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2008 Amendments to Water Quality Standards Regulations (6 NYCRR Parts 700 - 704)

The NYSDEC filed a Notice of Adoption for amendments to the water quality standards regulations (6 NYCRR Parts 700-704) with the New York State Department of State on January 17, 2008. A notice appears in the State Register on February 6, 2008, and the regulations became effective on February 16, 2008 (30 days after filing).

This rule includes new Health (Water Source) standards for metolachlor, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, and carbon disulfide; a new aquatic life standard for ammonia (marine waters); a revised standard for dissolved oxygen for most marine waters; new or revised groundwater effluent limitations; and a new narrative standard for flow for all fresh waters.

The text of the final rule, known as the Express Terms (PDF) (90 KB) is available. A revised version of the complete regulations is available in Chapter X - Division of Water Regulations. No changes were necessary to the other documents (Regulatory Impact Statement, Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, Rural Area Flexibility Analysis, Job Impact Statement) that were prepared for the proposed rule (see Background Regarding Proposed Amendments below).

Public Comments on the Proposed Rule

This rule was proposed on December 13, 2006. Six public information meetings were held throughout New York State in January 2007 and a public hearing was held in Albany on February 5, 2007.

The comment period closed on February 14, 2007. Extensive comments were received and considered by the Department; a copy of the Response to Comments (PDF) (160 KB) is available. The comments/responses are organized by issue, and sequenced by the 6 NYCRR Part to which they pertain. The commentor is identified with each issue.

If you have questions about the documents, are unable to view them, or would like to receive an emailed copy, please contact Scott Stoner, Chief, Standards and Analytical Support Section, by e-mail or via phone as 518-402-8179.

Background Regarding Proposed Amendments to Water Quality Standards Regulations

A number of documents (outlined below) that were prepared in support of the proposed rule are available to further your understanding of the rule and its impacts. The entire package of documents is available as a single file called the Compendium of Water Quality Standards Rule Making Documents (PDF) (690 KB).

The Description of Proposed Action describes the major proposed amendments and why they are necessary. This is a good place to start.

The Express Terms are the text of the proposed rule. Underlined text represents new proposed text; bracketed text represents deleted existing text. A summary of the Express Terms is also provided.

The Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) describes the Department's rationale for various portions of the proposed rule, how the rule's regulatory impact was assessed, and the anticipated costs that will be incurred from this rule. A summary of the RIS is also available.

The Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Small Business and Local Government (RFA) describes the projects impacts of the rule on small business and local governments, possible ways to minimize adverse impact, and efforts by the Department to reach out to the public and regulated community throughout the development of the proposal. A summary of the RFA is also available.

The Rural Area Flexibility Analysis (RAFA) describes the Department's determination that a Rural Area Flexibility Analysis is not required, along with a statement why a Job Impact Statement is not required.

Fact Sheets are technical documents that provide the scientific rationale for each of the proposed numerical ambient water quality standards. These are available as individual files for the following substances:

  • Acetaldehyde - proposed new Health (Water Source) standards
  • Ammonia - proposed new Aquatic Life standards for marine waters
  • Carbon Disulfide - proposed new Health (Water Source) standards
  • Dissolved Oxygen - proposed revised Aquatic Life standards for marine waters
  • Formaldehyde - proposed new Health (Water Source) standards
  • Metolachlor - proposed new Health (Water Source) standards

Six Public Information Meetings were held as follows:

Tuesday January 9, 2007 in Suffern, New York.

Wednesday January 10, 2007 in Stony Brook, New York.

Tuesday January 16, 2007 in Rochester, New York.

Wednesday January 17, 2007 in Utica, New York.

Monday January 22, 2007 in Albany, New York.

Wednesday January 31, 2007 in New York City.

A Legislative Public Hearing was held on Monday, February 5, 2007 in Albany, New York.

The comment period for this proposed rule ended on February 14, 2007.