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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
(787) 759-3166

jgomez@fgrlaw.com

María L. González Hernández
(787) 759-3173

mlgonzal@fgrlaw.com

 

Eduardo Negrón Navas

(787) 759-3106

enegron@fgrlaw.com

Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni

(787) 759-3208

preyes@fgrlaw.com

 

AMENDMENTS TO WATER QUALITY STANDARDS REGULATION

The Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB) will hold public hearings on proposed amendments to the Water Quality Standards Regulation on March 28, 2014. The Regulation establishes water quality standards (WQS) for all waters, as well as specific standards according to their use classifications. The standards impact NPDES Permit discharge limits, mixing zones and in some instances industrial discharge pretreatment limits imposed by the Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewer Authority.


The proposed amendments add new terms and definitions, and modify and clarify existing terms; however, the most important amendments are the proposal of regulating new substances with specific WQS according to water use classifications the modification of certain WQS for regulated substances, and the deletion of others.


EQB is proposing the following new WQS: Aluminum - 87 ug/L for Class SD waters Chlorine - 11 ug/L for Class SB and Class SC waters, and 7.5 ug/L for Class SD waters Carbaryl - 1.6 ug/L for Class SB and Class SC waters, and 2.1 ug/L for Class SD waters Total Nitrogen - 1,700 ug/L for rivers and creeks, and 10,000 ug/L for lakes and water reservoirs

 

EQB is proposing more stringent WQS for Chromium VI, Heptachlor Epoxyde, Phenol, Acrolein, Coliform, and Total Phosphorus as follows: Chromium VI - 50 ug/L for Class SB and Class SC waters, and 11 ug/L for Class SD waters Heptachlor Epoxyde - 0.00039 ug/L for Class SD and SC waters Phenol - 860,000 ug/L for Class SB and Class SC waters, and 10,000 ug/L for Class SD and Class SG waters Acrolein - 9 ug/L for Class SB, Class SC and Class SG waters, and 3 ug/L for Class SD waters Total Phosphorus - 160 ug/L for rivers and creeks, or 1,000 ug/L for lakes and water reservoirs

 

The proposed amendments delete the WQS for Nitrate+Nitrite for Class SD Waters.
EQB is also proposing a new classification of waters, Class SF for shellfish growing and harvesting areas. Class SF waters are to be designated by EQB through an administrative resolution to identify shellfish growing and harvesting areas within Class SB, Class SC and Class SD waters. A new Fecal Coliform WQS is proposed for Class SF waters - not more than 14 MPN/100 mL, and not more than ten percent (10%) of the sampling shall exceed 43 MPN/100 mL.


As a supporting document to the proposed amendments, EQB published an update to the Scientific and Technical Basis of Numeric Nutrient Criteria Development for Class SD, Rivers and Streams in Puerto Rico dated June 2013.

 

If you have any questions regarding this matter or would like to know more of our Firm’s experience in this area please call us. If you know anyone that would like to read the FGR Environmental Watch, please feel free to forward this article. Stay tuned for further updates of FGR ENVIRONMENTAL WATCH.

©2014 FIDDLER GONZÁLEZ & RODRÍGUEZ, P.S.C. Permission is granted to view, store, print, copy or distribute the content of this article for noncommercial or personal use, provided you do not alter it and you give us proper credit.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice or advertising. In addition, the above discussion has been provided in general terms and, therefore, should not be relied upon as legal advice applicable to a specific set of facts and circumstances. Before taking legal action, consult a lawyer you trust. Although we will try to be accurate, you cannot rely on its applicability to your specific problem without consulting your lawyer. Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. and the members of the Environmental Practice Group assume no responsibility to inform you of additional changes in law or any other legal issues related to matters addressed in this email of which we may become aware after the date hereof.

***IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any United States federal tax advice in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written by Fiddler González & Rodríguez, PSC to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding any penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. ***

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