A brief overview of antidegradation can be found here. Federal legislation says states must have an antidegration policy that:
- Protects designated uses
- Attempts to maintain high quality waters
- Provides mechanism to provide extra protection for exceptional ecological or recreational significance. These are often called ONRWs.
Alaska adopted its current antidegradation policy in 1997. EPA approved Alaska's policy with the stipulation that Alaska write implementation guidance. To date Alaska has not finalized implementation guidance but has interim guidance.
Each state's regulations generally mirror federal policy but they vary widely in how they implement that policy so Alaska can evaluate what has worked in other states, what has not worked, and tailor our antidegradation implementation guidance to suit our water quality needs. To gather information to write implementation guidance DEC:
Where We Are Now, The Workgroup and Other Public Outreach
Writing final antidegradation implementation guidance is a top priority for DEC. To write, adopt, and approve final guidance DEC assembled a workgroup in 2012 comprised of stakeholders to evaluate options and set up a teleconferences to educate the public on antidegradation issues. The workgroup has met twice will meet four or five more times in the near future to develop recommendations.
Teleconferences April 24th, April 26th, June 19th, and November 19th (potential):
- Letter to Community and Tribal Leaders
- Public Notice on the teleconference
November 19th: Teleconference Cancelled
- Presentation for Teleconference
- Agenda for the entire process
- Evaluation of Key Elements and Options for Antidegradation Policy Implementation Methods, Workgroup Report Jan 24, 2013- NEW
- Workgroup Notebook
- Work Plan
- Workgroup member list
The notebook containing information used by the workgroup is here.
Water Quality Standards, Assessment & Restoration