If you have any questions in regards to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices so that we may explain the amendments to the provisions of the Code in more detail. Our address is:
Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.
We welcome your questions and comments.
Juan Carlos Gómez Escarce
María L. González Hernández
Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni
Public Hearings on Proposed Amendments to the Water Quality Standards Regulations
On December 22, 2015, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB) will hold public hearings on proposed amendments to the Water Quality Standards Regulation (WQSR) of August 2014. According to EQB, the proposed amendments will modify several water quality standards based on recent scientific information, correct typographical and translation errors, and clarify various existing rules. The amendments incorporate new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recreational water and nutrients crieria for lakes. The amendments also include the following modifications, among others:
1) Rule 1301 is modified to delete the term Total Coliforms, include the terms Total Ammonia Nitrogen and Total Nitrogen, and change the Enterococci definition;
2) Rule 1303 is modified to establish that all waters must attain and maintain a level of water quality that provides for the attainment and maintenance of the water quality standards of downstream waters;
3) Rule 1303.1 is modified to include a water quality standard for Other Pathogenic Organisms;
4) Rule 1303.1(I) is modified to relocate the water quality standards for Nitrogen, NO3, NO2, NH3 applicable to waters classified as SB and SC to Rule 1303.2, delete the water quality standard for Nitrates + Nitrites (as N), applicable to SD waters, relocate the water quality standard for Nitrates + Nitrites (as N) applicable to waters classified as SG waters to Rule 1303.2, and to relocate the water quality standard Total Nitrogen, applicable to waters classified as SD to Rule 1303.2;
5) Rules 1303.2 (B)(2) and 1303.2 (C)(2) applicable to Class SB and SC waters respectively, are modified to amend the water quality standard for Coliform and Enterococci and to include the water quality standard for Total Nitrogen;
6) Rule 1303.2 (D)(2) is modified to amend the water quality standard for Coliforms, amend and relocate the water quality standard for Total Phosphorous, clarify and amend the water quality standard of Total Ammonia as Total Ammonia Nitrogen, include and amend the water quality standard of Total Nitrogen, add a water quality standard for Enterococci, and amend and relocate the water quality standard for Other Pathogenic Organisms to Rule 1303.1; and
7) Rule 1303.2(F)(2) is modified to clarify and include the water quality standard of Nitrates + Nitrites (as N) as Nitrate-Nitrite (as N), and to include the water quality standard of Nitrite (as N).
In addition, the amendments propose that for waters classified as SB, SC and SD, the Enterococci density, in terms of geometric mean, shall not exceed 35 colonies/100 mL in any 90-day interval, and the 90th Percentile of the samples taken shall not exceed 130 colonies/100mL. For waters classified as SB and SC, the Total Nitrogen shall not exceed 5,000ug/L. In Class SD waters, the Total Ammonia Nitrogen shall not exceed the concentration in mg/L calculated using a new equation.
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©2016 Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. This Watch has been prepared by Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information does not create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers. Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. and its members assume no responsibility to inform you of additional changes in law or any other legal issues related to the matters discussed in this publication.
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