A Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Triennial Review For Water Quality Standards

Federal Regulations 40 CFR 131.20 requires Georgia to review and revise its water quality standards from time to time, but at least once every three years.  Georgia’s water quality standards are set forth in the Rules for Water Quality Control, Chapter 391-3-6, under Rule 391-3-6-.03.  The process to review and revise water quality standards on a 3-year cycle is referred to as the Triennial Review process.


Triennial Review for 2016 

Georgia EPD initiated the 2016 Triennial Review process in early 2016.  A public notice was distributed on January 6, 2016 and a public hearing was held on February 26, 2016.  EPD received comments at that meeting and has continued to receive input on proposed revisions to Georgia's water quality standards since that time.  The items that are currently under consideration for the 2016 Triennial Review include:

  • Clarify the Antidegradation Rule
  • Explicitly incorporate the use of Schedules of Compliance in NPDES permits in the Water Quality Standards
  • Include pH in the definition of Natural Conditions
  • Define Practicable Alternatives
  • Clarify the definition of estuarine waters
  • Adopt EPA Recommended 2016 Aquatic Life Cadmium criteria
  • Adopt bacteria criteria for the protection of secondary contact recreation uses
  • Revise/correct specific water use classifications in 391-3-6-.03(14)
  • Develop site-specific lake standards that include numeric chlorophyll and nutrient criteria for Lakes Oconee and Sinclair
  • Correct formatting, typos and grammatical errors

**NOTE: Due to EPD office closure on January 18, the public meeting has been rescheduled to January 19.**

A public meeting will be held on Friday, January 19, 2018 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the EPD Tradeport Training Room located at 4244 International Parkway, Suite 114, Atlanta, GA 30354.  This meeting is to review and discuss proposed changes to the Georgia Rules for Water Quality Control, Chapter 391-3-6, pertaining to the 2016 Triennial Review process.

  • A copy of the public notice for this meeting is available here
  • A draft of the proposed rule amendments are available here
  • An advanced draft of the slides that will be used at the public meeting are available here

EPD is accepting comments on the proposed rule changes under the 2016 Triennial Review process through January 26, 2018.  Written comments may be sent to EPDComments@dnr.ga.gov or mailed to Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch, Watershed Planning & Monitoring Program, Suite 1152 East, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr., Atlanta, GA 30334.