Water Quality Control Commission general information

About us

The Water Quality Control Commission is the administrative agency responsible for developing specific water quality policy in Colorado, in a manner that implements the broader policies set forth by the Legislature in the Colorado Water Quality Control Act. We adopt water quality classifications and standards for surface and groundwaters, as well as various regulations aimed at achieving compliance with those classifications and standards.

We usually meet the second Monday (and Tuesday, if necessary) of each month, with some variations due to holidays or joint meetings with other bodies.

The meetings are held in the Sabin Cleere Conference Room of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, in Denver unless otherwise noticed.

Current Commissioners:

      Joan Card is a Partner at Culp & Kelly, LLP advising the firm and assisting clients on law and policy matters related to water quality, water resources, environmental liability and innovative environmental finance. Prior to starting a private law practice, Joan transitioned from a 20-year career in government where she held senior executive positions at the federal, state and local levels in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Joan has extensive experience with water quality and water law and policy with a western focus. Joan served as Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Water Quality Division from 2005 to 2009, administering Arizona's water quality programs—the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Aquifer Protection Permit Program, as well as the state’s Pesticide Contamination Prevention Program.  At that time, she was a member of the Western States Water Council and chair of its Water Quality Committee. Joan resides in Boulder, Colorado. First term, expires 2/21. Registered Democrat.

      Paul Frohardt served as Administrator of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission from 1987 to 2013, advising the Commission on the development of numerous water quality regulations.  For several of those years he was as one of three Colorado representatives on the Western States Water Council.  He also served as Administrator of the Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board, and as Director of the Office of Environmental Integration and Sustainability at CDPHE.  Paul is the author of the “Citizen’s Guide to Colorado Water Quality Protection”, published by the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.  Prior to working for the State, he was a partner at the law firm of Holland & Hart, specializing in environmental law and water rights.  He is now retired.  Paul has a BA from Harvard College, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School.  First term, expires 2/22.  Registered Unaffiliated.

      Michael Gooseff is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, with joint appointments in the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) and the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering.  He conducts research on stream-groundwater interactions, contaminant fate and transport in surface water systems, and ecosystem processes. His research program includes projects in Colorado, Florida, the Alaskan Arctic, and is the lead Principal Investigator for the McMudro Long Term Ecological Research project in Antarctica. He currently teaches classes in hydrology, open channel hydraulics, and surface water quality modeling. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in collaboration with students and colleagues. Dr. Gooseff has three degrees in Civil Engineering: Bachelors of Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech, and Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Second term, expires 2/23. Registered Unaffiliated.

      Kevin Greer is a water and wastewater engineer with over 16 years experience working on projects throughout Colorado and the Country. He currently works as a consulting engineer for HDR Engineering, Inc. His expertise is primarily in wastewater treatment system design, but includes significant experience with wastewater conveyance, water treatment, and water distribution. He has dual bachelor of science degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Environmental and Civil Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Colorado. Kevin is also a co-founder and co-owner of Baere Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. Second term, expires 2/22. Registered Unaffiliated.

      Mr. Rogers has over 18 years of experience in land planning and development issues. He has worked on a wide variety of projects in various planning disciplines (regional, transportation, development review, environmental quality, sustainability, redevelopment, and strategic planning). Prior to being the Community Development Director for Commerce City, he was the Deputy Community Development Director and the Urban Renewal Director for the Town of Parker.  Mr. Rogers’s progressive job experience includes employment outside of Colorado in a public and private capacity for communities between 100,000 to 1.1 million people. First term, expires 2/24. Registered Unaffiliated.

      April Long is a professional engineer with 17 years of experience in water resources management.  For the past 11 years she has been the Stormwater Manager and Clean River Program Manager for the City of Aspen, focusing on water quality and river health improvements for the Roaring Fork River, a 303d listed stream.  Her work ranges from writing policy, regulations, and technical design guidelines to master planning, design and construction of award-winning capital projects that use creative and natural approaches for removing pollutants from stormwater runoff.  April is also the Executive Director of the Ruedi Water and Power Authority, a quasi-governmental organization that works to preserve and protect the water resources of the Roaring Fork Valley.  She is an alumnus of the Colorado Water Leaders program and is the legislative appointee to the Colorado River Basin Roundtable.  April grew up in Alabama and has a degree in Biosystems Engineering from Auburn University.  She lives in the Roaring Fork Valley and enjoys exploring western lands and waters with her family by foot, bike, or raft. First term, expires 2/22.  Registered Democrat.

      John Ott lives and works on the James Ranch north of Durango, CO. He is on the executive committee of the Citizens Advisory Group for the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund site in Silverton, Colorado where he represents the domestic water and agriculture interests of the community. He also sits on the South West Basin Roundtable for the Colorado Water Conservation Board. John has a B.S. in Geology from Fort Lewis college and had an interesting career of precious and base metals exploration in most of the Rocky Mountain west, British Columbia and Alaska before settling down to family life on the James Ranch in Durango, CO where he and his wife, Julie, raised their three sons. John was the General Manager of the Animas Water Co. north of Durango, CO for 11years and holds a Small Systems license and a Class II distribution license as a Certified Water Professional. He served on the board of the Animas Consolidated Ditch Co. and was the board president for 13 years. John is an alumnus of the Colorado Water Leaders program. He grew up in a water critical area near Mancos, CO, where he and his six siblings learned early about water quality and conservation while his family lived off a hand dug well. First term, expires 2/23. Registered Unaffiliated.

      Troy Waters owns and operates a row crop farm outside Fruita, Colorado. He graduated from Fruita Monument High School and received a degree in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Mechanics from Utah Valley University. As a fourth-generation farmer in the Fruita area, he has over 35 years of farming experience.  Mindful of the imperative role water has in the West, Troy has worked with NRCS in water salinity projects on his farm as well as with Colorado State University Fruita Research Station on other agricultural projects. He taught agricultural machinery classes at Western Colorado Community College. Troy also served for 15 years on the Fruita Consumers Cooperative board as board Secretary/Treasurer. Currently, he is a board member of the Grand Valley Waters Users Association and serves on the Mesa County Agricultural Advisory Panel. First term, expires 2/21. Registered Unaffiliated.

      Mike Weber is an employee of Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District (Lower Ark) and works on a variety of projects to benefit water users in the Arkansas River Basin between Pueblo Reservoir and the Colorado-Kansas Stateline. He has a focus on water quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) and their effect on the river and downstream water rights users while trying to find the nexus between water quality and water quantity. His interest in water quality focuses on bringing the impaired waters into compliance through nonpoint source applications while maintaining water rights through the Colorado Kansas Compact. Mike also assists in the operation of the Super Ditch’s Catlin Lease-Fallow Pilot Project and Interruptible Water Supply Agreement, Lower Ark’s Rule 10 irrigation improvement plans, Lower Ark’s implementation of a soil health program, watershed edge of field monitoring network, and various other water rights projects. Mike obtained a degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University and has focused on water resources engineering since then. Mike serves on the Arkansas Basin Roundtable as the consumptive use vice chair and on the Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control, and Greenway District Board. First term, expires 2/23. Registered Unaffiliated.

      General Resources and Helpful Information

      State Water Agencies and External Water Quality Resources

      State Water Agencies and External Water Quality Resources

      • Determine who to contact with water-related issues

      General Resources and Helpful Information

      Colorado vs. Federal Water Acts

      • The major elements of the federal Clean Water Act and the Colorado Water Quality Control Act are very similar.
        • Each is based on a discharge permit program for "point source" discharges of pollutants, requiring that discharges meet both federally established, technology-based effluent limitations and state-adopted water quality standards.
        • The permit program is enforced through potential civil and criminal penalties.
        • The Colorado act says the state "shall maintain a program which does not conflict with the provisions of the federal act."
           
      • Areas in which the Colorado act differs from the federal act include:
        • The federal act regulates only surface water quality, while in Colorado "waters of the state" is defined to include groundwater.
        • The Colorado act includes a number of special provisions (particularly in Section 25-8-104) to ensure water quality control efforts in Colorado don’t interfere with Colorado's established water rights system.
        • The Colorado act includes a requirement for "site approval" of new or expanded domestic wastewater treatment plants, which doesn’t appear in the federal act.
           
      • Under the Colorado act, the state may adopt "control regulations" for a fairly broad set of water quality protection purposes, subject to specific limitations on adopting control regulations for agricultural nonpoint sources.
         
      • The Colorado act includes a program addressing potential groundwater quality impacts from agricultural chemicals, administered largely by the commissioner of agriculture, which has no parallel in the federal act.
         
      • Please note that the Colorado Water Quality Control Act doesn’t address drinking water quality management issues that are addressed by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
         
      • Until 2006, Colorado's drinking water program was implemented under the general public health protection authority of the Colorado Board of Health.
        • In 2006, the Legislature transferred rulemaking authority to us from the Board of Health.