Program Template photo identifier

Rule Making

Water Quality Standards for Protecting Human Health
(Fish consumption rates)
Chapter 173-201A WAC

Timeline of Rulemaking

To learn more about this rulemaking:


Timeline of Activities

Date Action
September 13, 2012 Announce rulemaking (CR-101 filed) to WAC Chapter 173-201A for new human health criteria
September 13, 2012 Announce rulemaking (CR-101 filed) for amending areas of WAC Chapter 173-201A related to implementation tools

October 25, 2011 – July 22, 2014

Public meetings held to provide status and updates on rulemaking activities
October 29, 2012 – September 12, 2013 Public Policy Forum meetings held for the public to understand technical and policy issues
October 29, 2012 – February 10, 2014 Delegates’ Table meetings held to seek stakeholder involvement
September 30, 2014 Preliminary Draft Rule Package released to the public
September 30, 2014 The SEPA Determination of Significance was issued, along with a request for comments on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
October 24, 2014 EIS scoping period closed. Comments were reviewed and considered.
January 12, 2015 Proposed rule text and supporting documents. (CR-102 filed)
March 3 - 12, 2015 Public hearings were held in Spokane (March 3), Yakima (March 4), and Olympia (March 12). The March 12th hearings were also conducted as a webinar for anyone in the state to participate.
March 23 2015 Public comments received through March 23, 2015 were considered.
July 31, 2015 Gov. Inslee directs Ecology to evaluate options on pending clean water rules
August 3, 2015 Ecology was scheduled to adopt the new water quality rules on August 3, 2015. The proposed rule will not be adopted based on direction from the Governor’s office. Code Reviser’s Office withdrawal notice (WSR 15-16-100)
September 14, 2015 EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, signed a proposed rule that revises the current federal Clean Water Act human health water quality criteria applicable to waters under the state of Washington’s jurisdiction. More information is available at
October 8, 2015 Inslee announces new path on water quality rule, continues work on broader toxics reduction efforts
February 1, 2016 Propose rule text and supporting documents (CR-102 filed)
Start public comment period with proposed rule text and supporting documents.
April 5-7, 2016 Public hearings were held in Seattle (April 5), Spokane (April 6), and via webinar (April 7).
April 22, 2016 End of public comment period on proposed rule. Read the public comments
Spring 2016 Review public comments and prepare the adoption packet (CR-103).
August 1, 2016 Adoption date (filed CR-103 form, published supporting documents, and submitted rule to EPA for review).
September 1, 2016 Adopted rule effective for non-Clean Water Act actions.
We are here
November 15, 2016
EPA reviewed and partially approved our adopted rule.


Last updated November 2016



Becca Conklin



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EPA's decision on Washington's water quality standards

Ecology's comments on EPA's draft rule for Washington

State Law

Approved Surface Water Quality Standards

Past Surface Water Quality Standards