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Surface Water

Simplifying the Complexity of Surface Water Regulations

Surface water is regulated under several programs at both the state and federal level.  Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters.  Federal law requires the review of water quality standards every three years.  State laws may require more frequent reviews.  Section 404 of the CWA regulates the placement of dredged or fill material into wetlands, lakes, streams rivers and estuaries. Section 404 is jointly implemented by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) has responsibility for the cleanup of abandoned hazardous-waste sites as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases into the environment, inclusive of surface water.  EPA is authorized to implement CERCLA in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Superfund site activities in states are coordinated through the state environmental protection or waste management agencies. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 reauthorized CERCLA to continue cleanup activities around the country.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates the disposal of municipal and hazardous waste as well as the protection of ground-water resources. RCRA’s corrective action program is designed to investigate and guide the cleanup of any contaminated media, including surface water, that results from spills or releases into the environment from any RCRA-regulated facility.

How Can TestAmerica Help?

Test methods for surface water vary based on the specific state and/or federal laws that regulate the body of water. TestAmerica Project Managers will work with you to select appropriate methods based on the applicable regulations, work plans and the detection limits required under each program.  We also provides coolers, packing material, certified pre-cleaned bottles, preservatives and chains of custody to reduce the potential of error in the field. 

TestAmerica’s network of more than 60 locations are linked by a single LIMS, allowing TestAmerica to provide one report or EDD, regardless of where samples are analyzed within our network.  Clients have the option to receive their data in one of our 2,500 easy to use formats, as well as via our online data portal, TotalAccess®