In accordance with Section 303(c)(1) of the Clean Water Act and New Mexico Administrative Code, states are required to hold public hearings at least once every three years to review, amend, and adopt water quality standards, as applicable. This is referred to as a “Triennial Review. Pursuant to Section 74-6-4(F) of the State’s Water Quality Act, the Water Quality Control Commission delegated the New Mexico Environment Department the responsibility for organizing and proposing amendments to the State’s surface water quality standards, codified under 20.6.4 NMAC. This matter has been docketed under WQCC 20-51(R).

NMED proposed several amendments as part of the Triennial Review which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Updating definitions ( NMAC)
  • Clarification of language under Review of Standards ( NMAC)
  • Clarification of language under Use Attainability Analysis ( NMAC)
  • Several designated use amendments
    • Existing Use Analysis for non-perennial waters within Los Alamos National Laboratory currently classified under NMAC
    • Existing Use Analysis for perennial classified waters with a secondary contact recreational use
  • Updates to the numeric aquatic life and human health criteria ( NMAC)
  • Updates to the numeric ammonia criteria ( NMAC)
Public Involvement PlanSWQB08.11.2020
Notice of Public Comment Period on NMED’s Proposed Amendments English and Spanish (Español)SWQB11.02.2020
Notice of Public Meeting English and Spanish (Español)SWQB11.02.2020
Public Comment Draft of NMED’s Proposed Amendments to 20.6.4 NMACSWQB11.02.2020
Informational Meeting Presentation Slides (PDF)SWQB11.12.2020
Informational Meetings as Recorded November 12, 2020 and November 16, 2020SWQB11.12.2020 and 11.16.2020
Extension of Public Comment Period NMED’s Proposed Amendments English and Spanish (Español)SWQB11.25.2020
Public Comments regarding proposed amendments to 20.6.4 NMAC, as submitted to NMED from:
 Buckman Direct DiversionCarpenter11.16.2020
Los Alamos National Laboratory-Triad National Security, LLC and U.S. Department of EnergyRose11.16.2020
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear SafetyArends11.16.2020
Environmental Defense FundSaunders12.09.2020
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6Wooster12.22.2020
Amigos Bravos, Audubon New Mexico, Defenders of Wildlife, Flower Hill Institute, Gila Resources Information Project, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, Molino de la Isla Organics, LLC, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, New Mexico Wild, Rio Grande Restoration, Rovers and Birds, Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter, Tewa Women United, Trout Unlimited, Upper Pecos Watershed Alliance, Western Environmental Law CenterConn et al01.06.2021
Environmental Defense FundSaunders01.06.2021
Los Alamos National Laboratory-Triad National Security, LLCVan Valkenburg01.06.2021
New Mexico Mining AssociationBowen01.06.2021
San Juan Water CommissionChavez01.06.2021
Chevron Mining, Inc.-Questa MineLove and Gensemer01.05.2021
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear SafetyArends01.06.2021
Petition and Hearing RequestSWQB08.19.2020
Order for Hearing and Appointment of Hearing OfficerWQCC10.19.2020
Public Hearing Notice English and Spanish (Español)WQCC01.29.2021
Amended PetitionSWQB03.12.2021
WQCC 20-51(R) Pleadings Log (Procedural Order and Filings with the Commission)VariousVarious
Statement of Reasons and DecisionWQCC03.09.2022
Corrected Statement of Reasons
(WQCC’s decision date remains 03.09.2022)
Integrated Rule 20.6.4 NMACWQCC04.23.2022
Submittal Letter to EPA
EPA’s Response and Technical Support Document (TSD)EPA01.20.2023
EPA Approval of Select Aquatic Life Use Criteria per USFWS ConsultationEPA04.27.2023

Contact us

Ph: 505-827-0187 Find a list of Surface Water Quality staff contacts here.

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