EPA Approves Most of W.Va.'s Water Quality Rules

The State Journal
7 February 2012

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Regulators say the Environmental Protection Agency has approved all but 1 of West Virginia's proposed water quality standards.

The Department of Environmental Protection must review its standards every three years. It said Tuesday the EPA found most consistent with federal regulations.

The exception was language allowing the state to use what it calls "weight of evidence" in determining whether nutrient levels are high enough to declare a waterway impaired.

Water standards chief Kevin Coyne says DEP doesn't want to declare impairment unless a waterway has both elevated phosphorous concentrations and corresponding chlorophyll levels.

The EPA proposes making the declaration on phosphorous levels alone.

Coyne says the agencies have been working on a compromise. He says several other states are having similar differences of opinion with the EPA on the issue.