Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0400-40-03-.02 - GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

(1) Tennessee water quality standards shall consist of the General Water Quality Criteria and the Antidegradation Statement found in Chapter 0400-40-03, and the Use Classifications for Surface Waters found in Chapter 0400-40-04.
(2) Waters have many uses which in the public interest are reasonable and necessary. Such uses include: sources of water supply for domestic and industrial purposes; propagation and maintenance of fish and other aquatic life; recreation in and on the waters including the safe consumption of fish and shellfish; livestock watering and irrigation; navigation; generation of power; propagation and maintenance of wildlife; and the enjoyment of scenic and aesthetic qualities of waters.
(3) The rigid application of uniform water quality is not desirable or reasonable because of the varying uses of such waters. The assimilative capacity of a stream for sewage and waste varies depending upon various factors and including the following: volume of flow, depth of channel, the presence of falls or rapids, rate of flow, temperature, natural characteristics, and the nature of the stream.
(4) In order to permit the reasonable and necessary uses of the waters of the state, existing pollution should be corrected as rapidly as practicable, and future pollution prevented through the level of treatment technology applicable to a specific source or that greater level of technology necessary to meet water quality standards; i.e., modeling and stream survey assessments, treatment plants or other control measures.
(5) Since all streams are classified for more than one use, the most stringent criteria will be applicable.
(6) Waters identified as wet weather conveyances according to the definition found in Rule 0400-40-03-.04, shall be protective of humans and wildlife that may come in contact with them and shall not adversely affect the quality of downstream waters. Applicable water quality standards will be maintained downstream of wet weather conveyances.
(7) Where general water quality criteria are applied on a regional, ecoregional, or subecoregional basis, these criteria will be considered to apply to a stream if eighty percent (80%) of its watershed or catchment is contained within the unit upon which the criterion is based.
(8) All fish and aquatic life metals criteria are expressed as total recoverable, except cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, silver, and zinc which are expressed as dissolved. Translators will be used to convert the dissolved fraction into a total recoverable permit limit. One of three approaches to metals translation will be used:
(1) translator is the same as the conversion factor,
(2) translator is based on relationships derived from STORET data,
(3) a site-specific translator is developed. Where available, a site-specific translator is preferred. For assessing whether criteria for cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, silver, and zinc are exceeded by ambient water quality conditions, the dissolved criteria will also be translated in order to allow direct comparison to the ambient data, if total recoverable. The Metals Translator: Guidance for Calculating a Total Recoverable Permit Limit From a Dissolved Criteria (EPA-823-B-96-007) may be referenced in applying this provision.
(9) Site-specific numeric criteria studies may be conducted on any appropriate fish and aquatic life criteria criterion.
(a) Site-specific criteria studies based on a Water Effects Ratio (WER) calculated from the documented toxicity of a parameter in the stream in which it will be introduced may supersede the adopted criteria at a site. The Division shall approve a site-specific criterion for metals developed by others provided that the WER methodology [Interim Guidance on Determination and Use of Water-effect Ratios for Metals (EPA-823-B-94-001)] or the Streamlined Water-effects Ratio Procedure for Discharges of Copper (EPA-822-R-01-001) is used, both the study plan and results are approved by the Department, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concurred with the final site specific criterion value(s).
(b) Any site specific criterion for other toxics based on methodologies other than the above-listed methodologies which recalculate specific criterion, such as the Resident Species Method or the Recalculation Method or the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) for copper, must be adopted as a revision to Tennessee water quality standards into this chapter, and following EPA approval, can be used for Clean Water Act purposes.

References on this subject include, but are not limited to: Technical Support Document for Water Quality-based Toxics Control (EPA - 505/2-90-001); Technical Guidance Manual for Performing Waste Load Allocations: Book VIII (EPA/600/6-85/002a/002b/002c); MinteqA2, An Equilibrium Metal Speciation Model (EPA/600/3-87/012); Water Quality Standards Handbook, Second Edition (EPA-823-B-93-002); Interim Guidance on Determination and Use of Water-effect Ratios for Metals (EPA-823-B-94-001).

(10) Interpretation and application of narrative criteria shall be based on available scientific literature and EPA guidance and regulations.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0400-40-03-.02
Original rule filed September 17, 2013; effective December 16, 2013. Rule originally numbered 1200-04-03. Amendments filed June 13, 2019; effective 9/11/2019.

Authority: T.C.A. ยงยง 4-5-201, et seq., and 69-3-101, et seq.

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