Water Quality Assessment and 303(d) List
The federal Clean Water Act, adopted in 1972, requires that all states restore their waters to be “fishable and swimmable.” Washington's Water Quality Assessment lists the water quality status for water bodies in the state. This assessment meets the federal requirements for an integrated report under Sections 303(d) and 305(b) of the Clean Water Act.
The assessed waters are grouped into categories that describe the status of water quality. The 303(d) list comprises those waters that are in the polluted water category, for which beneficial uses– such as drinking, recreation, aquatic habitat, and industrial use – are impaired by pollution.
Change in Assessment Schedule
Starting with the current, EPA-approved marine assessment, Ecology changed the schedule for conducting the water quality assessment and 303(d) listing process from all waters every two years to an alternating two-year cycle of fresh and marine waters. More
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