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PDFWAC 173-201A-300


(1) The antidegradation policy is guided by chapter 90.48 RCW, Water Pollution Control Act, chapter 90.54 RCW, Water Resources Act of 1971, and 40 C.F.R. 131.12.
(2) The purpose of the antidegradation policy is to:
(a) Restore and maintain the highest possible quality of the surface waters of Washington;
(b) Describe situations under which water quality may be lowered from its current condition;
(c) Apply to human activities that are likely to have an impact on the water quality of a surface water;
(d) Ensure that all human activities that are likely to contribute to a lowering of water quality, at a minimum, apply all known, available, and reasonable methods of prevention, control, and treatment (AKART); and
(e) Apply three levels of protection for surface waters of the state, as generally described below:
(i) Tier I is used to ensure existing and designated uses are maintained and protected and applies to all waters and all sources of pollution.
(ii) Tier II is used to ensure that waters of a higher quality than the criteria assigned in this chapter are not degraded unless such lowering of water quality is necessary and in the overriding public interest. Tier II applies only to a specific list of polluting activities.
(iii) Tier III is used to prevent the degradation of waters formally listed in this chapter as "outstanding resource waters," and applies to all sources of pollution.
(3) Habitat restoration. Both temporary harm and permanent loss of existing uses may be allowed by the department where determined necessary to secure greater ecological benefits through major habitat restoration projects designed to return the natural physical structure and associated uses to a water body where the structure has been altered through human action.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.48 and 90.54 RCW. WSR 03-14-129 (Order 02-14), ยง 173-201A-300, filed 7/1/03, effective 8/1/03.]
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