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Economic Guidance for Water Quality Standards

2021 Financial Capability Assessment for Clean Water Act Obligations - Pre-Publication Notice

On January 12, 2021, EPA signed a federal register notice finalizing the 2021 Financial Capability Assessment (FCA) for Clean Water Act (CWA) Obligations. A pre-publication of the 2021 FCA is available until the official version is announced in the Federal Register. The 2021 FCA advances the ability of communities to more accurately demonstrate the financial burdens they face and increases the transparency of EPA’s considerations as it endeavors to consistently apply FCA methodologies across the country. EPA will apply the options and flexibilities from Appendix D of the 2021 FCA when considering economic impacts for public entities seeking revisions to designated uses, water quality standard (WQS) variances, and antidegradation reviews for WQS.

When the official version is announced in the Federal Register, EPA intends that the recommended expanded matrix for water quality standards (WQS) decisions in Appendix D, along with the electronic spreadsheet tools for the public sector at, would replace the worksheets and calculations for the public sector sections of the Interim Guidance for Water Quality Standards. This replacement would then guide states and authorized tribes in determining the degree of economic impact for use in WQS decisions for public entities including revisions to designated uses, WQS variances, and antidegradation reviews.

Workbook and Worksheets

Spreadsheet Tools to Evaluate Economic Impacts

The purpose of these spreadsheets is to help states, tribes, and stakeholders implement the recommendations in EPA's Interim Economic Guidance for Water Quality Standards, Workbook (1995). The spreadsheets supplement the guidance by guiding the user through the necessary calculation steps to successfully implement the guidance recommendations.

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