Final 2020 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual

Virginia’s 2020 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual (11.7 MB Word doc) contains the assessment procedures and methods to be used for the development of Virginia’s 2020 §305(b)/§303(d) Integrated (i.e. combined Water Quality Assessment and Impaired Waters) Report. The assessment guidance seeks to address all key elements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2006 Assessment Guidance and subsequent updates current to May 2019, in addition to the assessment methodology for Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Standards established by EPA and adopted by Virginia (Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Dissolved Oxygen, Water Clarity, and Chlorophyll a for the Chesapeake Bay and Its Tidal Tributaries).

Modifications have been made to the guidance document since 2018. A complete list of significant guidance modifications are described in Part II of the manual.

Section 62.1-44.19:5 C of the Code of Virginia requires DEQ to develop and publish the procedures used for defining and determining impaired waters and provide for public comment on the procedures. The public was invited to submit written comments on the draft Guidance from May 28 through June 27, 2019. DEQ responses to comments received are included in the response document.

Section 2.2-4002.1 of the Code of Virginia requires final guidance documents to be subject to a 30-day public comment period prior to becoming effective. If a written comment is received during the public comment period asserting that the guidance document is contrary to state law or regulation, or that the document should not be exempt, the effective date of the guidance document will be delayed for an additional 30 days. The final guidance document has been uploaded to the Virginia Town Hall here. The public comment period will begin on August 5 and will run through September 4, 2019. The planned effective date is September 5, 2019.

For additional information contact:

     Amanda Shaver
     Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
     Water Quality Assessment Coordinator
     P.O. Box 1105
     Richmond, Virginia 23218
     Telephone (804) 698-4181
     Fax (804) 698-4032

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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