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Free Watershed Academy webcast

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will present "Introduction to Water Quality Standards," the second in a series of webcasts on the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA is the cornerstone of surface water quality protection in the United States and it sets broad goals for restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s water. Water quality standards (WQS) are aimed at translating the broad goals of the CWA into water body-specific objectives.

The webcast will highlight the three major components of state and tribal water quality standards — designated uses, water quality criteria, and antidegradation — and will include a case study of how one state is working to strengthen its WQS program. Future webcasts will highlight other aspects of the CWA, including monitoring and assessment, total maximum daily loads, programs for managing point sources and nonpoint sources, and wetland protection.

Webcast speakers are Thomas Gardner, Ph.D., environmental scientist, EPA’s National Water Quality Standards Branch; Heather Goss, physical scientist, EPA’s National Water Quality Standards Branch; and William (Bill) Cole, research scientist, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Water Quality Standards Unit.

The Watershed Academy is now offering a certificate to everyone who attends at least 1 hour and 30 minutes of the webcast. Register online at www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts.