Preserving water quality through effective use of the antidegradation policy
Edmonds, Katherine Nicole
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Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), states are required to develop water quality standards (WQS). The antidegradation policy is one part of the WQS that focuses on protecting high quality waters through a three-tier system. My thesis will focus on the most protective designations of the antidegradation policy (tier 3 or Outstanding Natural Resource Waters and tier 2.5 or Significant Natural Resource Waters). Through a nationwide analysis and categorization of individual state policies, I determine which states have effective policies. I also develop criteria that constitute an effective antidegradation policy. Ultimately I focus on the potential for the State of Georgia to develop an effective antidegradation policy by improving the tier 3 policy and developing a tier 2.5 policy.