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Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report

Alaska's Integrated Report (IR)

The Clean Water Act (CWA) mandates that each state develop a program to monitor and report on the quality of its waters and prepare a report describing the status of its water quality. The relevant CWA sections are Section 305(b), which requires that the quality of all waterbodies be characterized, and Section 303(d) which requires that states list any waterbodies that do not meet water quality standards (known as polluted or impaired waters). Alaska's Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (Integrated Report) combines the information into a single comprehensive report.

What are the Integrated Report categories?

There are five categories to which a waterbody can be assigned:

Categories 1 and 2 Waters for which there is enough information to determine that water quality standards are attained for all or some of their designated uses.
Category 3 Waters for which there is not enough information to determine their status.
Category 4 Waters that are impaired, but have one of several different types of waterbody recovery plans.
Category 5 Waters that are impaired and do not yet have waterbody recovery plans. Also known as 303(d) list impaired waters.

Impairment means that a waterbody persistently exceeds state water quality standards (18 AAC 70), usually determined after two or more years of water quality monitoring. DEC makes impairment decisions using publically available listing methodologies. EPA has approval authority over waters moving into and out of Category 5, also known as the impaired waters list. Waters in Category 4 are also impaired but have an EPA-approved waterbody recovery plan.

Draft 2022 Integrated Report

DEC is currently evaluating data submitted for the 2022 Integrated Report.

Approved 2020 IR

DEC submitted the final 2020 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report to EPA on April 19, 2021, including the 305(b) report on the status of State waters and the 303(d) Impaired Waters List. Major changes in the report included the addition of 11 beaches in Ketchikan to the Impaired Waters List for pathogens exceedances. For a more detailed summary of the report, see the 2020 Integrated Report Factsheet. EPA approved Alaska’s 2020 Integrated Report on May 17, 2021.

For over 30 years DEC has prepared a “paper” Integrated Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to satisfy the reporting requirements of the Clean Water Act. The water quality assessment information from the States is sent to the EPA and is managed and maintained in a system called ATTAINS (Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load Tracking and Implementation System). EPA is revising and redesigning the ATTAINS system to be more streamlined.

Results from Alaska’s Integrated Report can now be found on Hows My Waterway, recently released by EPA. How’s My Waterway integrates data from the Integrated Report with local water quality data, information on aquatic recreation and harvest, and restoration and protection efforts. The Water Quality Exchange (WQX) is the mechanism for data partners to submit water monitoring data to EPA.

Map of waters assessed for the 2020 Final Integrated Report, including the approved list of impaired waters.

Locations of impaired waters on this map are approximate, please contact Division of Water staff amber.bethe@alaska.gov if you have questions.

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