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Feb 8 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites comments to OMB by March 10, 2023 regarding National Water Quality Inventory Reports.

The Clean Water Act Section 305(b) reports contain information on whether waters assessed by a state meet the state's water quality standards, and, when waters are impaired, the pollutants and potential sources affecting water quality. This information helps states and the public track progress in addressing water pollution. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify and rank waters that cannot meet water quality standards (WQS) following the implementation of technology-based controls. Under Section 303(d), states are also required to establish total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for listed waters not meeting standards because of pollutant discharges. In developing the Section 303(d) lists, states are required to consider various sources of water quality related data and information, including the Section 305(b) state water quality reports. Section 106(e) requires that states annually update monitoring data and use it in their Section 305(b) report. Section 314(a) requires states to report on the condition of their publicly owned lakes within the Section 305(b) report.

During the period covered by this ICR renewal, respondents will: complete their 2024 Section 305(b) reports and 2024 Section 303(d) lists; complete their 2026 Section 305(b) reports and 2026 Section 303(d) lists; transmit annual electronic updates of ambient monitoring data via the Water Quality Exchange; and continue to develop TMDLs according to their established schedules. EPA will prepare biennial updates on assessed and impaired waters for Congress and the public for the 2024 reporting cycle and for the 2026 cycle, and EPA will review 303(d) list and TMDL submissions from respondents.
 
Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires States to identify and rank waters that cannot meet water quality standards (WQS) following the implementation of technology-based controls. Under Section 303(d), States are also required to establish total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for those listed waters. In developing the Section 303(d) lists, States are required to consider various sources of water-quality related data and information, including the Section 305(b) State water quality reports. The State Section 305(b) reports contain information on the attainment status of assessed waters, including extent of water quality degradation, the pollutants and sources affecting water quality, and State progress in controlling water pollution.  

EPA’s Watershed Restoration, Assessment and Protection Division (WRAPD) works with its Regional counterparts to review and approve or disapprove State Section 303(d) lists and TMDLs from 56 respondents (the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the five Territories). Section 303(d) specifically requires States to develop lists and TMDLs “from time to time” and EPA to review and approve or disapprove the lists and the TMDLs. EPA collects State 305(b) reports from 59 respondents (the 50 States, the District of Columbia, five Territories, and 3 River Basin commissions).
 
EPA Water Data and Tools: https://www.epa.gov/waterdata
EPA submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202302-2040-002 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-02687

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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