DEP seeks proposals for water quality standards

Jan 13, 2020

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is inviting proposals for changes to Maine’s water quality standards, as well as proposals for new standards.

Maine’s water quality standards were established by the Legislature to protect and restore the State’s waters.  Important purposes of the standards are to protect healthy drinking water supplies; to prevent disease; to support recreational uses and to provide healthy habitat for fish, shellfish and wildlife.  Another purpose includes the protection of waters as a resource for commerce and industry.

The federal Clean Water Act requires that states periodically, but at least once every three years, hold public hearings to review water quality standards and, as appropriate, modify and develop standards.  The Maine Statute contains similar language.  This process, known as the Triennial Review, requires consultation with the public and interested state and federal agencies.

The DEP is now embarking on a Triennial Review.  Interested parties are invited to submit proposals to the DEP for changes to existing water quality standards, including the water quality classification of specific surface waters.  Proposals for new standards may also be submitted.  Submission guidelines and general information on the Triennial Review can be obtained on DEP’s Triennial Review webpage at maine.gov/dep/water/wqs/triennial-review.html.  Proposals are due by the close of business on Tuesday, March 31.

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