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Nutrient Standards in Colorado – Exploring a New Approach

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Nutrient standards have become a hot topic of conversation for clean water agencies across the country. Colorado began development of an approach for phosphorus and nitrogen standards in earnest in 2007. Stakeholders realized that a Control Regulation could be used to implement nutrient regulation in a more adaptive way, allowing for time to collect more data, examine the proposed nitrogen standards, and implement basic nutrient treatment in the state. Generally, the Control Regulation would address total phosphorus and nitrogen by:

Establishing nitrogen and phosphorus permit limits

Establishing education and pollution prevention requirements for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s)

Encouraging best management practices (BMPs) and public education for nonpoint sources

Requiring routine process water effluent and instream nutrient monitoring

Requiring MS4 wet and dry weather nutrient assessment

Encouraging nonpoint source dischargers to monitor and assess nutrient water quality. Colorado's Water Quality Control Commission is slated to consider this technology-based approach to nutrients in a special March 2012 Nutrient Hearing.
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Keywords: Nutrients; Permitting; Regulatory Issues

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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