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New Jersey Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report
(includes 305(b) Report and 303(d) List)

General Information

The federal Clean Water Act mandates that states submit biennial reports to USEPA describing the quality of their waters. The biennial "Statewide Water Quality Inventory Report" or "305(b) Report" must include the status of principal waters in terms of overall water quality and support of designated uses, as well as strategies to maintain and improve water quality. The 305(b) reports are used by Congress and USEPA to establish program priorities and funding for federal and state water resource management programs. This report is also referred to as the "Integrated List of Waters" (Integrated List). The biennial List of Water Quality Limited Waters or "303(d) List" identifies waters that are not attaining designated uses because they do not meet surface water quality standards despite the implementation of technology-based effluent limits. States must prioritize waters on the 303(d) List of Water Quality Limited Waters for Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development and identify those high priority waters for which they anticipate establishing TMDLs in the next two years. The New Jersey Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (Integrated Report) satisfies the reporting and public participation requirements of Sections 303(d), 305(b), and 314 of the federal Clean Water Act. Detailed information about New Jersey's Integrated Report process is provided below.

2010 Integrated Report Information

2012 Integrated Report Information

2014 Integrated Report Information

New Jersey's Integrated Reports

The New Jersey Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Reports (Integrated Reports) are intended to provide effective tools for maintaining high quality waters and improving the quality of waters that do not attain their designated uses. The Integrated Reports describe attainment of the designated uses specified in New Jersey's Surface Water Quality Standards (N.J.A.C. 7:9B), which include: aquatic life; recreation; drinking, industrial, and agricultural water supply; fish consumption; and shellfish harvest for consumption. The Integrated Report includes the following information to inform and guide water resource management at statewide, regional, and local levels:

  • The Integrated List of Waters ("305(b) Report"): Identifies the use assessment results for all waters of the State, grouped into subwatershed-based assessment units. Assessment units that do not attain or support an applicable designated use because of a chemical pollutant require the development of a TMDL and are placed on the 303(d) List. Sources and causes of pollutants causing use impairment are identified, where known;

  • The 303(d) List of Water Quality Limited Waters ("303(d) List"): Identifies all waters that do not support an applicable designated use because of a chemical pollutant. The 303(d) List also contains the priority ranking of each assessment unit/pollutant combination ("high", "medium", or "low") for TMDL development;

  • The schedule of TMDLs to be developed in the next two years to waters identified on the 303(d) List;

  • The Delisting Document: Identifies waters that have been removed from the 303(d) List because water quality has been restored, or for other reasons as explained in the document.

  • The Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Methods (Methods Document): Details the assessment methods used to by the Department to generate the Integrated Report.

  • Ongoing and planned strategies to maintain and improve water quality statewide, including summaries of the Department's water pollution control programs; improve and expand water quality monitoring, including the Department's Water Monitoring & Assessment Strategy (2005-2014); and improve water quality assessment methods.

The Integrated List of Waters ("305(b) Report")

Section 305(b) of the federal Clean Water Act mandates that states submit to USEPA, on a biennial basis, a report explaining the status of principal waters in terms of overall water quality and support of designated uses, as well as strategies to maintain and improve water quality. The designated uses of New Jersey's waters are specified in the New Jersey Surface Water Quality Standards (N.J.A.C. 7:9B) and include: aquatic life, recreation, drinking water supply, fish consumption, and shellfish harvest for consumption. Use assessment results are shown as "fully supporting", "not supporting", or "insufficient information" (i.e., not assessed). Waters that do not support the applicable designated uses are placed on the 303(d) List along with the pollutant causing non-support. The 305(b) reports are used by Congress and USEPA to establish program priorities and funding for federal and state water resource management programs. New Jersey's 305(b) report is submitted to USEPA as the "Integrated List of Waters" (Integrated List)

303(d) List of Water Quality Limited Waters ("303(d) Report")

Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act mandates that states submit to USEPA, on a biennial basis, a list of waters that do not support their designated uses because they are not meeting surface water quality standards despite the implementation of technology-based effluent limits. All such waters must be identified on this List of Water Quality Limited Waters or "303(d) List." States must prioritize 303(d)-listed waters for Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development and identify those high priority waters for which they anticipate establishing TMDLs in the next two years. Since 2002, New Jersey has developed and submitted its 303(d) List as part of the Integrated Report.

Integrated Report Process

The Integrated Report process begins with the solicitation of water quality-related data to support the development of the 303(d) List. The Department provides a notice of data solicitation in the New Jersey Register and on the Department's Web site. A minimum of six months is provided for the submittal of data from a specific reporting period for use in developing a given year's 303(d) List. Data submitters are encouraged to contact the Department prior to submitting data, to receive the most current guidance and recommendations for data quality requirements, and electronic data submission. Data received after the closing date for submission of data may be used for a subsequent year's 303(d) List or other water quality assessment.

The Department then updates the Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Methods Document (Methods Document), as needed. This document includes a description of quality assurance and other data requirements, as well as the scientific methods to be used to assess water quality and use support. The Methods Document also explains the rationale for placing waters on the 303(d) List, delisting waters from the 303(d) List, and ranking the priority of 303(d)-Listed waters for TMDL development. A notice of availability for public review of the draft Methods Document is published in the New Jersey Register and a thirty-day comment period is provided. After review and consideration of comments received on the proposed Methods Document, the Department finalizes the Methods Document and publishes it on the Department's Web site along with the agency responses to public comments received.

After the Methods Document is finalized, the Department compiles all readily available data that meets quality requirements and assesses the data to determine designated use support and compliance with surface water quality standards. The results of these assessments are presented in the Integrated List and the 303(d) List. The Department prepares these Lists as part of the Integrated Report, along with a discussion of the assessment results, water quality trends, other water quality assessments, descriptions of water quality programs and actions taken and planned to restore water quality, including TMDL schedules, as well as monitoring needs and schedules, and makes it available for public review. The draft 303(d) List is submitted to USEPA for approval along with the two-year TMDL schedule and priority ranking.

Pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act, only the draft 303(d) List is subject to public participation requirements. Concurrent with submission to USEPA, the Department posts the draft 303(d) List on its Web site and solicits public comment via Listserv email to interested parties and a public notice published in the New Jersey Register. A thirty-day public comment period is provided. After review and consideration of comments received on the proposed 303(d) List, the final 303(d) List is revised as needed, approved by USEPA, and adopted as a Statewide WQM Plan amendment. A notice of adoption is published in the New Jersey Register along with the Response to Comments and the entire Integrated Report, including the Integrated List of Waters and the final 303(d) List, is posted on the Department's Web site.

Additional Information

All current and historic water quality assessment documents, as well as relevant USEPA guidance, are available on the Technical Support and Related Documents web page. For more information, please contact the Bureau Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards at (609) 633-1441.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: December 13, 2013

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