Maine DEP seeks proposals for water quality standards updates
AUGUSTA, January 10, 2020 — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is inviting proposals for changes to Maine’s water quality standards, as well as proposals for new standards. Maine’s water quality standards were established by the Legislature to protect and restore the State’s waters. Important purposes of the standards are to protect healthy drinking water supplies; to prevent disease; to support recreational uses; and to provide healthy habitat for fish, shellfish and wildlife. Another purpose includes the protection of waters as a resource for commerce and industry. As such, water quality standards touch on many aspects of the daily lives of Maine residents, businesses and visitors.
The federal Clean Water Act requires that states periodically, but at least once every three years, hold public hearings to review water quality standards and, as appropriate, modify and develop standards. Maine Statute contains similar language. This process, known as the Triennial Review, requires consultation with the public and interested state and federal agencies.
The DEP is now embarking on a Triennial Review. Interested parties are invited to submit proposals to the DEP for changes to existing water quality standards, including the water quality classification of specific surface waters. Proposals for new standards may also be submitted. Submission guidelines and general information on the Triennial Review can be obtained on DEP’s Triennial Review webpage at: https://www.maine.gov/dep/water/wqs/triennial-review.html. Proposals are due by the close of business on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
For additional information, contact:
David Madore, Communications Director
Susanne Meidel, DEP Biologist