The stakeholders' group which has been meeting to discuss possible changes to the Arkansas Water Quality Standards (Regulation 2 of the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission) will meet Dec. 10, 2012, at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Headquarters Building, 5301 Northshore Drive, in North Little Rock. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. in the Director's Conference Room on the building's sixth floor.
The panel has met several times with ADEQ Water Division employees since May to provide suggestions for possible revisions to Regulation 2. It is anticipated that the Dec. 10 meeting will be the final session prior to the development of proposed changes to Regulation 2 by ADEQ staff for submission to the Commission sometime next year. If the Commission agrees to initiate its rulemaking process for the proposal, a series of public hearings would likely be scheduled to allow for public comments on the draft. Earlier this year the ADEQ held five listening sessions in different Arkansas cities to solicit ideas from interested citizens concerning the ongoing Triennial Review of Regulation 2 and the development of proposed changes to the regulation. After the listening sessions, a stakeholders' group was formed to begin more detailed discussions with the ADEQ staff. The federal Clean Water Act requires states to conduct a comprehensive review of their water quality standards at least every three years to stay in compliance with federal water quality provisions and to maintain protection of the designated uses of water bodies in the state. The stakeholders' group is composed of representatives of a variety of federal, state, and local government agencies; agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests; and environmental and conservation associations.