Tips for Reviewing and Commenting on the State Integrated Report Under the Clean Water Act
The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires that each state establish water quality standards to meet the goal to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters” (33 U.S.C §1251(a)). The water quality standards lay out uses for each waterbody, criteria needed to meet those uses, and protections for those uses.1
While the water quality standards set a framework for healthy waters, many waterbodies today are impaired or threatened with new or increased sources of pollution. The CWA requires that states report on these impairments (Section 303(d)), the status of every waterbody (Section 305(b)), and the status of public lakes (Section 314). Collectively, these reports are known as the Integrated Report and they are required to be submitted every 2 years to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
If you’re interested in reviewing and commenting on your state’s integrated report, check out this guidance document to get started.