DEEP: 2013 - 2014 Triennial Review of the Connecticut Water Quality Standards

2013 - 2014 Triennial Review of the
Connecticut Water Quality Standards
The Water Quality Standards set the overall policy for management of surface water and ground water quality in accordance with the state and federal clean water programs.  They designate use goals, define allowable discharges, and identify measures necessary to maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of Connecticut’s waters, provide for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife, for recreation in and on the water, and to protect public and private drinking water supplies.

The Water Quality Standards go through a public review process in accordance with state statute and federal law.  This review process is the Triennial Review. The Department formally announced its intent to initiate a review of Connecticut's Water Quality Standards in October 2013. The public comment period closed on December 16, 2013. DEEP evaluated the comments received and has completed the triennial review of the Water Quality Standards.  DEEP submitted a final report  to the U.S. EPA on July 8, 2014.

(New as of 7/8/2014)

Triennial Review of Connecticut Water Quality Standards Final Report, June 30, 2014 

Summary of Triennial Report Findings - Plan Forward

CTDEEP has solicited and considered public comment on potential changes to the WQS through the Triennial Review process.  As a result, CTDEEP will propose amendments to the Connecticut WQS which will address the following:

  • Maintain consistency of the Connecticut WQS with federal water quality criteria established in accordance with section 304(a) of the federal Clean Water Act including criteria for toxics, bacteria and ammonia;
  • Change the low flow statistic currently used in the Connecticut WQS from the 7Q10 flow to the Q99 flow for consistency between regulations;
  • Provide for an extension of the wastewater disinfection period;
  • Provide for extended timeframes in permits for compliance with certain water quality based effluent limitations and requirements;
  • Consolidate the ground water and surface water antidegradation sections into one section;
  • Clarify statutory references to endangered species;
  • Include “inland wetlands and watercourses” in the definition of surface waters; and
  • Organizational / editorial changes to improve clarity identified during the recently completed WQS regulation adoption process.

Additionally, CTDEEP will:

  • Establish a web page to disseminate information on the development of temperature criteria and implementation strategies for Connecticut;
  • Complete an evaluation of surface water classification of certain shellfishing areas as needed to insure consistency with allowable shellfishing activities, coordinating with the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture as appropriate;
  • Coordinate with the Department of Public Health regarding concerns pertaining to drinking water resources and WQS;
  • Continue to monitor actions to amend federal regulations regarding WQS; and
  • Consider proposing provisions for certain ground water discharges in Class GAA, GAA, and GA areas from private drinking water treatment backwash systems and clarification of “natural” and “clean water discharges” as they pertain to ground water.

CTDEEP will follow state requirements to propose regulatory changes to address the topics identified above.  Other topics may be included in the proposed WQS for regulatory change if sufficient information is available to support a change.  CTDEEP expects to bring these changes to the public during the 4th quarter of 2014.  Other concerns raised during this review process will be pursued as noted in the responses throughout this document.

Public Notice of Intent to Initiate Triennial Review of Connecticut Water Quality Standards, October 24, 2013

Public Comments Received on the Triennial Review of the Connecticut Water Quality Standards

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Questions may be sent to 
Content updated on July 8, 2014.