Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria For Ammonia-Freshwater 2013, 52192-52194 [2013-20307]

Download as PDF 52192 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 163 / Thursday, August 22, 2013 / Notices $528,379, calculated from the prior collection approved by OMB. John Moses, Director, Collection Strategies Division. [FR Doc. 2013–20458 Filed 8–21–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OW–2009–0921; FRL–9810–4] Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria For Ammonia— Freshwater 2013 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of availability of final criteria. AGENCY: Pursuant to section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of final national recommended ambient water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life from effects of ammonia in freshwater (EPA 822–R–13–001). The final criteria incorporate the latest scientific knowledge on the toxicity of ammonia to freshwater aquatic life. On December 30, 2009, EPA published draft national recommended water quality criteria for ammonia and provided the public an opportunity to provide scientific views. Aquatic life criteria are developed based on EPA’s Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (1985), (EPA/R–85–100). EPA’s recommended section 304(a) water quality criteria provide guidance to States and authorized Tribes in adopting water quality standards for protecting aquatic life and human health. EPA’s recommended water quality criteria by themselves have no binding legal effect. These national recommended criteria for ammonia in freshwater are intended to protect aquatic life and do not address human health toxicity data. The water quality criteria for ammonia for the protection of saltwater organisms are not being updated at this time. EPA’s national recommended final acute ambient water quality criteria (AWQC) for protecting freshwater organisms from potential effects of ammonia is 17 mg/L total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) and the final chronic AWQC for ammonia is 1.9 mg/L TAN at pH 7.0 and temperature 20 °C. ADDRESSES: Scientific views received from the public on the draft ammonia criteria documents are available from the EPA Docket Center and are tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:07 Aug 21, 2013 Jkt 229001 identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OW–2009–0921. They may be accessed online at: • www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions. • Email: OW-Docket@epa.gov. • Mail: US Environmental Protection Agency; EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) Water Docket, MC 2822T; 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. • On Site: EPA Docket Center, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., EPA West, Room 3334, Washington, DC. This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566–1744, and the telephone number for the Office of Water is (202) 566–2426. For additional information about EPA’s public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at https:// www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Huff, Health and Ecological Criteria Division (4304T), U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; (202) 566–0787; huff.lisa@ epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. What are water quality criteria? Water quality criteria are either narrative descriptions of water quality or scientifically derived numeric values that protect aquatic life or human health from the deleterious effects of pollutants in ambient water. Section 304(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA to develop and publish and, from time to time, revise, criteria for protection of water quality and human health that accurately reflect the latest scientific knowledge. Water quality criteria developed under section 304(a) are based solely on data and scientific judgments on the relationship between pollutant concentrations and environmental and human health effects. Section 304(a) criteria do not reflect consideration of economic impacts or the technological feasibility of meeting pollutant concentrations in ambient water. Section 304(a) criteria provide guidance to States and authorized Tribes in adopting water quality standards that ultimately provide a basis for assessing water body health and controlling discharges or releases of pollutants. Under the CWA and its implementing regulations, States and authorized Tribes are to adopt water quality criteria to protect designated uses (e.g., public water supply, aquatic life, recreational use, or industrial use). PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 EPA’s recommended water quality criteria do not substitute for the CWA or regulations, nor are they regulations themselves. Thus, EPA’s recommended criteria do not impose legally binding requirements. States and authorized Tribes have the discretion to adopt, where appropriate, other scientifically defensible water quality criteria that differ from these recommendations. II. What is ammonia and why is EPA concerned about it? Ammonia is a constituent of nitrogen pollution. Unlike other forms of nitrogen, which can cause eutrophication of a water body at elevated concentrations, the primary concern with ammonia is its direct toxic effects on aquatic life, which are exacerbated by elevated pH and temperature. Ammonia is considered one of the most important pollutants in the aquatic environment not only because of its highly toxic nature and occurrence in surface water systems, but also because many effluents have to be treated in order to keep the concentrations of ammonia in surface waters from being unacceptably high. Ammonia can enter the aquatic environment via direct means such as municipal effluent discharges and the excretion of nitrogenous wastes from animals, and indirect means such as nitrogen fixation, air deposition, and runoff from agricultural lands. III. What are the 2013 ammonia criteria recommendations? EPA is today publishing final national recommended ambient water quality criteria for protecting freshwater aquatic life for ammonia. These final criteria updates are based on EPA’s Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (1985), (EPA/R–85–100). These Guidelines describe the Agency’s current approach for deriving national recommended water quality criteria to protect aquatic life. The latest toxicity data and other information on the effects of ammonia on freshwater aquatic life were obtained from reliable sources and subjected to both internal and external scientific peer review. The national recommended water quality criteria for ammonia in saltwater are not being updated at this time. The available data for ammonia, evaluated in accordance with EPA’s Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (1985), indicate that freshwater aquatic animals would have E:\FR\FM\22AUN1.SGM 22AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 163 / Thursday, August 22, 2013 / Notices tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES an appropriate level of protection if the following are attained: Freshwater: Freshwater aquatic organisms and their uses should not be affected unacceptably if— 1. The one-hour average concentration of total ammonia nitrogen (in mg TAN/ L) does not exceed, more than once every three years on the average, the criterion maximum concentration (i.e., the ‘‘CMC,’’ or ‘‘acute criterion’’). 2A. The thirty-day average concentration of total ammonia nitrogen (in mg TAN/L) does not exceed, more than once every three years on the average, the criterion continuous concentration (i.e., the ‘‘CCC,’’ or ‘‘chronic criterion’’). 2B. In addition, the highest four-day average within the 30-day period should not exceed 2.5 times the CCC, more than once every three years on the average. The acute and chronic criteria concentrations are expressed as functions of temperature and pH, such that values differ across sites, and differ over time within a site. The criteria document describes the relationship between ammonia and these water quality factors and provides tables showing how the criteria value changes with varying pH and temperatures. As temperature decreases, freshwater invertebrates, but not fish, become less sensitive to ammonia, and below a particular temperature threshold (i.e., 15.7 °C for the CMC and 7 °C for the CCC), fish become more sensitive than invertebrates. Acute Criteria: At pH 7, the CMC ranges from 7.3 mg TAN/L at 30 °C to 24 mg TAN/L at 0 °C. Chronic Criteria: At pH 7, the CCC ranges from 0.99 mg TAN/L at 30 °C to 4.4 mg TAN/L at 0 °C. IV. What new data have been included in the 2013 ammonia criteria recommendations? Since the publication of the 1999 Update of Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Ammonia (EPA–822–R–99– 014), numerous new scientific studies were published indicating that freshwater mussels are more sensitive to ammonia than the organisms represented in the 1999 criteria dataset, and that snails, another freshwater mollusk group, are also sensitive to ammonia. EPA evaluated the new toxicity data per EPA’s 1985 Guidelines for deriving aquatic life criteria (Stephan et al., 1985) and incorporated the acceptable data in calculating the final criteria for ammonia. The final recommended acute and chronic criteria for ammonia presented in this document are protective of the aquatic community, including freshwater mollusks. V. What is the relationship between the ammonia criteria recommendations and state or tribal water quality criteria? Water quality standards consist of three principal elements: Designated uses, water quality criteria to protect those uses, and antidegradation requirements, providing for protection of existing water uses and limitations on degradation of high quality waters. As part of the water quality standards triennial review process defined in Section 303(c)(1) of the CWA, the States and authorized Tribes are responsible for developing, maintaining and revising water quality standards. Section 303(c)(1) requires States and authorized Tribes to review and modify, if appropriate, their water quality standards at least once every three years. States and authorized Tribes must 2013 FINAL ALC CRITERIA FOR adopt water quality criteria into their AMMONIA water quality standards that protect designated uses. States may develop (Magnitude, Frequency, and Duration) their criteria based on EPA’s recommended section 304(a) water (mg TAN/L) quality criteria or other scientifically pH 7.0, T=20 °C defensible methods. A state’s criteria must contain sufficient parameters or Acute (1-hour average) .................. 17 Chronic (30-day rolling average) .... *1.9 constituents to protect the designated uses. Consistent with 40 CFR 131.21, * Not to exceed 2.5 times the CCC as a 4- new or revised water quality criteria day average within the 30-days, i.e. 4.8 mg TAN/L at pH 7 and 20 °C more than once in 3 adopted into law by States and authorized Tribes on or after May 30, years on average. Criteria frequency: Not to be exceeded more 2000 are in effect for CWA purposes than once in 3 years on average. only after EPA approval. States and authorized Tribes may also Note: These criteria values are appropriate develop site-specific criteria for at the standard normalized pH and temperature of pH 7.0, a temperature of 20 °C; particular waterbodies as appropriate, following EPA procedures described in ammonia criteria are a function pH and temperature. the Guidelines for Deriving Numerical VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:07 Aug 21, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52193 Aquatic Site-Specific Water Quality Criteria by Modifying National Criteria (USEPA, 1984f). A site-specific criterion is intended to come closer than the national criterion to providing the intended level of protection to the aquatic life at that particular site, usually by taking into account the biological and/or chemical conditions (i.e., the species composition and/or water quality characteristics) at that site. If data in the national criterion document and/or from other sources indicated that the site’s resident species range of sensitivity is different from that for the species in the national criterion document, States and authorized Tribes can develop site-specific criteria following the Revised Deletion Process for the Site-Specific Recalculation Procedure for Aquatic Life Criteria (EPA 823–R–13–001). For example, if freshwater mussel species are not resident at a site, the Revised Deletion Process for the Site-Specific Recalculation Procedure for Aquatic Life Criteria might be used to recalculate the criteria without these species. VI. Where can I find more information about water quality criteria and water quality standards? The EPA has developed supporting documents to aid states considering adoption of the 2013 recommended ammonia criteria. Flexibilities for States Applying EPA’s Ammonia Criteria Recommendations (EPA 800–F–13–001) provides an overview of a number of flexibilities available for state consideration, including the Revised Deletion Process for the Site-Specific Recalculation Procedure for Aquatic Life Criteria mentioned above, variances, revisions to designated uses, dilution allowances, and compliance schedules. The document describes how each of these flexibilities fits within a state’s water quality standards adoption and implementation process. For more information about water quality criteria and water quality standards refer to the following: Water Quality Standards Handbook (EPA 823– B94–005a); Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM), (63FR36742); Water Quality Criteria and Standards Plan—Priorities for the Future (EPA 822–R–98–003); Guidelines and Methodologies Used in the Preparation of Health Effects Assessment Chapters of the Consent Decree Water Criteria Documents (45FR79347); Methodology for Deriving Ambient Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health (2000), EPA–822–B–00–004); Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of E:\FR\FM\22AUN1.SGM 22AUN1 52194 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 163 / Thursday, August 22, 2013 / Notices Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (EPA 822/R–85–100); National Strategy for the Development of Regional Nutrient Criteria (EPA 822–R–98–002); and EPA Review and Approval of State and Tribal Water Quality Standards (65FR24641). You can find these publications through EPA’s National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP, previously NCEPI) or on the Office of Science and Technology’s Home-page (https://www.epa.gov/waterscience). Dated: April 30, 2013. Nancy K. Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Water. [FR Doc. 2013–20307 Filed 8–21–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). ACTION: Notice and request for comment. AGENCY: The FDIC, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the renewal of existing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). Currently, the FDIC is soliciting comment on renewal of the information collections described below. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 21, 2013. ADDRESSES: Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods: • https://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/ laws/federal/notices.html. • Email: comments@fdic.gov. Include the name of the collection in the subject line of the message. • Mail: Gary A. Kuiper (202.898.3877), Counsel, Room NYA– 5046, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429. • Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:07 Aug 21, 2013 Jkt 229001 to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gary A. Kuiper, at the FDIC address above. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proposal to renew the following currently-approved collections of information: 1. Title: Interagency Guidance on Asset Securitization. OMB Number: 3064–0137. Form Number: None. Frequency of Response: On occasion. Affected Public: Insured State Nonmember Banks. Estimated Number of Respondents: 22. Estimated Time per Response: 7.5 hours. Total estimated annual burden: 164 hours. General Description of Collection: The Interagency Guidance on Asset Securitization Activities informs bankers and examiners of safe and sound practices regarding asset securitization. The information collections contained in the Interagency Guidance are needed by institutions to manage their asset securitization activities in a safe and sound manner. Bank managements use this information as the basis for the safe and sound operation of their asset securitization activities and to ensure that they minimize operational risk in these activities. 2. OMB Number: 3064–0148. Form Number: None. Frequency of Response: Annual. Affected Public: Insured State Nonmember Banks. Estimated Number of Respondents: 6 Estimated Time per Response: 25 hours. Total estimated annual burden: 150 hours. General Description of Collection: The Interagency Statement on Sound Practices Concerning Complex Structured Finance Transactions describes the types of internal controls and risk management procedures that the Agencies believe are particularly effective in assisting financial institutions to identify and address the reputational, legal, and other risks associated with complex structured finance transactions. 3. Title: Reverse Mortgage Products Guidance. OMB Number: 3064–0176. Form Number: None. Frequency of Response: Annual. Affected Public: Insured State Nonmember Banks. PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Estimated Number of Respondents: 48. Estimated Time per Response: 8 hours. Total estimated annual burden: 384 hours. General Description of Collection: The guidance sets forth standards intended to ensure that insured depository institutions effectively assess and manage the compliance and reputation risks associated with reverse mortgage products. Request for Comment Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC’s functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record. Dated at Washington, DC, this 19th day of August 2013. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 2013–20486 Filed 8–21–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714–01–P FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board’s Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)). The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than September 6, 2013. E:\FR\FM\22AUN1.SGM 22AUN1

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[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 163 (Thursday, August 22, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52192-52194]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20307]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0921; FRL-9810-4]


Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria For Ammonia--
Freshwater 2013

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability of final criteria.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of 
final national recommended ambient water quality criteria for the 
protection of aquatic life from effects of ammonia in freshwater (EPA 
822-R-13-001). The final criteria incorporate the latest scientific 
knowledge on the toxicity of ammonia to freshwater aquatic life. On 
December 30, 2009, EPA published draft national recommended water 
quality criteria for ammonia and provided the public an opportunity to 
provide scientific views. Aquatic life criteria are developed based on 
EPA's Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria 
for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (1985), (EPA/R-
85-100). EPA's recommended section 304(a) water quality criteria 
provide guidance to States and authorized Tribes in adopting water 
quality standards for protecting aquatic life and human health. EPA's 
recommended water quality criteria by themselves have no binding legal 
effect. These national recommended criteria for ammonia in freshwater 
are intended to protect aquatic life and do not address human health 
toxicity data. The water quality criteria for ammonia for the 
protection of saltwater organisms are not being updated at this time. 
EPA's national recommended final acute ambient water quality criteria 
(AWQC) for protecting freshwater organisms from potential effects of 
ammonia is 17 mg/L total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) and the final chronic 
AWQC for ammonia is 1.9 mg/L TAN at pH 7.0 and temperature 20 [deg]C.

ADDRESSES: Scientific views received from the public on the draft 
ammonia criteria documents are available from the EPA Docket Center and 
are identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0921. They may be 
accessed online at:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions.
     Email: OW-Docket@epa.gov.
     Mail: US Environmental Protection Agency; EPA Docket 
Center (EPA/DC) Water Docket, MC 2822T; 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20460.
     On Site: EPA Docket Center, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., 
EPA West, Room 3334, Washington, DC. This Docket Facility is open from 
8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday, excluding legal 
holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 
566-1744, and the telephone number for the Office of Water is (202) 
566-2426.
    For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA 
Docket Center homepage at https://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Huff, Health and Ecological 
Criteria Division (4304T), U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; (202) 566-0787; huff.lisa@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. What are water quality criteria?

    Water quality criteria are either narrative descriptions of water 
quality or scientifically derived numeric values that protect aquatic 
life or human health from the deleterious effects of pollutants in 
ambient water.
    Section 304(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA to 
develop and publish and, from time to time, revise, criteria for 
protection of water quality and human health that accurately reflect 
the latest scientific knowledge. Water quality criteria developed under 
section 304(a) are based solely on data and scientific judgments on the 
relationship between pollutant concentrations and environmental and 
human health effects. Section 304(a) criteria do not reflect 
consideration of economic impacts or the technological feasibility of 
meeting pollutant concentrations in ambient water.
    Section 304(a) criteria provide guidance to States and authorized 
Tribes in adopting water quality standards that ultimately provide a 
basis for assessing water body health and controlling discharges or 
releases of pollutants. Under the CWA and its implementing regulations, 
States and authorized Tribes are to adopt water quality criteria to 
protect designated uses (e.g., public water supply, aquatic life, 
recreational use, or industrial use). EPA's recommended water quality 
criteria do not substitute for the CWA or regulations, nor are they 
regulations themselves. Thus, EPA's recommended criteria do not impose 
legally binding requirements. States and authorized Tribes have the 
discretion to adopt, where appropriate, other scientifically defensible 
water quality criteria that differ from these recommendations.

II. What is ammonia and why is EPA concerned about it?

    Ammonia is a constituent of nitrogen pollution. Unlike other forms 
of nitrogen, which can cause eutrophication of a water body at elevated 
concentrations, the primary concern with ammonia is its direct toxic 
effects on aquatic life, which are exacerbated by elevated pH and 
temperature. Ammonia is considered one of the most important pollutants 
in the aquatic environment not only because of its highly toxic nature 
and occurrence in surface water systems, but also because many 
effluents have to be treated in order to keep the concentrations of 
ammonia in surface waters from being unacceptably high. Ammonia can 
enter the aquatic environment via direct means such as municipal 
effluent discharges and the excretion of nitrogenous wastes from 
animals, and indirect means such as nitrogen fixation, air deposition, 
and runoff from agricultural lands.

III. What are the 2013 ammonia criteria recommendations?

    EPA is today publishing final national recommended ambient water 
quality criteria for protecting freshwater aquatic life for ammonia. 
These final criteria updates are based on EPA's Guidelines for Deriving 
Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic 
Organisms and Their Uses (1985), (EPA/R-85-100). These Guidelines 
describe the Agency's current approach for deriving national 
recommended water quality criteria to protect aquatic life. The latest 
toxicity data and other information on the effects of ammonia on 
freshwater aquatic life were obtained from reliable sources and 
subjected to both internal and external scientific peer review. The 
national recommended water quality criteria for ammonia in saltwater 
are not being updated at this time.
    The available data for ammonia, evaluated in accordance with EPA's 
Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for 
the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (1985), indicate 
that freshwater aquatic animals would have

[[Page 52193]]

an appropriate level of protection if the following are attained:
    Freshwater: Freshwater aquatic organisms and their uses should not 
be affected unacceptably if--
    1. The one-hour average concentration of total ammonia nitrogen (in 
mg TAN/L) does not exceed, more than once every three years on the 
average, the criterion maximum concentration (i.e., the ``CMC,'' or 
``acute criterion'').
    2A. The thirty-day average concentration of total ammonia nitrogen 
(in mg TAN/L) does not exceed, more than once every three years on the 
average, the criterion continuous concentration (i.e., the ``CCC,'' or 
``chronic criterion'').
    2B. In addition, the highest four-day average within the 30-day 
period should not exceed 2.5 times the CCC, more than once every three 
years on the average.
    The acute and chronic criteria concentrations are expressed as 
functions of temperature and pH, such that values differ across sites, 
and differ over time within a site. The criteria document describes the 
relationship between ammonia and these water quality factors and 
provides tables showing how the criteria value changes with varying pH 
and temperatures. As temperature decreases, freshwater invertebrates, 
but not fish, become less sensitive to ammonia, and below a particular 
temperature threshold (i.e., 15.7 [deg]C for the CMC and 7 [deg]C for 
the CCC), fish become more sensitive than invertebrates.
    Acute Criteria: At pH 7, the CMC ranges from 7.3 mg TAN/L at 30 
[deg]C to 24 mg TAN/L at 0 [deg]C.
    Chronic Criteria: At pH 7, the CCC ranges from 0.99 mg TAN/L at 30 
[deg]C to 4.4 mg TAN/L at 0 [deg]C.

                   2013 Final ALC Criteria for Ammonia
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  (Magnitude, Frequency, and Duration)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               (mg TAN/L)
                           pH 7.0, T=20 [deg]C
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Acute (1-hour average)........................................      17
Chronic (30-day rolling average)..............................      *1.9
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Not to exceed 2.5 times the CCC as a 4-day average within the 30-days,
  i.e. 4.8 mg TAN/L at pH 7 and 20 [deg]C more than once in 3 years on
  average.
Criteria frequency: Not to be exceeded more than once in 3 years on
  average.


    Note:  These criteria values are appropriate at the standard 
normalized pH and temperature of pH 7.0, a temperature of 20 [deg]C; 
ammonia criteria are a function pH and temperature.

IV. What new data have been included in the 2013 ammonia criteria 
recommendations?

    Since the publication of the 1999 Update of Ambient Water Quality 
Criteria for Ammonia (EPA-822-R-99-014), numerous new scientific 
studies were published indicating that freshwater mussels are more 
sensitive to ammonia than the organisms represented in the 1999 
criteria dataset, and that snails, another freshwater mollusk group, 
are also sensitive to ammonia. EPA evaluated the new toxicity data per 
EPA's 1985 Guidelines for deriving aquatic life criteria (Stephan et 
al., 1985) and incorporated the acceptable data in calculating the 
final criteria for ammonia. The final recommended acute and chronic 
criteria for ammonia presented in this document are protective of the 
aquatic community, including freshwater mollusks.

V. What is the relationship between the ammonia criteria 
recommendations and state or tribal water quality criteria?

    Water quality standards consist of three principal elements: 
Designated uses, water quality criteria to protect those uses, and 
antidegradation requirements, providing for protection of existing 
water uses and limitations on degradation of high quality waters. As 
part of the water quality standards triennial review process defined in 
Section 303(c)(1) of the CWA, the States and authorized Tribes are 
responsible for developing, maintaining and revising water quality 
standards. Section 303(c)(1) requires States and authorized Tribes to 
review and modify, if appropriate, their water quality standards at 
least once every three years.
    States and authorized Tribes must adopt water quality criteria into 
their water quality standards that protect designated uses. States may 
develop their criteria based on EPA's recommended section 304(a) water 
quality criteria or other scientifically defensible methods. A state's 
criteria must contain sufficient parameters or constituents to protect 
the designated uses. Consistent with 40 CFR 131.21, new or revised 
water quality criteria adopted into law by States and authorized Tribes 
on or after May 30, 2000 are in effect for CWA purposes only after EPA 
approval.
    States and authorized Tribes may also develop site-specific 
criteria for particular waterbodies as appropriate, following EPA 
procedures described in the Guidelines for Deriving Numerical Aquatic 
Site-Specific Water Quality Criteria by Modifying National Criteria 
(USEPA, 1984f). A site-specific criterion is intended to come closer 
than the national criterion to providing the intended level of 
protection to the aquatic life at that particular site, usually by 
taking into account the biological and/or chemical conditions (i.e., 
the species composition and/or water quality characteristics) at that 
site. If data in the national criterion document and/or from other 
sources indicated that the site's resident species range of sensitivity 
is different from that for the species in the national criterion 
document, States and authorized Tribes can develop site-specific 
criteria following the Revised Deletion Process for the Site-Specific 
Recalculation Procedure for Aquatic Life Criteria (EPA 823-R-13-001). 
For example, if freshwater mussel species are not resident at a site, 
the Revised Deletion Process for the Site-Specific Recalculation 
Procedure for Aquatic Life Criteria might be used to recalculate the 
criteria without these species.

VI. Where can I find more information about water quality criteria and 
water quality standards?

    The EPA has developed supporting documents to aid states 
considering adoption of the 2013 recommended ammonia criteria. 
Flexibilities for States Applying EPA's Ammonia Criteria 
Recommendations (EPA 800-F-13-001) provides an overview of a number of 
flexibilities available for state consideration, including the Revised 
Deletion Process for the Site-Specific Recalculation Procedure for 
Aquatic Life Criteria mentioned above, variances, revisions to 
designated uses, dilution allowances, and compliance schedules. The 
document describes how each of these flexibilities fits within a 
state's water quality standards adoption and implementation process.
    For more information about water quality criteria and water quality 
standards refer to the following: Water Quality Standards Handbook (EPA 
823-B94-005a); Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM), 
(63FR36742); Water Quality Criteria and Standards Plan--Priorities for 
the Future (EPA 822-R-98-003); Guidelines and Methodologies Used in the 
Preparation of Health Effects Assessment Chapters of the Consent Decree 
Water Criteria Documents (45FR79347); Methodology for Deriving Ambient 
Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health (2000), EPA-
822-B-00-004); Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality 
Criteria for the Protection of

[[Page 52194]]

Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (EPA 822/R-85-100); National Strategy 
for the Development of Regional Nutrient Criteria (EPA 822-R-98-002); 
and EPA Review and Approval of State and Tribal Water Quality Standards 
(65FR24641).
    You can find these publications through EPA's National Service 
Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP, previously NCEPI) or on 
the Office of Science and Technology's Home-page (https://www.epa.gov/waterscience).

    Dated: April 30, 2013.
Nancy K. Stoner,
Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
[FR Doc. 2013-20307 Filed 8-21-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P