The division updates regulations, guidance, and policies regularly. We want to hear from you on these proposals. Whether you are a member of the public who is interested in what the state is doing or a regulated entity that is 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.
Suncor water quality permit renewal kick-off meeting
Join us Feb. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to learn about Suncor’s water quality permit renewal process. The presentation and agenda are the same as the Feb. 17 first meeting option.
Direct potable reuse kick-off meeting
Join us on Mar. 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to learn about the division's plans to develop a direct potable reuse rule through an extensive engagement process.
State publishes wastewater and COVID-19 monitoring public dashboard
Preliminary data for the wastewater and COVID-19 monitoring pilot project is now available on the state’s COVID-19 website. The information will be used to help us understand how prevalent COVID-19 is in Colorado and big shifts in that prevalence.
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.
Current 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.
Suncor permit renewal
Suncor has two permits that allow for 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. Prior to renewing these permits, it is the responsibility of the division to include requirements and identify pollutant limits that will protect Sand Creek and downstream waters in order to maintain their beneficial uses (such as recreation, fishing, agriculture, and drinking water). The division seeks input from the community related to the requirements and pollutant limits needed to protect Sand Creek and downstream waters.
Direct Potable Reuse
The state of Colorado expects to double its population by the year 2050, adding to demands on the state's most precious resource (water). The state of Colorado Water Plan lays out strategies to address projected gaps in water supply and demand, and direct potable reuse (DPR) is one of those strategies. DPR involves an extensive public outreach process and the installation of advanced water purification steps to ensure that wastewater can be safely reused for drinking water. While DPR is not prohibited in the state, there are no federal or state regulations for DPR. Regulated entities have requested that the division begin developing a DPR-specific rule through an engagement process. Stakeholders have been active in helping to develop the appropriate background for a Colorado DPR rule. They have supported the development of a key guidelines document authored by the National Water Research Institute and an independent panel of national experts (December 2019).
Regulation 84 improvements
The Water Quality Control Division is conducting a stakeholder process to consider improvements to Regulation 84: Reclaimed Water Control. The goal of this process is to improve the regulation, make general clarifications and corrections (include policies such as Water Quality Policy 25 and application forms and guidelines), improve efficiency in the reclaimed water program, and reduce repetitiveness in the regulation. Any changes would be proposed to the Water Quality Control Commission in Spring 2022.
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.
Reg. 11 policy updates for storage tank, backflow prevention, and cross-connection control
In August of 2020, the Water Quality Control Commission updated the Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations (Regulation 11).There are four key policy documents that must be updated to reflect the new language in Regulation 11 and we are seeking feedback on the changes. These were established policies the department published after the 2015 Regulation 11 rulemaking, but given the Regulation 11 updates in 2020 there were items that needed updating and clarifying.
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. Colorado has been directed by the EPA and the commission 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 10 years from 2017 to 2027.
Dredge and fill potential permit program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a revised Waters of the United States rule that came into effect on June 22, 2020. The final rule substantially rolls back federal protections that were established in 2008, and even the protections established prior to that time. Colorado has relied on the federal government to protect these waters since Colorado does not have existing laws or regulations that allow state streams, lakes, and wetlands to be filled. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado granted the state a stay on implementing changes to the federal Waters of the United States rule. The stay allows time for the department to continue to engage with stakeholders on potential options for a Colorado dredge and fill permit program.