SWQS HHC web photo

Program Template

Human Health Criteria and Implementation Tools Rulemaking

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) is working on a proposed rule for the Water Quality Standards for Surface Waters of the State of Washington, Chapter 173-201A WAC to:

  1. Establish new human health criteria to protect designated uses.
  2. Provide predictable regulatory implementation tools to help entities comply with existing and new source control requirements or discharge limits.

Current Status

Ecology's Water Quality Program has been in the process of developing human health criteria rulemaking materials and preparing draft rule language in preparation for the formal rulemaking, called the CR 102. Ecology’s goal was to have draft rule language out to the public by the end of March, 2014, with the intent to have a final rule adopted by December 31, 2014. Because this rule is of critical importance to the entire state, and there are many considerations that must be carefully evaluated, Ecology was not able to meet the March goal of having draft language available. Work continues to issue a draft rule as soon as possible. Updating the human health criteria is one of Director Bellon’s top priorities. Although this earlier deadline has not been reached, Ecology is still committed to have a final rule adopted by December 31, 2014.

Rulemaking Documents:

Date Filed Type of Activity

Rule pre-proposal - CR 101



SEPA Documents Coming Soon!

  • EIS-Determination of Significance and Scoping Document
  • Support Documents for EIS Scoping:
    • Human Health Criteria Equations & Variables
    • Human Health Criteria-Challenging Chemicals
    • Implementation Tools


  Formal Rule Proposal - CR 102



In September 2011 Ecology filed a pre-proposal statement of inquiry (CR 101) for an implementation tools rule-making. Workshops were held in December 2011 and January 2012 as part of this preliminary rule-making effort.

In September 2012 Ecology's director made a decision to begin a concurrent rule-making process for both human health criteria and implementation tools. In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), Ecology filed two CR 101s to address both the development of human health criteria and revisions to implementation tools. A decision was made to merge these two CR 101 statements into one formal proposed rule-making (CR 102) process, scheduled to begin in early 2014.

As part of the CR 101 pre-proposal process, Ecology hosted a series of Water Quality Policy Forums between September 2012 and November 2013 to provide information to the public on the complex science and public policy issues related to developing human health criteria.

Ecology also hosted a facilitated group of stakeholders, called the Delegates’ Table, to provide advice and perspective to Ecology as it addressed the many issues identified with the rulemaking. Presentations and information for both of these efforts can be found on the Policy Forum and Delegates’ Table webpages.

Workshops were previously held in December 2011 and January 2012 to provide information on the implementation tools rule-making. Workshop presentations and meeting materials are available on the 2014 rule activity timeline webpage.

Other Related Information

Approved Surface Water Quality Standards

Archival Rule Documents

Water Quality Standards Coordinator

Becca Conklin
WA Department of Ecology
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Phone: 360-407-6413
Fax: 360-407-6426
Email: swqs@ecy.wa.gov


Last updated April 2014



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