Bioassessment and Biocriteria Program Status for Massachusetts: Streams and Wadeable Rivers
State Program Contact
Water Quality Standards
The link to Massachusetts' WQS that are in effect for Clean Water Act purposes is provided. These are the WQS approved by EPA.
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Designated Aquatic Life Uses
Cold water/warm water in progress
__X__ Narrative statement
_____ No criteria
Use of Biocriteria or bioassessments not included in antidegradation policy.
What biological assemblages are used in the bioassessment program?
Benthic macroinvertebrates, fish, and periphyton; eel grass for estuarine/coastal
Are bioassessments used to support 303(d) listings?
Yes. Listing Methodology: Massachusetts Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM) Guidance (PDF) (108 pp, 4 MB) July 2016
How are assemblages used to make impairment decisions?
Described in the CALM (PDF) (108 pp, 4 MB)
Other uses of biocriteria or bioassessments within the water quality program:
Refining ALU, TMDL development and assessment, antidegradation, non-point source assessments, and 305(b) surface water condition assessments
Technical Support Information and Documents:
A human disturbance index (HDI) was developed based on USGS landscape analyses done for Massachusetts watersheds.
Stressor identification/causal analysis approach: