Western States Water Council

A Voice for Water in the West 


Rulemaking: Baseline Water Quality Standards for Tribes without TAS authority

EPA is considering a rulemaking effort regarding baseline Water Quality Standards for hundreds of tribes without Treatment as States authority. EPA first informed WSWC about this effort during our Council meeting in Washington, D.C. in March 2016, and reached out in multiple webinars during the year to provide information and answer questions.


On September 19, 2016, the EPA Administrator signed an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to invite comments on whether to establish federal baseline water quality standards (WQS) for Indian reservation waters that do not currently have Clean Water Act (CWA)-effective WQS in place, and if so, what those WQS should be and how they should be implemented. Additional information is available at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0405 or at EPA’s site https://www.epa.gov/wqs-tech/advance-notice-proposed-rulemaking-federal-baseline-water-quality-standards-indian#comment
The deadline to respond to EPA’s solicitation for comments was December 28, 2016. A selection of some of the related letters submitted is included below:

WSWC Comment on EPA Baseline WQS
South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources
North Dakota Division of Water Quality
Washington State Department of Ecology
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
National Congress of American Indians