§ 96.3. Water quality protection requirements.

 (a)  Existing and designated surface water uses shall be protected.

 (b)  Antidegradation requirements in § §  93.4a—93.4d and 105.1, 105.15, 105.17, 105.18a, 105.20a and 105.451 shall apply to surface waters.

 (c)  To protect existing and designated surface water uses, the water quality criteria described in Chapter 93 (relating to water quality standards), including the criteria in § §  93.7 and 93.8a(b) (relating to specific water quality criteria; and toxic substances) shall be achieved in all surface waters at least 99% of the time, unless otherwise specified in this title. The general water quality criteria in §  93.6 (relating to general water quality criteria) shall be achieved in surface waters at all times at design conditions.

 (d)  As an exception to subsection (c), the water quality criteria for total dissolved solids, nitrite-nitrate nitrogen, phenolics, chloride, sulfate and fluoride established for the protection of potable water supply shall be met at least 99% of the time at the point of all existing or planned surface potable water supply withdrawals unless otherwise specified in this title.

 (e)  When a water quality criterion described in Chapter 93, including the criteria in § §  93.7 and 93.8a(b), cannot be attained at least 99% of the time due to natural quality, as determined by the Department under §  93.7(d) based on water quality observations in that waterbody or at one or more reference stations of similar physical characteristics to the surface water, the natural quality that is achieved at least 99% of the time shall be the applicable water quality criterion for protection of fish and aquatic life.

 (f)  When the minimum flow of a stream segment is determined or estimated to be zero, applicable water quality criteria shall be achieved at least 99% of the time at the first downstream point where the stream is capable of supporting existing or designated uses.

 (g)  Functions and values of wetlands shall be protected pursuant to Chapters 93 and 105 (relating to water quality standards; and dam safety and waterway management).


   The provisions of this §  96.3 amended December 13, 2002, effective December 14, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6101. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (272251) to (272252).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  96.4 (relating to TMDLs and WQBELs).

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