Chapter 173-201A WAC (Outstanding Resource Waters)

We are considering changes to chapter 173-201A Water Quality Standards for Surface Waters of the State of Washington. Specifically, we are considering amendments to:

  • WAC 173-201A-020 Definitions
  • WAC 173-201A-330 Tier III – Protection of Outstanding Resource Waters
  • WAC 173-201A-602 Use designations for fresh waters by water resource inventory area (WRIA) – WRIAs 4 and 26

We may amend other sections of chapter 173-201A WAC as necessary to support any revisions to the sections noted above.

We are considering these changes because we received nominations to designate the following water bodies as Outstanding Resource Waters:

  • Soap Lake (Grant County)
  • Napeequa River (Chelan County)
  • Green River – upper watershed (Lewis and Skamania counties)
  • Cascade River – upper watershed (Skagit County)

An Outstanding Resource Water has the highest level of protection assigned to a water body, under the Tier III Antidegradation rule in our water quality standards.

After considering public comments and weighing public support for each nomination, we will make a final decision on whether a nominated water body should be adopted into chapter 173-201A WAC as an outstanding resource water, and whether that water body should be given Tier III(A) or Tier III(B) protection.

Rulemaking timeline


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