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Engage with the Water Quality Control Division

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The division updates regulations, guidance, and policies regularly. We want to hear from you on these proposals. Whether you are a public member interested in what the state is doing or a regulated entity impacted by these measures, we want your feedback. The information on this webpage reflects current efforts you should be aware of and possible engagement opportunities. 

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Engagement calendar

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Engagement email notifications

Sign up for email notifications and select which areas of interest you want to receive emails about.  

Water quality public notices

Public notices inform the public of an activity that the division is looking for feedback on, such as:

  • Permit actions and proposals
  • Construction projects impacting water
  • Enforcement actions

Water quality information bulletin

The water quality bulletin is a monthly publication that summarizes public notices of recent division activities related to protecting lakes, streams, and groundwater.  

 

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Current or Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

Below are different efforts and proposals the division is looking for feedback on. We welcome anyone to attend the upcoming meetings associated with each topic, learn about the proposal, and provide feedback.  

3 black cows standing in a river with the sun setting behind them

10 – Year Water Quality Roadmap

Excess nutrients can degrade the quality of our drinking water, impair recreational boating and fishing experiences, and harm fish and aquatic species. The EPA and the commission have directed Colorado to adopt nutrient criteria to protect our streams and lakes. In October 2017, we established a water quality roadmap that outlines our strategy for developing nutrient criteria and other water quality priorities over ten years from 2017 to 2027.

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drop of water

2024 PFAS Action Plan

Since 2016, Colorado has worked to address the risk from a large group of human-made chemicals in our environment, commonly known as PFAS. To reduce new releases of these chemicals and support affected communities, the department created its first PFAS Action Plan in 2019. We continue to address the risk of these chemicals and protect the places where Coloradans live, learn, work, and play.

The department is now working to get stakeholder input on the draft 2024 PFAS Action Plan to continue our work as a leader among states addressing widespread PFAS pollution. Starting in Jan. 2024, the department will hold two virtual meetings and provide the option for stakeholders to submit written comments on the draft 2024 PFAS Action Plan. After the meetings and public comment period, the department will publish the final 2024 PFAS Action Plan and a summary of the public comments received throughout this process on our website.

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Person holding glass bottle with brown water

303(d) Listing Methodology

Every two years, the division revises the 303(d) List of waterbodies that do not meet water quality standards as required by the Federal Clean Water Act.

The 303(d) Listing Methodology workgroup considers revisions to the methodology, and meetings will occur monthly from September through November 2023. At the end of these meetings, the division will propose revisions to the listing methodology that the Water Quality Control Commission will consider through an administrative action hearing scheduled for March 2024.
 

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Water filters

COG641000 – Water Treatment Plant Wastewater Discharge General Permit

The Water Quality Control Division has started a stakeholder engagement process to renew the COG641000 water treatment plant discharge permit. The division will host meetings during this effort; all current permittees are invited to participate.

After the scheduled meetings, the division will release a draft COG641000 renewal permit. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide input on the draft permit through a public comment period. After the public comment period has closed, the renewal permit will be issued, and the division will begin renewing and re-issuing all existing permit certifications.
 

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Person in yellow and orange vest and white helmet standing by a piece of orange construction equipment.

COR400000 – General Construction Permit Renewal

The current construction stormwater discharge general permit expires on March 31, 2024, and the division expects to renew the permit effective April 1, 2024. The permit outlines necessary compliance with water quality standards via practice-based limitations and requirements. The renewed permit will include updates made to add clarity. 

Prior to renewal, all permittees who have not done so must claim their facilities in Colorado Environmental Online Service (CEOS), the division’s online application system; this can be done at any time.

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Stormdrain

COR900000 – Industrial Stormwater General Permit for Non-Extractive Industries

The Water Quality Control Division is renewing the general permit to discharge stormwater associated with non-extractive industrial activity and would like input from the public and regulated entities. In order to protect Colorado waters from pollutants in stormwater runoff, the division requires operators of certain industrial facilities to obtain permit coverage for actual or potential discharges of stormwater. This permit requires facilities to implement a stormwater management plan, implement specific stormwater control measures, also known as best management practices, perform inspections, and monitor pollutants in their discharge. 

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Water pipe

Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR)

The EPA recently published the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) that include significant changes to the current Lead and Copper Rule. The goal of the LCRR is to better protect communities from lead exposure in drinking water. EPA has also announced its intention to further strengthen regulatory requirements through the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI), which they plan to finalize in late 2024.  

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Stream winding through open space with small bushes on either side

Policy 98-1: Sediment Guidance

Policy 98-1 explains how to apply the narrative standards for sediment deposits that may harm beneficial uses in Colorado's surface waters. Beneficial uses include public drinking water, agricultural, industrial, and recreational services, and wildlife.

Starting in November 2023, the Water Quality Control Division will launch a stakeholder effort to review past updates and analyze the division’s technical work to establish a new sediment region in Policy 98-1. The division plans to end sessions in June 2024, followed by an administrative action hearing by the Water Quality Control Commission in November 2024.
 

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Corner of computer and headphones

Quarterly Clean Water Webinars-Permits

The Water Quality Control Division has quarterly webinars for Colorado Discharge Permit System permittees. These webinars provide permittees with up-to-date information on division permitting activities that could affect permittees and their future permits. Sometimes, there are opportunities to provide feedback. The webinars are open to the public; anyone is welcome to attend. 

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wastewater treatment facility

Reg. 22 – Site Location and Design Regulations for Domestic Wastewater Treatment Work

The division is hosting routing discussions on the last Monday of each month until May 2023 to determine the feasibility of future regulatory changes for construction flexibility and historical infrastructure that does not have documentation demonstrating site location and design approval.

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two side by side black pipelines embedded in dry earth

Reg. 43 – On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS)

Regulation 43 sets minimum standards for how small wastewater treatment systems in Colorado should be located, designed, constructed, and used. County health departments use these minimum standards to create rules, including permit application requirements, issuing permits, system inspection, and system maintenance.

Starting in August 2023, the division will hold meetings to discuss possible changes to the regulation. The division plans to end sessions in August 2024, followed by a rulemaking hearing by the commission in Spring 2025.

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Wastewater treatment system

Reg. 64 – PFAS and Biosolids

In early 2022, the division plans to evaluate if any interim changes are needed to Regulation 64 and/or its implementing authorizations, policies, and practices to address potential risks associated with PFAS in biosolids. 
 

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a dry creek bed

Reg. 82 - 401 Water Quality Certification Process

A 401 water quality certification is an official approval issued by the Water Quality Control Division. The division is required to issue 401 water quality certifications for any project that requires an individual 404 permit, which is issued when dredged or fill materials are placed in Colorado’s water systems. This ensures that projects releasing dredge and fill materials do not negatively impact water quality, promoting the overall health of the state's water.


Regulation 82 sets rules for how the division manages 401 water quality certifications in Colorado. The division can grant, grant with conditions, deny, or expressly waive certifications for federal licenses and permits under section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

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Graywater diagram

Reg. 86 – Graywater Control

On May 7, 2018, the Water Quality Control Commission held an informational hearing to gather feedback for a proposed rulemaking scope to update Regulation 86 - Graywater Control Regulation. The division initiated the stakeholder engagement process and placed the effort on hold due to competing obligations, limited resources, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The division presented an update on the stakeholder engagement schedule with the Commission in May 2021 as part of the triennial review process. As a result of the meeting, the stakeholder engagement schedule for Regulation 86 was postponed until 2022.

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Suncor in North Denver

Suncor Permit Renewal

Suncor has two permits that allow for the discharge of pollutants into Sand Creek, which are up for renewal in 2021, CO0001147 and COS000009. CO0001147 allows Suncor to discharge refinery process wastewater and remediated groundwater into Sand Creek. COS000009 allows Suncor to discharge stormwater off its site into Sand Creek. Before renewing these permits, the division must include requirements and identify pollutant limits that will protect Sand Creek and downstream waters to maintain their beneficial uses (such as recreation, fishing, agriculture, and drinking water). The division seeks community input on the requirements and pollutant limits needed to protect Sand Creek and downstream waters. 

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Sunrise over Horsetooth Reservoir

Water Quality Fee Setting Rule

The fees that support the division are set in statute, and federal funding has remained flat through the years making it difficult to achieve long-term fiscal sustainability and provide a higher level of customer service. The Water Quality Fee-Setting by Rule proposal removes clean water and drinking water fees from statute and instead directs the Water Quality Control Commission to set fees in regulation.

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Construction equipment digging in a river

Waters of the United States (WOTUS)

The Clean Water Act gives EPA and the U.S. Department of the Army the authority to define "waters of the United States" in regulations, and the Armny issues 404 permits to protect waters of the United States from dredging and fill activities. 

The Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA will result in fewer water quality protections for Colorado. The department will use policy to guide any enforcement actions on the discharge of unpermitted dredged and fill materials into state waters. 

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