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Update on Kentucky Selenium Water Quality Standard


As reported previously in the Environmental Letter, DOW recently completed its Triennial Review of water quality standards.  The proposed amendments to the water quality standards included an amendment to the acute and chronic selenium standards.  DOW’s standard is based on a 2004 proposal from EPA in which compliance with the standard is based on the presence of selenium in fish tissue. Compliance with the standard would be based on a two-step process in which the water column is tested for selenium, and if that testing reveals selenium above certain trigger amounts, fish tissue would be sampled.

DOW submitted its revised selenium standards to EPA for approval in May.  To date, EPA has neither approved nor disapproved the revised standards.  Under Section 303 of the Clean Water Act, EPA has 60 days to approve state water quality standards, or 90 days to disapprove them.  EPA’s 90-day deadline to disapprove the standards expired on August 22.  At this point, it is unclear what action EPA will take, but the agency has stated that it is reviewing concerns raised by environmental groups who oppose the standards.  Bingham Greenebaum Doll will continue to track the review of DOW’s revised selenium standards and will provide updates in future issues of the Environmental Letter.

To view a complete PDF of the July/August 2013 issue of the Environmental Letter, click HERE.

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