314 CMR 4: The Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards

These regulations implement provisions of the federal Clean Water Act, which protects the nation's waters. The Surface Water Quality Standards designate the most sensitive uses of Massachusetts waters and provide criteria for evaluating water quality to support those uses.

Contact for 314 CMR 4: The Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards

314 CMR 4.00 Contact Information

Table of Contents

Current Regulations

These regulations, 314 CMR 4.00, became effective as of December 6, 2013.

This is an unofficial version of Commonwealth regulations and is posted here for the convenience of the public. It is not an official statement of the regulations.

Proposed Amendments & Public Comment

The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), under its authority pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 21, §27, is proposing amendments to 314 CMR 4.00, Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards (SWQS). The proposed amendments update toxic pollutant criteria for the protection of aquatic life and human health in accordance with recommendations published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The proposed amendments also designate additional cold water streams, update and clarify certain site-specific criteria, and make the basin tables more clear and consistent.

These revisions are outlined in the summary document: 314 CMR 4.00 Summary & Notice to Reviewers.

The Notice of Public Hearing and a presentation on the proposed revisions are also available. The notice contains information on the two public hearings in October 2019, including procedures for submitting public comments and the duration of the public comment period (October 4 – November 8, 2019).

Versions of the proposed revisions to 314 CMR 4.00 are here - Proposed revisions: clean version & redline; Revised tables & figures: clean version & redline.

Software to derive freshwater aluminum and copper criteria, as cited in Table 29 of the proposed revisions: Aluminum Criteria Calculator, v 2 and Copper Biotic Ligand Model, v 2.2.3.

Fact sheets that summarize the major proposed revisions and the regulatory implications are available here: Additional Cold Water Stream Designation; Aluminum Freshwater Criteria Update; Antidegradation & Anti-Backsliding Implementation; Copper Freshwater Criteria Update; Recreational Bacteria Criteria Update; Revision of Figures and Tables 1-27; Site Specific Criteria Table 28 Update; and New Table 29: Generally Applicable Criteria.

Contact for 314 CMR 4: The Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards