Comments on Water Quality Standards

The federal Clean Water Act requires states to “hold public hearings for the purpose of reviewing applicable water quality standards and, as appropriate, modifying and adopting standards” at least once every three years. NC last held such a public hearing to update its water quality protections in July 2006. The current hearing is four years overdue.

NC lags behind neighboring states in adopting standards that meet the National Recommended Water Quality Criteria and that incorporate the best available science. The EPA has the authority to promulgate regulations to protect NC’s water if NC does not do so itself.

Clean water and a healthy environment are vitally important to all North Carolinians – for their health, property values, recreational and business opportunities, etc. NC should not weaken any standards, but should retain its current water quality standards and strengthen them.

Click here for more guidance on specific areas where our standards could be improved.

Key items to include in your comments may be:

  • NC needs updated standards for toxic heavy metals;
  • NC needs Nitrogen and Phosphorus nutrient standards to protect waters;
  • North Carolina should adopt a Methylmercury standard;
  • North Carolina should strengthen water quality standards to comply with EPA recommendations; and,
  • Water quantity or flow should also be protected.

For specific facts about each of these points, please click here for more information.


  • Connie Brower


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Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
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