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NYS Section 305(b) Water Quality Report

Water quality reporting under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 305(b) and Section 303(d) are highly visible ways of communicating to the public about the health of the nation's waters.

Under Section 305(b), states are required to periodically report on the quality of all water resources in the state and whether these waters are fully supporting water supply use, recreation activities, and aquatic life.

Map of water quality assessment categories of New York State

Section 303(d) requires states to identify the subset of state waterbodies where water quality standards are not met and where uses are not supported. The Section 303(d) List includes those waters (and associated pollutants) that do not support uses, and which require development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) strategy.

Because the Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters is concerned with only impaired waters - and within the universe of impaired waters, only those impaired waters that can be addressed with a TMDL strategy - the Section 305(b) Report provides a more comprehensive assessment of statewide water quality. The Section 305(b) Report is updated every two years. The current Report is the 2018 New York State Section 305(b) Water Quality Report (PDF).

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