Approaches to Development of Water Quality Criteria and Standards for Lakes
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Eutrophication and toxics contamination are serious problems in many lakes in the United States. In a 1989 EPA publication entitled, "Report to Congress: Water Quality of the Nation's Lakes," 25 percent of the 12,413, 837 assessed lake acres were found to be impaired or partially impaired. Water quality standards are the primary regulatory tool for water quality protection under the Clean Water Act. Development of lake water quality standards has lagged far behind the development of standards for streams. Enforcement actions to protect water quality in lakes have been few. Despite these problems, numerical lake water standards are gaining a slow acceptance. This slow acceptance is due to a number of technical and policy problems that are either perceived or real. Some of these problems are discussed below.