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Competency Area 6: Watershed hydrology AEM

PO 69. Be able to identify impaired water bodies and the causes listed for the impairment, and understand the implications for agriculture.

As part of the Federal Clean Water Act Section 303(d), EPA requires state environmental agencies to periodically assess and report on the quality of waters in their state, and to identify and develop a list of impaired waters (water not potentially able to meet quality standards of TMDL criteria). In New York, the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS-DEC) carries out this task, and has developed the New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL waters. The NYS-DEC has developed and recently updated this list with input from the public, which was approved by the EPA in September 2008. See The list identifies the impaired water bodies in New York, lists the type of pollutant impairment and probable causes, and the most likely source of the impairment. The list also prioritizes the impaired water bodies which are in further need of TMDL review and development. Other states in the Northeast would also have similar lists for their states. Where agriculture is listed as the cause of the impairment, Federal and State agency programs working with agriculture will give priority in directing resources to participants (Soil and Water Conservation Districts and producers) in those watersheds.