New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Surface Water Quality

2020 Triennial Review

Executive Summary: In accordance with Section 303(c)(1) of the CWA and New Mexico Administrative Code (“NMAC”), states are required to hold public hearings at least once every three years to review, amend, and adopt water quality standards, as applicable. This is referred to as a “Triennial Review”. Pursuant to Section 74-6-4(F) of the State’s Water Quality Act (“WQA”), the Water Quality Control Commission (“WQCC”) delegated the New Mexico Environment Department (“NMED”) the responsibility for organizing and proposing amendments to the State’s surface water quality standards, codified under 20.6.4 NMAC. This matter has been docketed under WQCC 20-51(R).

NMED is proposing several amendments as part of the Triennial Review which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Updating definitions ( NMAC)
  • Clarification of language under Review of Standards ( NMAC)
  • Clarification of language under Use Attainability Analysis ( NMAC)
  • Several designated use amendments
    • Existing Use Analysis for non-perennial waters within Los Alamos National Laboratory currently classified under NMAC
    • Existing Use Analysis for perennial classified waters with a secondary contact recreational use
  • Updates to the numeric aquatic life and human health criteria ( NMAC)
  • Updates to the numeric ammonia criteria ( NMAC)


Document Author Date
Public Involvement Plan SWQB 08.11.2020
Notice of Public Comment Period on NMED’s Proposed Amendments English and Spanish (Español) SWQB 11.02.2020
Notice of Public Meeting English and Spanish (Español) SWQB 11.02.2020
Public Comment Draft of NMED’s Proposed Amendments to 20.6.4 NMAC SWQB 11.02.2020
Informational Meeting Presentation Slides (PDF) SWQB 11.12.2020
Informational Meetings as Recorded November 12, 2020 and November 16, 2020 SWQB 11.12.2020 and 11.16.2020
Extension of Public Comment Period NMED’s Proposed Amendments English and Spanish (Español) SWQB 11.25.2020
Public Comments regarding proposed amendments to 20.6.4 NMAC, as submitted to NMED from:
 Buckman Direct Diversion Carpenter 11.16.2020
Los Alamos National Laboratory-Triad National Security, LLC and U.S. Department of Energy Rose 11.16.2020
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety Arends 11.16.2020
Environmental Defense Fund Saunders 12.09.2020
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6 Wooster 12.22.2020
Amigos Bravos, Audubon New Mexico, Defenders of Wildlife, Flower Hill Institute, Gila Resources Information Project, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, Molino de la Isla Organics, LLC, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, New Mexico Wild, Rio Grande Restoration, Rovers and Birds, Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter, Tewa Women United, Trout Unlimited, Upper Pecos Watershed Alliance, Western Environmental Law Center Conn et al 01.06.2021
Environmental Defense Fund Saunders 01.06.2021
Los Alamos National Laboratory-Triad National Security, LLC Van Valkenburg 01.06.2021
New Mexico Mining Association Bowen 01.06.2021
San Juan Water Commission Chavez 01.06.2021
Chevron Mining, Inc.-Questa Mine Love and Gensemer 01.05.2021
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety Arends 01.06.2021
Petition and Hearing Request SWQB 08.19.2020
Order for Hearing and Appointment of Hearing Officer WQCC 10.19.2020
Public Hearing Notice English and Spanish (Español) WQCC 01.29.2021
Amended Petition SWQB 03.12.2021
WQCC 20-51(R) Pleadings Log (Procedural Order and Filings with the Commission) Various Various
Final Order and Statement of Reasons
Integrated Rule 20.6.4 NMAC
Submittal Letter to EPA
EPA’s Response and Technical Support Document (TSD)