Self-Governance Communication & Education Tribal Consortium

EPA Proposed Rule to Establish TAS for Water Restoration

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued regulations establishing a process for Tribes to obtain treatment in a similar manner as states (TAS) for the authority to administer the water quality restoration provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d), including issuing lists of impaired waters and developing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) under CWA section 303(d), as states routinely do.

The proposed rule establishes regulatory procedures for eligible Tribes to obtain TAS for the CWA Section 303(d) Impaired Water Listing and TMDL Program.  The proposed rule would enable eligible Tribes to obtain authority to identify impaired waters on their reservations and to establish TMDLs, which serve as plans for attaining and maintaining applicable water quality standards (WQS). The proposal is comparable to similar regulations that EPA issued in the 1990s for the CWA Section 303(c) WQS and CWA Section 402 and 404 Permitting Programs, and includes features designed to minimize paperwork and unnecessary reviews.

EPA must receive comments on the proposed rule on or before March 21, 2016.

If you have question please contact Sarah Furtak, Assessment and Watershed Protection Division, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds here.