Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

What is the Triennial Review of the Water Quality Standards?
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is required by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) to conduct a comprehensive review of the state water quality standards every three years (the "Triennial Review"). This review allows input from all interested stakeholders, and unlike most other states all revisions must be approved by the state legislature before final approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This web page is updated regularly as the process unfolds. This includes posting documents, meeting announcements and other relevant information about the review.

For materials related to public meetings and hearings, please see the
Water Quality Standards Archive page.

2017 Triennial Review

September 2015
DEP solicited public input on potential revisions to the state's Water Quality Standards Rule (47CSR2). The suggested revisions were to include a revision to a current standard, additional standard(s) and/or deletion of a standard(s), and submissions needed to clearly state the revision being proposed and include sound scientific justification for the revision. The agency accepted submissions throughout Septemer 2015, and the following comments were received: Triennial Review Comments 2015

November 2015
DEP held a Public Meeting on November 17, 2015 to discuss Triennial Review comments, and received further public imput in the form of presentations of scientific justification for recommended revisions to water quality standards.

January 27, 2016
DEP held a public meeting to discuss alternative applications for Category A. 

February 19, 2016
At the request of an industry representative, DEP held a public meeting to accept additional comments on 2017 Triennial Review. 

May 11, 2016
DEP held a public meeting which included a discussion of DEP's draft changes to the WV WQS rule, “Requirements Governing Water Quality Standards,” 47 CSR 2, for Triennial Review. Language to be proposed by DEP was presented and discussed at this meeting. 

June 16, 2016
DEP filed notice with Secretary of State, commencing a forty-five day public comment period to accept oral and written comments on proposed revisions to the WQS rule. 
 
August 9, 2016
A public hearing was held on August 9 to accept final oral and written comments to the WQS rule.

August 26, 2016
DEP filed an Agency-Approved rule with the Secretary of State and the Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee.

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2014 Triennial Review

September 2012
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection solicited public input on potential revisions to the state's water quality standards. The notice outlined that revisions could include a revision to a current standard, additional standard(s) and/or deletion of a standard(s). Submissions were to clearly state the revision being proposed and include sound scientific justification for the revision. The agency accepted submissions until October 2012, and the following comments were received:

American Electric Power International Copper Association and Copper Development Association West Virginia Coal Association
Appalachian Mountain Advocates John M. and Petra B. Wood West Virginia DEP -Office of Environmental Remediation
Enerplus Resources (USA) Corporation Monongahela Area Watersheds Compact West Virginia Manufacturers Association
First Energy Risk-Based Remedies West Virginia Municipal Water Quality Association
International Zinc Association  West Virginia Chamber of Commerce 
(Comment) (Comment Addendum)
West Virginia Rural Water Association












November 2012
On November 8, 2012, at the DEP's Water Quality Standards Public meeting, the staff presented an overview of the submitted comments. The presentation can be .

April 2013
On April 24, 2013 at the DEP's Water Quality Standards public meeting, the staff presented an overview of the proposed revisions that will be included in the 2014 Triennial Review. The presentation can be found here.

June 2013
The draft revisions to the WQS rule - 47CSR2 - have been posted and are now available for review and comment. A public hearing for the proposed WQS rule will begin at 6 p.m., Monday, July 15 in the Coopers Rock Training Room, and the written comment period will end on July 29, 2013. A copy of the proposed rule can be found on the DEP 2014 Proposed Rules page.

August 2013
The Agency Approved Rule (WQS rule 47CSR2) has been completed and submitted to the Secretary of State’s office. The Legislative Rule Making and Review Committee will hold a meeting to discuss the Agency Approved Rule prior to the start of the 2014 session. A copy of the Agency Approved Rule can be obtained via the Secretary of State Website.
DEP compiled all comments including oral comments from the July 15, 2013 hearing and can be found here.
The response to comments can be found here and a copy of the Agency Approved Rule can be found here.

March 2014
On March 8, 2014, the West Virginia Legislature approved Senate Bill 133- Authorizing DEP promulgate legislative rules (the "Bundled DEP Rules Bill") which included the WQS rule - 47CRS2. During the process, the proposed revision to the aluminum aquatic life criteria was removed (sections 8.1,8.1.1 and 8.1.2), no other changes were made during the legislative review and approval process. The bill must now get signed by the governor before the DEP can send the final bill to the U.S. EPA for approval.

September 2014
The U.S. EPA approved the 2014 West Virginia Triennial Review. To read the approval letter, click here.​​

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