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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Wetland Water Quality Standards Subcommittee

Since 1990, EPA has encouraged states to begin developing water quality standards for wetlands to ensure the provisions of the Clean Water Act are being applied to all surface waters of the United States. The degradation of wetlands and subsequent loss of their functions, such as water quality maintenance and improvement, can be as significant as the loss of those wetlands to impacts from the permitted placement of fill.

The Wetlands Water Quality Standards Advisory Subcommittee was established to advise NHDES on research, preparation and review of a draft plan for developing New Hampshire water quality standards for wetlands.

The draft plan for developing New Hampshire water quality standards for wetlands will include the following:

  • Reviewing other states’ approaches and options given New Hampshire laws, regulations and data.

  • Identifying potential indicators of wetland condition

  • Identifying potential parameters, including appropriate numeric thresholds, necessary to assess wetland condition for aquatic life, wildlife and human health, such as fish consumption and swimming.

  • Recommendations for implementation of water quality standards for wetlands in New Hampshire.

Once indicators are selected, monitoring data can be used to assess wetland condition and identify where certain uses, such as aquatic life, are not being met. At such time, appropriate steps can be taken to address impairments (degraded conditions).


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  • Sandy Crystall, PWS
    NHDES Watershed Management Bureau
    29 Hazen Drive; PO Box 95
    Concord, NH 03302-0095
    (603) 271-2471



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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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