SWQS HHC web photo

Program Template

Human Health Criteria and Implementation Tools Rulemaking

The Washington State Department of 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.

Public Meeting - July 22, 2014

The Department of Ecology will hold a public meeting on July 22, 2014 to outline its next steps to update the water quality standards for human health criteria and implementation tools, following Gov. Inslee’s directive issued July 9, 2014. This meeting will only cover the Water Quality Standards part of the Governor's Directive.

How can I attend this Public Meeting?

The public meeting will be held as an interactive webinar. The webinar will occur on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (PST). Webinar participants will be able to ask questions, participate in discussions, and watch presentations from any online computer and phone.

Online: free webinar registration is available online at https://customer.accuconference.com/Registration/index.aspx?pkRegQG=e5a418e8-05ea-4cd7-a54a-c137b4f74a05

In Person: Ecology Headquarters Auditorium in Lacey, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, WA 98503-1274. Seating for interested parties is available at that location. You do not need to register for the webinar if you plan to attend in person.

Meeting Materials

Helpful Resources

For questions about Ecology’s efforts to revise the Surface Water Quality Standards, contact Susan Braley at 360-407-6414 or by email at swqs@ecy.wa.gov.

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. Because this rule is of critical importance to the entire state, Governor Jay Inslee has provided direction to Ecology as it works to update the state's water quality standards. The Governor's approach is described in a Policy Brief issued July 2014. Ecology is committed to providing a preliminary draft rule no later than September 30, 2014.

A comparison table is available to show how the Governor’s approach to developing human health criteria compares to the federal NTR now imposed on the State of Washington.

Rulemaking Documents:

Date Filed Type of Activity

Rule pre-proposal - CR 101

  Preliminary Draft Rule (coming 9/30/2014)



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 July 2014



Read what people are saying about Ecology’s intent to revise the surface water quality standards.

Learn more about Ecology's Fish Consumption Rates Technical Support Document

Join Our ListServ to receive news and information about water quality from the Department of Ecology.

Contact us for more information.