Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

East vs. West: Developing Antidegradation Implementation Guidance

Buy Article:

$9.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial

This paper provides background information and analyses related to development of antidegradation policy implementation procedures pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements. The antidegradation concepts contained in state and federal regulations are relatively simple and straightforward: 1) all waters should be protected at some basic level; 2) waters that are cleaner than the basic level should be protected at the existing higher level unless there is a significant local benefit; and 3) some pristine or unique waters should not be degraded even if those benefits can be demonstrated. The definitions and details associated with this simple three-part approach, however, can be complex.

In the coming years, development of detailed implementation guidance will become increasingly important to states in complying with the CWA. Most states have general antidegradation policies. However, in recent years, lawsuits have been filed against states and/or EPA for not implementing the CWA antidegradation requirements. Such suits or threat of suits have compelled some states to develop more detailed antidegradation implementation procedures. Other states, with general policies and procedures, wished to have more detailed procedures that program staff is able to implement.

Tetra Tech assisted a western and eastern state (Arizona and West Virginia) in developing detailed antidegradation implementation guidance pursuant to the CWA requirements. The guidance addressed such areas as: tiered protection levels; applicability of antidegradation review; antidegradation requirements for specific activities; baseline water quality; assessment of the level of degradation; alternatives analysis; social and economic analysis; and public participation.

Although states face similar issues in grappling with antidegradation implementation, the approach taken on a given issue can vary significantly based on the geographic region. Drawing on the West Virginia and Arizona case studies and other research, this paper will discuss key antidegradation issues, similarities and differences taken in eastern and western antidegradation implementation, and lessons learned.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2004

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more