come up in
practically every  presentation  is what  constitutes
high quality waters. Colorado has established a set of
criteria for determining this; in Delaware, they've ac-
tually designated waters as high quality;  in Region V
in the Michigan and the Wisconsin proposals, all
waters that meet water quality standards are desig-
nated as  high quality  waters and have  to undergo
some degree of antidegradation review. I'm wonder-
ing how people feel about that issue.

   C. (Baker) I would like to  see some emphasis or
clear statement in the EPA guidance that it is permis-
sible to have standards greater than the minimum
necessary to protect fish and aquatic life, wildlife, or
human health. In too many antidegradation policies
either you're at that level or you're at the existing
level. When you  are looking at alternatives, there
ought to be some emphasis on the fact that there's
room in between for setting standards and that EPA
will support standards that permit you  to fall back
some small percent if, technically, you cannot meet
or maintain the current level.
   It would be  helpful  to  have  the  concept of
ecoregions  recognized  in  the Framework.  Anti-
degradation implementation will differ, so the con-
cept  of ecoregion  consistency could set a basic
structure to use when States look at some of those
critical issues. There also needs to be some consis-
tency on terms for designating high quality waters. In
Wisconsin, we got carried away with antidegradation
and designated more outstanding resource waters
than some States have waters. That's going to be a
problem if outstanding resource waters are so dif-
ferent across the country because there is supposed
to be some  national  significance associated with
those waters. Perhaps some additional  dialogue or
information transfer by EPA to show what's going on
in the different States would help to create some con-

sistency in those designations. Finally, there's a total
lack of information about designating lakes. We are
in the second tier of designating lakes in different
classifications, and we're finding out that all lakes, for
the most part, deserve some special recognition.

  C. I'd like to make one comment on the desire to
have some option available between the extremes of
no degradation and degradation all the way down to
a sometimes minimum standard. There are a couple
of ways to work in the antidegradation framework to
achieve that result. There is an option to define "sig-
nificance" our  regulation states that increased load-
ings that are less than 10 percent of the existing total
load to that segment for the critical parameters shall
be  considered insignificant.  Now you still have to
worry about cumulative loads (and Colorado has a
provision for them), but I think that's one place where
you can provide  some flexibility without going down
to the standard.  Also, when you look at alternatives
(not just alternatives that provide no degradation, but
ones  that  provide less degradation) you might
decide that there's no feasible alternative available
that provides no degradation, but there is a feasible
alternative available that provides less but wouldn't
go all the way down to the standard, and because we
think you can,  we're not going to approve the project
unless you go to that point.

   C. Most of the waters in Idaho are either outstand-
ing or high quality. We have a lot of timber on Federal
lands, and we have a lot of grazing on Bureau of Land
Management lands. Idaho set up, instead of a system
of hard standards and measurements, an ongoing
dynamic process that allows these decisions to be
made essentially at the basin area level, or the local
level,  with participation  of  appropriate State  and
Federal resource agencies. The  consequences  of
grazing or timbering would  be discussed and best
management  practices  for specific  activities  on
stream segments of particular concern individually
prescribed. The Soil Conservation Districts are heavi-
ly involved in the review of best management prac-
tices and in developing special range conservation
projects. There will be low interest loans and grant
monies available for farmers and ranchers to imple-
ment special best management practices for grazing
and farming lands adjacent to stream segments  of
particular concern. These plans will be reviewed an-
nually in the Soil Conservation District process, and
biennially in  the Bureau of  Land  Management
   Instead   of developing  hard  standards  and
measuring to see if they are met, we've tried to push
the decision-making level down to the local people
(who use the  lands and the waters the most), with
participation of State and Federal resource agencies
to create an on-going, dynamic process to make
plans for best management practices and monitor
their effectiveness. What we've set up is a system that
requires the interest groups to participate in water
quality planning on an on-going basis; if they don't,
our system isn't going to work. But if they don't par-
ticipate, it must be because they don't care. I think
they care, so I think they'll participate.

   C. (Van Putten)  I work with the National Wildlife
Federation's membership in the Great Lakes region
and try to get them involved in these water quality
standards issues. I have found no issue that people
seem to understand easier and be more interested in
participating in than antidegradation. The level of
genuine public involvement from the  areas that will
be affected by designation is unlike that in  any other
water quality issue that I've known. It is an area where
local  people and local planning can  actually work.
The  kinds of questions that are asked in the anti-
degradation review process are the things that the
average citizen wants to talk about. The antidegrada-
tion process is a place where, for the first time, those
are the right questions.
   Another issue is the question of  whether a given
waterbody  qualifies for antidegradation and, in
answering that  question,  are you looking  on a pol-
lutant-by-pollutant  basis? Let's say a given water-
body  is better  than the minimum  standard  for
pollutant X, but not for pollutant  Y Should anti-
degradation be applied just with regard to pollutant X
and  does  it  apply at all  because all  the key
parameters are not exceeded? That is a critical issue
involved in implementing antidegradation regardless
of the ecoregion and EPA region.

   C. Your  last  point is  very important.  What  we
recognized in Idaho was that setting hard  standards
is difficult, so we try to establish a dynamic process
not only for land-use planning, industry, timber, min-
ing,  and  agriculture  but, hand-in-hand  with that,
development of a water quality data base. Focusing
again on local  planning and  local  decisionmaking,
what is critical is putting your monitoring in the most
sensitive places along the stream segments, and
focusing your attention on those particular water-
bodies instead of trying to do a blanket program for
the entire State. Over time your standards will evolve,
based on  the accurate information you acquire
through  your monitoring program.  You  can't  set
standards and know the cumulative  impacts, that the
standards are workable and necessary, unless you're
watching the water constantly. That's why monitoring
and the standards procedure must go  hand-in-hand.

                                                      WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
   C. (Frohardt) It is not only a question of one pol-
lutant or all of the pollutants being better than stan-
dards, but certainly in Colorado and I'm sure in most
areas, quality varies substantially from year to year in
certain streams especially related to variable flows,
the quality  varies  substantially  from season to
   What do you look at? That is  complicated. It is
tough to find and have enough data for definitive
answers. Based on that alone, the approach that
we've taken is to then look at a combination of fac-
tors. We've got one test for high quality waters that is
based on a numerical test of the existing quality of 12
different parameters, but there are other factors that
are listed  to  consider high quality designation, in-
cluding whether the waters are located in national
parks, monuments, or wildlife refuges; those that are
designated wild rivers; and (a further discretionary
authority added on to retain some flexibility) waters
may be designated high quality, even though none of
the proceeding criteria apply,  if the Commission
believes, based on the available information, that ex-
ceptional reasons are present to warrant the extra
protection of uses provided by the high quality desig-
nations. Any one of these aspects isn't a satisfying
answer in and of itself, but there are a combination of
techniques and approaches available that can often
be used in combination.

   C.  (Sutfin) We've had questions in Wisconsin on
whether or not the antidegradation rules would apply
to a permitted discharge or to the actual existing ef-
fluent quality that was being discharged by a par-
ticular user of a stream. Often we have found that the
permitted discharge level  is way above what the
facility is actually able to produce with its existing
treatment plant and current production. Dischargers
will argue that they have a  right to what their permit
says, and when their permit expires, that it should be
rolled over and given to them again. That's an issue.
Currently, most permits that control toxicity do not
also develop pound  limits, and so there  isn't  a
baseline to use for judging mass loading  to lakes in
permits. In my region I'm asking if we should estab-
lish that baseline by requiring mass loadings either to
be put in as effluent limits or at least identified in the
fact sheet for new permits that are issued. Another
issue came up in Wisconsin on a river where there
were five dischargers. One shut down and released a
large quantity of available assimilative capacity on
the stream.  Do the remaining  dischargers have  a
right to that capacity? I don't think they do, but that
was a major issue in Wisconsin. There's any number
of mechanical  issues that deal with permits that I
think ought to be resolved and discussed, as well.
   C.  In  Colorado, because of the seasonal low
flows, dischargers often need to meet standards at
the end of the pipe (or something pretty close to that)
and, because of the inevitable variability in what they
actually achieve, to try to make sure they are in com-
pliance they often have to do significantly better than
what is actually required. Therefore, the receiving
water quality is being kept better than, in theory (if
they could fine-tune their discharges) they could
deplete it to. Suddenly, some dischargers are argu-
ing: "Now, wait a minute. You're going to tell us that, if
we're doing better than required by our permit, we're
going to  be subject to antidegradation review?" We
were concerned  by that disincentive and put in  a
specific exclusion that says waters will not be subject
to antidegradation review if the existing quality is
maintained better than standards solely because dis-
chargers are treating their wastes levels higher than
required by standards.

   C.  I would  have to vigorously object to such  a
proposal. It seems to me that there's a fundamental
misconception there in terms of the Clean Water Act
and the overall policy that's represented in that Act.
The notion that water quality, whether it results from a
certain level  of  pollution  control,  technologically
natural conditions, or whatever, belongs to  anyone,
that there's any right to use that assimilative capacity,
is, in legal and philosophical terms,  the single most
important feature of the I972 Clean Water Act. The
reason why it represented such a departure from all
prior approaches was its recognition that  the dis-
charge of any pollutant by any person is prohibited,
with some exceptions, and since 1972 what we've all
been doing is defining and implementing the excep-
tions.  However, we  can't lose sight of the  basic
prohibition of any addition of any pollutant into the
Nation's waters. That translates into a recognition by
the Congress that there is no right to pollute, there is
no such thing as any right to the assimilative capacity
of a stream.
   Years ago, in a very similar situation, it was argued
that the water quality in the Kalamazoo River, which
was better than the minimum dissolved oxygen re-
quirement, was "artificially induced water quality and
that the State agency had no choice but to allocate
that assimilative capacity to the dischargers. It was in
that context that the issues of antidegradation and
antibacksliding really began to assume great impor-
tance. We are not saying you never use up that as-
similative capacity. What we are saying is that there's
a value to water quality that exceeds minimum stan-
dards, and that we're not going to just automatically
give away that assimilative capacity as though there
were some right to it but rather ask  ourselves some

admittedly very difficult questions. What is the value
of that incremental water quality? That's what we
mean by defining a significant degradation. What can
be done to avoid using that up  for pollution  pur-
poses? Are there alternatives, like waste reduction?
What's the benefit to the area of using that up? So I
would disagree very vehemently with any suggestion
that there's some kind of entitlement to assimilative

   C. Well, this is an area where I think zero discharge
matters. How you interpret the zero discharge  goal
and  directive,  the  further reducing  of  pollutants
added to the Nation's waters.

   C. (Courtemanch) I hope that  it's becoming ob-
vious to EPA that the guidance that's currently avail-
able for antidegradation is insufficient. The ambi-
guities in it are enormous and have created a lot of
business for the attorneys, and I would prefer to see
attention be given  to the  ecological, sociological,
and  economic questions that are all nested in this
anti-degradation issue.
   Maine is on the verge of adopting antidegradation
regulations. It's been a long and painful process both
in negotiations with the various parties- industry, the
environmental advocates, and so forth - and with the
EPA region, in that there's just an incredible amount
of ambiguity in the language that creates a liberal
type  of application. We have been  involved  with
several projects in Maine where we have had to make
a decision on existing uses. It gets down to a com-
mon point: are you going to take the purist approach
to antidegradation or are you going to take the prag-
matic  approach?  Recently, the  decisions  have
tended  toward the purist  side there have been  a
broad array of discrete types of existing uses. There-
fore, when we look at our entire water policy or anti-
degradation policy, we can  see that, if we continue in
this type of purist direction, there will probably never
be   another  high  head   hydroelectric  project
developed in the United States. If you look at existing
uses in a very discrete manner, specifically ones that
have been argued with our projects (protection for
specific fish species,  spawning in running waters)
they would  be precluded by habitat modifications
that would occur by a hydroelectric project going
into place. It is worthy of debate. I'm not saying that
we need to take a purist side or the more liberal ap-
proach, but if you take that type of purist approach, it
does create  other certain discrepancies for us.
   We were  recently given a dam for the expressed
purpose of removing it: putting a  hole in it to allow
restoration for Atlantic salmon in one of our former
Atlantic salmon rivers. If we punch a hole in that dam,
which we would like to do,  the habitat is going to
change dramatically, as will  the uses that currently
occur behind that impoundment. Which uses do we
protect? I think if we take this purist approach to it,
we run into these types of discrepancies that haven't
been addressed. I would like to see EPA explore this

   C. The biggest  complaint  we hear  about  anti-
degradation is what we  should really  be doing is
protecting beneficial uses, and if  we're doing that,
who cares about theoretical levels above beneficial
uses? If your beneficial uses include aesthetic and
recreational uses,  let's just worry about protecting
them. We're all still struggling with the science on
protecting uses, and I think that in some sense in a
long-term viewpoint, that it's conceivable if we ever
come  anywhere  near  perfecting the  science of
protecting beneficial uses, then, the need for anti-
degradation policy may whither away but only if we
have a unified effort by everyone, including industry,
to adequately fund State and Federal agencies to
move forward on a science for these different areas.

Extending Standards to

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 203-205

   How  States Can  Use 401  Certification and

    State  Standards  to  Affect  Federal Permits

                                     Thomas J. Dawson
             Wisconsin Public Intervenor, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Madison, Wisconsin
This  paper  is presented with the caveat that my
perspective is not necessarily the same as that of the
State of Wisconsin, which is normally represented in
such  matters by  the  Wisconsin  Department of
Natural Resources.
  I  am  an appointed  State official  who has the
privilege of saying what many civil servants in the
Wisconsin bureaucracy are only allowed to think, but
not to say. Under a very unique Wisconsin State law, I
am one of two assistant attorneys general who have
been appointed to  carry out a legislatively imposed
duty to advocate the protection of "public  rights" in
the waters and other natural resources of Wisconsin.
Because  we are charged with representing these
public rights, and to even sue agencies that trample
on these rights,  I not only plan to report on what
States are doing in this area, but to also advocate
what I think they should be doing.
     The Authority to Deny Water
   Quality Certification is also the
        Authority to do Nothing

At the Boston conference last September, I offered
the  following observation:  As  an  observer  and
watchdog of regulatory agencies for many years, I
continually have to remind myself, the environmental
community, and others that the grant of authority to
an agency by the Congress or a State legislature to
do something also is the authority to do little or noth-
ing. And so along with the authority of the States to
deny water quality certifications for  404 permits, I
have seen that the authority to "veto" has resulted in
few or no vetos of 404 permits. True, there are oc-
casions when some States have denied water quality
certifications for both nationwide permits and for in-
dividual  404 permits. However, we know that most
States have not developed their own rules, regula-
tions, and  standards for water  quality certification
decisions on 404 permits and that waivers of water
quality certifications for 404 permits are nearly as
epidemic as the issuance of 404 permits by the U.S
Army Corps of Engineers for non-water-dependent
  The Wisconsin Public Intervenor Office has peti-
tioned  the  Wisconsin  Department  of   Natural
Resources (WDNR) twice within the last 10 years to
develop criteria and decision-making standards for
the granting and denial of water quality certifications,
particularly with respect to 404 permits for fills and
wetlands. To this day, the standards do not exist al-
though the agency has promised recently to develop
such standards. We shall see.  The department has
not yet been able to bring itself beyond the "end-of-
pipe" discharge mentality to develop the narrative
physical and biological standards necessary for the
denial of water quality certifications for fills and wet-
lands. Wisconsin is  not alone among the States in
this failure to act, largely because of the lack of politi-
cal will to obtain or to exercise the authority neces-
sary to deny water quality certifications for wetland
  In light of this, can we really blame the Army Corps
for getting away with its epidemic permit issuances if
the States do not  exercise their authority to stop
  In 1986 there were between 10,000 and 12,000 in-
dividual 404 permit  applications processed by the
Army Corps;  only 3 percent of those permits were
denied. Countless other aquatic  resources were
sacrificed to  nationwide permits. The Army Corps
presumes filling will be permitted: others must prove
the  permit should be denied. Meanwhile,  States
waive or grant certifications, and EPA seldom flexes
its 404(c) muscle.
  With that, let's look at how some States are using
and can use the 401 certification process and State
standards to affect Federal permits.
        What States are Doing

At the Boston conference, an entire segment of the
program was devoted to 401 certification. Several
States reported that they were successfully denying
water quality certifications for wetland fill permits by
invoking the  provision in  401 (d) that provides that
certifications shall set forth limitations necessary to
assure that an applicant for a Federal license or per-

mit will comply "with any other appropriate require-
ment of State law set forth in such certification."
   For example, Maryland invokes this provision as a
basis for using the 404(b)(1) guidelines (in 40 C.F.R.
part  230) as their water quality certification stan-
dards. The Maryland Department of Environment has
personnel evaluate and document  the impacts of
wetland fills on wetland resources and applies those
facts to the 404(b)(1) guidelines criteria relating to:
the need for the project in light of practicable alterna-
tives; water  dependency;  and harm  to aquatic
resource values. Likewise, Tennessee reported it was
using the 401 certification process as a de facto as-
sumption of the 404 program. Wisconsin's Public In-
tervenor Office advocated this use of  401 to the
Wisconsin DNR almost 10 years ago.
   Various States, including Maryland, Ohio, and Ten-
nessee are using their antidegradation  rules  as a
basis for denial of water quality certifications, espe-
cially where wetlands, or types of wetlands, are clas-
sified as "outstanding" waters under the rules, and
EPA endorsed this use of the antidegradation rule (40
C.F.R. 131.12). Maryland reminded  us that where a
water or aquatic  resource is attaining a  higher use
than its classification under the antidegradation rule,
it must  be protected at that higher use because
present water quality of the water is to be maintained.
   While some States deny water quality certifica-
tions under general  authorities in  statutes or ad-
ministrative rules that are  not specifically labeled
"401 certification," other States  (Ohio, West Virginia,
and California are among  them) have  chosen to
develop specific  rules and regulations governing
their 401 certification activity. I do not include Wis-
consin in that group, although the  Wisconsin DNR
has enacted a chapter for water quality certifications,
because WDNR does not apply these rules to 404 fill
permits and actually uses it as a justification for waiv-
ing  water quality  certification. The WDNR has yet to
escape the end-of-pipe milligrams-per-liter mentality.
   Ohio's rules incorporate  the antidegradation rule
in its water quality certification program, classifying
wetlands as  outstanding waters.  Rules  in other
States deny water quality certifications for 404 fill per-
mits for specific classifications of wetlands. For  ex-
ample, Minnesota denied 401  certifications for 404
fills  in fens. South Carolina ruled that fill permits in
coastal zone wetlands were  inconsistent with coastal
zone  plans  and  so  denied  certification. Several
States developed regulations governing mitigation
as a component  of the certification  process. Ten-
 nessee requires  "2-to-1  mitigation," unless it is  not
   The California Water Resources Board is reported-
ly prioritizing mitigation in the forms of in-kind mini-
mization and replacement  on- and off-site. Buffer
zones for wetlands are provided, and mitigation ac-
tivity is  required before or during the  approved
project construction to assure that mitigation activity
occurs. California  also  requires mitigation project
monitoring, annual reporting, proof of ownership of
the mitigation site, verification of funding to conduct
mitigation, and identification of who will do the work
as components of its certification program.
   In West Virginia, a certification denial  based on
loss of  habitat was upheld in the courts  under the
"other   appropriate  requirements  of State  law"
provision in 401.
   From these examples, some observations can be
summarized. States are successfully denying or con-
ditioning water quality certifications for Federal per-
mits. They are doing so with or without State statutes
or  rules specifically  authorizing 401  certification.
Authority is  being  drawn from a mosaic  of general
and specific water quality-related and conservation
State laws as a  basis for authority for water quality
certification decisionmaking. For example,  it would
appear that States administering the Clean Water Act
NPDES point source discharge law would  have
ample authority to establish water quality certifica-
tion rules for wetlands. While States are using and ex-
panding water quality-related statutes  and rules as a
basis for 401 certification, they are also successfully
denying water quality certifications  on the basis of
non-water-quality-related requirements in their laws
and the Clean Water Act 401 (d).
What the States Can and Should Do
 I share the State resource agencies' frustration, con-
 cern, and  anger at the dismal record of the Army
 Corps in administering  404 of the Clean Water Act,
 particularly as it  relates to wetlands destruction.
 However, I am also very critical of State agencies that
 wring their hands over the Army Corps' record, while
 they themselves have not even attempted to do what
 the resource agencies and courageous regulators
 have done in Maryland, Ohio, California, West Vir-
 ginia, Tennessee, and a few other States. Lack of
 authority is not the reason for the failure of many
 State agencies to use Clean Water Act  401 as a
 mechanism for  protecting our dwindling and pre-
 cious wetlands resources.  It is merely an excuse to
 cover what, in my opinion, is usually a lack of political
 will to take on the economic and political forces be-
 hind wetlands destruction. In Maryland's case, it is
 the recent cut in staff positions for this vital program.
 While some State agencies may have been specifi-
 cally precluded from acting by legislatures, I do not

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 203-205
believe this is the general rule. It certainly is not the
case in Wisconsin.
   State agencies should a take  a long, hard look at
how other States use 401 of the Clean Water Act to
protect  wetlands.  Pull together  the  mosaic  of
authorities and laws that  provide  powers to your
agencies to protect water quality,  habitat,  surface
water resources, groundwater, navigable  waters,
wildlife, human health, soil, and other components of
the aquatic ecosystem that are  served by wetlands
resources. Like Maryland, you may not even need to
adopt specific rule packages to begin using the
authority you  already  have,  so use it, especially
where you believe you have the  authority and adop-
tion of rules would  be  suicidal.  The worst that can
happen is that you will be told  you have to adopt
rules or get new legislation. If you are not invoking
401 certification  authority now,  what has  the wet-
lands resource to lose in your State?
   Seriously consider adopting, tailoring,  and  im-
proving  upon   the handbook 401   certification
developed by the EPA Office of Wetlands Protection
and the Environmental Law Institute and  consider
using it  along with rules  and programs  already
adopted by other States.
   Be creative. While I encourage agencies to break
free from  the  discharge  pipe/milligrams-per-liter
mentality, this does  not mean that traditional notions
of pollutant discharges to waterways cannot be  ap-
plied to other point  sources, including dump trucks,
bulldozers, dredges, and other  earthmoving equip-
ment. Agency personnel often snicker when I  ask
them why they have not applied their suspended
solids standards to discharges from dump trucks.
Doesn't anyone recognize the absurdity of agencies
that are willing to regulate point source pipes in wet-
lands because they may injure wetlands, while they
apply absolutely no regulation to other point sources
that obliterate or utterly destroy the same wetlands?
   Do not abuse the concept of mitigation. Wetlands
fill permits, as  well as water quality certifications,
should rise or fall on their own merits without con-
siderations of  "mitigation."  Mitigation should  be
relevant only in cases where  wetland loss is un-
avoidable where  an overriding  public  interest  is
served—and  this should be the case  in  only a
minority of cases. Then, and only then, should injury
to aquatic resources be  minimized  and,  hopefully,
repaired. Do not allow your certification programs to
degenerate into the "let's make a deal" scheme with
the Army Corps of Engineers.
   To my dear friends in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser-
vice, I say, duck ponds do not mitigate the losses of
non-surface water wetlands. Ducks and fish are not
the only animals and values served by wetlands, and
mitigation should  always be  in-kind replacement
wherever possible. We do not "enhance" wetlands by
converting them to another type of  wetland. Given
the loss of wetlands due to the 404 program and the
abuse of the  mitigation process, consider seriously
the Tennessee policy of seeking 2-to-1 in-kind mitiga-
tion wherever practicable.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 207-208
          Extending  Standards to  Louisiana's

                                        Robin S. Knox
             Water Quality Modeling Specialist, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality,
                                      Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana's Department  of  Environmental Quality
has received proposals to discharge wastewaters to
wetland areas. Because of the large extent of inland
and coastal wetland areas in Louisiana, there are in
many cases few, if any, alternatives to a wetland dis-
charge site.  In the past such discharges have  oc-
curred  and, where permitted,  effluent  limitations
were technology based.  However, Louisiana's new
Water  Quality  Management  Plan  calls  for water
quality-based permitting in most areas of the State.
We are currently reviewing a permit application for a
wetland discharge and, in attempting to develop a
water quality-based permit, have identified the need
to extend water quality standards to wetlands.
  The City of Thibodaux, Louisiana, discharges into
the Terrebonne-Lafourche  Drainage  Channel, a
dredged canal that is primarily used for drainage of
urban areas. During the summer months when there
is little  rainfall,  the water in the canal  stagnates: it
does not flow naturally, and it must be pumped from
the canal  into the downstream canals. As a  result
there is an accumulation of secondary sewage ef-
fluent,  with the accompanying solids  and oxygen
demands, sitting all summer stewing in Louisiana's
semi-tropical climate—not a very desirable situation.
When it rains and the canal is pumped out, all of the
accumulated oxygen demand is flushed  out, down
through the canal system into Bayou Black and the
wetlands that lie below. We don't have much data on
the system, but the field  staff reports that there are
some severe water quality impacts as a result of  this
and other discharges to the canal system.
  Thibodaux has funded recent improvements to its
wastewater treatment system under the terms of a
Consent Decree with  EPA. The improvements in-
cluded an aerated equalization basin, situated before
the two existing high rate trickling filters. These im-
provements will enable the city to meet the terms of
an existing NPDES permit (secondary level of treat-
ment). However, it has been recognized that this level
of treatment will not meet the long-term wastewater
treatment requirements.
  The  Louisiana Water  Quality Management Plan
does not  assign effluent limitations for Thibodaux
and requires an individual analysis to determine what
limits should be assigned. It is known that some level
of advanced treatment will be required. Therefore,
Thibodaux has applied for a construction grant to
fund an innovative and alternative treatment process.
The city maintains that wetlands enhancement by the
discharge of secondarily treated effluent onto fresh-
water wetlands is a cost-effective method for achiev-
ing advanced wastewater treatment.  The city has
proposed to  discharge an  average  4.0  MGD of
secondarily treated effluent from the existing  treat-
ment facility to 600 acres of an existing wetlands area
via a 7,000-foot force main and a 500 to 1,000 foot-
long distribution pipe.
   The proposed  discharge site is part of a cypress-
tupelo swamp forest. The wetland has in the past
been hydrologically altered. The proposed discharge
site is bounded on the north by the spoil bank  of the
Terrebonne-Lafourche  Drainage Channel,  on the
east by a wide natural ridge, and on the west by an oil
field board road, so that the application area is  a fun-
nel-shaped  unit with a bottom control point where
discharges from the wetland application area can be
   The treatment facility  plan as  presented raises
legal, institutional, and scientific issues that must be
resolved prior to  permitting of the project. The legal
issues identified include jurisdiction of the wetland (is
this a water of the State and of the United  States?),
the resource rights, and the legal definition of treat-
ment  versus assimilation.  The  scientific  issues
revolve around the assimilative capacity of the wet-
land and its biological, chemical, and physical func-
tions. Consideration of the scientific issues leads one
to realize that the questions go beyond protection of
water quality into general environmental quality and
protection of the integrity of an ecosystem.
   Consideration  of  this proposal to discharge
wastewater into a wetland raises institutional issues
concerning at least three regulatory areas within the
Office of Water Resources. The issues pertain  to the
Louisiana Water Quality Standards, permitting  under
the Louisiana Water Discharge Permit  System, and
funding through the Construction Grants Program.
Similar EPA programs are involved at the Federal

level. The institutional issues  include construction
grants eligibility, methods for determining effluent
limitations, the inadequacy of the currently used
water quality models,  and other permitting condi-
tions such as addressing  impacts on groundwater,
limiting  public  access,  mosquito  control,  best
management practices, and alternatives for reducing
area! loading rates.
   The basic procedures involved in reviewing and
authorizing a wastewater discharge to a wetland are
the same as for any other discharge. However, wet-
lands were not the prototype system used when was-
tewater management  regulations, guidelines, and
procedures were established.  As a result, due to a
lack of specific guidance and  procedures concern-
ing  wetland  discharges,  several  issues  must  be
resolved before authorizing such a discharge.
   The establishment  of  procedures to deal with
water quality-based permitting  for discharges to wet-
lands must  begin  with the water quality standards
process. The wetlands in Louisiana are not identified
or specifically addressed in the existing water quality
standards. The narrative criteria,  beneficial  use
designations, and supportive numeric  criteria are
designed  to  protect specific  stream  segments
delineated in the water quality standards.  Wetlands
are  outside  the  delineated segments and are con-
sidered to be tributary to them. Therefore the narra-
tive criteria, beneficial use designations, and numeric
criteria extend to the wetlands as they extend to all
   For instance, at  the  proposed Thibodaux  dis-
charge  site the numeric  criteria are chlorides 85
mg/L, sulfates 40  mg/L, dissolved oxygen 5 mg/L,
total dissolved solids 295 mg/L, and pH range 6.0 to
8.5.  The designated beneficial  uses are primary and
secondary contact recreation, and fish and wildlife
propagation. There are provisions for exceptions to
the  dissolved  oxygen criteria  under  a  naturally
dystrophic waters clause that requires us to do a use
attainability study to establish appropriate criteria.
There is also an antidegradation policy that specifies
that existing beneficial uses must be maintained.
   The  narrative criteria,  numeric  criteria, anti-
degradation policy, and naturally dystrophic waters
exception are the only protection offered wetlands in
the State's water quality standards. The  standards
are inadequate in that they were designed to address
water quality and aquatic life and do not address the
other values and functions of the wetlands.
   In  the process   of attempting  to permit  the
Thibodaux discharge, we have  identified  certain
needs in regards to  Louisiana's wetland standards.
The standards need  to address impacts caused by
physical and hydrologic  modifications to wetlands.
Numeric criteria should define physical, biological,
and hydrological limits, i.e., loading rates to the wet-
lands. There is a need for numeric criteria that protect
the integrity of the wetland functions, both hydrologi-
cal and  biological, and  one  for biological criteria,
either numeric or narrative, not only for aquatic and
benthic organisms but vegetative and wildlife com-
munities as well. (For instance, the proposed wetland
standards in Florida  limit the  percent change of im-
portance value  for  vegetative species.) Sediment
criteria are also  appropriate from two aspects: sedi-
ment loading criteria and sediment contamination
   The recommendations that have been made for
the development of wetland standards in Louisiana
can  be paralleled at the Federal  level.  Louisiana's
recommendations are to instigate the incorporation
of wetland functions and values into water quality
standards designated beneficial use classifications;
to define parameters needed to support wetland use
designations and to  establish criteria  for those
parameters; and to classify wetlands by type and es-
tablish specific standards for each type of wetland.

                                                    WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
   Q. Is there room in the law to accept what technol-
ogy says?
   A. It depends on which lawyer you're talking to. It
think there's room under the Clean Water Act and the
Federal  regulations for adaptation  and flexibility.
However, there's always danger when you have that
kind of flexibility;  I don't think the rules have been ap-
plied the way they should be. I'll throw out the statis-
tic of 23 percent to make a couple of points, one of
which is that the Clean Water Act, section  404, was
set up a part of the overall policy to maintain and en-
hance the  Nation's waters.  When  I see  wetlands
being filled for golf courses, residential development,
and  nonwater-dependent  activities where efforts
have not even been made to look for practical alter-
natives, that disturbs me.

   A. The public has got to stand up and  say what
they really want and not let the biologists and lawyers
decide for them.

   C. The wetlands issue is not well understood by
the public,  which does not see wetlands and  water
quality as  being related. There's a real  need for
education-for the public to understand what a wet-
land is, how a wetland functions, and what its relative
value is in water quality.
   Secondly, when many people think of wetlands,
they think  of the Everglades or Cypress  Gardens.
They do not think of that little wet spot that's down at
the end of their street, and they certainly don't think
of it as being important. This learning gap is why you
are not getting public support. Thirdly, this program
has been in place for 13 years. Two weeks  ago EPA,
Fish and Wildlife, and the Army Corps finally came to
an agreement as to what constitutes a nontitle wet-
   You (Adamus) were talking about a classification
system  for wetlands, using  terminology that's not
found in Fish and Wildlife documents. Will there be
EPA guidance on that; do you expect each State to
classify their wetlands? What's your vision for water
   A. (Adamus)  EPA is certainly not going to tell
States what water quality should be. We have pilot
studies going on where we are providing  technical
assistance or will be to Louisiana and Illinois. If other
States are interested in doing this with EPA on a cost-
sharing basis, we would be happy to help them out.
   A. (Knox) we can not educate the public until we,
the regulators, are educated. We need that technol-
ogy transfer and assistance from EPA. I don't think
anyone here wants EPA to set nationwide standards
but wants States  to set their own. The standards
process  can drive  the  education  of the  State
regulators, the development of State-specific criteria,
and the public education process all at the  same
time. At least  in Louisiania's standards, public hear-
ings have not been that adversative unless they are
for human health criteria versus industry.

   Q. What is EPA doing to beef up regulation on wet-
   A. It's already been well debated in the courts that
wetlands are waters of the United States, and, by ex-
tension, waters of the State. Current regulations pro-
vide the basic framework for establishing wetlands in
States as their waters. Classification in the regulation
that wetlands are part of standards is necessary. We
did a  survey of the States and found that half don't
even  mention the term "wetland" or even terms re-
lated to wetlands like "marshes," "bogs," and so forth.
There's a large disconnect out there between what
the courts have said  are State  standards and what
States are saying.  We want to clarify that in revisions
to the regulation, and we want to make clear that this
is not a major policy change that we are proposing,
this is clarification.

   Q.  Does the propagation of separate standards
independent of State water quality standards service
standards for wetlands pose a problem fora national
   A.  No, I think the adoption  of the water quality
standards for wetlands is what we're trying to sup-
port through this Framework exercise. We  should
identify it as a high priority for the program so that a
State  like Washington, which developed its own pro-
gram, knows it is  not out front by itself but is doing
this as part of a consistent, national program. A na-
tional program is underway (hopefully) if we can sup-
port this activity through the Framework, through the
right  revisions  of  the regulation,   and  through
guidance and tech transfer.

   C.  Has anybody reviewed the final report of the
National Wetlands Policy Forum? It discusses the is-
sues of property ownership and the need for giving
incentives to private property owners to protect their
wetlands and to ease their burden if they do it and en-
counter some of the Federal and local taxing that
spur development. This report is titled "Protecting
America's Wetlands an Action Agenda." I am not en-
dorsing this report as I do have some qualifications

and problems with it, but at least it discusses the
whole assortment of  issues relating to the need for
wetlands protection in a very comprehensive matter.
It is put out by the Conservation Foundation.

   C. The Office of Wetlands and EPA have a draft
document that describes what other States are doing
and what EPA suggests as criteria standards relating
to 401 certification for wetlands. I would recommend
that you review it as well as the Conservation Foun-
dation report.

   C. A good solution, if you can afford it, is to have
the city review its zoning classification. I was involved
in a study  in  Juno, Alaska,  where EPA worked
cooperatively  in revising  zoning  classifications,
based  on a  scientific study of the functions and
values of urban wetlands.
  C. The focus of this conference is on water quality
standards. Let's work  it from  both ends; let's start
getting the public involved. We've touched on educa-
tion. Three years ago,  a wetlands conference was
held in Portland. Very  few people showed  up be-
cause  it  was  a technical conference.  Folks  got
together to discuss the fact that they weren't getting
the citizens to come to this conference, so the next
year they called  the it  'The Country and the City."
This year it was 'The Country and the City #2" and
next year it will be #3 because the conference keeps
expanding. The kind of people coming are the kinds
we all want to get involved. On Saturday, there were a
number of field trips: two went to wetlands. That's the
kind of stuff I think EPA and your area coordinators
could start themselves, get National Audubon  and
wetland foundations folks to be sponsors. These
conferences would be  very effective because most
people want to see what they are about and there's
that public steaming up again!

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 211
                         Setting Human Health
                                 Shing-Fu Hsueh (Moderator)
              Chief, Bureau of Water Quality Standards and Analysis, Division of Water Resources
                                       Trenton, New Jersey
The  implementation of human  health protection
standards is an important topic. We should focus on
four  basic issues for our  discussion. In all of the
State's water quality standards regulations, no toxic
materials are permitted in toxic amounts. The ques-
tion is, how are we going to take it from here and
translate narrative  standards  into implementable
criteria? In many cases, when a specific chemical is
identified and a chemical criterion or an advisory is
available, then we can use the criterion to develop
water quality-based  effluent limits. But, in  the ab-
sence of criteria and advisory, what can we do?
   There are  three  options: The State can use
whatever  scientific  information  is  available  and
develop its own scientific criteria; the State can wait
until the scientific community makes the information
and criteria available; and,  based on the technology,
the State can require the permittees to comply with
technology-based  requirements.  Regardless   of
which option we choose, we can say that the State
will use the available scientific information and come
up with numbers for regulatory purposes. Implemen-
tation of narrative human health protection standards
is the topic of concern for this discussion.
   The next most important issue concerns accept-
able risk levels. We all know that different States have
adopted different risk levels. If I remember correctly,
EPA specifies four options to protect human health
from carcinogens: States  can use maximum con-
taminant levels (MCLs) for the  protection of all
potable water sources, or we can use an excess car-
cinogenic risk of 10 to the minus 5,10 to the minus 6,
or 10 to the minus 7 as the basis for criteria. Some
States use 10 to the minus 6, others use 10 to the
minus 5 or even 4, and some are currently proposing
MCLs. Should carcinogen risk levels be consistent?
This is a policy decision, and I would like to hear your
reaction to this issue.
   The third issue is, once we set criteria, what do we
do with them? What do we do if we need to take both
duration and frequency of exposure into considera-
tion? Lastly, where can human health criteria be ap-
plied? We all know that when it comes to human
health considerations, we  have to think about dif-
ferent routes for human exposure. Route  one is from
drinking water, which is obviously a major source of
exposure. The second route is from fish consump-
tion. There may be other significant exposure routes
via water, such as taking a shower and so on, but the
exact extent of contribution  has not been completely
   All of us know that water quality standards criteria
have to be applied to the entire receiving waterbody.
There are some people, however, who think that ap-
plying those criteria to the points of water intakes
adequately protects potable water sources and that
criteria based on fish consumption should be applied
to the  areas where fishing is permitted. In other
words, where should human  health criteria be ap-
plied, based on uses? This  is yet another issue that
we need to discuss.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 213-216
       The Human  Health Issue  Pertaining  to

                               Risk Assessment
                                     Cynthia Sonich-Mullin
          Chief, Systemic Toxicants Assessment Branch, Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office
                         U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio
To begin to identify and define the issues associated
with human  health risk assessment, we must first
look at where we are in determining risks associated
with environmental pollution. Presently, we are in-
volved in the derivation of chemical-specific criteria
and subsequent chemical-specific regulations. I will
briefly review our methods. To ensure Agency con-
sistency, program offices within EPA decide on a ref-
erence dose, or RfD (formerly called the acceptable
daily intake, or ADI). This is derived by using human
or animal data to define  a no-adverse-effect level
(NOAEL) or  a lowest-observed-adverse-effect level
(LOAEL) for a particular chemical and dividing by an
appropriate uncertainty factor(s) and modifying fac-
tor (Table 1).  The RfD is then used to estimate a water
quality criterion by applying certain assumptions per-
taining to body weight, water consumption, seafood
consumption, and the bioconcentration factor for
that particular chemical. The particular assumptions
are that the protected individual is an adult, weighing
70 kilograms, drinking 2 liters of water per day, and
consuming 6.5 grams offish per day.

Table 1.—Risk assessment.
              RFD =
   UF x MF
      NOAEL =   No-Observed-Adverse-Effect-Level. The
                highest experimentally determined dose at
                which no statistically or biologically signifi-
                cant indication of the toxic effect of con-
                cern is observed.

      LOAEL =   Lowest-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level.
                The lowest experimentally determined dose
                at which statistically or biologically signifi-
                cant indication of the toxic effect of con-
                cern is observed.

      UF =      Uncertainty factor

      MF =      An additional factor to reflect the profes-
                sional judgment in evaluating peculiarities
                of the data base.
   The exposure assumptions are currently under
review. We have not validated or verified the 2 liters of
water per day, although we assume that is repre-
sentative of the consumption of the entire population.
In 1980 when we first published the ambient water
quality criteria, we assumed that, on the average,
humans consumed 6.5 grams offish and shellfish per
day. We now believe that this  estimate is low con-
sidering changing life-styles and the public's aware-
ness  of   health  hazards  associated  with  the
consumption of red meat. EPA and the U.S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture are studying market basket sur-
veys to determine an appropriate  range of fish and
shellfish consumption. This range will be provided to
the States and regions so that they can then decide
what value is appropriate for their area.
   Additional  assumptions must  be  made in the
derivation of chemical-specific criteria. When EPA
derives ambient water quality criteria, it assumes that
there is no effect of treatment on the contaminant of
concern  (i.e.,  whether  water  treatment alters the
chemical, physical,  or biological  properties of the
parent compound); that  exposure  is to a single
chemical  at  a given time via a single route (in this
case,  ingestion);  and that exposure is continuous
over a lifetime. At this point, EPA does not correct for
the fact that exposure may be intermittent or vary
widely in amount over a period of time.
   A common interpretation of the EPA's risk es-
timates is, first and foremost, that regardless of the
limitations or assumptions, these estimates are con-
servative. This is based on the rationale that maxi-
mum   uncertainty  factors  are  used  and  that
assumptions made tend to err on the side of conser-
vatism. In addition,  EPA has not identified any dis-
ease  outbreaks  that have  been associated with
chemical contamination, although it is very difficult to
associate outbreaks with exposure to  a particular
   But I don't believe that the  statement that EPA's
estimates are conservative apply across the board.
Admittedly, the definition of a RfD is vague: It is "an
estimate, with uncertainty spanning an order of mag-
nitude, of a  daily  exposure to a human population
(which includes sensitive subgroups) that is likely to
be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects
during a  lifetime." What does this mean?  Being
vague, it  does not define a particular risk level but

rather is an indication of EPA's attempt to quantify ac-
ceptable risk levels. The RfD is estimated and verified
by consensus of key Agency program offices.  At
present there  is no statistical validity done to justify
the RfD; in the future, such tests should be under-
   In an  ideal  example, Figure 1  demonstrates how
adverse  effects depend on both dose and exposure
duration. Above the line drawn adverse effects are
observed,  and  below the line no  effects  are ob-
served. In estimating  an RfD, we use human and
animal data to estimate this line.

                             Adverse effects
                No effects
                                    1000  Duration
Figure 1.—Ideal graph showing how adverse effects depend
on both dose and exposure duration.

   However, Figure 2 shows actual animal data for a
particular  chemical. Obviously, the actual data are
not  as neat as  those shown ideally in Figure  1.
Severity of effects as well as appropriateness of the
data must be  evaluated  to  describe the  dose
response relationship. We would like to say that this
is done very scientifically, but in a lot of instances it is
just our best guess or best estimate at a point in time.
EPA really needs more data to validate the RfD.
   An additional interpretation is that, at water quality
criteria levels, interactions among chemicals do not
pose significant health threats. The  justification is
that if interactions are important  something would
show up, such as unexplainable health effects. There
is also a common belief that the chemicals on the list
to be regulated are the important chemicals of con-
cern, so any chemicals that might result from the  in-
teractions of these specific chemicals are probably
not important with respect to human health.  I tend to
disagree with that and think we need to look at inter-
actions more closely.
                             Having looked at the limitations, the assumptions,
                          and some of the uncertainties involved in  criteria
                          derivation, we need to examine what refinements are
                          necessary. The Office of Research and Development
                          has instituted a program called the Research to Im-
                          prove Health Risk Assessments (RIHRA) Program.
                          Basically it is an  effort that taps across all program
                          areas within  the Agency to formally develop a  pro-
                          gram for EPA to begin to answer some of these ques-
                          tions. I have taken information from that program and
                          the development plan and have adapted it specifical-
                          ly for the derivation of water quality criteria (Table 2).

                          Table 2.—Major components of  health risk  assess-
                                                       MAJOR COMPONENTS
                                                         OF HEALTH RISK
                                             MAJOR COMPONENTS OF RESEARCH TO
                                              IMPROVE HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENTS
                                                      Environmental levels
                                                      (water concentration)
                                                      Applied dose
                                                      (amount ingested)
                           Delivered dose
                           (dose to "critical"
                           Health effects
Exposure assessment
• fate and transport
• direct vs. indirect
  -human exposure models
  -human activity patterns
• identification of target populations
• seafood and water consumption

Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic
• absorption studies
• species comparisons
• influence of varying exposure
• route-to-route extrapolation
• structure activity relationships

Biologically-based dose response
• inter- and intraspecies extrapolation
• less-than-lifetime to chronic
• mechanism of action
• statistical models to combine studies

Uncertainty analysis
• clarification of assumptions
• evaluation of uncertainties
  -define "critical"
                             There are a number of ways of looking at the major
                           components of health  risk assessment, going from
                           hazardous assessment, to dose response,  to risk
                           characterization. But, for  this particular example, I
                           started with hazard identification  or identification of
                           environmental levels, in this case the concentration
                           that actually occurs in ambient water. To get to the
                           final  criterion or assessment of  health effects, we
                           need to move from the level  that you see in the en-
                           vironment to the amount that is actually applied: the
                           applied dose or the amount that is actually ingested
                           by the organism. Once you know that, then you need
                           to look further to determine the delivery dose — the
                           dose that actually reaches the tissue or the critical

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 213-216
                                             + A
                                                                         x   Severe
                                                                         +   Moderate
                                                                         A   Minor
                                                                         o   None
               10.00                   100.00                  1000.00

                                            Duration   (day)
 Figure 2.—Actual data for DDT. Each point represents a single dose group.
 organ within the body. Once you know that you need
 to move to the associated health effects, looking at
 severity, duration, time of onset, and so forth.
   Many issues remain unanswered. I will try to sum-
 marize some of the more major issues (Table 2).
 When you  are moving from the determination of
 water concentrations to determining the actual dose
 available for consumption, you obviously need to
 refine  and  verify EPA's  exposure   assessment
 methods assumptions. Examples of these are the
 seafood and water consumption estimates.  Then,
 when you move from the applied dose to the dose
 that actually reaches the target organ, you need to
 do some work on pharmacokinetic modeling, specifi-
 cally adsorption studies. We need to investigate how
 the dose acts in the body and how it is actually ab-
 sorbed, what is eliminated from the body, and look at
 the distribution of that compound  in the body. Once
 you know the delivery dose, then you must research
 mechanisms of action in the body — what actually
 happens - and look at the appropriateness of ex-
 trapolations within species and among species.
   The last aspect of the major research component
 that  covers  all exposure assessments, the phar-
 macokinetics, and the dose response issues, is our
                                                 uncertainty analysis: clarification of assumptions,
                                                 deciding which uncertainties are critical and trying to
                                                 quantitate their magnitude. At this point EPA defaults
                                                 to tenfold uncertainty levels — the maximum. How-
                                                 ever, EPA has been doing some research to indicate
                                                 that those tenfold levels are, perhaps,  really over-
                                                   Considerating this information, where are we? To
                                                 complete this program would take a great deal of
                                                 time and money. Obviously the next question is will
                                                 this program address all of our needs? In my opinion,
                                                 it will not if we continue the  route defined. First of all,
                                                 the  single chemical approach is limited. I would like
                                                 to compare it to the issue discussed earlier of point
                                                 source versus nonpoint source,  where eventually
                                                 you reach a point of diminishing returns. You need to
                                                 know when to draw the line  between information that
                                                 is necessary to know and information that would be
                                                 nice to know.
                                                   EPA  needs  to  also look at  harder-to-solve
                                                 problems. I am not advocating totally  abandoning
                                                 the  issues involved  with the chemical-specific ap-
                                                 proach,  however; EPA needs to investigate some of
                                                 the  additional areas that I have mentioned. EPA can
                                                 never stop the derivation of single chemical criteria,

so the Agency should be working toward refining
methods. However, I propose a complementary ap-
proach where we continue to refine our methods: to
improve our systemic toxicity methods by looking at
such things as synergistic effects and  uncertainty
analysis; to come up with realistic RfDs; to reflect
these issues in guidelines for ambient water quality
criteria derivation; and to update subsequent criteria.
But in addition and maybe more importantly, EPA
needs to begin to develop realistic tools for regulat-
ing mixtures in water. This is one area where both
EPA and the entire research community are rather
behind.  The  single-chemical  and  mixtures  ap-
proaches are compared in Table 3.

Table 3.—Comparison of approaches.          	
• Limited to chemicals on
  list to be regulated
• Does not account for
  interactions among
• Necessary for compliance
  with CWA

• Abundance of data
• Data on variety of effects
« Includes chemicals not on
  list to be regulated
• Accounts for interactions
  among chemicals

• More realistic approach to
  solve problem of water
• Little or no data
• Assays deal with
  genotoxic  effects/
  carcinogenicity (research
  underway  to develop
   EPA needs to assess its regulations, based on
 complex bioassays for the human exposure situa-
 tion. We presently have data that we can use to rank
 chemicals and  complex effluents, or determine if
 they  pass or fail a particular test, but we need a
 method to quantify that risk and further apply it to
 human situations.  EPA  needs to fund  research to
 determine the applicability and utility of these bioas-
 say results so that it can begin to decide on a series
of tests to use, based on research. For example, EPA
should identify a level of response in either specific
test systems or a combination of test systems and
define it  as critical. Although this seems a difficult
task, it is  not novel. A few years back EPA had to look
at all the models that were available for cancer risk
assessment and go out on a limb and choose one. I
think we are going to have to start doing the same for
  The single-chemical approach is limited to chemi-
cals on a list to be regulated. If EPA looks at a mix-
tures approach, it will include chemicals that are not
on the list to be regulated but might pose a significant
health threat to the exposed population. The regula-
tion of single chemicals may not account for interac-
tions; obviously, the regulation of mixtures will. The
single  chemical-approach  is  necessary for com-
pliance with the Clean Water Act, but the mixtures ap-
proach  may  more realistically  solve  problems of
water pollution. There is an abundance of data  on
single chemicals (though perhaps not enough to as-
sess them), but very little data on mixtures. The data
that are available on single chemicals cover a variety
of effects, whereas the assays that have been used to
assess mixtures deal with genotoxic effects and car-
cinogenicity. However EPA's health effects research
lab is beginning to develop additional tests for the as-
says and not just concentrate on genotoxic effects.
   In  summary, and in  addressing the question of
where risk assessment is  and where  it should  be
going, I don't think EPA should limit itself by refining
its  methods to derive single-chemical  criteria. We
should   continue  to  perfect  risk   assessment
methodology for  single chemicals but with one goal
in mind,  that is to provide  realistic chemical-specific
assessments.  However, in addition, we need to ad-
dress the real problem of what we face in the environ-
ment—exposure to chemical mixtures.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 217-218
             Setting Human Health Standards

                                        Philip H. Vorsatz
                                  Chief, Water Quality Standards Unit
                     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV, Atlanta, Georgia
In February 1987 Congress placed upon EPA and the
States some very important responsibilities for estab-
lishing water quality standards for toxic pollutants,
along with some  very tight time frames. Today  in
Region IV some two years later, we are still struggling
with the details of those requirements.
  Seven of the eight Region IV States are currently
involved in the triennial review of water quality stan-
dards. Six are projected to be completed before Sep-
tember 30, 1989.  As you would expect,  the major
activity in  each of these triennial reviews is the
revision of State standards  to comply with section
303 (c) (2) (B) of the Clean Water Act. As manager of
the water quality standards program in Region IV, it is
my responsibility to provide guidance and assistance
to the States in the course  of their reviews and  to
review and recommend  agency approval or disap-
proval of the revised standards.
  The first thing I would like to briefly discuss is a
draft Region IV position on review of water quality
standards that we are using to provide direction  to
States and ultimately for our review and approval/dis-
approval decisions. I will limit my focus to Region IV's
position on adoption of human health standards.
  In   determining  compliance   with   section
303(c)(2)(B), Region IV will  require the adoption  of
numeric criteria that protect designated uses. For ex-
ample, consumption of fish and shellfish by humans
is currently an integral part of the fishing or aquatic
life  use classifications in almost all waters  of each
Region IV State. Narrative criteria exist in all of our
State standards to protect this use. At least since
1986, and in some cases earlier, water quality-based
effluent limits have been  included in NPDES permits
to protect this use. Section 303 (c) of the Act now
clearly requires each of Region IV's States to adopt
numeric water quality criteria in standards to protect
human exposure through fish consumption and also
for those waters designated as drinking water sup-
  EPA section 2304(a) criteria  for protection  of
human health based on consumption of aquatic or-
ganisms are appropriate for use in developing State
water quality criteria to protect aquatic life consump-
tion. Unless a more recent carcinogenic potency fac-
tor  (non-threshold toxicants) or reference dose (for
threshold  toxicants)  has been  derived by EPA,
Region  IV  State standards must reflect  the  EPA
304(a) criteria for protection of human health from
consumption of aquatic organisms.
   Site-specific criteria may be appropriate if a State
wishes to adjust EPA criteria to reflect site-specific
consumption rates  or site-specific bioaccumulation
   The first section 304(a) criteria documents, issued
by EPA  in 1980, noted that the only safe pollutant
level for carcinogens is zero. However, when the pol-
lutants were present, EPA had estimated the con-
centrations for a combination of drinking water and
aquatic  life consumption by humans that yield can-
cer risk  levels of 1:10~5 (100,000), 1-.10"6 (1 in 1 mil-
lion), and 1:10"7 (1 in 10 million).
   Region IV will recommend and encourage States
to adopt a 1:10"6 cancer risk level for all nonthreshold
toxicants. The region will accept a 1:10"5 cancer risk
level without any special justification. When a State
seeks to set human exposure to a particular  cancer
risk level greater than 1:10"5,  it must provide EPA with
a rationale to support this decision. The Region views
the requirements for such a analysis and justification
as similar to a use attainability analysis. As in  use at-
tainability analyses, we would expect successful site-
specific  justifications based on widespread social or
economic  impacts  of complying  with  statewide
criteria or other bases such as natural pollutant levels
or irretrievable, human-induced conditions.
   Region IV will not approve criteria in State water
quality standards that are based on levels of quantita-
tion or detection. Criteria should be based  on the
designated use of the receiving stream and  on the
best scientific information on pollutant effects. The
most obvious utility of this approach is reflected in
the development of wasteload allocations based on
criteria that are  below normal levels of detection.
Often these wasteload allocations result in  permit
limits well above detection levels in effluents. These
actions,  which implement the section  303(c)(2)(B)
guidance, are appropriate for Region IV and  will as-
sure that States meet the requirements of the Act. We
have one final and five draft revisions to State water
quality  standards  already  submitted for  review.
Region  IV needs at least this  level of specificity to
complete review of State standards.

   Lastly, I would like to suggest that discussion at
the national level focus on the following questions
and issues:
   • What is EPA's role in selection of a risk level in
     State water quality standards? Does the Clean
     Water Act, and especially its interim goal of
     fishable/swimmable (where attainable), limit
     our flexibility in selecting risk levels?
   • Does EPA need to be concerned with national
     consistency? One of my State program
     managers told me that he would not survive in
     his job if he selected a cancer risk level more
     stringent than a neighboring State and that
     decision impacted the location of a major new
     industrial facility.
   • How does antibacksliding fit into our decision
     making on setting human health criteria? Do
     we need more guidance from EPA on the
  potential impact of the new antibacksliding
  language in the Clean Water Act?
• How does developing new or revised criteria
  for human health protection fit into our 10-year
  framework? Do we need more
  information/technology transfer? (In Region IV
  several of our State agencies have commented
  that the recent outreach seminar on water
  quality criteria was one of the most beneficial
  information transfer seminars EPA has ever
• Do we need better communication on changes
  to bases for criteria such as cancer potency
  factors, reference dose factors through IRIS, or
  through quarterly updates from Headquarters?
• Lastly, do we need more research into
  chemical criteria/advisories and whole effluent

                                              WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989:  219-220
     Louisiana's  Approach  to  Setting Human

  Health  Standards — One State's  Perspective
                                      Dugan S. Sabins
            Environmental Quality Coordinator, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality,
                          Office of Water Resources, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
In 1984 Louisiana established,  in its water quality
standards, a limited number of human health criteria
for a very specific group of toxic substances com-
posed  of  chlorinated  pesticides and other sub-
stances infrequently detected in effluents or in in-
stream waters. Although this was a  significant first
step for Louisiana,  upon evaluation during the
present triennial review, we found that these criteria
were largely unresponsive to present needs. In addi-
tion, the only human health numbers adopted in 1984
were for public water supplies at 10'5 risk level for
carcinogens. This was obviously  inadequate to
protect human health in the majority of Louisiana's
waters that were not public water supplies.
  During the present triennial review, we also
evaluated the results of a new data base on a series
of volatile organic chemicals found in both the Mis-
sissippi River and other State waterbodies  that
received industrial discharges. These chemicals in-
cluded such common industrial compounds as ben-
zene, 1,2-dichloroethane, vinyl chloride, and carbon
tetrachloride. Since many of the chemicals were
known or suspected carcinogens and designated
priority pollutants, we became concerned when we
found  concentrations that  exceeded some EPA
Quality Criteria for Water (Gold Book) numbers for
human health. Because of uncertainty about the EPA
approach and development of human health criteria,
Louisiana, as other States, was reluctant to use them
and tried instead  to use aquatic toxicity criteria for
control. However,  upon review we  found that the
majority of these chemicals had very low toxicity to
aquatic life and, because of this, EPA has not  yet
proposed aquatic life criteria for them. It became ob-
vious that if we were to have any control over the con-
centrations of these chemicals  in State waters,  we
had to develop and use human health criteria. One
other  relevant  factor  concerned   the  recently
developed section 304(1) lists, which, for Louisiana,
had  included at least three waterbodies that were
determined to have impaired water uses because of
point source discharges of some of these chemicals.
  And so with this emerging situation immediately at
hand, what should Louisiana  be doing? The answer
appeared to be to develop and  set human health
standards to control problem chemicals—which led
directly to how can we do it? Our first response was
to go immediately to the EPA Gold Book to try to un-
derstand all the voluminous "qualifying" language,
and, we thought, to simply "adopt" the appropriate
numbers for the chemicals in question. Needless to
say, it wasn't that easy. Since we would have to ex-
plain and defend  these  numbers to the regulated
community and concerned public, we decided to
develop an understanding of the whole EPA process.
However, we found that there was no readily avail-
able process of technology  transfer  available to
States. A breakthrough occurred when, in collabora-
tion with  our Region VI Water Quality Standards
coordinator, we retrieved and reviewed various EPA
support programs and  documents, including the
newly developed Integrated Risk Information System
  At last we had a basic understanding of the for-
mulas and equations involved in criteria  develop-
ment—but we still had lingering doubts about using
them. So after numerous phone calls and consul-
tations with EPA representatives in the Office of Re-
search and Development lab in Cincinnati and Head-
quarters  Criteria  and   Standards   Division  in
Washington, D.C., the first EPA-State Human Health
Workshop was set up and held in Baton Rouge in
August 1988. It was so successful that more than a
dozen other such workshops have been held sub-
sequently across the country.
  After the workshop, we moved to adopt defensible
and appropriate human health criteria for Louisiana.
The process we have used to develop them employs
the basic EPA equation that uses selected risk factors
and cancer slope factors for carcinogens and refer-
ence dose values  (RFD) for  noncarcinogens. The
equation gives the States the option of choosing a
carcinogen risk factor; we have chosen  10"6. For
public water supply, the standard daily intake of 2
liters is applied in the equation, but it is left out when
calculating for waterbodies not so designated. The
States are also given the option of protecting for fish
consumption in the  equation  by including the

bioconcentration factor. A  fish consumption  rate,
which can be the nationally used 6.5 grams or a num-
ber derived or selected specifically for State condi-
tions, is also applied in the equation.
   Finally, the States also have the option of including
consideration for incidental ingestion of water and
dermal absorption of water through the skin while
swimming. We have proposed  to add a set amount
for incidental ingestion in the equations to protect for
swimming but will hold out (for now) on adding con-
sideration for dermal  absorption (though  some
evidence indicates it could  be  a significant route of
exposure  for  some   chemicals)  because  the
documentation is not strong enough at present. The
basic equations used  for criteria calculations are
contained  in  the  November 28,  1980,  Federal
Register  Notice of Availability  of  Water  Quality
Criteria Documents (Vol. 45, No. 231) and an upcom-
ing guidance publication being prepared by the Of-
fice  of Water Regulations and Standards, entitled,
"Establishment of Ambient  Criteria to Limit Human
Exposure To Contaminants in Fish and Shellfish."
Using this procedure,  we  have proposed human
health criteria for 31 toxic substances in both public
and non-public water supplies.
   As you may deduct, there were several groups in-
volved in the process of developing and proposing
defensible and appropriate human health  criteria.
One of the most important, of course, is the financial-
ly strapped State Water Quality Agency, which is sad-
dled with the responsibility of proposing to develop
human health criteria to protect State waters and
then developing the criteria, defending them, and
promulgating them into State law. Enter the EPA as
the  national  environmental agency authorized by
Congress first to assist the States to develop and
adopt water quality standards and then to produce
the  standards itself if the States do not. Congress
gave  EPA far more  research  and development
money than the States to  gather, analyze, and or-
ganize the best scientifically collected data available
and  develop  defensible  criteria or  criteria  ap-
proaches for the States' use. Within EPA, the regions,
ORD  laboratories,  and  Headquarters  must  get
together and organize good technology transfer sys-
tems for the States—not simply send us a dry docu-
ment and say go to it, best wishes.
   I think EPA is moving in that direction.  As a result
of our needs in Louisiana, a national technology
transfer program is now being developed that should
bring  the States and EPA  much closer together in
protecting the Nation's waters for human health. In
my view, nothing short of this effort is  needed if we
are to succeed. There are also roles for environmen-
tal  organizations such as the  National Wildlife
Federation, National Resource Defense Council, and
other citizen and public groups, as  well as for the
regulated community in industry and municipalities.
The process is open enough that when  the  States
and EPA collaborate to make  a  proposal for human
health protection, adequate opportunity  for outside
input   is  afforded   through  public  participation
programs.  Certainly State and  EPA regulations al-
ready  reflect the roles of these groups in their
development. This  Office  is  presently considering
comments from various interest groups that were
submitted on an early water quality  standards draft
developed for the present triennial revision.
   One last comment. Ohio,  Michigan,  and a few
other States have adopted a human health standards
approach that does not involve  the promulgation of
numeric criteria. After some  review, we  have con-
cluded that Louisiana does not have the expertise or
the inclination at this time to develop  such detailed
technical approaches to the issue. Perhaps this may
be feasible at  some time in the future. For the
present, the State and EPA need to continue estab-
lishing closer interactions, with  consultation of out-
side interest groups, to develop the best human
health criteria for Louisiana's waters.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 221-225
        Water Quality  Standards and Human
                      Health:  New Approaches
                                       Douglas N. Rader
            Senior Scientist, North Carolina Environmental Defense Fund, Raleigh, North Carolina
The national goals established in the 1972 Federal
Water Pollution Control  Act continue  to be the
primary  driving force behind water quality regula-
tions,  retaining the following long-overdue dates in
the latest iteration, the Water Quality Act of 1987:
   1.   It is the national goal that the discharge of pol-
      lutants into the navigable waters be eliminated
      by 1985;
   2.   It is the national goal that wherever attainable,
      an interim goal of water quality which provides
      for the protection  and propagation of fish,
      shellfish, and wildlife and provides for recrea-
      tion in and on the water be achieved by July 1,
      1983.33U.S.C. 1251 (a).

In addition, this legislation stipulates that:
   3.   It  is the national policy that the discharge of
      toxic pollutants in toxic amounts be prohibited.
      33U.S.C. 1251 (a).

   Taken together,  these statements  clearly require
that discharges not  just  be reduced to the  point
where toxic impacts do not occur (including sub-
lethal  effects based on chronic exposure), they must
be eliminated completely.
   How are we doing? Pretty poorly, by most indica-
tions.  Instead of reducing the numbers of permitted
discharges,  we  are escalating  them.  In North
Carolina alone, the number of new discharges per-
mitted in a year has grown from 490 in 1982 to almost
1,000  in  1987. Granted, some portion of this increase
has resulted from bringing new types of discharges
into the system (single-family residences, privately
owned package plants) but even so, more and more
of our major rivers are water-quality limited with no
assimilative capacity available  for additional dis-
charges. We are neither reducing the volumes of
waste discharged  nor saving assimilative capacity
for growth in the future.
   Overall, the pollution discharge program in this
country is moving increasingly toward a highly tech-
nical program based on complex water  quality and
human health modeling. Several important implica-
tions  of this shift  have been largely  ignored. One
major change has resulted from wasteload allocation
methodology. The  relocation of discharges from
small tributaries into the main bodies of streams and
rivers, which is often facilitated by high-technology
pollution-maskers  like diffusers  and  side-stream
aerators,  has produced  an increase  in pollution
delivered  into our most critical waters because the
reduced average travel time results in reduced as-
similation. A side effect of the shift to technology is to
delay and in many cases subvert the goals of the na-
tional clean water legislation. Not only are discharg-
es not reduced, they may  be expanded once the
enhanced dilutive capacity of the higher flow streams
are utilized.
   In addition to discharging to bigger streams and
cleaner streams, polluters also may reduce loadings
to surface waters without reducing total pollution out-
put. Unfortunately,  pollution control has become an
environmental shell game: move the pollution to the
least regulated medium. For example, Federal Paper
Board  Company   in  Columbus  County,  North
Carolina,  has experienced significant problems with
total reduced sulfur discharges to the air. EPA regula-
tions required them to strip total reduced sulfur from
their air discharges but did not regulate the disposal
of the materials obtained. Because Federal Paper is
discharging to surface waters under a Special Order
by Consent (SOC) that is calculated to allow them to
be  in  compliance  while constructing a pollution
abatement system, they have been allowed to ex-
pand their surface discharge for biochemical oxygen
demand from roughly 9,000 Ibs/day to almost 13,000
Ibs/day. Roughly 60 percent of this increase resulted
from "sewering" of waste produced by total reduced
sulfur control equipment. The air quality controls
reduced  air pollution but  also transferred waste
materials into the water, even though water quality
standards were already being violated.
   The paucity of meaningful air pollution regulations
is directly responsible for significant surface water
pollution. Texasgulf, Inc.,  on the Pamlico River has
been  extremely helpful during negotiations about
their surface water discharges and has agreed to ac-
cept a permit that will reduce total phosphate load-
ings by approximately 95 percent  using  a total
recycle system. However, because aerial emissions
were less well regulated, the company was allowed

to discharge over 4 million pounds of ammonia into
the air above the Pamlico River in 1987. Even if only 5
percent of that amount was transferred into the water,
200,000 pounds of ammonia would be delivered into
this nutrient-sensitive estuary. We are currently work-
ing with both companies to achieve more acceptable
solutions to their pollution problems.
   Unfortunately,  these examples are not isolated. A
statewide survey of SARA data found that roughly
100  million   pounds  of  toxicants per year are
delivered into North Carolina's air - but only about 8
percent of firms responding reported any  efforts at
waste minimization or source reduction. As the least
regulated medium, air takes the bulk of current pollu-
tion discharges. New data from the Great Lakes and
elsewhere (including  the  Environmental  Defense
Fund's (EOF) recent report  on nutrient  loadings to
estuaries from atmospheric deposition) have clearly
demonstrated that  aerially  transported pollutants
have great impacts on surface waters, in addition to
their human health impacts.
  Water Quality and Human Health

My primary message  related  to human health im-
plications of water quality standards is the need for
conservatism. When we deal with human health, we
are  attempting to protect individuals instead  of
populations. In other words, whereas it is acceptable
in aquatic  life  protection  for some individual or-
ganisms to die as long as the populations of those or-
ganisms remain  intact,  we  must  protect  every
individual human from even sublethal effects. Be-
cause we  are  unwilling  to engage in direct ex-
perimentation upon human populations, we cannot
produce specific no-effect levels that include all pos-
sible sublethal  effects. We depend instead  upon
statistical  inference  based  on   epidemiological
evidence or extrapolations from artificial experimen-
tal systems (e.g., tissue culture, bacterial or animal
tests). These tests are improving (how much remains
uncertain) for some sublethal manifestations such as
tumors but are less  effective for  others  such as
changes in reproductive functions. After working with
the National Institute of Environmental Health Scien-
ces doing tissue culture with human and rodent cells
and contributing in a small way to the data base cur-
rently being used to set human health standards, I
doubt seriously that we know as much as we need to
know about exactly which substances at what con-
centrations cause significant sublethal health effects
in humans.
   Even worse, no biological  safety net is available
for  substances  that   might  compromise  human
health. Even  when  proposed new standards are
adopted in most States, we will fall far short of the
regulation of the 126 substances listed as priority pol-
lutants. In aquatic life protection, North Carolina is
now requiring whole effluent toxicity testing, which
should correct  in part for our incomplete water
quality standard program.  Nowhere do we have a
similar test related to human health. Therefore, when
the discharge restriction system fails (whether ac-
cidentally or on purpose), substances released that
are harmful to  human health are not likely to be
   Currently, we depend  upon water treatment and
the notoriously bad luck  of fishermen to protect
human health. Unfortunately, maximum contaminant
levels (MCLs) in drinking water were derived largely
from technological and economic factors rather than
science related  to health protection. A sizable body
of information is being assembled to suggest that
many MCLs should be moving toward the maximum
contaminant  goals.  Lead  standards for drinking
water should probably be reduced to the 5 to 10 ,wg/L
range, at least.  The  EPA surface water criterion for
aquatic life protection for lead is 3.2 /
                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 221-225
Table 1.—
ethylene oxide
1 ,2,4-trichlorobenzene
1 ,2,4-trichlorobenzene
1 ,2,4-trimethylbenzene
methyl tert-butyl ether
group B1
group B1
group B2
group B2
group B2
Belding Corticelli
Abbott Labs.
Burlington Inds.
United Piece Dye
Travis Knits
Travis Knits
Collins and Aikman
Travis Knits
Champion Intl.
Burlington Inds.
Stanly Knitting
United Piece Dye
Burroughs Wellcome
62,800 Ibs./yr. (POTW)
81 ,700 Ibs./yr. (POTW)
45,600 Ibs./yr. (POTW)
36,180 Ibs./yr. (NPDES)
52,249 Ibs./yr. (NPDES)
1 7,575 Ibs./yr. (NPDES)
77,242 Ibs./yr. (POTW)
42,192 Ibs./yr. (NPDES)
28,000 Ibs./yr. (NPDES)
42,000 Ibs./yr. (POTW)
97,744 Ibs./yr. (POTW)
28,876 Ibs./yr. (NPDES)
54,000 Ibs./yr. (POTW)
gency Planning and Community Right to Know Act).
In North Carolina, EOF has computerized this infor-
mation and identified many known toxicants, admit-
tedly discharged, for which no water quality standard
exists. Some examples  are  listed in Table 1, with
asterisks  denoting  compounds  with  proposed
human health standards in North Carolina.
   When these compounds are discharged to public-
ly owned  treatment works (POTWs), they may be
volatilized and transported  back to  the surface
waters through the air.
   The lesson is clear: existing information from all
sources must be integrated so that all  significant
chemical discharges are regulated.
   Another problem  is  that  information often  is
scarce enough to prevent effective regulatory action.
A specific  compound has to be clearly indicted as a
serious contributor to health  impairment before it is
limited. Because costs for these analyses are often
prohibitive, the pace of regulation can only be
described  as snail-like. In addition, the industries in-
volved are often the major source of information, a
potential  conflict  in  interest. The burden-of-proof
shoe is on the wrong  foot. EOF has been instrumen-
tal in beginning to address this problem in California,
where the adoption of Proposition 65 has required
producers of chemicals known to be carcinogenic or
to cause reproductive toxicity to warn the public of
exposures to those chemicals, when the exposures
are above  de minimis levels. Proposition 65 is unique
in that it requires  the producer to demonstrate that
levels of a material are safe, thereby reversing the
burden of  proof.
  When Should Standards Apply?
It is generally accepted that the protection of aquatic
life in  waters  of  the United  States  must include
chronic effects. Most States agree that such protec-
tion must therefore extend  to low flow conditions,
such as 7Q10 (the lowest flow that occurs over 7 con-
secutive days, once every 10 years). Even though
human health protection is generally closer to the
hearts of  the  regulatory  community, the level  of
protection is not always as high as it should be. Be-
cause long-term rates are normally used in calculat-
ing human exposures, many States use mean flows
for this purpose. Mean flows are not conservative
enough to protect human  health  adequately. The
arithmetic mean as currently used badly underes-
timates the true average exposure through time  of
fish to environmental contaminants, because of the
skewed distribution for flows. A method for avoiding
this problem is the use of the harmonic mean instead
of the arithmetic mean. Average concentrations are
more closely related to the average of 1/flow than  to
•(/(average flow). For example, the Tar River in North
Carolina has a  harmonic  mean flow of 602.3 ft3/s
which represents excess potential concentrations  of
a pollutant almost exactly equal to potential deficits
(if the loading is constant). In contrast, the arithmetic
mean flow is 2177.2 ft3/s and excess concentrations
exceed concentration deficits by  about 20  times.
Harmonic  mean flows should be used in calculating
exposures to compounds that result from eating fish
or from contact recreation, as an interim step toward
even more conservative methodology.
      Acceptable Levels of Risk

We were asked to address whether specific risk
levels are required for nonthreshold toxicants, and
who should set them. Frankly, the current EPA policy
of allowing individual States to set risk levels for car-
cinogens is a disaster. At this conference we have
heard of States adopting or proposing all ppsslble
levels, from 10'4 to 10"5 to 10"6 to MCLs, and even of
one State refusing to set a level at all.
   Enough site-specific "fudge factors" exist in stan-
dard setting procedures as it is. The risk level should
be set at 10   by Federal mandate; lower risk levels
could be adopted by individual  States.  Risk levels

higher than 10  are unacceptable, especially when
risks associated with exposures to individual chemi-
cals from individual sources accumulate into more
sizable risks. Proponents of higher risk levels argue
that one in three people will develop cancer in a
lifetime, and that incremental risks on the order of
10"6 are ridiculously small; I argue that an existing in-
tegrated risk of 0.33 proves that our approaches to
risk management are wholly inadequate. The recent
brouhaha over the  risk assessment  for  2,3,7,8-
tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD) illustrates the con-
troversy and politics involved in risk assessment.
TCDD is one of the most toxic substances known and
is a strong animal  carcinogen, yet its potency as a
human  carcinogen continues to be debated.  (A
detailed discussion of this problem is found in EOF
toxicologist Ellen Silbergeld's testimony to the Sub-
committee on Water Resources contained  in the
Hearing Record "Dioxin Pollution in the Pigeon River,
North Carolina and Tennessee," [100-70], 1988, avail-
able from the Superintendent of Documents.) Unfor-
tunately,  in  this  case political  and economic
concerns have appeared to play at least as important
a role as science in Agency decisionmaking.
   One way to improve the adequacy of our risk as-
sessment procedures would be to base all  risk as-
sessments on overall impacts of permitted pollution.
The highest level of incremental risk allowed should
be  1  in a million, but that risk would be integrated
across  an entire facility  instead of being associated
with each chemical discharged to each medium.
   The  piecemeal regulation of substances  ignores
cumulative or synergistic impacts. For example, the
recent flurry of activity  on chlorinated dioxins and
furans related to papermaking has focused on TCDD,
admittedly the most toxic of the lot.  But  2,3,7,8-
tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) is usually present in
10  times the concentrations of TCDD, making up for
its relative toxicity of one-tenth. Even when all dioxins
and furans are reported  in terms of TCDD equivalent
units, the implications of the discharge  of  all
chlorinated organic compounds from pulp mills is
usually not evaluated. The public policy question of
expediting  replacement  of  chlorine  gas-based
bleaching units at pulp mills, therefore, is usually as-
sessed in terms of TCDD produced and its estimated
health impacts, instead of the proper question: the
estimated  health  (and  aquatic life)  impacts  of all
known toxicants produced by the chlorine bleaching
process. The paper industry effectively minimizes the
perception of significant impacts by dividing them
into small, discrete chunks.
    In many ways, we continue to squabble over tech-
nical minutia, when obvious and  straightforward
mechanisms exist to make significant progress on
reducing toxicant discharges.
         Innovative Responses

Stones  are  easily (and  commonly)  thrown  at
regulatory programs, but criticism is irrelevant if not
backed  up with constructive suggestions. In North
Carolina, we have been struggling with some of the
same problems, and I  hope we can offer a few per-
tinent recommendations.
   The North Carolina Environmental Management
Commission has just approved for public hearing a
proposed regulation requiring preliminary efforts at
source reduction for all new or renewed discharges
to waters better than the standards (roughly 90 per-
cent of North Carolina's waters). This regulation was
developed by Jim Kennedy (North Carolina Coastal
Federation) and  me during the Triennial Review of
Water Quality Standards and approved by an ad  hoc
committee including environmental, industrial,  and
municipal representatives. It will require prospective
dischargers to "document an effort to reduce waste
generation through source reduction and  or recy-
cling techniques." It also allows local governments to
contribute to the  assessment as  to whether a
proposed  discharge  is "necessary for important
economic and social development," and allows them
input on planning the allocation of  assimilative
capacity within their jurisdictions. This regulation will
provide the impetus for real progress toward the
elimination of unnecessary discharges.
   Another topic discussed at some length by the ad
hoc committee related to the continuing emphasis
on "big sticks" to enforce water pollution control re-
quirements. We came to a consensus that strict
regulatory and enforcement action must be supple-
mented by effective, incentive-based mechanisms to
allow maximization of pollution-reduction efficiency
in this age of diminishing Federal support of pollution
control efforts. New appraisals of pollution reduction
trading  and  other  economic-based  techniques
should encourage flexibility in regulation and stan-
dard design.
   The most blatant problem in the toxicant control
program nationwide is its lack of integration. Total
emissions of toxic substances must be reduced, not
just transferred to the least regulated medium. For
example, in North Carolina, alone, in 1987  12.7 mil-
lion pounds  of known carcinogens were  released
into the air (about 55 percent of releases  of such
compounds to all media). In fact, this number is un-
doubtedly higher: high proportions of such materials
 released to POTWs and directly to water ultimately

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 221-225
end up in the air. Ironically, only 8 percent of the firms
involved had attempted any source reduction pro-
gram, and only 17 percent had some kind of air pollu-
tion controls in place. In 26 instances a specific firm
emitted carcinogens at rates over  1,000 times the
reportable quantity as defined by the Air Quality Sec-
tion, N.C. Division of Environmental Management.
Simply put, the absence of air toxicant standards na-
tionally and in North Carolina has  encouraged ex-
pansions in the releases of such substances into the
air instead of the reductions clearly needed.
   My message is simple: pollution reduction must
occur across the board, not just for one discharge
medium. If integrated pollution reduction schedules
are compiled, industry by industry, the result will be
stepwise reduction  in pollution loadings into  our
waters and our air.

Implement the Clean Water Act national goal of
discharge elimination by mandated stepwise
elimination of discharges, beginning with sub-
stances of greatest concern. No discharge
should be allowed that is not "necessary":  if
source reduction can reduce or eliminate the
discharge, it is not "necessary."
For known carcinogens, EPA should assume
that no discharge is "necessary if the Clean
      Water Act prohibition against the discharge of
      toxic substances in toxic amounts is to be
  3.  Pollution reduction must be integrated across
      sources,  to  avoid  the environmental  shell
      game currently used to avoid environmental
  4.  Interim improvements  should include:  (a)
      facilitation of pollution  reduction trading and
      offset programs to maximize the monetary ef-
      ficiency of toxicant reduction programs; (b)
      adoption of more conservative methods to as-
      sess potential threats to human health, includ-
      ing use of harmonic mean flows for long-term
      exposure estimates and integrated  risk as-
      sessment; and (c) shifting the burden of proof,
      so that discharges must  be analyzed  and
      demonstrated to be safe before they are per-

The costs associated with necessary improvements
to water quality  may be high. For that reason, crea-
tive solutions that can maximize the economic ef-
ficiency of pollution reduction mechanisms  must be
fostered. The real challenge for the next century (and
the rest of this one) will be to transcend the limits of
current standards-driven  programs  to establish a
directed program of pollution reduction and to make
it work using approaches that are both environmen-
tally and economically sound.

                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
   C. (Schwer) I'm with the du Pont Company, where
we are also concerned about water quality standards
and criteria. As members of the regulated  com-
munity, business and industry should be represented
as full participants in standard-setting efforts. We can
provide technical and scientific information and  as-
sistance for the development of sound programs that
we can then carry forward for management support.
   We often find, however, that we're asked to accept
permits for either  human  health or water quality-
based toxic limits that are based on very little data. I
can see this problem looming with toxic substances
requirements for future permit negotiations and per-
mit compliance. Since the science cannot be perfect,
there will be some uncertainty in the development of
proposed toxic limits. However, if we recognize these
limits, we are committing our  companies—in  the
case of municipalities, committing the cities—to ex-
penditures of millions of compliance dollars. There-
fore we have a difficult time selling these programs
within our companies, which can lead to confronta-
tional problems such as going to court and overex-
tended negotiations  that are counterproductive to
achieving water quality objectives. Give us some op-
portunity to provide input,  and responsible industry
will respond, particularly when the requirements that
will affect us will  give us the basis for getting par-
ticipation funding and support from our companies.
   We do not think that we have a license to pollute.
We only discharge into waters based on permits that
we negotiated with the States and EPA and recognize
our responsibility to ensure that our discharges are
safeguarding the integrity of State waters. Again, due
to limited scientific information, our responsibilities
are sometimes hard to comprehend, but we know
that our long-term viability depends on being positive
forces in the community.
   So what should EPA be doing  in terms of  the
Framework? First of all, EPA needs to provide a good
scientific basis for human  health criteria (as well as
other kinds of criteria) by working with States and the
scientific community. EPA must publish guidelines so
policies can be administered with  consistency.  In-
dustry suffers from this inconsistency; we cannot
travel to 50 different States to talk with 50 different
groups of regulators and provide effective input. Also
we get a lot  of flack internally about varying State
   We see a real problem with antibacksliding, more
so in the human health  area than in any other. We
resist accepting limits based on conservancy when
we're not sure the limit is valid and not certain that
there will be an opportunity to address the level of
overconservancy, even if we can provide more infor-
mation.  And  industry does recognize its  respon-
sibilities in this whole standards  setting  process;
sometimes we have the only available resources for
providing  necessary information.  The States are
responsible for establishing criteria and standards;
we're just asking for time to  provide input to the
process so that the best standards  can  be estab-
lished in a viable, consistent, continuing process.

   C. (Rader) I certainly didn't mean to imply that
we're throwing stones at industry. In fact we have
been working directly with the major industrial con-
cerns in North Carolina on the design of permits to
maximize the return of dollars and the efficient use of
funding. It is time to escape the limitations of a wholly
technical approach and to try to institutionalize the
"pollution prevention pays" approach to source
reduction. Almost every industry we have worked
with can get 20 to 40 percent reduction in many pol-
lutants with modest process modifications, chemical
substitutions, or even waste stream segregation that
allow wastes to become the primary ingredients of
secondary processes. We need some clear direction
towards reducing wastes, and it won't work without
industry's involvement.

   Q.  (Land man)  Human  health criteria initially
resulted in publication of the 304a documents and
established numbers that were subject to public
comment; since then there has been the subsequent
availability of IRIS data. However, some numbers
derived using IRIS data differ significantly from num-
bers in the initial human health criteria documents.
What numbers are EPA regions now suggesting to
States, and if the regions are suggesting the use of
numbers modified by IRIS, has their decision been
publicly discussed, or is it something that's being
systematized? How is inconsistency between those
numbers being dealt with by EPA's regional offices?
   A. (Vorsatz) I'll answer for Region IV. Quite frankly,
a lot of the more recent information in IRIS is some-
thing that, as a region, we didn't become aware of
until quite recently. Since we didn't set a clear posi-
tion in the criteria documents on how to deal with up-
dated reference doses, or IRIS's updated cancer
potency factors, we  basically used some judgment
and looked at what these numbers meant, where
they came from,  and how they differed  from what

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
was contained in the criteria documents. As a region
we've taken a position that it's probably more ap-
propriate for States to revise the  EPA criteria value
with an updated number from IRIS.

   C.  (Mullin) Updated documents should be avail-
able shortly, I believe.

   C. I'm glad that the updates are coming, but they
do not answer the policy question of having sort of a
moving target be the result of the continuous update
of the IRIS system. If a decision is made that, as State
triennial reviews occur,  States should rely upon this
other data base that is separate and apart from the
criteria documents, I think there should be a public
policy statement or decision on the composition of
304a  criteria. For example, when EPA sent out its
summary on where all the States stood on adoption
of water quality criteria,  it attached  a list of the
Agency's current  thinking  on health numbers, and
those numbers were always the same as the ones in
the criteria documents. If a State  is trying to decide
what  numbers to  adopt in the triennial  review
process, it won't know where they came from or what
the policy  was behind the updates. The numbers
should be updated but on  a more global scale, and
something should  be done to formalize that  policy
and subject it to public comment.

   Q. / work mostly in drinking water. We base maxi-
mum contaminant levels (MCLs) on detection levels;
we'd like to establish them at levels less than detec-
tion levels, but we don't know how. You said that you
didn't want to establish standards based on detec-
tion levels, and you've established the risk at W6
(0.00001). We have MCLs where the risks are 10~*
(0.001) at the detection level,  and we don't know
how to establish an MCL at a higher or lower con-
centration  when we can't detect it.  How do you
reconcile your statements?
   A.  One of the advantages that the water quality
standards program has over the drinking water pro-
gram in that aspect is that, oftentimes, we're using
standards criteria to regulate point  source dischar-
ges or make management decisions on other source
loadings to receiving waters. We need to have a num-
ber to shoot for as a scientifically based goal in the
receiving  waters  so we  can  make  decisions  on
upstream inputs to that receiving water. It doesn't al-
ways mean that  when you  have a problem with
detectability in-stream you can't control the source,
don't know the source, or can't even detect the prob-
lem in the source.
   The tools are there for us to do at least some of our
job. Some pollutants have such high toxicity at such
low levels relative to detection levels that, even in ef-
fluents, we might not detect them.  However, given
the challenge and the standard, our programs will
move toward looking at sources within plants and ef-
fects in fish and examining other types of exposure
routes that will allow us to put in an appropriate con-
trol (or our best shot at an appropriate control) where
it's needed. One other thing concerns me about the
use of detection levels, especially in water quality
criteria: these levels change with time.  Some water
quality criteria were based on 1970s detection levels
(PCBs come to mind) that may not be  appropriate,
but they're institutional decisions, they're permitting
decisions that  have already been  "bought into."
These criteria were based on the detection level num-
ber rather than the criteria value, and I think that's a
policy mistake.

   C. We considered this, of course, with volatile or-
ganic compounds. The derived criteria (even the
more stringent criterion for public water supply) did
not  come out  below the  purge  and trap  EPA
methodology for most of the chemicals. It  is within
their detection limits,  and in arriving at  10"6  we  went
through the same procedure for proposed standards
before public review, comment, and promulgation.
Our rationale was that we needed to control these
compounds,  but we couldn't do  it with  aquatic
toxicity. We looked at human health, and if we went to
10~4 or 10"5 we were in the same boat as with aquatic
toxicity. We would come  up with  criteria already
above the concentrations in-stream, and many con-
centrations  that  the  goal book,  Human Health
Criteria,  indicated were a threat, so our common
sense rationale was that, to protect public health and
welfare, we should consider adopting a  risk level that
gave us a concentration level that would at least offer
some degree of control in-stream. The one that fit the
bill was 10"6. If we went to 10"7, which  I haven't for-
mally presented to the State, we would be well below
detection level for everything. We obviously did not
want to go to that extreme, so we picked a logical,
defensible  compromise that affords  the  level  of
protection we need but at the same time does not
overencumber industry.

   C. (Tennant) I'm with ORSANCO, a water pollution
control company on the Ohio River. We  are involved,
along with water utilities, in several cooperative ef-
forts to monitor the river. The utilities are an active,
united  group, and with the enactment of  the safe
drinking water requirements, they began to petition
us to prohibit the discharge of any contaminant that
was listed in the Safe Drinking Water Act. It's impor-
tant to keep in mind that the MCLs are finished water

levels, and to impose them as in-stream numbers is
to assume that what is in the river is going to be the
same as what comes out the tap, and I  think we all
know that that's not the case.
  Another point that the water utilities are strong on
is that while the MCL levels for many organics are
fairly high (higher, in fact, than the ambient criteria),
the MCL goals for many are zero. So if a water utility
is finding any of this compound in its finished water,
even though it's meeting  the MCL, it feels very vul-
nerable  to lack of consumer confidence if not out-
and-out legal  actions if  anything appears in the
finished water, and therefore the utility reasons that
there should  be zero discharge. In  our next stan-
dards revision, we are considering taking any chemi-
cals on the list that haven't been identified in that
discharge and putting them in our list of prohibited
discharge chemicals, as sort of a first step towards
trying to deal with the utilities' concerns.
  We have more data on volatile organics and some
purgables on a  single river than just about anybody.
Our organics detection systems have been function-
ing at 13 Ohio River intakes for 10 years. A couple of
results  will  put  into perspective  the  differences
among  some of the various risk levels: we  find
chloroform  in  approximately 60  percent  of the
samples we  take from the  river and  30 percent
methylene chlorides. We find between 10"5 and 10"6
risk level for these compounds. If we used the 10~5
risk level to assess stream data, we wouldn't have
any problem-maybe three samples for the year in
the entire river would exceed those levels. If we use
10"6, probably  about half to three-quarters of the
detections would  exceed those numbers.
   Have a minimal  acceptable risk  level and  a
preferred  risk  level. States need  to  make  local
decisions on this issue, but there should be a com-
mon risk level  in all  programs,  not just water
programs. Decisions are being made, not based on
the best science but on which program has the least
stringent requirements.  We'd  like to see standard
levels of risk, with part of the State's job and of our
job as an interstate being to look at the local factors.
A question that our EPA region asked us was do
people  on the Ohio River eat more fish  than people
on the Great Lakes? Well, I don't know, but it's infor-
mation  we'd like to have in human health criteria.

   C. (Palachek-Texas Water Commission) It's nice to
argue   about  harmonic  mean flow,   or  annual
averages, but until our discussion in Louisiana back
in August, nobody  had  even considered marine
situations or lake situations in terms of human health.
I might  point out that, for a lake situation, you might
want to use an annual average flow, but in a river
situation you might want to go to a harmonic mean
flow because you're looking at different types of en-
   In marine situations the mixing zone basically es-
tablishes dilution and the  setting of effluent  limits.
That's one area that we need a lot of work on be-
cause the human health number is set on a fish con-
sumption number. These numbers and calculations
date from 1978, but there's been little interest in them
until recently. Therefore, we are still in an evolution-
ary phase; that's why States are pushing, trying to
get an up-to-date list and  information on the latest
methods and criteria. We should pull that all together
and let it settle out, then we'll  be able to go forward
with good scientific evidence. We need to allow for
some flexibility, because you can change the criteria,
and antibacksliding won't affect that, but you can't
change the permanent levels without antibacksliding
coming into play. The overall resistance from  States
is due to this evolutionary-type process.

   C. The situation's even worse than you suggest for
most  coastal States because, unless there's been
Federal funding, we do not have an applicable waste
load allocation model for tidal waters.  In  North
Carolina, virtually all of our nonpoint source permits
in tidal waters are on a purely technological base. It's
a real chink in the armor of the coast.

   C. (Mullin) The comment has been made that the
chemicals on  IRIS are not peer-reviewed,  and that
really isn't the case. When a chemical goes on IRIS,
there is a supporting document. It may not be a water
quality criteria document or a drinking water docu-
ment but something for the Office of Solid Waste;
nevertheless, the information that goes into develop-
ing that reference dose is the same across program
offices. So if you use IRIS and see an updated num-
ber, please look into the entire data base, go to the
references cited and look at the EPA document that
was used to justify the number. Those documents are
put out for public comment and peer-reviewed.

    C. (Hseuh)  (An informal poll was taken.) We have
20 in favor of having EPA make policy and recom-
mendations regarding risk level, and we have 8 in
favor of having States make their own decisions. It's
very clear that when we make decisions  regarding
human health criteria, we  should consider technol-
ogy, socioeconomic factors, and politics. There are
EPA roles  and State roles,  but  if  you look at  im-
plementation of narrative standards, the general feel-
ing seems that,   based  on whatever   signs  in
technology are available, we should be taking more
conservative routes in recommending or  adopting
criteria.  Numerical  design  flow criteria  for car-

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
cinogens and noncarcinogens in terms of duration
and frequencies are not clear. I would like to see a
more technically oriented recommendation.  The
general feeling seems to be that if we adopted human
health  criteria, or if we adopted water quality stan-
dards criteria, whether they be for aquatic protection
or human health protection, they should all be ap-
plied to the entire receiving waters. You can select
sites in terms of uses or classifications, but they will
have to be treated as receiving waters.
   Based on the discussions, it's very clear that this
first nationwide water quality standards conference is
long overdue. I viewed this conference as a technical
transfer and a  consensus building process, and  I
regret  that there wasn't  a representative  from in-
dustry sitting on  this  panel.  EPA  should  conduct
more workshops and technical transfers in different
regions and, when they do, invite the different inter-
ests involved to discuss all of the common issues so
we can not only share the experience but can use the
occasion to iron out differences.

   C. There is a general consensus that a lack of
communication  exists  among the  States,  the
regions, and the regional offices. For us to move for-
ward with overall consistency, communication  is
needed on each level, such as outreach workshops
and  information on  methodology for States and
regional offices. We have established our goals, now
it's a matter of actually taking action and that requires
joint participation by State, industry, and regional of-

                                            WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989: 231
                 Water Quality,  Quantity, and
                                Max Dodson (Moderator)
                                   Director, Water Division
                  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Regon VIII, Denver, Colorado
Water quality and water quantity invariably come up
as a very serious issue-but I would have to charac-
terize EPA's official response as somewhat timid. A
lot of people have something to say about the Wallop
Amendment in regards to the 1977 amendments to
the Water Quality Act—a lot of words like accom-
modation, the need to accommodate quantity inter-
ests as well as quality interests. What does accom-
modation  really  mean-accommodation to  the
natural resource or a political accommodation?
  There are several other issues attached to water
quality and quantity. Is there a hierarchy of statutes,
with  State  water laws superimposed over Federal
statutes like the Water Quality Act? This is the ques-
tion we deal with in regard to the Indian tribes' ability,
through water quality statutes, to affect the allocation
of water resources at the State level.
  There is a lot of debate about whether there is any
role at all for water quality regulatory agencies in the
area of water resources, be they State or Federal
regulatory agencies. And if there is a linkage, should
it be severed, therefore limiting our ability to reach
accommodation? Again, that is a fairly serious inter-
pretation of the Wallop Amendment as well as (per-
haps) State law.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 233-234
   Water Quality,  Quantity,  and  Conservation
                                        Darlene E. Ruiz
                  Vice Chair, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento, California
I would like to give my thanks to EPA for recognizing
what I consider to be the irrefutable relationship be-
tween water quality and water quantity. In my estima-
tion it is certainly good science to produce all the
criteria that any of us can possibly imagine. We can
even decide that zero  discharge should be against
the order of the day, but without an appreciation of
the quantity  issues,  only  minimal  environmental
benefits will  be achieved.  So,  in addressing  what
some States may take as a threat to set water quality
standards for those States that fail to do so, we need
to start working with one another to better under-
stand the constitutional, statutory, and evolving com-
mon law dealing with  water both  in California and
those States with appropriative water rights systems.
   I want to start by stating that the Water Standards
Framework is not the appropriate document for seek-
ing the solution to these complex legal and institu-
tional issues. It should be limited to developing the
scientific framework for defining and enhancing
water quality  programs. The  issues  surrounding
water quality belong to the States and, at this time,
California is  not seeking help, nor do we want the
Federal Government to give us any guidance in this
area.  The reasons are that, within the  Clean Water
Act, section  11 (g) is alive and well and asserted by
   To  better examine the relationship between water
quality and water quantity, I want to focus on the fu-
ture  of water quality  management within the San
Francisco Bay delta estuary. The delta is a very vast
and complex water system that covers some 738,000
acres of marshland and waterways. Created by the
confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin
rivers, it is the site of enormous agricultural richness
and major industrialization. Waters from the  delta
provide nearly two-thirds of all the water used in
California, including 40 percent of the State's drink-
ing water supply. The importance of the delta to the
environmental, ecological, recreational, agricultural,
and economical quality of life in California can not be
understated. The Water Resources Control Board's
decisions about managing the quality of delta water
will affect all Californians from residential water-users
in San Diego to commercial fishermen off the north-
ern California coast.
   I think this is a good point to explain that the State
Water Resources  Control Board is an entity that is
empowered to issue all water rights within the State
and is also the entity responsible for implementation
of the  Clean  Water Act program,  not to mention
numerous other State water quality laws. In  con-
centrating on the protection of delta water quality, we
have been  focusing  upon the interrelatedness  of
quality and flow issues. Delta water quality problems
cannot be solved through permits, best management
practices, or by  establishing numeric  criteria  or
evaluating bioassay results, alone. Solutions will  be
found in  understanding and applying an approach
that appropriately uses all the tools currently avail-
able to us and some we have yet to discover.
   For example, a rich agricultural area lying near the
sea,   the delta   contains  ample   quantities  of
trihalomethane precursors and  THMs.  Chlorides,
bromides, and organic material are in abundance in
an area that serves the drinking water needs of a sub-
stantial portion of the State. Closely related to solving
the problems of THM precursors is solving the prob-
lem of salinity. Both because of the delta's proximity
to the ocean and because of the agricultural activities
in the  basins feeding it, the level of salinity in the
water has been an ongoing concern. Some factions
suggest that the solution to both of these problems is
an increased flow. But the suggestions for an  in-
creased  flow would seem contrary  to what  most
would  view as the primary beneficial uses of  delta
water.  Clearly an  increased flow might  help some
mixing zones and act to flush salinity but it would also
decrease the amount of water available for domestic,
industrial, and agricultural consumption.
   As both the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers
travel the 370-mile courses to the delta, their waters
are subject to both use and pollution. Upstream uses
of delta waters, in-stream water uses, in combination
with municipal and industrial discharges, diffuse or
nonpoint sources of pollution, and thermal pollution,
take their toll before the waters reach the delta. We
can measure these effects through bioassay techni-
ques; we can monitor the health of striped bass and
salmon; we can test and compare to numeric criteria
or rely upon narrative standards; but foremost we
must focus on one goal, protecting the beneficial
   The protection of  beneficial uses is the current
focus of the Board's activity. We are engaged  in  an
update of the Bay-Delta Basin planning process, in

part because it is long overdue for review but also be-
cause, in its 1978 iteration, the Third District Court of
Appeals found that the Board's intent to combine the
functions of basin planning and water  rights  was
seriously flawed.  At that time  the  court made a
decision that Californians refer  to as the Racanelli
Decision, which concluded that the Board improper-
ly mixed those two functions and, in so doing, did not
properly exercise its role as a basin planner or estab-
lisher of water rights because it tried to address only
a small part of the problem. The Board had opened
up the permits on both the Central Valley Project and
the State Water Project, and those two main water
programs,  which  are responsible for shipping  vast
amounts of this  water to  southern California for
municipal use and to the central valley for agricultural
use, were not the only parties affecting  the salinity
levels that had been established  by the Board.
   The court rather  interestingly decided to analyze
how the Board should evaluate the various uses of
this area. Should  it talk only about a basin plan or
should it weigh the uses within  the delta. The court
finally decided that the Board has to weigh the issues
globally in  the context of all the uses of the water,
which means it has to  weigh the uses  throughout
California.  In our view of the court's reasoning, that
balancing has to be ongoing, requiring us to review
(as part of  our implementation program in achieving
water standards or  narrative standards)  possibly all
the water rights in the watersheds.
   Some States can address nonpoint source prob-
lems by making agreements with the farmers along
the watershed. I wish  that could be the case in
California.  However, since it would involve the open-
ing of permits not only for the State and Central Val-
ley projects but also for appropriative water rights
along the Sacramento and San Joaquin River water-
sheds, this would be a monstrous task that includes
the involvement of riparian owners who use these
watersheds or pre-1914 water uses. Again, balancing
requires the State to view public trust values and all
the designated  beneficial uses and also to keep an
eye towards a provision in our State constitution, ar-
ticle 10, section 2, which allows the State to establish
what is and what is not a waste and unreasonable
use of California's waters.
   So, as we try to  get through this basic planning
process and work  with the Clean  Water Act,  we
remain mindful that California must and will establish
its own standards.  If EPA can help us accomplish
this, we welcome their technical assistance, but we
are somewhat skeptical that the Agency can ever es-
tablish standards that would  meet California's waste
and unreasonable use tests, let alone ones that in-
clude some of our considerations about public trust
boundaries and protection of other beneficial uses.
   In the future, all the States will have to deal with the
complexities of solving these kinds of water quality
problems. However, we must not allow our thinking
to become compartmentalized or fragmented. Cer-
tainly the main focus  of this conference is  water
quality standards, but we must not view standards as
the be-all and end-all or even as  a driving force in
water quality, but as one of the tools we want to refine
in our ever-increasing effort to achieve water quality.
   As we approach water quality issues in the 21 st
century, nothing will assist us more than a better un-
derstanding of the legal and institutional frameworks
and the ways to combine scientific effort with  those
institutional restraints to define options that will help
us to achieve our goal.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 235-237
               Integration of Water Quality and
                                Water  Quantity
                                   Lawrence J. MacDonnell
                                Director, Natural Resources Law Center
                               University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
The integration of water quality and water quantity is
truly one of the more perplexing issues of effective
water quality regulation in the Western States. It is in-
teresting to  note that the two States that led the
development of the prior appropriation doctrine in
the West, California and Colorado, are the ones now
struggling most directly with integration  of water
quality considerations into the use of water related to
water rights.
   There is  a  direct  relationship between water
quality and water quantity. The use of water depends
on its quality and, in turn, that use affects its quality.
This obvious relationship is central to understanding
the way water can and should be used. The riparian
doctrine, the original system that governed the use of
water in the United States, recognized that relation-
ship by declaring that the pollution of water is an un-
reasonable use of water. The prior appropriation
doctrine, which of course rejected the fundamental
concept of riparianism as a device for allocating the
resource, did not reject the necessity of maintaining
and  protecting the water quality associated with the
use of water.
   The prior appropriation doctrine protects water
quality according to three general principles:
   1. A prior appropriator is protected against pollu-
      tion by a subsequent appropriator.
   2. The  protection  is  against  pollution that
      measurably or substantially impairs the senior
      appropriator's use.
   3. The senior appropriator must prevent pollution
      harmful to subsequent appropriators only to
      the extent that such pollution can be practic-
      ably avoided.

Thus there is a hierarchy of rights with regard to
water quality just as there is for water quantity. The
focus of the inquiry  concerns whether  the sub-
sequent appropriator's  use of water injures the
senior's use because of water quality impairment.
The  extent of injury must be more than de minimis.
The  senior's use is restricted only to the extent it is
unreasonable or can be readily modified to prevent
  The University of Colorado is examining the ap-
proaches presently taken by the Western States to
link together water quality and water quantity issues
as a matter of State  practice. We have organized
these approaches into five general types (see Table
1). The first general way that States consider water
quality and water use is in the general allocation
process,  in which decisions are made about who
gets to use water. So, for example, California has a
provision in its water code requiring that the State
Water Resources Control Board must consider the
issue of water quality when allocating the right to use
water. This Board is also the entity in California that
develops water quality control plans. Thus, California
has brought together those functions, putting in one
entity the combined concerns of quality and quantity.
When that Board makes decisions about how to allo-
cate the resource, it is likely to be aware of the related
water quality considerations. That's a unique institu-
tional arrangement in the West.
   Nearly all of the Western States include some kind
of public interest review in making an allocation of
water rights. In at least two States, the public interest
requirement has been defined specifically to include
water quality. A common standard for  reviewing
water rights decisions in the West is impairment of
water uses. The general concept is to ensure no
harm to  another user as a consequence of water
rights decisions and is most commonly applied to a
transfer or change in a water right. There are several
decisions in  New  Mexico in  which a  request to
change a point of diversion and  place  of use of
groundwater  was denied,  or conditions were  at-
tached,  to  protect  the  water  quality  of  the
groundwater  aquifer. Wasteful uses of water are
prohibited  in  the West.  In  Oklahoma, this concern
about waste  led to  denial of a request  to use
groundwater for secondary oil and gas recovery be-
cause it would pollute the water.
   A second approach found in a number of Western
States (largely for groundwater) is to establish spe-
cial  management systems for water resources in
designated  areas.   Alaska,   Colorado,  Kansas,
Nebraska,  and Oregon all  have  built  such ap-
proaches into their legal systems. The original idea

Table 1.—Western States' approaches to integrating water quality protection with water use.
1.  Consider quality in the general allocation process.

   a.  Directly as one of the review criteria—e.g., California Water
      Code Sect. 1258:
        "In acting upon applications to appropriate water, the board
      shall consider water quality control plans which have been
      established.. .and may subject such appropriations to such
      terms and conditions as  it finds are  necessary to carry out
      such plans."
   b.  Indirectly as a "public interest" consideration—e.g., by stat-
      ute, Alaska's public interest review is to consider effects on
      public health.
        By regulation, the Idaho Department of Water Resources
      has defined its statutory public interest review obligation to
      require conditioning all water use permits to insure compli-
      ance with Idaho's water quality standards.
   c. To consider impairment to other water users—e.g., by stat-
      ute, Kansas includes as a review standard for a water use
      permit whether "unreasonable deterioration of water quality
      at the existing user's point of diversion beyond a reasonable
      economic limit" will occur.
        New Mexico's  cases  involve a transfer of groundwater
      Pollution of water prohibited as "waste"—e.g., Oklahoma's
      requirement of a finding of no waste in considering a ground-
      water permit defined by regulation to include "any act per-
      mitting or causing the pollution of fresh water or the use of
      such water in an inefficient manner or any manner that is
      not beneficial..."
2. Consider quality in specially designated areas.

   Widely used in the West as a means of managing groundwa-
   ter—primarily its development—but water quality concerns may
   also be addressed.
   • Alaska (critical water management areas)—"any actions nec-
   • Colorado (designated groundwater basins)—deny permit on
     basis of "unreasonable deterioration of water quality"
   • Kansas (intensive groundwater use control areas)—whatever
     measures deemed necessary
   • Nebraska (special protection areas)—program to control or
     reduce the level and extent of contamination
   • Oregon  (critical groundwater areas)—requirements neces-
     sary to protect the public's welfare,  health, and safety
3.  Consider quality in protecting minimum streamflows.
   In-stream Values Recognized in Fourteen Western States.
   State	In-stream Beneficial Uses Recognized	
   Alaska      Protection of fish and wildlife habitat, migration,
               and propagation
   Arizona     Recreation and wildlife, including fish
   California    Preservation and enhancement of fish and
               wildlife resources
   Colorado    Preserve the natural environment to a
               reasonable degree
   Hawaii      Maintenance of fish and wildlife habitats;
               outdoor recreational activities; maintenance of
               ecosystems such as estuaries, wetlands, and
               stream vegetation;  maintenance of water quality
   Idaho       Protection of fish and wildlife habitat [and]
               aquatic life
   Montana    Fish and wildlife
   Nebraska    Fish.. .and wildlife
   Nevada     Any recreation purpose
   New Mexico Fishing and recreation
   Oregon     Conservation, maintenance and enhancement
               of aquatic and fish  life, wildlife, fish and wildlife
               habitat and  any other ecological values
   Utah        Preservation or propagation of fish
   Washington  Protecting fish,  game, birds  or other wildlife
               resources, or recreational or aesthetic values
               of.. .public waters whenever it appears to be in
               the public interest.
   Wyoming    Maintain new or existing fisheries

 4.  Regulation of specific activities.
    a. Related to water use—e.g., well drilling requirements to
      protect water quality:
      —Requirements to plug wells no longer in use
      —Chemigation regulation
    b. Other:
      —Pesticide regulation
      —Underground injection
      —Solid and hazardous waste regulation

 5.  Water quality regulation.
    a. Establishing water quality standards to protect uses
    b. Monitoring water quality and  identifying water quality
    c. Water quality planning including nonpont source control
      strategies (best management practices)
    d. Antidegradation program
    e. 401 certification
 was to prevent overdraft of aquifers by placing spe-
 cial   controls  on   the   manner  of  developing
 groundwater. This  general approach has been  ex-
 tended to the water quality area in some States and
 offers an opportunity for States to identify problems
 not just on a statewide basis,  but also on  a specific
 regional or  local  basis. It  enables States  to isolate
 aquifers and particular surface water areas and pro-
 vide special attention to their water quality problems.
    A third general approach is the inclusion of water
 quality as a basis for establishing minimum in-stream
 flows. Legal protection for in-stream flows of water is
 a  relatively new development in the West. Fifteen
 years ago, only a handful of States provided a means
 for  protecting in-stream flows: now virtually every
 Western State has some type of protection for such

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 235-237
   Maintaining  some minimum  flow levels  in  a
stream obviously is  beneficial to water  quality. As
shown in Table 1,  most Western State laws and
programs relating  to  streamflow  protection are
based  on the protection of fish.  However, we are
beginning to broaden that concept. In a few States,
water quality may provide the basis for establishing
an in-stream  flow.  Of course, when States protect
fish,  they are  indirectly protecting the  quality and
quantity of the water needed to maintain a habitat for
fish propagation.
   There are many opportunities  here: for example,
States should consider allowing a point source dis-
charger an opportunity to  acquire  a consumptive
water right and to change that water right to a mini-
mum streamflow right to guarantee some minimum
flow  of water as a device to offset the need for addi-
tional treatment capability. States might also want to
consider an "offset" type system as exists under the
Clean Air Act in nonattainment areas. Any new water
developer or  discharger would  have  to  provide
protected in-stream flows in an amount necessary to
offset the water quality impacts of the new use. I think
those kinds of opportunities are there, and that State
systems are increasingly allowing them to happen.
   The fourth approach is our traditional approach to
pollution control regulation of specific kinds of ac-
tivities. These regulations relate specifically to con-
cerns  about  water  use things  like drilling wells,
plugging  wells, and chemigation. Other  areas of
regulation that have benefits not normally directly re-
lated to water use  are  pesticide controls,  under-
ground injection controls, and solid and hazardous
waste regulations.
   The final approach  is water  quality  regulation
under the Clean Water Act and  the various State
programs. The Western States' programs  have few
regulations that directly address the relationship be-
tween water quality and water use. However,  some
efforts are being made. For example, water quality
standards can protect uses; when you establish the
desired quality for a given segment of the stream you
are protecting the designated uses.  If valuable non-
consumptive  uses are designated, then water quality
regulation can  be a valuable means of integrating
quality and use. In a few States,  an effort has been
made to link up the information developed in connec-
tion  with water quality planning and monitoring and
decisions concerning water use. Kansas appears to
be a good example of a State that has established
meaningful coordination between the water quality
people and the water allocation people.  The anti-
degradation program  provides an important oppor-
tunity to ensure better consideration of the water
quality implications of new activities. And, the 401
certification  process  provides  an opportunity to
review activities requiring a Federal permit to insure
compliance with State water quality standards.
  What can EPA do about these issues? First, it can
encourage the States to develop and expand the ap-
proaches  I  have discussed.  Water allocation
decisions will continue to be made by the States.
Water quality protection programs also are imple-
mented primarily by the States.  There are many at-
tractive options available to States to better integrate
these programs that should be actively promoted by
EPA. On a more specific issue, there is a need for
clarification on whether  Federal water quality stan-
dards extend to all activities affecting water quality or
if they are limited strictly to activities that discharge
pollutants from either  a point or nonpoint source. In
other words,  does water quality control  under
Federal law extend only to regulation of  pollutants or
does it include activities  (beyond those  regulated
under section 404)  that adversely affect water quality
in any way? The nonpoint source area presents a
major challenge. Pollution from nonpoint sources
represents the major water quality problem in many
States. Some States are moving aggressively to ad-
dress this problem, but others are saying, "What's the
big deal?  Section 319 looks like section 208. What
does 319 really add?" That's  a good question, and
people are looking to EPA for direction.
   I would encourage EPA to get into the voluntary
water real location game. There is a great deal of in-
terest in the marketing  of water, changes in water
rights, and exchanging water to meet new  uses.
There are tremendous opportunities for private users
as well as public agencies to think about reallocating
water from existing consumptive to new consump-
tive and nonconsumptive uses that may have posi-
tive effects, including water quality benefits. There
are also opportunities to participate in  this process
for Federal land management agencies concerned
about protecting water quality.

                                            WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 239-243
 Supplying Denver with Water Efficiency

               Alternative  to Two Forks Dam
                 Research Assistant, Rocky Mountain Institute, Old Snowmass, Colorado
With a steady, and sometimes legally ensured flow of
money into the bank, utilities are now among the
Nation's least discriminating investors. Utility invest-
ments in supply - dams, water treatment plants, and
other long-lived capital improvements — often return
only a few percent annually on the investment, with
corresponding payback periods of 15 to 20  years
(Mercer and Morgan, 1986). When demand for the
improvements doesn't materialize as anticipated, the
realized return may drop further, with paybacks rising
to 30 years, 40 years, or even infinity.
  Competing with water utilities are consumers, who
do what they can to cut water bills: put water dams in
the toilet, take showers instead of baths, or buy low-
flow showerheads, for example. But while water sup-
pliers are willing to make investments in supply that
have long paybacks, commonly 20 years or  more,
consumers demand a much higher rate of  return
from their efficiency  investments: if a product won't
                                              pay for itself through reduced water use in two or
                                              three years, most homeowners won't buy it. For con-
                                              sumers without discretionary capital, know-how, or
                                              confidence that they will be around long enough to
                                              reap the benefits - low-income homeowners and
                                              mobile tenants, for example - the payback require-
                                              ment  may be six  months  or  less  (Lovins   and
                                              Shepard,  1988). Figure 1, Typical Investment Re-
                                              quirements: Consumers vs.  Utilities, illustrates this
                                                 This gross discrepancy in investment criteria be-
                                              tween water suppliers  and consumers means that
                                              utilities tend to overinvest in supply while consumers
                                              underinvest in efficiency. Consumers buy more water
                                              than the market says they should buy, while utilities,
                                              buying supply under less stringent criteria, supply
                                              more water than consumers truly need. Consumers
                                              pay the expensive bills that result from this misalloca-
                                              tion of capital. To induce consumers to buy as much
                    200 --
Required annual
real  return  on
investment (%)
20-year investient lifeline
Copyright (0 1969
 Rocky Mountain Institute
M 20.II.B9
                                         6—12 month payback
                                                               8-36 month payback
                                                                    15-20 year payback
                       Low-Income Tenant
 Figure 1 . — Typical investment requirements: Consumers vs. Utilities.

efficiency as is worthwhile using the utility's invest-
ment criteria would require  raising  water prices
roughly tenfold.
  The challenge for suppliers is to capture the water
that leaks through this payback gap. By making cost-
effective efficiency investments that return about 10
percent to 100 percent annually — investments that
consumers rarely make unaided — suppliers and
consumers can plug the gap and share in the profits
that these attractive investments provide.
      Efficiency as a New Supply

Water saved is exactly the same as water supplied.
One person's reduction in water use makes water
available for  someone else to use. A temporary
reduction in use is equivalent to a temporary in-
crease  in supply, a permanent  reduction  in use
equivalent to a permanent increase in supply. Tem-
porary   reductions and  those requiring life-style
changes are generally useful only during temporary
shortages after which they can readily reverse; but
permanent, reliable reductions that do not require or
depend upon life-style changes can permanently dis-
place alternative, reliable supplies.
   Ultra-low-flush toilets, high-performance low-flow
showerheads, efficient faucet aerators, and efficient
lawn irrigation equipment provide permanent, reli-
able  water savings. Chosen carefully, purchased
wholesale, and professionally installed  as  replace-
ment equipment throughout a service area, water-ef-
ficient hardware can save water at less  than a third
the cost of supplying it anew and treating it twice.
Fast, easy, certain, environmentally sound, and flex-
ible in scale, utility-sponsored efficiency programs
are a cheap and effective way to ease or forestall a
water shortage.  They are less expensive than con-
ventional supply development and do not include the
financial or environmental risks of large, irreversible
      A Supply Curve for Denver
     Residential Water Efficiency
 Indoor residential water use in Denver totals 158,000
 acre-feet  per year (U.S.  Army Corps  Eng.,  1988).
 Water-efficient toilets (1.0 gpf),  showerheads  (2.0
 gpm), and kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators (2.0
 and 0.75  gpm, respectively) have the capacity to
 reduce  indoor water use by 37 percent (U.S. Dep.
 Housing Urban Dev.,  1984). Installed in all of the Den-
 ver area's households, they can save  more than
 57,000 acre-feet of that total per year. For a program
cost  of  $400  per  household  (which  includes
wholesale product prices and professional installa-
tion at $30 per hour), the average annualized cost of
water saved in this way is $222 an acre-foot  — a
quarter  the cost of equivalent  supply from the
proposed Two Forks Dam (U.S. Army Corps Eng.,
1988). These are permanent savings through the use
of efficient high-performance products; they do not
involve any life-style change.
   Of that total water savings, low-flow showerheads
don't just contribute 15,000 acre-feet of annual water
savings; they save energy, too. Showerhead energy
savings  to the power and gas utilities would return
more than $7 per household per year, $4.9 million per
year for all of Denver. Those fuel savings would pro-
vide a rate of return more than four times that of the
best  traditional  investments —  a certificate  of
deposit, for example. After returning the cost of the
showerheads, the remaining energy savings are still
considerable: large enough,  for example, to pay a
third of the levelized cost of the indoor efficiency pro-
   Outdoor water use in the Denver supply area is
143,000 acre-feet per year, 90 percent of which goes
toward lawn irrigation (U.S. Army Corps Eng., 1988).
For $100 per household,  a professional lawn irriga-
tion consultant can save an additional 47,000 acre-
feet a year in the Denver supply area at a cost of $70
per acre-foot, one-tenth the cost of equivalent supply
from the proposed Two Forks Dam. These savings
are through proper timing of irrigations, which result
in improved irrigation efficiency; they do not involve
any change in life-styles such as a reduction in lawn
quality or size. Nor do they include any changes in
the  types  of vegetation  grown:  switching to low-
water-use grasses or including other low-water-use
plants and techniques in landscape design can main-
tain or  improve  landscape appearance while sub-
stantially reducing cost and water requirements.
   Combined savings, indoor plus outdoor, for all ex-
isting (but no new) households in the Denver supply
area amount to 104,000 acre-feet per year — 6,000
acre-feet per year more than the proposed Two Forks
Dam. Whereas the 98,000 acre-feet of treated water
from Two Forks (not including wastewater treatment)
is estimated from official data to cost an average of
$760 per acre-foot, the average cost of equivalently
sized permanent savings from these efficiency im-
provements is almost fivefold smaller, $154 per acre-
foot. Even efficient toilets,  the  most  expensive
efficiency improvement, save water at only $282 per
acre-foot. As a reliable source of inexpensive water,
residential  water efficiency is an extremely attractive

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 239-243
  Additional savings, chiefly in non-residential water
use, are also  possible and  cost-effective,  even
though they are not detailed here. They include fixing
leaks in municipal water systems; indoor and out-
door technological improvements in the commercial,
industrial,  and public sectors;  more  thoughtful
choice of decorative vegetation; and improved ap-
plication and management techniques in agriculture.
Water and energy savings can also be achieved by
encouraging people to buy more water-efficient (but
equally serviceable)  dishwashers and  washing
machines for new construction and as replacements.
   Figure 2 illustrates graphically the  cost-effective
alternative of water efficiency. The horizontal axis
shows the cumulative savings, in acre-feet per year,
that each efficiency improvement provides. The verti-
cal axis shows the cost, in dollars per acre-foot,  of
each of the five efficiency improvements. The points
high and to the right show the cost and quantity of
water that the proposed Two Forks Dam is expected
to provide. Remember that this supply curve shows
only  some  residential  efficiency  improvements.
There are other cost-effective  opportunities to save
residential water, as well as other ways to save a sub-
stantial fraction of Denver's remaining (21 percent)
non-residential water use.
                                                 The Wider Benefits of Water

                                            Saving water  saves  the  environment.  Residential
                                            water saved in Denver makes water available for raft-
                                            ing, fishing, wetlands, and wildfowl. Water efficiency
                                            eases salinization problems and other pressures on
                                            this  limited  resource.  Saved energy  (through
                                            reduced water heating) has still broader implications
                                            for the environment: the energy savings in the Den-
                                            ver supply area can displace more than 50,000 tons
                                            of carbon, as carbon  dioxide, per  year.  Carbon
                                            dioxide is responsible for half of the global warming
                                            problem.  The saved fuel would also help reduce
                                            utilities' and  residences'  contribution to  Denver's
                                            brown cloud of air pollution.
                                               For utilities facing a potential water shortage, im-
                                            proved efficiency is not only less expensive than ad-
                                            ditional supplies, it is also much less risky than big
                                            investments  in big projects. As  the Washington
                                            Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) so spec-
                                            tacularly demonstrated with electricity,  rising rates
                                            encourage efficiency and reduce demand. Reduced
                                            use, in turn, forces an additional price hike that fur-
                                            ther reduces demand.  This financial "death spiral"
                                            has bankrupted WPPSS and  several other utilities.

1000 -




 600 -

 500 -


 300 -


cost of water
supplied  or saved
(1988  $/acre-ft),
levelized  at a 4%/y
real discount rate
Post-treated fraction (40%)  of
Two Forks project's yield
  Showerhead energy savings, not shown
  here,  total  $4.9 million per year.  This
  benefit is equal in size to 30% of the
  annualized cost of the  efficiency program.
                  Two  Forks  Project,
                  including  100%  pre—
                  and  40% post-treatment x
                        Two Forks project,
                        including  100% pre—    *
                        but no post—treatment
          Bathroom faucet aerators (1.8 —>  0.75  gpm)

      Kitchen  faucet aerators  (3.5  —> 2.0 gpm)
               Showerheads  (2.8  —> 1.7 gpm)
   Efficient lawn-
   watering equipment
   (no change in type  or
   area of plants grown)
                        Toilets (5.1 —>  1.25 gpf)
     0              30000             40000             60000             80000             100000

 Figure 2.—Improved residential water efficiency compared with conventional expansion of water supply in the Denver area.

By tapping the water that improved efficiency offers,
water utilities can protect themselves from drastic
reductions in demand that rising tariffs  encourage.
Efficiency can be bought  gradually, on a build-as-
you-need, pay-as-you-go basis,  thus  minimizing
financial  exposure  to  intrinsic errors  in  demand
   Making It All Work: Designing a
     Successful Implementation

There are several impediments to the orderly adop-
tion of water-efficient products - poverty, prejudice,
ignorance, habit, and inertia all get  in the way. A
proper program breaks each of these barriers with a
systematic, rational approach  involving economic
and common sense, both of which favor efficiency.
   The performance,  appearance, and styling of
water-efficient products rival any on the market. For
an efficiency program to be successful, the public
has to know this. Installed in and around public build-
ings-City Hall,  for example-water-efficient hard-
ware   and   landscapes  become   familiar   and
acceptable, even preferable, to the people who might
use them. Support grows through use and multiplies
by imitation,  speeding adoption by the general
public. Economically attractive, highly efficient water-
using appliances have been increasingly accepted,
first by hotel chains, and now by builders across the
country.   Hawk  Mountain  Corporation,  a  resort
developer in  Vermont,  uses efficient  fixtures ex-
clusively.  With per capita water use reduced to 50
gallons per day (less than the target calculated here
for Denver), the residents' water bills are small. Cor-
responding reductions in the size  of the sewer  sys-
tem save money for the corporation (Fretz, 1988).
   Engineering tests under laboratory conditions and
in-house performance data show that many 1.0- to
1.5-gpf toilets perform substantially better than 3.5-
gpf models. Their high instantaneous peak flow (70 +
gpm  versus  30-40 gpm for many  3.5-gpf toilets)
reduces the frequency of double-flushing and gives
1.0- to 1.5-gpf toilets a waste-transport ability  sub-
stantially better than that of many less efficient ones,
particularly those  retrofitted  with  "water-saving"
dams or  displacement bags.  There  is no  known
evidence  that such toilets interfere with proper per-
formance of  either sewer systems or sewage-treat-
ment  plants; on the contrary,  household water
savings can  greatly extend the  useful life of septic
systems and sewage treatment plants (Rocky Moun-
tain I nst.,  1989).
  The economic edge that makes efficiency so at-
tractive for existing dwellings makes it even more at-
tractive  for  new  construction.  Using   efficient
equipment the first time around can reduce construc-
tion  costs.  Inexpensive low-water-use landscapes,
smaller plumbing, smaller water heaters, and smaller
septic systems or lower sewer hookup fees all tend to
make water-efficient houses relatively  inexpensive.
The 104,000 acre-feet of annual water savings shown
above, however, do not include savings in new con-
  A building  code to require hardware in new con-
struction is a proper step in the orderly development
of a program. Proven in communities in Arizona,
California, New York, and Massachusetts, mandatory
limits on the water use of toilets, showerheads, and
faucets prevent builders from choosing outdated and
grossly inefficient equipment. Limits of 1.6 gpf for
toilets, 2.5 gpm for showerheads, 2.5 gpm for kitchen
faucets, and  1.0  gpm for  bathroom and  lavatory
faucets will cut water use dramatically, immediately,
and cost-effectively, without reducing amenity or per-
formance (Rocky Mountain Inst., 1989). Bills to re-
quire efficient fixtures  have been introduced in the
California, Colorado, Florida, Texas, and Washington
legislatures and in the U.S. House and Senate.
  A building  code is important, but it does not pro-
vide the proper incentive to install the most efficient
hardware. A sliding-scale hookup fee, linked propor-
tionally to the amount of water the new home is ex-
pected to use,  provides that incentive. As   a
supplement to its efficient building code, Monterey,
California, offers a $75 per-toilet bonus to builders
who install toilets that use 1.0 gpf or less. As a result,
most of the new toilets installed in Monterey  meet
that limit (Locke, 1988).
   North Marin Water District in  California offers
hookup-fee discounts for  builders who follow the
district's voluntary water-frugal landscaping guide-
lines. A builder of a townhouse or condominium who
limits a turf area to 400 square feet or 20 percent of
the total landscape area, whichever is more limiting,
will receive a $190 discount on the per-unit hookup
fee. Turf area of 200 square feet or less will earn the
builder of an apartment a hookup fee discount of $95.
Those voluntary turf limits have led to a 40 percent
reduction in turf area for this new construction, cor-
responding to a roughly 20 percent  and 33 percent
reduction in outdoor water use, respectively. The dis-
trict is now writing a workable rebate plan for single-
family homes (Nelson, 1988). This incentive program
is intended to reflect the true capital  costs that each
new user brings to the utility. Water-efficient homes
and landscapes place a smaller capital burden on the

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 239-243
utility than do inefficient homes; the  sliding-scale
hookup fee property reflects that fact (Nelson, 1988).
   For making existing buildings water-efficient, the
options are manifold: direct rebates to homeowners,
utility-sponsored giveaways, cost-sharing, or trans-
ferable savings are just  a few of the  possibilities
(Lovins and Shepard, 1988). Santa Barbara and the
Goleta Water District cooperate in their retrofit pro-
gram: the providers offer a rebate of $80 per toilet
(Farwell, 1988), which brings the homeowner's price
of an efficient toilet down to about $10. The program
saves water for the utilities at about half the cost of al-
ternative supplies. Glendale, Arizona, has a similar
rebate program. The city pays $100 to anyone who
replaces a standard toilet with a water-efficient one,
and  $100 to anyone who  remakes  an existing
landscape into one that meets the city's landscaping
guidelines (Schultz,  1988). The North  Marin Water
District will pay $0.50 for each square foot of turf that
a homeowner converts to low-water-use landscape.
   By far the fastest proven method of implementing
efficiency is to link new construction to improved ef-
ficiency in existing construction. As a prerequisite to
building a home in water-short Morro Bay, California,
builders must first save  more water than the new
home will use. Given the option of refitting existing
houses with efficient hardware or paying to replace a
specified  length  of  the  city's leaky  water main,
builders did  both: in the  first two years of the pro-
gram, some builders paid the water main replace-
ment  fee  while  others  refitted existing  homes.
Competing for the most cost-effective efficiency im-
provements in existing homes, builders installed effi-
cient hardware  in a third  of the city's houses in the
first two years of the program, an unprecedented im-
plementation rate for water suppliers.
   Extensively documented programs carried out by
U.S.  electric  utilities in recent years have demon-
strated even more dramatic speed and degree of
market capture. In well-designed programs to give
away and install  energy-saving  equipment, typical
success ranges from a third of the target population
in one year to 90 to 98 percent in two to three years.
Electric utilities offer rebates, concessionary loans,
and even gifts of free electricity-saving equipment to
the majority of U.S ratepayers, not out of altruism, but
because it's  often cheaper to save electricity than to
make it. To be sure, a utility that sells less can bring in
less revenue, but its costs can go down more than its
revenues, so its profits can go up. An immense range
of implementation methods is available and being
used  successfully  by  electric  utilities across the
country  (Lovins and Shepard,  1988). Exactly the
same methods and logic can apply to water efficien-
cy. Where, as in Denver, a projected need for more
water has led to serious consideration of a billion-dol-
lar supply project, the argument for a cost-effective
efficiency program is even more compelling.
   The foregoing examples, then, are just a few of the
proven ways to save money and the environment by
improving the efficiency  of water use. Certain and
cheap, these products and methods offer a fast, per-
manent alternative to traditional  supply expansion; a
means  of stretching finite water  supplies  and of
easing pressure on  plants that treat water and was-
tewater; a way to reduce the uncertainty of future
demand and the risks of investing to meet it;  and, by
keeping  more dollars recirculating  faster  in the
regional economy, a new tool for economic develop-

Farwell, L. 1988. Personal communication. Water Conservation
   Coordinator, Goleta (CA) Water District.
Fretz, D. Personal communication. The Consulting Group, Hawk
   Mountain Corp. Plymouth, VT.
Locke, S.  1988.  Personal communication. Conservation Tech-
   nician, Monterey (CA) Peninsula Water Management District.
Lovis, A.B. 1988. Implementation Paper #1:  Rnancing Electric
   End-Use Efficiency. Rocky Mountain  Inst, Old  Snowmass,
Mercer L.J. and W.D. Morgan. 1986. The efficiency of water pric-
   ing: a rate of return analysis for municipal water departments.
   Water Resour. Bull. 289-95.
Nelson, J.O. 1988. Personal communication. General Manager,
   North Marin (CA) County Water District.
Rocky Mountain Institute. 1989. Performance of residential water-
   efficient fixtures: notable case-studies. Old Snowmass, CO.
Schultz, D. 1988. Personal communication. Water Conservation
   Coordinator, City of Glendale, CA.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1988. Metropolitan Denver Water
   Supply EIS. App.2: 4-33; App.4c: 4-7; App.2: 4-33.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 1984.
   Chap. 4 Pages 8-9 in Residential Water Conservation Projects
   Summary Rep.
AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Rocky Mountain Institute publishes a
detailed catalog,  Water-Efficient Technologies for the Urban/
Residential Sector (#W87-30). The calculations presented in this
presentation are more fully documented and discussed in Rocky
Mountain publications #W89-8, #W89-24, and #W89-26.

                                               WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21 St CENTURY, 1989: 245-247
  Water Quality, Quantity, and Conservation

                                      Elizabeth Tabbutt
                    Lobbyist, Washington Environmental Council, Seattle, Washington
The Washington Environmental Council is a coalition
of both  individual  members and  70 organizational
members. We represent sports fishing groups, gar-
den clubs, hiking groups such as the Mountaineers,
and local chapters of environmental groups such as
the Sierra Club and National Audubon Society.
   Not surprisingly, water issues are a major focus for
us. The  Council has been following water issues -
both quality and  quantity-since our formation in
1968. We  played  a  key  role  in establishing
Washington's Department of Ecology in 1970, recog-
nizing the importance of bringing water  allocation
and water pollution programs closer together, and
we supported the State Water Resources Act of 1971,
which strengthens the policy of protecting in-stream
flows. Currently, the Council is involved in legislative
efforts to reexamine those key  policies, to more
sharply define in-stream resource values and alloca-
tion policies, and to identify conservation or water
use efficiency techniques.
quality is appreciated as more than a measure of pol-
lutant concentrations.
   Washington's Water Resource

Interest in water supply in Washington is as broad
and varied as the State. We have over-allocated sys-
tems that run close to dry in some summer months
(such as the Walla Walla  and the Yakima); we have
systems where dams and urban growth have so al-
tered  flows that the concentration  of pollutants in
lower reaches exceeds water quality standards; we
have rivers where flows must be protected for their
fisheries habitat; and we have stretches of rivers and
streams where aesthetics and recreational values re-
quire  a flow above  that  necessitated by fisheries'
needs or water quality standards.
   In each of these examples, water quantity is the
immediate problem, but  water quality is really at
issue. Whether we are speaking of overstressed sys-
tems with seasonal flows  so low that temperature is
the restricting parameter;  systems where pure water
is withdrawn and fertilizers, herbicides, and salts are
returned; systems where there is not adequate water
coverage of gravel or other habitat areas; or systems
where the quantity of the flow, in and of itself, defines
the quality of the water (such as free-flowing  sys-
tems), it is still water quality. For the Council, water

Recognizing that the relationship  between quality
and quantity goes beyond measuring pollutant con-
centrations broadens the  jurisdictional  questions.
The State is managing water withdrawals by writing
permits  on some,  but  not all, withdrawals. The
Federal  Government is  setting  standards for dis-
charg-es of pollutant concentrations and loads. The
State is striving to meet those EPA standards by writ-
ing permits on some, but not all, dischargers. And the
State is legislatively charged with  protecting other
water quality values, such as flows  necessary for in-
stream resources  (aesthetics, recreation,  wildlife).
Are there sharp jurisdictional lines? No.
   Are there gaps? Yes. What we have learned in all
areas of environmental protection  is that  small,
cumulative impacts add up. This  is  especially true in
the complex relationship between water quantity and
quality. Every withdrawal of water from a system af-
fects the concentration  of  pollutants downstream,
the availability of habitat, the quality of the aesthetics
experience. Every discharge into surface water that
brings pollutants makes the water  less available for
other beneficial uses. Nonpoint discharges, some of
which may be too dispersed to ever consider regulat-
ing, add up. Combined, these withdrawals and dis-
charges are degrading water. We do need to protect
against cumulative impacts. Controlling water quan-
tity may be the only way to protect against the
cumulative impact of discharges that we cannot ef-
fectively regulate.
   How  can we do that? Simple answer: take less
water out of our systems by conservation and water
use efficiency.
 Washington's Legislative Study of
   Water Policy and Conservation
The impetus for the legislatively directed study on
water use efficiency was, unfortunately, not the res-
toration of in-stream flows and protection of water
quality, but rather the hope that conservation and ef-

ficiency techniques  might  result  in  "new  water"
similar to the new energy supplies that resulted from
serious  energy conservation.  The analogy  to the
energy experience, though attractive, breaks down
on close examination. Under our western water law,
where water is basically a public resource given
away free for public or private use, the two assump-
tions are: only beneficially used water is included in
the water right; and the "use it or lose it" rule prevails.
These two tenets work against conservation. Ques-
tions such as "Who has the right to the saved water?"
and  "What incentive  does the user have to con-
serve?"  are  serious and must be addressed. How-
ever, Washington's legislators seem to want to avoid
them. These questions touch too closely upon exist-
ing water rights, and, as always, existing water rights
are given a hands-off assurance in the political arena.
   Our State's Water Use  Efficiency Study  Group
divided  the question. One subcommittee looked at
agricultural  practices,  and  another  looked  at
municipal/industrial practices. The study  identified
techniques  and   incentives,  from  demonstration
projects of improved irrigation systems to  new
plumbing codes, but it stopped short of  recommend-
ing mandatory actions. Conservation was looked at
mainly as a way to have more water for future con-
sumptive needs. Returning that "saved  water" to the
stream, which would  be the most direct way to en-
hance water quality, was not assured.
   The Washington Environmental Council found this
worrisome. We have  seen that our legislature does
not have the political will to be aggressive in  limiting
existing water rights.  What's more, it does not  even
appear to understand the need to require conserva-
tion for the express purpose of restoring or enhanc-
ing in-stream flows. Taken together, this would signal
little  hope of maintaining or improving  water quality
in rivers and streams.
  The Public Trust Doctrine in Water
              Quality Issues

 In 'The Emerging Recognition of a Public Interest in
 Water; Water Quality Control  by the  Public Trust
 Doctrine" (Johnson, 1988), Professor Ralph Johnson
 of  the University of  Washington's School of Law
 points to the public  trust doctrine as it has been
 defined by a series of court decisions as the means
 to protect water quality:
       A basic premise of this essay is that the
       prior  appropriation system is flawed:
       from inception it has failed to protect
       public rights to clean water, recreation,
       fish  and   wildlife,  and  environmental
      quality. The public trust doctrine, how-
      ever, may provide a means of constraining
      prior  appropriators  to  assure  water
      quality and to accomplish other  public
  To redress the degradation of water quality Profes-
sor Johnson suggests:
      Examples of controls that  might  be im-
      posed  on  water extractors  under the
      public trust doctrine include: (1) requir-
      ing increased efficiency and greater con-
      servation; (2) controlling the times of day,
      week, or month for irrigation or other
      water uses; (3) regulating the type, com-
      position and time of application of pes-
      ticides, herbicides, and other chemicals;
      and (4) restricting the quantity of water
      extracted by appropriators or riparians.
   While these controls appear more applicable to ir-
rigation users, comparable measures  might be im-
posed on municipal/industrial withdrawals.
   Clearly, the results of conservation on the part of
irrigators and conservation on the part  of municipals
will have a differing impact on water quality at the
point of reentry to the system. But both efforts should
incorporate waste reduction as a accompanying
practice. We should require lesser applications of
pesticides and fertilizers with more efficient irrigation.
We  should  institute  industrial  pretreatment and
process modification to  decrease the  pollutants
moved by the lower water volumes.
   The use of the public trust doctrine could be our
best tool in water quality control, but when it is used
as the justification to either constrain existing  rights
or to mandate conservation efforts, the water which
is "saved" must remain in-stream to protect or en-
hance water quality or other public trust values. That
water cannot be considered a new source, water up
for grabs, either by private marketing or State alloca-
tion. Granted, there are complexities and hard ques-
tions. "Saved water" needs to be defined. Should it
include wasted water that another user was depend-
ing on? Should water saved by voluntary efforts or
privately financed  efforts  be returned  to the public
domain or is that water (or a portion of that water)
marketable as a private property? By avoiding the
hard  questions Washington's legislature is failing the
public. The reality is that while it postpones the politi-
cally tough questions, the water continues to dribble
away, and water quality continues to degrade.
   From the  perspective of a citizens' group dedi-
cated to protection of our State's natural resources,
the Council's position is clear: Washington State, to
meet its public trust responsibilities, which include
the  maintenance  of  water quality, must  use  its

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 245-247
authority over water quantity. Our water manage-
ment agency needs direction from the legislature,
but it would be consistent with existing State policy
   • Require conservation, a strict meeting of the
    tenet of western water law that says that
    wasted water is not beneficially used, and
   • Assure that conserved water remains in-stream
    to offset the increasing number of discharges,
    both large and small, permitted and
If those efforts are  not sufficient to protect water
quality, then the State must reexamine water rights
and, where appropriate, reclaim those rights.
   States' Use of Water Allocation
Authority in Meeting Federal Water
           Quality Standards
Do I see water quantity issues addressed within your
water quality Framework? No.  Is the relationship be-
tween quantity  and quality woven into your water
quality program? That is not clear. Our observation of
Washington's two water programs -quality and
quantity — indicates that the relationship between the
two is not an integral part of either program. We
suspect that relationship has not been an integral
part of EPA's water quality program, either. We need
to build allocation thinking into water quality problem
solving from the Federal level down to the State and
local level. In some areas of concern we cannot ig-
nore it any longer. The Federal Government can pro-
vide useful direction in integrating water quantity and
water quality relationships  and can highlight areas
where water quantity actions should be considered
by the State as the most effective tool for meeting
  The Federal Government, though not intending to
usurp  States'  control over  water  allocation,  can
nonetheless encourage and expect States to use that
authority to  meet federally set water quality stan-
dards, especially  where  State legislatures have
authorized their agencies to implement the Federal
Program and delegation has been  given.  The EPA
should recognize that the public trust doctrine is the
clear justification for such State action.

Johnson, R. W. 1988. The emergency recognition of a public inter-
   est in water: water quality control by the public trust doctrine.
   la David Getches,  ed. Water and the American West. Nat.
   Resour. Law Center, Univ. Colorado School of Law, Boulder.

                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
   C.  (Moderator:  Dodson)  I will  summarize the
major points from this session. Darlene thought that
California was doing the right sort of things in water
conservation and, although she has difficult issues to
deal with, nonetheless does not see a directorial role
for EPA in the water quality standards program. Am I
correct on that Darlene?

   A. (Darlene Ruiz) Very correct.

   C. (Dodson) As for Larry's presentation, first of all
he noted that there  is a relationship between quantity
and quality, not only from a technical, scientific basis
but from a legal standpoint. Then he discussed all the
things  that  States  were attempting to provide that
link. He also recommended that EPA be more in-
volved in allocating decisions as they pertain to water

   C.  (MacDonnell) EPA  has  to be more involved
when States don't protect water quality adequately in
the context of the Federal Water Quality Act.  One of
the things that I've asked for is clarification from EPA
of the meaning of some of that Act so that States will
have better guidance.

   Q. (Ruiz) Where specifically do you feel there is
ambiguity in the Clean Water Act?
   A. (MacDonnell) Particularly in EPA's role in affect-
ing the use of water.
   Some States have fully embraced the whole con-
cern about water quality and the things that affect it.
Some have drawn  a  narrower line in their approach
to those issues and are wondering if they have to do
more.  Colorado has  specific provisions in its Water
Quality Control Act that  directly limit what  can be
done  to regulate  water  use persuant  to a water
variety, and a broader section about what  can be
done,  as well.  Colorado's Water Quality  Control
Commission has found it difficult to determine what
its responsibilities are in the context of State law and
wants to know more about what the Federal law may

   C.  (Ruiz) California is  choosing to do more be-
cause of the State law and did not agree with review
that there is ambiguity in the Clean Water Act. In fact,
the Act very clearly restricts and limits kinds of dis-
charges affecting surface  waters.

   C.  (MacDonnell) You  had  to have the court tell
you, under the public trust doctrine, that you  needed
to do more. Throughout the West we will have to wait
until certain standards reach the point where things
get so bad that courts intervene.

   C. (Ruiz) It wasn't that we weren't doing enough,
it's that we've done too much. The courts felt that we
had  pulled  together too  many pieces into  one
decision-making process and were simply telling us
we had to do it in a staged approach. They were in no
way reflecting on the fact that we had done it insuffi-

   C. (Dodson, continuing) John indicated that there
is a role for EPA in promoting water conservation be-
cause there's a real environmental payoff. Also, on
the issue of conservation and its linkage to environ-
mental protection, he thought EPA should be provid-
ing technical assistance to interested parties.
   Again in the context of water quality standards and
the Framework, Betty thinks that EPA should giving
guidance on integrating water quantity and quality.

   Q. Larry stated that EPA should become more in-
volved in the reallocation of water, and I would like
him to give a specific example.
   A. (MacDonnell) One example is instrument flow
programs: encouraging States to consider transfer of
existing  consumptive water  rights and  teaching
States flow purposes. EPA  could take a  more direct
decision-making role in the allocation of  water in ex-
isting storage projects. In  the West, the Bureau of
Reclamation is realigning its role on the use of that
water resource, which is largely dedicated to existing
consumptive uses. It reexamined the operating prin-
ciples or the number of those projects and,  though
the Clean Water Act had a provision to consider aug-
mentation of storage, few  new projects have been
built. EPA could potentially play some role in decid-
ing, where appropriate, that some  of that water be
released as needed to address water quality issues.

   C. (Ruiz) How can I stimulate Federal  response to
States'  water quantity allocations?  A  number of
forests, public lands, and other interests that are
federally owned are now hiding behind the reserva-
tion of rights principle and in many cases that is lead-
ing to claims of rights to some of our headwaters and
to some of the better areas in California. This has
serious implications to the  State and yet the  Federal
Government seems, on the whole, totally uncoor-
dinated in coping with those kinds of environmental
questions. EPA could be helpful in educating and in
bringing about the conversion of others within the
Federal bureaucracy.

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
   C.  (Dodson) Governor George Center of North
Dakota has convened a group of water resource ex-
perts  in the West to talk about getting the Federal
Water Act together. If quantity spells quality, EPA has
an effect. The general  perception of the western
Governors is that the left hand doesn't know what the
right hand is doing, which is further complicated by
the fact that both quantity agencies, the Army Corps
and the Bureau  of Land Management, as well as
quality agencies, EPA in particular, are involved.

   Q. (Ruiz) Reallocation of conserved water is a key
interest in California. Is there any legal justification
for not appropriately reallocating conserved water
as opposed to holding it exclusively for public trust
   A. (Tabbutt) If you use the public trust doctrine, as
it has been defined here as "court decisions," as the
justification for requiring reexamination of the right,
you've passed the justification. If you're going in and
opening the right, then I think it should cut back to
satisfy the public trust. I did not mean to imply that
every conservation  effort would automatically send
water back into the stream. That is a really difficult
issue because you get  into who made the  invest-
ment, and whether it was voluntary or required. Until
we've defined safe water and have dealt with the
waste issue, it's very hard to place return at 50  per-
cent or any cut-and-dried percentage.

   Q.  (Du Bey) // we had a chance to look at ap-
propriation today, dealing  with environmental pro-
tection and a need to not worry about investment
rights, what would we do? That's the situation that's
exacted by Indian tribes who are developing water
programs that are part quantity and part quality, and
who are not getting into the loans water now. They
had to do it as a management scheme that would
make sense and would address these issues.
   A.  (MacDonnell) Are you thinking of a situation
where tribes develop water codes so that they can
devise their own rules? Okay. The things we have
learned about allocation decisions that may require
reconsideration in this context are that we offered up
water rights in the West without very explicit condi-
tions about use limitations. Many of the water rights
that we are concerned about today were given,  with
no explicit  conditions on quality effects other than
those that  existed in basic nuisance  law. We  also
made those rights permanent. Some people would
suggest that we do two things in allocating new rights
if we have that opportunity; one is to condition those
rights on the basis of quality considerations. At a min-
imum we might want those water rights to be used in
a manner that does not impair existing water quality
standards. We also might want to have some term
placed on future use, to consider whether that is still
the best use.

   C. There is a need to get clarification or input from
EPA about whether clean water applies just to dis-
charges  of pollutants. That's one  of the principal
focuses of the Clean Water Act.  Our jurisdiction ex-
tends only to discharge of pollutants in the traditional
402 situation; however, when you get into 404, you're
also going to look upstream and downstream at
secondary impacts. I think you should certainly ex-
pect the argument that you need to have a standards
compliance and to look at those secondary impacts.
One way is through 401 certification, which can be a
very powerful regulatory tool for the States, or it can
be no program at all. It's easy to say that EPA should
get more involved with these water allocation-type of
decisions, but from a political standpoint it's virtually
impossible, and we have to realize that, as a water
quality agency, we just don't have the political clout
or the political power to do those kinds of activities
and when we try, sometimes we surfer the backlash.
   Perhaps another way for EPA to get involved in
water allocation situations  is  in policing compliance
with the 404 review and guidelines. The guidelines re-
quire that anyone applying for a permit  essentially
make sure that they have the least damaging alterna-
tive, and we often find that proposed water alloca-
tions and water projects are, or can be, alleged to be
not the least damaging alternative. You  may also
want to look at conservation as a real alternative to
some sort of structural project. Our efforts have been
fairly modest because the politics, not the law seem
to be a limiting factor; 101 g not only recognizes there
may be incidentally passed water rights from water
quality considerations, it provides for this contingen-
cy. Most Federal  court cases interpreting lOlg have
been substantially in favor of EPA or in favor of water
quality. We don't have or ever will have in place the
kind of political clout to carry out the law if it doesn't
authorize us to do so.
   The  biggest flaw  in developing water quality
programs is  that  everyone  thinks  the latest idea
solves all problems. We faced that in the Central Val-
ley in the hearings on the Bay delta in  which  we
talked about conservation only to learn that the  im-
pacts to the groundwater basin were going to be so
substantial in an overdrafted area that we would do
serious environmental harm if we held farmers to the
conservation standards. Conservation always has to
be a consideration, but it isn't the answer every time.
It is something to consider within a given set of facts.

   Q. (Lehman) I'm with the EPA's Office of Municipal
Pollution Control, or the Instruction Branch State
Quality Office, and we're very interested in water
conservation, particularly from our standpoint of dol-
lar conservation treating less water and spending
less money on building plants if we 're given funding.
Historically, EPA has tried to promote water conser-
vation. We were in a period of decline a couple of
years ago but there is much renewed interest. Earlier
work was mainly aimed at trying to minimize the size
of water treatment plants. Now, we 're talking a much
broader policy viewpoint on the whole issue. John
Woodwell mentioned that there is a pending bill in
the Senate  and a corresponding one in  the House
concerning Federal regulation of funding figures for
water conservation. How do you  feel  about  that
aspect of Federal intervention in what some people
might consider State or public interest situations?
   A. (Woodwell)  The  Federal  Government tells
everybody  what sort of public issues to buy.  The
economic benefits are clear; water is grossly under-
priced, and even were  it priced properly,  people
would made the sort of cost-effective efficiency in-
vestments that this bill, if passed, would  require. So
there are good economic arguments for efficiency
standards.  It is Federal intervention, but it makes
sense to solve problems for everybody.

   C. (Ruiz) Maybe it's just my basic philosophy, but
Federal  intervention  seems inappropriate.  Cali-
fornia's experience is that water  availability, and ul-
timately  the  cost  of water, are  going to  drive
consumers   to   water   conservation.  Economic
analyses are  being done by water districts and even
water wholesalers in California.

   Q. (Dodson) Should citizens,  taxpayers, and the
country make major investments—Federal dollar in-
vestments—in projects without requiring implemen-
tation of proven conservation?

   A. (Woodwell) It's a myth that if the  water were
twice its marginal cost, consumers would make cost-
effective efficiency investments to save water. There
are good reasons that consumers don't make those
investments up to the marginal value of water. Their
capital, as soon as it's invested, isn't liquid; they may
not have the  capital to begin with; and there's no in-
centive for the landlord because he doesn't pay the
water bill. If all  cost-effective efficiency investments
were made to the point that they raised  the price of
water to something like  10 times what  it's actually
worth, then there would be an  excellent economic
reason for the Federal Government to support mini-
mum standards efficiency for public fixtures.
  C. (Lehman) EPA Washington has decided to look
to the Department of Agriculture intentionally for
some nonpoint source and planning assistance. The
Soil Conservation Service is a soft and cuddly agen-
cy, people can accept it, but when EPA starts to make
recommendations  or gets involved in reallocation,
we're always afraid that someone's going to interpret
that as leading to a confrontation in court. It's hard
for EPA to play the soft and cuddly role, and so we
get nervous when we start talking about roles for
  I also want to talk about the term "saved water" be-
cause that's a myth. We might agree that, for ex-
ample in irrigation  agriculture, we can "save water"
because so much of the West's water is diverted, and
if we can get the irrigator to divert less, it would "save"
water. The fact is that the only consumptive use is the
evapotranspiration  of  crops;  when  the  irrigator
diverts, he just moves the water someplace else. The
problem we're having with the Colorado River has to
do with wetlands being the king today. If you get the
irrigator to save more by bringing less out of the
stream and try to get the public to be more efficient
with irrigation, you dry up artificially induced wet-
lands, and we're seeing EPA resistance to that.

  C.  (Dodson) To put it another way, the demand for
water, at least in the West, is greater than the supply.
Therefore, any water conserved will be used.

   C.  (Ruiz) In terms of California's Imperial Irrigation
District, water demand and supply must be constant-
ly balanced in a massive conservation effort. The
natural result is a sump, which has certain beneficial
uses designated to it. The salinity levels without the
flows that were going in there, due to conservation,
are now causing the degradation of the fisheries and
other habitat within that sump. What does the State
do now?

   C. (Dodson) What happens if the State will not
deal with that particular  issue? Larry's advocating
some kind of a Federal role, a role we're not used to,
a role that seems to be difficult to get a legal handle
on. However, we have dealt with quantity and quality
issues  in context—in the National Environmental
Policy Act-because once you have the allegation
that a water resource impacts water quality, you have
a significant impact to the context of the National En-
vironmental Policy Act if, in fact, the Federal Govern-
ment is involved. If you're placing film material in a
water resource project, then you have a 404 issue
and must interpret practical alternatives,  significant
impacts, and significant degradation. I don't see any
future major water resource projects that will not

                                                     WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989

provoke response from Federal regulatory agencies     Colorado system. It wanted to improve efficiency so
regarding quality and quantity.                         it changed the irrigation technique. As a result, the
  On the issue of wetlands, the Salinity Control Pro-     salt level went down, but some wetlands dried up. It's
gram of the Upper Colorado, which is about the best     a really difficult issue, but we're moving in a positive
national nonpoint source program, tries to improve     direction.
irrigation efficiency to reduce salt loading into the

                                             WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 253-255
     Priorities  and  Timeframes  for the Water

               Quality Standards Framework

                                     Martha Prothro
                         Director, Office of Water Regulations and Standards
                       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
I  have  had  an overriding sense during this con-
ference of the real richness of our program. It is in-
credibly diverse, and the people who are involved
have a great  deal of  expertise, experience, and
dedication. Obviously, there is no way that I can rep-
resent the views of everyone who spoke in all of the
sessions; I will speak from the notes that I received
from conference participants.
    Nonpoint Sources and Water
          Quality Standards

The sense that came out of this session is that there
is an urgent need to get on with implementation by
using existing tools. While standards are needed to
assess waters and to evaluate control effectiveness,
they might not be the nonpoint source program's
highest priority. There was a concern expressed that
EPA should use caution as it approaches new stan-
dards for the nonpoint source scenario, and a fairly
strong view that the ecoregion approach can be very
useful although there is still more to do in working out
and implementing that concept. Many  people feel
that  EPA needs to be more sensitive to the site-
specific  nature of nonpoint  source problems and
should not adopt plans or policies on a national basis
that either direct or delay local approaches.
  Diversity and Innovation in State
         Standards Programs

In this session we heard about some State efforts to
build consensus around programs involving growth
(antidegradation) and protecting specific aquatic
resources (Chesapeake Bay). There was a charge to
all of us to find ways to work together (the Federal
Government, States, locals, industries, and citizens'
groups) and to stop wasting the limited resources
available for environmental protection  in litigation
and disputes over  issues that, with good will and
responsible debate, we could resolve among us. I
think we will all remember Greg Forge's admonition
to us for a long time, or at least I hope we will.
 Identification and Control of Toxic

This session focused more on aquatic life protection
than  human  health, which was  addressed  in a
separate session. There was discussion on the triad
of necessary  approaches —  identification, assess-
ment , and control — and that EPA needs to clearly
identify these different needs in the program to avoid
wasting the States' and industries' resources. There
was also discussion about focusing on the core
group of toxics that EPA has identified through na-
tional research and monitoring programs as causing
problems in receiving waters. In addition, we heard
that NRDC expects EPA to take action against States
that do not incorporate requirements for numeric
toxic criteria  by 1990,  and that EPA should  be
prepared to step in and promulgate for those States.
  There were suggestions that  EPA should put
promulgation  of water quality  standards in the
Framework to balance it with the  other priorities. A
couple of States are still arguing for the implementa-
tion of the "free from" standards rather than numeric
criteria. (I pointed out that this isn't an option under
the 1987 Water Quality Act, and that we need to be
talking about other areas where we can still issue ad-
ditional,  helpful guidance.) There was some talk
about the flexibility now available for risk levels and
about  site-specific  criteria  modification.   Not
everybody seemed to like the flexibility in the criteria
documents, however, and I don't think we reached a
consensus about how to approach those hard is-
 Developments in Sediment Criteria
The sediment group seemed to agree that criteria are
needed, and that EPA should get on with developing
them. There was a sense that guidance on the
development and use of criteria must accompany
them, and that EPA must teach people about criteria
through technology transfer and guidance. There
was consensus on the need to look at all types of
sediment criteria and assessment methods, not just

chemical specific but also the biological or bioassay
approaches. More field evaluation is needed in the
development  of  a  regulatory  or   a   technical
framework for the use of sediment criteria. Methods
and framework  should  include considerations for
making . decisions  concerning disposal options.
Finally, there was a sense that States should be re-
quired to adopt sediment criteria, and that they may
not feel ready to do it unless they have a mandate
from the EPA.
and, in the second triennium, that EPA should talk
about developing guidelines for States to set lake
water quality standards.
    Water Quality Standards and
              Indian Tribes
New Mexico was the only State that attended this
session. I think the tribes are really anxious to have
some State involvement in their activities and hope
you all will spend some time thinking about this. The
tribes indicated that they are willing and eager to par-
ticipate fully in the water quality standards program,
but they need additional funding, tech support, and
outreach in the area of tech transfer.
  Tribes suggest that EPA and the States use face-
to-face  communication  in  providing  support  to
tribes, since that is the best way to understand each
other. Tribes also asked for EPA's help to get more
technical assistance and expertise from the States.
The feeling was that, over the years, the Federal
Government has given a lot of assistance to States to
develop programs and expertise, and that some of
these benefits should be passed along to the tribes
through the State governments.
       Lakes Protection through
The lakes panel discussed the need to establish bet-
ter State monitoring programs, including biomonitor-
ing and fish tissue analysis, to improve the lakes' data
base. There is little or no information on the ade-
quacy of existing water quality standards for lakes;
EPA needs to do  more data gathering and data
analysis to properly protect lakes. For interagency
coordination, a framework is needed for potentially
conflicting water quality and water quantity  issues
that affect lakes, and guidelines are necessary to es-
tablish State lake  management programs.  There
were some questions on whether the ecoregion con-
cept could be helpful or is even really scientifically
applicable to lake  protection and development of
lake water quality standards. In addition, States sug-
gested that we need to review the existing Gold Book
criteria to determine their appropriateness for lakes.
There was discussion on the Framework document,
a suggestion that EPA add lakes to the first triennium,
     Developments in Biocriteria
In this session there was a sense that the narrative
approach is a good first step that will lead eventually
to some numeric biocriteria approaches and that
narrative biocriteria  may manifest themselves  in
biological descriptive use classes. It was suggested
that  EPA  should be  fairly  comprehensive when
developing biocriteria; that biocriteria could serve as
a supplement to the chemical and effluent toxicity ap-
proaches. There was recognition that  biocriteria will
measure effect and not causes and that EPA needs to
think about  the  implementation aspects  (how we
move from the biocriteria to the control programs) to
protect waterbodies. The session thought that EPA
should play an active role in technical assistance and
guidance development, and possibly in oversight of
State programs for developing biocriteria, because
there is  such a broad range of approaches and a
need for national consensus/consistency about the
best approach.
         Criteria and Advisory
      Development by EPA: their
      Derivation and Application
In this area there was consensus on most of the
major issues. The degree of protection (the risk level)
is one of the major issues that was discussed; the
consensus was that EPA should select a national risk
level that is appropriate across the board (the human
health group made the  same  recommendation).
There  were some who felt that water quality ad-
visories are a good, useful expansion of the criteria
program and that EPA should accelerate its efforts to
issue advisories, particularly the latest information on
toxic pollutants.  As in other sessions, there was
much concern about the effect that the antibacksl id-
ing section  of the law has on the use and implemen-
tation of the advisories (and even some of the criteria
documents) and strong suggestions that EPA has to
define what part these provisions play in the regula-
   There was also quite a bit of discussion about
wildlife protection, which focused on an urgent need
to develop  wildlife protection criteria. There is still
work to be done on implementing the existing water
quality criteria: EPA needs to give guidance on issues
such as the difference between  the drinking water
MCLs and the water quality criteria, and the Agency
should do more in the areas of tech transfer.

                                                WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR 21st CENTURY, 1989: 253-255
   Implementing Antidegradation

A  number of States have made progress in  im-
plementing antidegradation, although there are sig-
nificant  differences  in approach. EPA policy and
guidance documents may be too ambiguous and
even insufficient in this area.
   All EPA regions should have some guidance on
antidegradation, probably issued at the regional level
with Headquarters  helping to ensure consistency.
This guidance should foster not  just remote  or
esoteric  policy  approaches,  but   practical  ap-
proaches that actually could be implemented and
that have real meaning.
   EPA should provide an array of options to allow for
some State  experimentation  in this  relatively new
field, and EPA regions should participate in preparing
State plans  since  consistency within geographic
areas or geographic regions is quite important. There
is also a sense that if regulation revisions are needed,
they should address only the most critical aspects of
the  antidegradation process to  allow for  State-
specific experimentation and approaches. There was
evidently  a  sense that,  until  the   States have
regulatory nonpoint source programs, EPA shouldn't
be insisting on antidegradation being applicable to
nonpoint source development.
  Extending Standards to Wetlands

In this session there was a sense that EPA needs to
give a Federal signal, possibly through water quality
standards regulation.  President Bush  did  give a
Federal signal, in my opinion, when he highlighted
wetlands protection as a priority  for the Federal
Government. Nevertheless, the message here is that,
at the Federal level, EPA needs to continually help
with outreach and public education and to continue
to signal that wetlands deserve protection. There is a
sense that States are nervous about all of this, that
most States don't want to be  out front and need
Federal leadership. There  is also a recognition that,
although new water quality standards are needed,
there are existing authorities States can use through
section 401  certification programs, so States can
take a stronger role in protecting wetlands than they
have in the past.  Any guidance that  EPA issues
should build on those existing authorities.
transfer in this area meet with general approval, but
States  hope that the Agency will do much more.
There seems to be a consensus that EPA should set
the carcinogenic risk level, or at least that EPA should
say what the preferred and minimum acceptable risk
levels would be. There was a discussion about the
need for additional guidance on duration and fre-
quency, that EPA needs  to  be  clear on numeric
design  flow, and on how  all  of this relates to car-
cinogens and to noncarcinogens. The session con-
sidered where  human  health  criteria  should be
applied in reference to drinking water.
     Water Quality, Quantity, and

The panel seemed to agree on the relationship be-
tween the water quality/water quantity issues. There
was a difference in opinion, however, as to whether
EPA  should  take a more active role in the quan-
tity/quality issues if the States fail to do more than
they have in the past. Water conservation provides
an important environmental and economic  payoff.
There needs to be some integration of the water
quality and  water conservation  issues. EPA does
have a role to play here, particularly with regard to
water treatment, wastewater treatment, and general
technical assistance. Also, there was recognition of
the important role  the Federal Government plays
through the section 404 dredge and fill program.
  Setting Human Health Standards

EPA should take a more conservative route on how it
implements narrative standards, specifically in refer-
ence to risk levels. EPA's recent efforts to do tech
            Other Comments

A group of industry people gave me some comments
on things they thought were priorities. EPA should
clarify how advisories should be used by the States
and develop guidance for the use of mixing zones
and zones of initial dilution. EPA needs to assure
more involvement from the regulated community in
developing water quality programs at both the State
and Federal level. EPA should resolve the antiback-
sliding problem as it affects the setting of standards
and provide guidance to the States on consistent im-
plementation of antidegradation. Industries advocate
revision of the 1979 human  health criteria to reflect
the latest data and  scientific understanding in this
field. EPA should focus on best management prac-
tices development for resolving  nonpoint source
problems. Technical and scientific input should be
sought from the regulated community in developing
water quality programs, and finally, EPA should pro-
vide strong  and  effective technology  transfer
programs for the States.

                     Questions, Answers, and Comments
  C.  (Wood) There are four cornerstones to the
water  quality  standards  program:  the  Federal
Government, the State government, the public inter-
est  groups, and  the regulated community.  Ap-
proximately 15 of the 200 plus  registrants for this
conference are from the regulated community;  per-
haps publicity was not sufficiently widespread.
  I also want to  take issue with your (Prothro's)
statement that there is a consensus that the Federal
government should set standards. The meeting that I
sat in on had a straw vote where 20 people said yes
and 8 people said no;  in addition, approximately 33
percent of the attendees are Federal Government

  C. (Rader) There are two larger issues that I hope
we will consider. One is to institutionalize the pollu-
tion  prevention pays approach to  get EPA  into
negotiating and directing  nationwide source reduc-
tion efforts. This ties directly into the second issue,
which has to do with the intermediate pollution load-
ing problem. As we attempt to restrict discharges to
water, we are doing very little with other  media.  I
would like to see integration in the approach towards
source reduction.

  C. (Prothro) This is an issue that EPA's new ad-
ministrator, Bill Reilly, supports strongly, and we are
working to integrate the waste minimization pollution
prevention approach into our programs. One impor-
tant area is antidegradation, and how we can use it to
promote pollution prevention.

  C. (Frohardt) One of the focuses on the first day
was  the need for funding.  Industry has often talked
about the need for more information, more facts to
justify what we are doing, but frankly I don't see in-
dustry providing a lot  of lobbying support  for more
Federal or State funds for these efforts. Correspond-
ingly, it seems that environmental groups too often
have an agenda of what new controls can we put in
place tomorrow rather than let's get funding to make
sure that we can get better science and do all of this
right.  There is some natural  potential  common
ground there; maybe if industry and environmental
groups got together, we could back off from insisting
on countless new controls tomorrow in return for ad-
ditional funding so that we can do the job better in the
long run.

   C. (Garreis) I hope EPA will do the resource and
manpower study that we all need to justify implemen-
tation of this rather ambitious program. Also, please
take the results of this meeting and what you have
described as a consensus (which I have a problem
with) and recirculate it back to the States, along with
the draft agenda for comments. There are many
State people here who are willing to offer comments
but are not in a position to commit to that kind of an
ambitious agenda or may not be representing the
feelings of the folks back home. The timing on the cir-
culation of that draft was poor because most of us
were struggling with the 304(1) list.
   EPA should organize more of these conferences in
the future. However, if you want us to come to a con-
sensus, you should structure these conferences to
include more industry and environmental group par-
ticipation and send the questions well in advance so
we have time to think about them in terms of money
and human resources.

   C. (Prothro) Thank you. We will do the resource
analysis talked about on the first day and will send
the draft agenda out again for comment. I think it
might be a good idea to try to put some kind of a
summary in front of the proceedings document, too.
   I didn't mean to describe all of the highlights as
consensus items but tried to communicate where the
notes indicated a consensus. I realize many points
were important but not necessarily things that all par-
ticipants agreed upon.

                                                 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
Carrol Adams
USDA, Soil Conservation Service
101 S. Main Street
Temple, TX 76501

Paul Adamus
U. S. EPA, Wetlands Research
200 SW 35th Street
Corvallis, OR 97333

Susan Alexander
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Howard Alexander
Dow Chemical
Midland, Ml  48674

Erlece Allen
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Bruce Baker
Wisconsin Department of Natural
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, Wl 53707

Richard Ballantine
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Warren Banks
Washington, DC 20460

Jack Barnett
Colorado River Basin Salinity
106 West 500 South, Suite 101
Bountiful, UT 84010

Richard Batiuk
U.S. EPA, Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay Liason Office
410 Severn Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21403
Stephen Bauer
Idaho Department of Health and
Div. of Environmental Quality
450 West State Street
Boise, ID 83720

Mark Blosser
Delaware Department of Natural
  Resources and Environmental
89 Kings Highway
RO. Box1401
Dover, DE 19903

Clyde Bohmfalk
Texas Water Commission
P.O. Box13087
Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78211

Joan Bortnem
S.D. Department of Water
523 E. Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501

Alan Boynton
James River Corporation
Box 2218, Tredegar Street
Richmond, VA 23217

Donald Brady
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Rick Brandes
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Sarah Burgin
Brown, Maroney & Oaks Hartline
14001 Congress Plaza
111 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701

Bernard Caton
Virginia Water Control Board
RO. Box11143
2111 N. Hamilton Street
Richmond, VA 23230
Chee Chang
Dynamac Corporation
Rockville, MD 20852

Sam Chapman
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

John Clausen
School of Natural Resources
University of Vermont
Aiken Center
Burlington, VT 05405

David Clough
Vermont Department of
   Environmental Conservation
103 So. Main Street
Waterbury, VT 05676

James Conlon
401 MSt.,SW
Washington, DC 20460

Marjorie Coombs
Florida Department of
   Environmental Regulation
Twin Towers Office Building
2600 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400

Emelise Cormier
Louisiana Department of
   Environmental Quality
Office of Water Resources
R 0.44091
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

David Courtemanch
Maine Department of
   Environmental Protection
State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

David Critchfield
International Paper
RO. Box 809024
Dallas, TX 75380

Phillip Crocker
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

John Grossman
Colorado Bureau of Reclamation
RO. Box 25007(0-5150)
Denver, CO 80225

Mimi Dannel
U. S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Suite 1200
Dallas, TX 75202

Jim Davenport
Texas Water Commission
RO.  Box 13087
Austin,  TX 78711

Tom Dawson
Wisconsin Department of Justice
123 West Washington Avenue
Madison, Wl 53707

William Diamond
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Ken Dickson
North Texas State University
Institute of Applied Sciences
RO. Box 13078
Denton, TX 76202

David Dillon
Oklahoma Water Resources
P.O. Box53585
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Bob Doan
Insituform Texark
9330 LB J FWY # 900
Dallas, TX 75243

Max Dodson
U.S. EPA, Region VIII
999 18th Street, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80202-2405

Phillip Dorn
Shell Development Company
P.O. Box 1380
Houston, TX 77251-1380
Cynthia Dougherty
U.S. EPA, Office of Water
401 M St., SW (EN 336)
Washington, DC 20460

Jane Downing
U. S. EPA, Region I
John F.  Kennedy Federal Bldg.
Boston, MA 02203

Steven Dressing
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Richard Du Bey
The Du Bey Law Firm
3110 Bank of California Center
900 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98164

Roland Dubois
U.S. EPA, Off. General Counsel
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Dan Dudley
Ohio EPA
Water Quality Program
1800 Watermark Drive
Columbus, OH  43266-0149

Tim Eder
National Wildlife Federation
802 Monroe Street
   Ann Arbor, Ml 48104

Doug Ehorn
U.S. EPA, Region V
230 S. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60604

William Eichbaum
5204 Wissioming Road
Bethesda, MD 20016

Bruce  Elliot
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Robert Elliot
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202
Dennis Erinakes
USDA, Soil Conservation Service
Box 6567
Fort Worth, TX 76058

Kimberly Everett
Oklahoma Department of Health
1000 NE 10th
RO. Box 53551
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

C.R Falls
Box 2819
Dallas, TX 75221

James Fava
505 King Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201

Jack Ferguson
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Larry Ferguson
U.S. EPA, Region VII
726 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66101

Jeffery Foran
National Wildlife Federation
802 Monroe Street
Ann Arbor,  Ml  48104

Gregory Forge
Northwest Renewable Resources
1133 Dexter Horton Bldg.
Seattle, WA 98104

James Fraser
Dynamac Corporation
Rockville, MD  20852

Richard Freeman
U.S. EPA, Region V
2305 S. Dearborn Street
Water Division
Chicago, IL 60604

Toby Frevert
Illinois EPA
2200 Churchill Road
Springfield, IL 62794-9276

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
Paul Frohardt
Colorado Department of Health
Water Quality Control
4210 East 11th Avenue
Denver, CO 80220

Mary Jo Garreis
Maryland Department
2500 Broening Highway
Building 30,1st Floor
Baltimore, MD 21224

Janet Gonser
Texas Soil & Water Conservation
RO. Box 658
Temple, TX 76503

Frank Gostomski
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Charles Gregg
U.S. EPA, Off ice of Water
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Jean Gregory
Virginia Water Control Board
2111 N. Hamilton St.
Richmond, VA 23230

Jay Hair
National Wildlife Federation
141216th St., NW
Washington DC 20036

Eric Hall
U.S. EPA, Region I
Water Quality Branch, WQP-2109
JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203

Rebecca Hanmer
U.S. EPA, Office of Water
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

David Hansen
South Ferry Road
Narragansett, Rl 02882
Rolf Hartung
University of Michigan
School of Public Health
3125Fernwood Dr.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109

Steven Heiskary
Minnesota Pollution Control
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Patricia Hill
American Paper Institute
1250 Connecticut Avenue
Suite 210
Washington, DC 20036

Douglas Holy
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Tom Howard
California Water Resources
  Control Board
901 P St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

Shing-Fu Hsueh
New Jersey Bureau of Water
  Quality Standards and
401 East State Street
RO. Box CN 029
Trenton, NJ 08625

Robert Hughes
NSI Technology Service Corp.
1600 SW Western
Corvallis, OR 97333

John Jackson
Unified Sewerage Agency of
  Washington County
1 SON. First Avenue
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Edgar Jeffrey
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue, 6W-SP
Dallas, TX 75202

Dave Jensen
Nebraska Department of
  Environmental Control
Call No. 98922
Statehouse Station
Lincoln, NE 68509
Robert Johnson
Tennessee Valley Authority
Environmental Quality Staff
Knoxville, TN 37902

Peter Jones
New York State Department of
   Environmental Conservation
Bureau of Water Quality
50 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12233

Barbara Keeler
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Street
Dallas, TX 75202

Gene Keepper
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Richard Kimerle
Monsanto Company
800 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63167

Arnold King
USDA Soil Conservation Service
Box 6567
Ft. Worth, TX 76133

Kenton Kirkpatrick
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Robin Knox
Department of Environmental
P.O. Box94381
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9381

Myron Knutson
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Robert Koroncai
U.S. EPA, Region III
841 Chestnut Building
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Paul Koska
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Rayne Lamey
National Wildlife Federation
802 Monroe Street
Ann Arbor, Ml 48104

Jessica Land man
Natural Res. Defense Council
1350 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005

Willie Lane
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Robert Layton, Jr.
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
12th Floor, Suite 1200
Dallas, TX 75202

John Lehman
401 MSt.,SW
Washington, DC 20460

Frederick Leutner
401 MSt., SW
Washington, DC 20460

James Luey
U.S. EWPA, Region V
230 S. Dearborn (5WQS-TUB-8)
Chicago, IL 60604

Jane Lyons
National Audubon Society
2525 Wallingwood
Suite 1505
Austin, TX 78746

Lawrence MacDonnell, Jr.
University of Colorado
Natural Resources Law Center
Campus Box 401
Boulder, CO  80309-0401

Suzanne Marcy
401 M Street, SW (WH-585)
Washington,  DC 20460

John Maxted
401 M St., SW
Washington,  DC 20460
Mark McCasland
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Curt McCormick
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Larry McCullough
South Carolina Department of
  Health & Environmental
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Bruce McDonell
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Ann McGinley
Texas Water Commission
1700 N. Congress
Austin, TX 78759

James Mclndoe
Alabama Department of
  Environmental Management
1751 W.L Dickinson Drive
Montgomery, AL 36130

Kymber Messersmith
Chemical Manufacturers
2501 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20036

Don Miller
South Ferry Road
Narragansett, Rl 02882

Reid Miner
260 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

David Moon
401 MSt.,SW
Washington, DC 20036

Michael Morton
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202
Cynthia Sonich-Mullin
26 West Martin Luther King Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45268

David Mumper
Tacoma, WA 98477

Art Newell
New York State Department of
  Environmental Conservation
Room 530
50 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12233-4756

Warren Norris
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Edmund Notzon
401 M St., SW
Mail Code (WH-586)
Washington, DC 20460

Reed Oberndorfer
Utah Bureau of Water Pollution
RO. Box 16690
Salt Lake City, UT 84116-0690

Cheryl Overstreet
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Bill Painter
Office of Policy Analysis
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Randy Palachek
Texas Water Commission
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711

Richard Pepino
U.S. EPA, Region 111
841 Chestnut Building
Philadelphia, PA 19107

John Persell
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Govt.
PO. Box 217
Cass Lake, MN 56633

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989
Spencer Peterson
U.S. EPA, Region X
Mail Stop E5096
1200 6th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

Quang Pham
Oklahoma State Department of
1000 NE 10th
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Marjorie Pitts
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC  20460

Ken Pointer
Tennessee Department Health &
1509th Avenue N.
Nashville, TN 37219-5404

Stephen Pollock
Blackf eet Tribe
P.O. Box 850
Browning, MT 59417

Don Porcella
Electric Power Research Institute
RO. Box10412
Polo Alto, CA 94303

Frank Prince
American Petroleum Institute
Washington, DC  20005

Martha Prothro
401 M Street SW
Washington, DC  20460

Bob Pryor
Tennessee Valley Authority
231 Sumner Place Building
Knoxville, TN 37902

Douglas Rader
North Carolina Environmental
  Defense Fund
Suite 250
Raleigh, NC 27601

Susan Ratcliffe
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC  20460
Jon Rauscher
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Bruce Ray
U.S. EPA, Region VIII
999 18th Street
Denver, CO 80202

Vickie Reat
Texas Water Commission
Wastewater Permits
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711

Russell Rhoades
US. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Peter Ruffier
Assn. Metro. Sewerage Agencies
12251 Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005

J. Bart Ruiter
South Carolina Department of
  Health & Environmental
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Darlene Ruiz
State Water Resources Control
901 P Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dugan Sabins
Louisiana Department of
  Environmental Quality
RO. Box 44091
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

David Sabock
401 M Street, SW, (WH-585)
Off. of Water Reg. & Standards
Washington, DC 20460

Stephen Saunders
Washington Department of
Olympia, WA 98504
Lee Schroer
U.S. EPA, Off. General Counsel
401 M Street S.W., Room 5II
West Tower [LE-132W]
Washington, DC 20460

Duane Schuettpelz
Wisconsin Department Natural
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, Wl 53707

Lawrence Schwartz
Environmental Specialist
Division of Water Facilities
Department of Environmental
2600 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Richard Schwer
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
655 Paper Mill Road
Newark, DE

Robert Seyfarth
Mississippi Department of
   Natural Resources
Bureau of Pollution Control
RO. Box10385
Jackson, MS 39289-0385

Robert Shippen
401 M Street., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Shon Simpson
Oklahoma Water Resources
RO. Box 53585
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Kathleen Sisneros
New Mexico Health &
   Environmental Department
1190 St. Francis Drive
RO. Box 968
Santa Fe, NM 87504-0968

Robert Smith
Connecticut Department of
   Environmental Protection
Water Compliance Unit
122 Washington Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Derek Smithee
Oklahoma Water Resources
RO. Box 53585
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Gene Soderbeck
Minnesota Pollution Control
520 Lafayette Road
Standards Development Unit
St. Paul, MN 55155

Mary Lou Soscia
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460

Mark Southerland
Dynamac Corporation
Rockville, MD 20852

Robert Southworth
U.S. EPA, Office of Water
401 M Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20460

Robert Spehar
6201 Congdon Boulevard
Duluth, MN 55804

Alexis Steen
2101 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22201

Donald Steffeck
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
18th and C Streets, NW
Washington,  DC 20240

Robert Steiert
U.S. EPA, Region VII
726 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66101

Wren Stenger
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Ave.
Dallas, TX 75202

Allan Stokes
Iowa Department of Natural
Wallace State Office Bldg.
DesMoines, IA 50319
Charles Sutf in
U.S. EPA, Region V
230 South Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60604

Susan Swenson
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

Elizabeth Tabbutt
Washington Environmental
3213 Cove Lane, NW
Olympia, WA 98502

Judy Taggart
JT&A, Inc.
1000 Connecticut Ave., NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036

David Tague
New Mexico Environmental
  Improvement Division
1190 St. Francis Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Don Tahkael
Yakima Indian Nation
RO. Box 151
Toppenish, WA 98948

Peter Tennant
49 East 4th Street
Cincinnati, OH  45202

Nelson Thomas
600 Congdon Blvd.
Duluth, MN 55804

Chuck Thomas
Hercules, Inc.
5130 NW Hercules Plaza
Wilmington, DE 19894

Paul Thompson
Natural Resources Defense
1350 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20005

James Ulanoski
Pennsylvania Department of
   Environmental Resources
11 th Floor Fulton Building
RO. Box 2063
Harrisburg, PA  17120
Mark Van Putten
National Wildlife Federation
802 Monroe Street
Ann Arbor, Ml 48104

Bob Vickery
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Ave.
Dallas, TX 75202

Philip Vorsatz
U.S. EPA, Region IV
345 Cortland St., NE
Atlanta, GA 30365

Randall Waite
U.S. EPA Region III
841 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Robert Ware
Kentucky Division of Water
Frankfort, KY 40601

David Wefring
International Paper
6400 Poplar Avenue, Suite 5-17
Memphis, TN 38197

Barbara West
National Park Service
Water Resour. Division
NPS-AIR RO. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287

Linda Wilbur
U.S. EPA, Off ice of Water
401 M Street SW(WH-551)
Washington, DC 20460

Thomas Wilson
U.S. EPA, Region X
1200 6th Avenue (WD-139)
Seattle, WA 98101

Wendy Wiltse
U.S. EPA, Region IX
215 Fremont St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

Joe Winkle
U.S. EPA, Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

                                                  WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR THE 21st CENTURY, 1989

Gordon Wood                    Bill Wuerthele                    Howard Zar
SOCMA                         U.S. EPA, Region VIII               U.S. EPA, Region V
1330 Conn. Ave.                   99918th Street                    230 S. Dearborn Street
Room 300                        Denver, CO 80202                 Chicago, IL 60604
Washington, DC  20036
                                Chris Yoder                      Chris Zarba
Ernest Woods                    Ohio EPA                         U.S. EPA, OWRS
U.S. EPA, Region VI                1800 Watermark Drive              401 M St. SW
1445 Ross Ave.                    RO. Box 1049                     Washington, DC 20460
Suite 1200                        Columbus, OH 43266-0149
Dallas, TX 75202
                                Carl Young
John Woodwell                   U.S. EPA, Region VI
Rocky Mountain  I nstitute           1445 Ross Avenue
1739 Snowmass  Creek Road        Dallas, TX 75202
Snowmass, CO 81654
          Special appreciation to the following EPA Headquarters personnel for their assistance with
          this conference:  Martha Prothro, Mike Conlan, Bill Diamond, David Sabock, Marjorie
          Pitts, Chris Zarba.