Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
State Water Control Board

General Notice
Notice of Public Comment - Draft 2016 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual
Date Posted: 6/8/2016
Expiration Date: 7/27/2016
Submitted to Registrar for publication: NO
30 Day Comment Forum closed. Began on 6/27/2016 and ended 7/27/2016

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will release the draft 2016 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual on June 27, 2016.

Virginia’s 2016 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual contains the assessment procedures and methods to be used for the development of Virginia’s 2016 §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 August 2015, 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 draft 2016 Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual is available for download from the DEQ Water Quality Assessment webpage at:  A hard copy can also be requested from Tish Robertson, DEQ Water Quality Assessment Coordinator, using the contact information below.

Modifications have been made to the guidance document since 2014.  The most notable change pertains to the process of prioritizing impaired waters for Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).  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 July 27, 2016.  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 Tish Robertson.  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.

Contact Information
Name / Title: Tish Robertson, PhD 
Address: Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23218
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)698-4309    FAX: (804)698-4032    TDD: ()-