Antidegradation

Virginia's antidegradation policy protects water quality at three levels or "tiers."

  • Tier 1 specifies that existing instream water uses and the level of water quality to protect the existing uses shall be maintained and protected. This means that as a minimum, all waters should meet adopted water quality standards.
  • Tier 2 protects water that is better than specified water quality standards. Only in limited circumstances may water quality be lowered in these waters.
  • Tier 3 are exceptional waters where no new, additional or increased discharge of sewage, industrial wastes or other pollution are allowed. These waters must be specifically listed in the regulation.
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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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