EPA Approves Changes to DEP Water Quality Standards Rule


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed its triennial review of West Virginia’s water quality standards. The West Virginia Department of Environmental protection initiates this required action every three years. As a result of the review, the EPA has approved several changes to West Virginia’s Title 47 Legislative Rule of the DEP Series 2 Requirements Governing Water Quality Standards (47CSR2).

On Sept. 18, EPA approved the following changes:
- A revised definition of “cool water lakes” with the addition of a definition for “warm water lakes.”
- Category A use exemption to an unnamed tributary of Daugherty Run and Fly Ash Run.
- Removal of the chloride variance for Davis Creek.
- The addition of a site-specific dissolved zinc criteria in Marr Branch, which is in the New River basin.
- Removal of a portion of Section 8.3.a.3 concerning lake nutrient criteria implementation.
- Revision of human health beryllium criterion.
- Removal of site-specific dissolved oxygen criterion for the Kanawha River.
- Removal of site-specific temperature criteria for portions of the Greenbrier, Bluestone, East, New and Gauley Rivers.

According to EPA, two of the proposed revisions did not require federal approval under Section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act. Those changes are:
- Revision of the wording of Section 8.3.a.2 clarifying how narrative criteria can be used to determine nutrient impairment.
- A spelling correction to indeno (1,2,3-cd) pyrene.

The approved changes went into effect June 21, following legislative approval in March. A copy of the rule can be found on the DEP water quality standards webpage, along with a copy of the EPA approval letter.

For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about the Adopt-A-Highway, West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia NonPoint Source and Youth Environmental programs, connect on Facebook.


Kelley Gillenwater