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November 10, 2016

EPA Completes Review of Arkansas Water Quality Regulation Revisions

NORTH LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality announced today the Environmental Protection Agency has completed its review of Arkansas’s Regulation No. 2, which establishes water quality standards for surface waters throughout the state. The Department has worked closely with EPA for the last several months as the review process was completed. Arkansas submitted revisions to EPA for review and approval on March 14, 2014.

EPA’s review resulted in approval of the majority of the revisions to the regulation as well as partial approval of several provisions. However, EPA announced it will take no action on other revisions for which EPA determined they did not have enough information to act. Two such provisions related to compliance schedules and minerals. In addition, EPA stated disapproval of a revision related to turbidity.

In addition, EPA and Arkansas have committed to a path forward on minerals criteria. Arkansas will have twelve months to create a plan for how the state will proceed with developing alternative minerals criteria for inclusion in Regulation No. 2.

Director Becky Keogh issued the following statement:
“Arkansas appreciates the opportunity to work with EPA on the development and approval of these standards. This action provides further opportunities to work with EPA on specific standards, particularly minerals criteria. Arkansas has some of the most stringent minerals criteria in the country. With this action, EPA, which is in the process of developing national criteria, provides Arkansas the ability to develop alternative criteria. This decision provides certainty for our cities and industries to move forward with economic development, providing for extended compliance schedules during the study of minerals criteria issues.”

The Department received notification from EPA on Monday that a decision letter and the related Technical Support Document were being sent for publication in the Federal Register. EPA’s decision letter and the Technical Support Document can be found on ADEQ’s website at .

CONTACT: Kelly Robinson ( or 501-682-0916)