Triennial Review Process for Water Quality Standards

What is the Triennial Review?

Federal regulations require states to review their surface Water Quality Standards at least once every three years to determine if revisions are necessary. As part of this review, the State must seek input from the public. The process of reviewing the Water Quality Standards and soliciting public input is called the triennial review. Connecticut's Water Quality Standards include both surface and groundwaters and the State may include both aspects in the triennial review.

The review is conducted to fulfill the State’s responsibilities under state and federal laws and it:

  • provides a forum to discuss all issues of interest regarding the water quality standards and their implementation;
  • provides opportunity to discuss new initiatives that are being developed by EPA;
  • solicits suggestions for where guidance is needed to implement the current standards;
  • solicits suggestions for what new or revised criteria are needed;
  • provides opportunity to discuss the progress with ongoing standards-related efforts; and
  • allows for the discussion of the long-term strategy and timeline for developing guidance and revising the water quality standards.

Overview of the process

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection conducts a triennial review every three years.

In Connecticut, the Department has structured the triennial review process to consist of seeking public input and if appropriate:

  • may hold a public information session, and
  • may develop a triennial review summary document which identifies and responds to public comments and sets forth the department’s expectations for future changes to the Water Quality Standards.

Any changes to the Water Quality Standards proposed as a result of the triennial review will be implemented through a formal regulatory process to modify the Water Quality Standards Regulations pursuant to Section 22a-426 of the Connecticut General Statutes and applicable federal regulations.

Content last updated on October 29, 2013