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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 in the process of a new Water Quality Assessment cycle and updating Water Quality Policy 1-11, which provides guidance for how we evaluate and assess water quality data.

Revising Policy 1-11

We are conducting a public review and comment period of draft Policy 1-11 revisions.
Draft revisions to Water Quality Policy 1-11 will be available for a public review from Feb. 12 – April 6, 2018.

See the documents below: 

Contact Susan Braley to request an underline/strikeout version based on 2012 Policy 1-11.

Commenting on Policy 1-11 revisions

We are accepting comments on Policy 1-11 revisions until close of business on April 6, 2018 via:
  • eComment online form. Note: Any information (e.g., personal or contact) you provide on this comment form or in an attachment may be publicly disclosed and is posted on the internet.
  • Mail comments to:
    Susan Braley
    Water Quality Program
    Department of Ecology
    PO Box 47600
    Olympia, WA 98504-7600

Public meetings

We hosted four public meetings to explain the changes to Policy 1-11 and answer questions:

If you missed our webinars, you can view a recording of the presentation (caution: the file is large and may take some time to load).

Call for data

As part of the Policy 1-11 public review we are conducting a second public call for data. We seek 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). Data and information provided by the public will be used for updating Washington’s next Water Quality Assessment.

How to submit data

We are accepting data and information to use in the Water Quality Assessment until 11:59 p.m. on March 28, 2018:

  • Numeric water quality data must be submitted into our Environmental Information Management (EIM) database to be used for the assessment. Information on submitting water quality data to EIM is available on the EIM website.
    Note: If any data were previously submitted to Ecology for use in the Water Quality Assessment, it does not need to be submitted again.
  • Narrative information that provides conclusive evidence that a beneficial water use is being impaired can be submitted to 303d@ecy.wa.gov or 
    Patrick Lizon
    Water Quality Program
    Department of Ecology
    PO Box 47600
    Olympia, WA 98504-7600

Background information on 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.

Stay informed

Join our email listserv to receive updates on this process, and other water quality information.