Revising the Water Quality Assessment & Policy 1-11

The Clean Water Act requires states to regularly assess readily available water quality data and update the status of state waters. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Washington's most recent water quality assessment in 2016.

We are currently in a water quality assessment cycle. During the assessment cycle we review and update our guidance (policy 1-11) for how we evaluate and assess water quality data (completed Nov. 2018). Also, we hold a call for data, where we gather available data from the public (completed March 2018).

Now, we are evaluating the data and writing up our assessment results. Once we complete the draft assessment we will hold a public comment period. Finally, we will respond to any comments and then send the final assessment to EPA for approval.  

Revising Policy 1-11

We conducted a public review and comment period of draft Policy 1-11 (Chapter 1) revisions from Feb. 12 – April 6, 2018. View the comments we recieved on the draft policy.

Final documents: 

Contact Susan Braley to request an underline/strikeout version of the changes for the 2018 Policy 1-11.

Call for data

We completed a public call for data on March 28, 2018. We sought available water quality data and information collected for fresh and marine waters in Washington for the past 10 years (Jan. 1, 2008 – Dec. 31, 2017). We will use the credible data (Chapter 2) we gathered along with our own data to update our Water Quality Assessment.

Background information on this Policy 1-11 update

In February 2016, we conducted a 60-day scoping process to solicit all stakeholder and tribal ideas about areas they think should be revised or clarified in Water Quality Policy 1-11, the Assessment of Water Quality for the Clean Water Act Sections 303(d) and 305(b) Integrated Report.

Between November 2016 and March 2017, we held several public meetings and webinars to have an open and transparent public dialogue on five key issues identified through the scoping process.

Five key topics

Feedback and information from the public dialogue was used to draft a revised Policy 1-11. Updates to Policy 1-11 also went through a full public review process.

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