Water Quality Standards Handbook: Second Edition
United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water
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The following document entitled "Water Quality Standards Handbook - Second Edition" provides guidance issued in support of the Water Quality Standards Regulation (40 CFR 131, as amended). This Handbook includes the operative provisions of the first volume of the Handbook issued in 1983 and incorporates subsequent guidance issued since 1983. The 1993 Handbook contains only final guidance previously issued by EPA - it contains no new guidance. Since the 1983 Handbook has not been updated in ten years, we hope that this edition will prove valuable by pulling together current program guidance and providing a coherent document as a foundation for State and Tribal water quality standards programs. The Handbook also presents some of the evolving program concepts designed to reduce human and ecological risks, such as endangered species protection; criteria to protect wildlife, wetlands, and sediment quality; biological criteria to better define desired biological communities in aquatic ecosystems; and nutrient criteria. This Handbook is intended to serve as a "living document," subject to future revisions as the water quality standards program moves forward, and to reflect the needs and experiences of EPA and the States. To this end, the Handbook is published in a loose leaf format designed to be placed in three ring binders. This copy of the Handbook includes updated material for 1994 (see Appendix X), and EPA anticipates publishing additional changes periodically and providing them to Handbook recipients. To ensure that you will receive these updates, please copy the reader response card in Appendix W and mail it to the address on the reverse. The Handbook also contains a listing, by title and date, of the guidance issued since the Handbook was first published in 1983 that is incorporated in the Second Edition. The "Water Quality Standards Handbook - Second Edition" provides guidance on the national water quality standards program. EPA regional offices and States may have additional guidance that provides more detail on selected topics of regional interest. For informaion on regional or State guidance, contact the appropriate regional water quality standards coordinator listed in Appendix U.