Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Notice of Release
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will release the Final 2014 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual on April 21, 2014.
Virginia’s 2014 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual contains the assessment procedures and methods to be used for the development of Virginia’s 2014 §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 January 2014, in addition to the assessment methodology for Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Standards established by EPA, most recently updated in the May 2010 addendum to Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Dissolved Oxygen, Water Clarity, and Chlorophyll a for the Chesapeake Bay and Its Tidal Tributaries.
A copy of the Final 2014 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual will be 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 Tish Robertson, DEQ Water Quality Assessment Coordinator, using the contact information below.
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. A draft version of this guidance was released for 30-day public review and comment on January 27, 2014. Comments were received from three organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency. DEQ’s response to these comments will be available for download at the URL above.
Modifications have been made to the assessment guidance since 2012. The most notable addition is a new subcategory “4D”, which applies to impaired tidal waters under the Chesapeake Bay TMDL that now meet assessed dissolved oxygen criteria. Additionally, the Coastal Plain Macroinvertebrate Index has been replaced with the more refined Virginia Coastal Plain Macroinvertebrate Index. Guidance modifications are described in Part II of the manual.
Contact: Tish Robertson, PhD., Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, Virginia 23218. Telephone (804) 698-4309, FAX (804) 698-4032, or via email at email@example.com.