The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will release the draft 2018 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual on March 5, 2018.
Virginia’s 2018 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual contains the assessment procedures and methods to be used for the development of Virginia’s 2018 §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 December 2017, 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).
A copy of the draft 2018 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual is available for download from the DEQ Water Quality Assessment webpage at: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityAssessments.aspx. A hard copy can also be requested from Amanda Gray, DEQ Water Quality Assessment Coordinator, using the contact information below.
Modifications have been made to the guidance document since 2016. 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 is invited to submit written comments through April 19, 2018. Comments should include the name, address, telephone number, and, if applicable, the e-mail address of each person and/or organization submitting comments. Comments and related correspondence should be addressed to Amanda Gray (see contact information below). Responses to comments received will be made collectively, via a response document. The response document will be posted on the assessment webpage along with the final guidance manual.