State Shares Framework for New Surface Water Quality Protections

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is beginning to draft a set of regulations to protect surface water following the Trump administration’s rollback of the Clean Water Act.

The changes that took effect in June significantly narrow the list of waters that receive federal protection from pollution and contaminants, known as “waters of the U.S.” or the acronym “WOTUS.” And that leaves a big regulatory gap in Arizona, which currently has no surface water protection program.

Arizona Working to Define and Protect its Waterways Cut From Clean Water Act

Arizona does not currently have a comprehensive program to protect its surface water quality. The state is now faced with the task of creating one following a change to federal law.

The Trump administration unveiled its final rule in January redefining which waterways are regulated under the Clean Water Act, known as “Waters of the U.S.” Under this rule change, the vast majority of Arizona’s creeks and streams will not be protected.