Measure WQ-1b Metadata


Most Recent Measure Description:
ACS Code:WQ-1b
PERS Code: 
Measure Key Words:States/Territories on schedule to adopt nutrient standards
Measure Language:Number of numeric water quality standards for total nitrogen and total phosphorus at least proposed by States and Territories, or by EPA proposed rulemaking, for all waters within the State or Territory for each of the following waterbody types: lakes/reservoirs, rivers/streams, and estuaries (cumulative, out of a universe of 280).
Goal, Objective and Subobjective:2.2.1: Improve Water Quality on a Watershed Basis
Measure Type:Target
ACS Shareholder:All Regions
Comments:Measure revised in FY 2011 (see ACS Measure History below for measure language from prior fiscal years). If a state or territory has adopted nutrient water quality standards for some, but not all of its applicable waters, it may be counted in both WQ-1a and WQ-1b.


Type of Measure *Yes/NoFY09FY10FY11FY12
NPGYes33325649
Budget (target)Non/an/an/an/a
Strategic PlanNo   n/a
KPINo   n/a
ARRANo   n/a
StateGrantYes33325649
* Note: The figures for all budget measures are targets. The figures for all the other types of measures are commitments established during the development of the National Water Program Guidance.


Office Information:
Office Lead:OST
Contact:Gregory Stapleton, EPA Office of Science and Technology: stapleton.gregory@epa.gov | (202) 566-1028


Most Recent Measure Definition (From FY2010 or FY2010, if available):
Terms and Phrases:o Numeric standards for total nitrogen and total phosphorus – numeric water quality criteria for total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) incorporated into water quality standards for the protection of Clean Water Act section 101(a)(2) goal uses ( protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife, and recreation in and on the water). Such criteria are for eutrophication endpoints. Criteria for other endpoints, such as ammonia, nitrate, or elemental phosphorus toxicity, would not count. The "total" forms of nitrogen and phosphorus are generally preferable from a scientific standpoint because they account for both organic and inorganic forms. Other forms of nitrogen or phosphorus would be counted only if justified scientifically. Numeric translators for TN and TP will be counted in this measure if they are binding upon section 303(d) assessments, TMDLs, and NPDES permits, and have been adopted as water quality standards and approved by EPA under section 303(c) (for WQ-01a) or have been proposed as such (for WQ-01b). Response variables, such as chlorophyll-a, clarity, SAV acreage, or dissolved oxygen, are not considered translators for this purpose. o Waterbody type means one of the following three types of U.S. water bodies: · Lakes and reservoirs (excluding the Great Lakes) · Rivers and streams · Estuaries o Note: The majority of states and territories have all three of these waterbody types, but some states do not. See Universe below. o For all waters – To be counted under this measure, water quality criteria values would need to be established for all waters of the waterbody type (see below). The values for each pollutant could be uniform for all such waters, or could vary as appropriate (e.g., for different subtypes, different watersheds, different seasonal periods), but would count as only one criterion for the purpose of this measure. In other words, states could use site-specific criteria to help meet this measure as long as all waters of the waterbody type are covered by some combination of site-specific and non-site-specific criteria. o Adopted and approved by EPA (in WQ-01a) means that the state or territory has adopted the criteria through its rulemaking process and submitted them to EPA for review, and that EPA has approved them under section 303(c). o Promulgated by EPA (in WQ-01a) means that EPA has issued a final rule promulgating the criteria as federal water quality standards under section 303(c)(4). o At least (in WQ-01b) means that criteria can be counted if they have been proposed, or if they have progressed to any later stage of adoption and approval. For example, all criteria that the state or territory has adopted in final form can be counted even if they have not yet been submitted to EPA for approval. All criteria counted under WQ-01a should be included, since they have progressed to final adoption and EPA approval, or have been promulgated by EPA. o Proposed (in WQ-01b) by states and territories means that a state or territorial agency has either (a) proposed and published the criteria for public comment, (b) formally provided the criteria for review to a legislative body, legislative committee, public commission, or similar body as part of a prescribed regulatory process, (c) recommended the criteria to a legislature, public commission, or agency responsible for promulgating standards under its own public process, or (d) otherwise issued the draft criteria to begin a similar public process. For federal promulgations, proposed means that EPA has issued a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking that seeks public comment. o Full set of performance information (in WQ-01c): EPA expects, as part of the process for administering section 106 grants or performance partnership agreements, that states and territories will establish internal milestones for developing, proposing, and adopting TN and TP criteria for their waters. To be credited under this measure, a state or territory would need to provide information about these milestones to EPA on a regular basis, but at least annually. EPA expects that the state or territory would establish milestones for the completion of each of the following key steps: 1. Planning for criteria development 2. Collection of information and data 3. Analysis of information and data 4. Proposal of criteria (related to measure WQ-1b) 5. Adoption of criteria into the state's or territory's water quality standards (related to measure WQ-1a) Such milestones would need to be established for developing TN and TP criteria for each of the waterbody types within the state or territory. If planning showed that criteria development should proceed separately for TN and TP, and for each waterbody type, then a state or territory with all three waterbody types could theoretically have 30 milestones. In practice, this number could be higher or lower, depending on whether work could be combined across TN and TP and waterbody types, or whether additional waterbody subtypes were established. For each milestone established, EPA expects the state or territory to provide EPA the following on a regular basis, but not less than annually: 1. A target date, consistent with internal planning, 2. A completion date when the milestone is met, and 3. A written explanation for changes in target dates from previous plans, or any delays in achieving them. If a state or territory does not plan to develop TN or TP criteria for a particular waterbody type, an explicit, explained declaration of their intentions not to develop the criteria would serve as milestone information. EPA notes that many states have already established nutrient criteria development plans, including many that have been mutually agreed-upon with EPA. Such plans could be of assistance in providing the kinds of information needed to satisfy this measure. EPA anticipates that a full set of the above information, shared regularly between the state or territory and EPA, will greatly facilitate the management and oversight of nutrient criteria development, including the annual planning and performance cycle under section 106 and performance partnership agreements. EPA also anticipates using this information to help populate an EPA Web site to keep the public informed about the status of these important efforts.
Methodology for Computation of Results:The results for a State or Territory will be computed by adding the number of numeric nutrient criteria for each of the two or three waterbody types in the state or territory that have been approved or promulgated (WQ-01a) or proposed (WQ-01b). For example, if a state with all three waterbody types has TP and TN for all lakes and reservoirs, and TP for all rivers and streams, and none for estuaries, the state would be credited with 3 criteria out of a maximum (universe) of 6.
Units:Number of standards
Universe:280 criteria. This represents two criteria – TN and TP – for each of the 140 state/territorial waterbody types represented in the 56 states and territories. There are 55 states/territories with rivers and streams, 55 states/territories with lakes and reservoirs, and 30 states/territories with estuaries.
Baseline:As of December 2008, 31 numeric TN and TP standards had been adopted by states and territories, and approved by EPA.


Most Recent Regional Measure Results Trend Data (From FY2010 End of Year Report, if available):
Measure Results Trend DataWQ-1b.xls


Most Recent National Results Trend Data Chart (From FY2010 End of Year Report, if available):
Measure Results Trend Data Chart 


ACS Measure History:
Fiscal YearACS CodeMeasure Description
2012WQ-1bNumber of numeric water quality standards for total nitrogen and total phosphorus at least proposed by States and Territories, or by EPA proposed rulemaking, for all waters within the State or Territory for each of the following waterbody types: lakes/reservoirs, rivers/streams, and estuaries (cumulative, out of a universe of 280).
2011WQ-1bNumber of numeric water quality standards for total nitrogen and total phosphorus at least proposed by States and Territories, or by EPA proposed rulemaking, for all waters within the State or Territory for each of the following waterbody types: lakes/reservoirs, rivers/streams, and estuaries (cumulative, out of a universe of 280).
2010WQ-1bNumber of States and Territories that are on schedule with a mutually agreed-upon plan to adopt nutrient criteria into their water quality standards. (annual)
2009WQ-1bNumber of states and territories that are on schedule with a mutually-agreed-upon plan to adopt nutrient criteria into their water quality standards. (annual)
2008WQ-1bNumber of States and Territories that are on schedule with a mutually agreed-upon plan to adopt nutrient criteria into their water quality standards.
2007WQ-2bNumber of States and Territories that are on schedule with a mutually agreed-upon plan to adopt nutrient criteria into their water quality standards.
2006WQ-2Number and percent of States and Territories that are on schedule to adopt nutrient criteria into their water quality standards. (cumulative)


Decision History: Click for measure decision details


Data Sources and Data Quality and Limitations: 




External Links:
Congressional Justification
2010 EOY Report


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