Amendment for selenium water quality standards approved by LRC’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee

Next stop:  Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment

At its April 9 meeting, the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee (ARRS) of the Legislative Research Commission reviewed regulation 401 KAR 10:031 Amended After Comment, including the Division of Water’s amendment proposing to modify the water quality criteria for selenium. The subcommittee approved the administrative regulation. The regulation is now referred to the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment (NREC) as the next step in the regulatory process.

As a jurisdictional committee, the NREC is empowered to make the same nonbinding determinations and to exercise the same authority as the ARRS. The NREC has 30 days from referral to consider the proposed amendment.  Upon approval by NREC, the Division of Water (DOW) must submit the regulation package to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency per the Clean Water Act and Code of Federal Regulations 40 Part 131.21 for approval.

All documents included in the original filing of the administrative regulation with the LRC are available at http://water.ky.gov/waterquality/Pages/WaterQualityStandards.aspx

On Feb. 5, 2013, in response to comments received during its triennial review of Kentucky’s water quality standards, DOW made notice of the agency’s proposal to update Kentucky’s water quality criteria for selenium to reflect the latest available science. The division presented the amendment to the ARRS on Feb. 11. At that public meeting, the division voluntarily elected to defer consideration of 401 KAR 10:031 Amended after Comment by the ARRS subcommittee until their next-scheduled meeting in order to provide additional time for interested parties to evaluate the proposed agency amendment and provide the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) with their written comments.

DOW issued a press release Feb. 12 describing the proposed changes to the selenium criteria, the division’s rationale for the proposal and the scientific analyses supporting the proposed new criteria. Stakeholder meetings were held Feb. 22 and 26 to obtain additional public comments. In order to more fully consider the comments made at these meetings, as well as the written comments submitted by stakeholders and other members of the public on the proposed selenium amendment, on March 8 DOW deferred the March ARRS hearing on the proposed selenium criteria  to the April 9 meeting.

On April 3, DOW again submitted to LRC for consideration at the April 9 ARRS meeting an agency amendment proposing changes to the water quality criteria for selenium. This submittal included the division’s rationale for the proposal, the scientific analyses supporting the proposed water quality criteria for selenium and the division’s Statement of Consideration of comments received during the public comment period regarding the proposed changes to the water quality criteria.

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