The federal Clean Water Act requires states to prepare a list of impaired surface waters every even numbered year. These waters do not support their assigned beneficial uses as listed in Title 117 – Nebraska Surface Water Quality Standards. From this list, referred to as the 303(d) List of Impaired Waters, states prepare Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) that include the pollution control goals and strategies necessary to improve the quality of these waters and remove the identified impairments. NDEE is also required to provide a surface water quality report every two years, known as the Section 305(b) Water Quality Report, which describes the status and trends of existing water quality for all waters of the state and provides information as to the extent to which designated uses are supported.
The Integrated Report
Combining the 303(d) List of Impaired Waters, and the 305(b) Water Quality Report
The Integrated Report is a combination of these two federally-required bi-annual reports: the Section 303(d) list of impaired waters and the Section 305(b) water quality report. EPA guidance recommended combining the two reports in order to better provide the general public with a comprehensive summary of surface water quality. The Integrated Report provides the general public information of the status of the State’s waters and also allows for future water quality management planning (future monitoring, TMDL development, watershed improvement implementation). Category 5 is the Section 303(d) list that is subject to EPA approval or disapproval.