40 CFR § 125.122 - Determination of unreasonable degradation of the marine environment.

(a) The director shall determine whether a discharge will cause unreasonable degradation of the marine environment based on consideration of:

(1) The quantities, composition and potential for bioaccumulation or persistence of the pollutants to be discharged;

(2) The potential transport of such pollutants by biological, physical or chemical processes;

(3) The composition and vulnerability of the biological communities which may be exposed to such pollutants, including the presence of unique species or communities of species, the presence of species identified as endangered or threatened pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, or the presence of those species critical to the structure or function of the ecosystem, such as those important for the food chain;

(4) The importance of the receiving water area to the surrounding biological community, including the presence of spawning sites, nursery/forage areas, migratory pathways, or areas necessary for other functions or critical stages in the life cycle of an organism.

(5) The existence of special aquatic sites including, but not limited to marine sanctuaries and refuges, parks, national and historic monuments, national seashores, wilderness areas and coral reefs;

(6) The potential impacts on human health through direct and indirect pathways;

(7) Existing or potential recreational and commercial fishing, including finfishing and shellfishing;

(8) Any applicable requirements of an approved Coastal Zone Management plan;

(9) Such other factors relating to the effects of the discharge as may be appropriate;

(10) Marine water quality criteria developed pursuant to section 304(a)(1).

(b) Discharges in compliance with section 301(g), 301(h), or 316(a) variance requirements or State water quality standards shall be presumed not to cause unreasonable degradation of the marine environment, for any specific pollutants or conditions specified in the variance or the standard.