Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.

R317. Environmental Quality, Water Quality.

Rule R317-1. Definitions and General Requirements.

As in effect on October 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R317-1-1. Definitions.

Note that some definitions are repeated from statute to provide clarity to readers.

"Assimilative Capacity" means the difference between the numeric criteria and the concentration in the waterbody of interest where the concentration is less than the criterion.

"Biological assessment" means an evaluation of the biological condition of a water body using biological surveys and other direct measurements of composition or condition of the resident living organisms.

"Biological criteria" means numeric values or narrative descriptions that are established to protect the biological condition of the aquatic life inhabiting waters that have been given a certain designated aquatic life use.

"Board" means the Utah Water Quality Board.

"BOD" means 5-day, 20 degrees C. biochemical oxygen demand.

"Body Politic" means the State or its agencies or any political subdivision of the State to include a county, city, town, improvement district, taxing district or any other governmental subdivision or public corporation of the State.

"Building sewer" means the pipe which carries wastewater from the building drain to a public sewer, a wastewater disposal system or other point of disposal. It is synonymous with "house sewer".

"CBOD" means 5-day, 20 degrees C., carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand.

"Challenging Party" means a Person who has or is seeking a permit in accordance with Title 19, Chapter 5, the Utah Water Quality Act and chooses to use the independent peer review process to challenge a Proposal as defined in Subsection 19-5-105.3(1)(a).

"COD" means chemical oxygen demand.

"Conflict of Interest" means a Person who has any financial or other interest which has the potential to negatively affect services to the Division or Challenging Party because it could impair the individual's objectivity or it could create an unfair competitive advantage for any Person or organization.

"Deep well" means a drinking water supply source which complies with all the applicable provisions of the State of Utah Public Drinking Water rules.

"Digested sludge" means sludge in which the volatile solids content has been reduced by at least 38% using a suitable biological treatment process.

"Director" means the Director of the Division of Water Quality.

"Division" means the Utah State Division of Water Quality.

"Domestic wastewater" means a combination of the liquid or water-carried wastes from residences, business buildings, institutions, and other establishments with installed plumbing facilities, together with those from industrial establishments, and with such ground water, surface water, and storm water as may be present. It is synonymous with the term "sewage".

"Ecosystem respiration (ER)" means the spatially explicit rate of organic degradation derived from open channel, diel stream oxygen models.

"Effluent" means the liquid discharge from any unit of a wastewater treatment works, including a septic tank.

"Existing Uses" means those uses actually attained in a water body on or after November 28, 1975, whether or not they are included in the water quality standards.

"Expert" means a person with technical expertise, knowledge, or skills in a subject matter of relevance to a specific water quality investigation, HISA, or Proposal including persons from other regulatory agencies, academia, or the private sector.

"Filamentous Algae Cover" means patches of filamentous algae greater than 1 cm in length or mats greater than 1 mm thick, expressed as the proportion of visible stream bed where it is observed and where it is not.

"Gross primary production" means the spatially explicit rate of autotrophic biomass formation derived from open channel, diel stream oxygen models.

"Human-induced stressor" means perturbations directly or indirectly caused by humans that alter the components, patterns, and/or processes of an ecosystem.

"Human pathogens" means specific causative agents of disease in humans such as bacteria or viruses.

"Highly Influential Scientific Assessment (HISA)" means a Scientific Assessment developed by the Division or an external Person, that has material relevance to a decision by the Division, and the Director determines could have a significant financial impact on either the public or private sector or is novel, controversial, or precedent-setting, and is not a new or renewed permit issued to a Person.

"Independent Peer Review" means scientific review conducted on request from a Challenging Party in accordance with Section 19-5-105.3 and is a subcategory of Independent Scientific Review.

"Independent Scientific Review" means any technical or scientific review conducted by Experts in an area related to the material being reviewed who were not directly or indirectly involved with the development of the material to be reviewed and who do not have a real or perceived conflict of interest. When an Independent Peer Review is conducted, the conditions in Subsection 19-5-105.3(5) shall apply.

"Industrial wastes" means the liquid wastes from industrial processes as distinct from wastes derived principally from dwellings, business buildings, institutions and the like. It is synonymous with the term "industrial wastewater".

"Influent" means the total wastewater flow entering a wastewater treatment works.

"Great Salt Lake impounded wetland" means wetland ponds which have been formed by dikes or berms to control and retain the flow of freshwater sources in the immediate proximity of Great Salt Lake.

"Large underground wastewater disposal system" means the same type of device as an onsite wastewater system except that it is designed to handle more than 5,000 gallons per day of domestic wastewater, or wastewater that originates in multiple dwellings, commercial establishments, recreational facilities, schools, or any other underground wastewater disposal system not covered under the definition of an onsite wastewater system. The Division controls the installation of such systems.

"Onsite wastewater system" means an underground wastewater disposal system for domestic wastewater which is designed for a capacity of 5,000 gallons per day or less and is not designed to serve multiple dwelling units which are owned by separate owners except condominiums and twin homes. It usually consists of a building sewer, a septic tank and an absorption system.

"Operating Permit" is a State issued permit issued to any wastewater treatment works covered under Rules R317-3 or R317-5 with the following exceptions:

A. Any wastewater treatment permitted under Ground Water Quality Protection Rule R317-6.

B. Any wastewater treatment permitted under Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Rule R317-7.

C. Any wastewater treatment permitted under Utah Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (UPDES) Rule R317-8.

D. Any wastewater treatment permitted under Approvals and Permits for a Water Reuse Project Rule R317-13.

E. Any wastewater treatment permitted by a Local Health Department under Onsite Wastewater Systems Rule R317-4.

"Person" means any individual, trust, firm, estate, company, corporation, partnership, association, state, state or federal agency or entity, municipality, commission, or political subdivision of a state. "Point source" means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include return flow from irrigated agriculture.

"Pollution" means such contamination, or other alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any waters of the state, or such discharge of any liquid, gaseous or solid substance into any waters of the state as will create a nuisance or render such waters harmful or detrimental or injurious to public health, safety or welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, or other legitimate beneficial uses, or to livestock, wild animals, birds, fish or other aquatic life.

"Proposal" means any science-based initiative proposed by the division on or after January 1, 2016, that would financially impact a Challenging Party and that would:

A. change water quality standards;

B. develop or modify total maximum daily load requirements;

C. modify wasteloads or other regulatory requirements for permits; or

D. change rules or other regulatory guidance. A Proposal is not an individual permit issued to a Person, nor is it a technology based limit applied in accordance with Effluent limitations, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1311, National pollutant discharge elimination system, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1342, and Information and guidelines, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1314.

"Regulatory requirements" for permits means the methods or policies used by the Division to derive permit limits such as wasteload analyses, reasonable potential determinations, whole effluent toxicity policy, interim permitting guidance, antidegradation reviews, or Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit requirements.

"Scientific Assessment" means an evaluation of a body of credible scientific or technical knowledge that synthesizes scientific literature, data analysis and interpretation, and models, and includes any assumptions used to bridge uncertainties in the available information.

"Scientific basis" means empirical data or other scientific findings, conclusions, or assumptions used as the justification for a rule, regulatory guidance, or a regulatory tool.

"Scientifically necessary to protect the designated beneficial uses of a waterbody" as referenced in Subsection 19-5-105.3(8) means a Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit that under current and future growth projections, will:

A. prevent circumstances that would cause or contribute to an impairment of any designated or existing use in the receiving water or downstream water bodies based on Utah's water quality standards, Section R317-2-7; or

B. improve water quality conditions that are causing or contributing to any existing impairment in the receiving water or downstream water bodies, as defined by Utah's water quality standards, Section R317-2-7.

"Sewage" is synonymous with the term "domestic wastewater".

"Shallow well" means a well providing a source of drinking water which does not meet the requirements of a "deep well".

"Sludge" means the accumulation of solids which have settled from wastewater. As initially accumulated, and prior to treatment, it is known as "raw sludge".

"SS" means suspended solids.

"Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit" means maximum nutrient limitations based on the availability of technology to achieve the limitations, rather than based on a water quality standard or a total maximum daily load.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) means the maximum amount of a particular pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet state water quality standards, and an allocation of that amount to the pollutant's sources.

"Treatment works" means any plant, disposal field, lagoon, dam, pumping station, incinerator, or other works used for the purpose of treating, stabilizing or holding wastes. (Section 19-5-102).

"TSS" means total suspended solids.

"Underground Wastewater Disposal System" means a system for underground disposal of domestic wastewater. It includes onsite wastewater systems and large underground wastewater disposal systems.

"Use Attainability Analysis" means a structured Scientific Assessment of the factors affecting the attainment of the uses specified in Section R317-2-6. The factors to be considered in such an analysis include the physical, chemical, biological, and economic use removal criteria as described in 40 CFR 131.10(g) (1-6).

"Wastes" means dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt, and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water. (Section 19-5-102).

"Wastewater" means sewage, industrial waste or other liquid substances which might cause pollution of waters of the state. Intercepted ground water which is uncontaminated by wastes is not included.

"Waters of the state" means all streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, water-courses, waterways, wells, springs, irrigation systems, drainage systems, and all other bodies or accumulations of water, surface and underground, natural or artificial, public or private, which are contained within, flow through, or border upon this state or any portion thereof, except that bodies of water confined to and retained within the limits of private property, and which do not develop into or constitute a nuisance, or a public health hazard, or a menace to fish and wildlife, shall not be considered to be "waters of the state" under this definition (Section 19-5-102).

"Water Quality Based Effluent Limit (WQBEL)" means an effluent limitation that has been determined necessary to ensure that water quality standards in a receiving body of water will not be violated.

R317-1-2. General Requirements.

2.1 Water Pollution Prohibited. No person shall discharge wastewater or deposit wastes or other substances in violation of the requirements of these rules.

2.2 Construction Permit. No person shall make or construct any device for treatment or discharge of wastewater (including storm sewers) without first receiving a permit to do so from the Director or its authorized representative, except as provided herein.

A. Body Politic Required. A permit for construction of a new treatment works or a sewerage system, or modifications to an existing treatment works or sewerage system for multiple units under separate ownership will be issued only if the treatment works or sewerage system are under the sponsorship of a body politic as defined in R317-1-1.

B. Submission of Plans. Any person desiring a permit shall submit complete plans, specifications, and other pertinent documents covering the proposed construction to the Director for review. Liquid waste storage facilities at animal feeding operations must be designed and constructed in accordance with Table 2a - Criteria for Siting, Investigation, and Design of Liquid Waste Storage Facilities with a water depth greater than 2 feet; Table 2b - Criteria for Siting, Investigation, and Design of Liquid Waste Storage Facilities with a water depth of 2 feet or less; and Table 2c - Criteria for runoff ponds with a water depth of 2 feet of less and a storage period less than 90 days annually, contained in the U.S.D.A. Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Practice Standard, Waste Storage Facility, Code 313, dated August 2006. This rule incorporates by reference Tables 2a, 2b, and 2c in the August 2006 U.S.D.A. NRCS Conservation Practice Standard, Waste Storage Facility, Code 313.

C. Review of Plans. The Division shall review said plans and specifications as to their adequacy of design for the intended purpose and shall require such changes as are found necessary to assure compliance with pertinent parts of these rules.

D. Approval of Plans. Issuance of a construction permit shall be construed as approval of plans for the purposes of authorizing release of federal or state funds allocated for planning or construction purposes.

E. Permit Expiration. Construction permits shall expire one year after date of issuance unless substantial and continuous construction is under way. Upon application, construction permits may be extended on an individual basis provided application for such extension is made prior to the permit expiration date.

F. Exceptions.

1. Wastewater facilities that discharge to an existing sewer system and serve only units that are under single ownership, or serve multiple units under separate ownership where the wastewater facilities are under the sponsorship of the public sewer system to which they discharge. This exception does not apply to pumping stations having the installed capacity in excess of 1 million gallons per day (3,785 cubic meters per day).

2. Onsite Wastewater Disposal Systems. Construction plans and specifications for onsite wastewater disposal systems shall be submitted to the local health authority having jurisdiction and need not be submitted to the Division. Such devices, in any case, shall be constructed in accordance with rules for onsite wastewater disposal systems adopted by the Water Quality Board. Compliance with the rules shall be determined by an on-site inspection by the appropriate health authority.

3. Small Animal Waste (Manure) Lagoons and Runoff Ponds. Construction plans and specifications for small animal waste lagoons as defined in R317-6 (permitted by rule for ground water permits) need not be submitted to the Division if the design is prepared or certified by the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in accordance with criteria provided for in the Memorandum of Agreement between the Division and the NRCS, and the construction is inspected by the NRCS. Compliance with these rules shall be determined by on-site inspection by the NRCS.

2.3 Compliance with Water Quality Standards. No person shall discharge wastes into waters of the state except in compliance with these rules and under circumstances which assure compliance with water quality standards in R317-2.

2.4 Operation of Wastewater Treatment Works. Wastewater treatment works shall be so operated at all times as to produce effluents meeting all requirements of these rules and otherwise in a manner consistent with adequate protection of public health and welfare. Complete daily records shall be kept of the operation of wastewater treatment works covered under R317-3 on forms approved by the Division and a copy of such records shall be forwarded to the Division at monthly intervals.

R317-1-3. Requirements for Waste Discharges.

3.1 Compliance With Water Quality Standards.

All persons discharging wastes into any of the waters of the State shall provide the degree of wastewater treatment determined necessary to insure compliance with the requirements of Rule R317-2 Water Quality Standards, except that the Director may waive compliance with these requirements for specific criteria listed in Rule R317-2 where it is determined that the designated use is not being impaired or significant use improvement would not occur or where there is a reasonable question as to the validity of a specific criterion or for other valid reasons as determined by the Director.

3.2 Compliance With Secondary Treatment Requirements.

All persons discharging wastes from point sources into any of the waters of the State shall provide treatment processes which will produce secondary effluent meeting or exceeding the following effluent quality standards.

A. The arithmetic mean of BOD values determined on effluent samples collected during any 30-day period shall not exceed 25 mg/L, nor shall the arithmetic mean exceed 35 mg/L during any 7-day period. In addition, if the treatment plant influent is of domestic or municipal sewage origin, the BOD values of effluent samples shall not be greater than 15% of the BOD values of influent samples collected in the same time period. As an alternative, if agreed to by the person discharging wastes, the following effluent quality standard may be established as a requirement of the discharge permit and must be met: The arithmetic mean of CBOD values determined on effluent samples collected during any 30-day period shall not exceed 20 mg/L nor shall the arithmetic mean exceed 30 mg/L during any 7-day period. In addition, if the treatment plant influent is of domestic or municipal sewage origin, the CBOD values of effluent samples shall not be greater than 15% of the CBOD values of influent samples collected in the same time period.

B. The arithmetic mean of SS values determined on effluent samples collected during any 30-day period shall not exceed 25 mg/L, nor shall the arithmetic mean exceed 35 mg/L during any 7-day period. In addition, if the treatment plant influent is of domestic or municipal sewage origin, the SS values of effluent samples shall not be greater than 15% of the SS values of influent samples collected in the same time period.

C. The geometric mean of total coliform and fecal coliform bacteria in effluent samples collected during any 30-day period shall not exceed either 2000 per 100 mL or 200 per 100 mL respectively, nor shall the geometric mean exceed 2500 per 100 mL or 250 per 100 mL respectively, during any 7-day period; or, the geometric mean of E. coli bacteria in effluent samples collected during any 30-day period shall not exceed 126 per 100 mL nor shall the geometric mean exceed 158 per 100 mL respectively during any 7-day period. Exceptions to this requirement may be allowed by the Director where domestic wastewater is not a part of the effluent and where water quality standards are not violated.

D. The effluent values for pH shall be maintained within the limits of 6.5 and 9.0.

E. Exceptions to the 85% removal requirements may be allowed where infiltration makes such removal requirements infeasible and where water quality standards are not violated.

F. The Director may allow exceptions to the requirements of Subsections R317-1-3.2.A, R317-1-3.2.B, and R317-1-3.2.D where the discharge will be of short duration and where there will be no significant detrimental effect on receiving water quality or downstream beneficial uses.

G. The Director may allow that the BOD5 and TSS effluent concentrations for discharging domestic wastewater lagoons shall not exceed 45 mg/L for a monthly average nor 65 mg/L for a weekly average provided the following criteria are met:

1. the lagoon system is operating within the organic and hydraulic design capacity established by Rule R317-3;

2. the lagoon system is being properly operated and maintained;

3. the treatment system is meeting all other permit limits;

4. there are no significant or categorical industrial users (IU) defined by 40 CFR Part 403, unless it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director that the IU is not contributing constituents in concentrations or quantities likely to significantly affect the treatment works; and

5. a Waste Load Allocation (WLA) indicates that the increased permit limits would not impair beneficial uses of the receiving stream.

3.3 Technology-based Limits for Controlling Phosphorus Pollution.

A. Technology-based Phosphorus Effluent Limits (TBPEL)

1. All non-lagoon treatment works discharging wastewater to surface waters of the state shall provide treatment processes which will produce effluent less than or equal to an annual mean of 1.0 mg/L for total phosphorus.

2. The TBPEL shall be achieved by January 1, 2020, or no later than January 1, 2025, after a variance has been granted under Subsection R317-1-3.3.C.1.e.

B. Discharging Lagoons -Phosphorus Loading Cap

1. No TBPEL will be instituted for discharging treatment lagoons. Instead, each discharging lagoon will be evaluated to determine the current annual average total phosphorus load measured in pounds per year based on monthly average flow rates and concentrations. Absent field data to determine these loads, and in case of intermittent discharging lagoons, the phosphorus load cap will be estimated by the Director.

2. A cap of 125% of the current annual total phosphorus load will be established and referred to as phosphorus loading cap. Once the lagoon's phosphorus loading cap has been reached, the owner of the facility will have five years to construct treatment processes or implement treatment alternatives to prevent the total phosphorus loading cap from being exceeded.

3. The load cap shall become effective July 1, 2018.

C. Variances for TBPEL and Phosphorus Loading Caps

1. The Director may authorize a variance to the TBPEL or phosphorus loading cap under any of the following conditions:

a. Where an existing TMDL has allocated a total phosphorus wasteload to a treatment works, no TBPEL or phosphorus loading cap, as applicable, will be applied.

b. If the owner of a discharging treatment works can demonstrate that imposing the TBPEL or phosphorus loading cap would result in an economic hardship, an alternative TBPEL or phosphorus loading cap that would not cause economic hardship may be applied. "Economic hardship" for a publicly owned treatment works is defined as sewer service costs that, as a result of implementing a TBPEL or phosphorus loading cap, would be greater than 1.4% of the median adjusted gross household income of the service area based on the latest information compiled by the Utah State Tax Commission, after inclusion of grants, loans, or other funding made available by the Utah Water Quality Board or other sources. The Director will consider other demonstrations of economic hardship on a case-by-case basis.

c. If the owner of a discharging treatment works can demonstrate that the TBPEL or phosphorus loading cap are clearly unnecessary to protect waters downstream from the point of discharge, no TBPEL or phosphorus loading cap will be applied.

d. If the owner of the discharging treatment works can demonstrate that a commensurate phosphorus reduction can be achieved in receiving waters using innovative alternative approaches such as water quality trading, seasonal offsets, effluent reuse, or land application.

e. Where the owner of a non-lagoon discharging treatment works demonstrates due diligence toward construction of a treatment facility designed to meet the TBPEL, the compliance date shall be no later than January 1, 2025.

2. All variances to TBPEL and phosphorus loading caps shall be revisited no more frequently than every five years, or when a substantive change in facility operations or a substantive facility upgrade occurs, to determine if the rationale used to justify the conditions in Subsection R317-1-3.3.C remains applicable.

3. For treatment works required to implement TBPEL or a phosphorus loading cap, the demonstration under Subsection R317-1-3.3.C must be made by January 1, 2018. Unless this demonstration is made, the owner of the discharging treatment works must proceed to implement the TBPEL or phosphorus loading cap, as applicable, in accordance with, respectively, Subsections R317-1-3.3.A and R317-1-3.3.B.

D. Facility Optimization to Remove Total Inorganic Nitrogen

1. If the owner of a discharging treatment works agrees to optimize the owner's facility, either through operational changes, a capital construction project, or both, to reduce effluent total inorganic nitrogen concentrations to a level agreeable to the Director, a waiver of up to ten years from meeting either water quality-based effluent limits or technology-based effluent limits for total inorganic nitrogen will be granted. This includes meeting any total inorganic nitrogen limit that may result from a TMDL or other water quality study that is specific to the receiving water of the treatment works.

2. The waiver period under this section would begin upon implementation of the optimization improvements or another date agreed to by the owner of the treatment works and the Director.

3. The elements of the waiver under this section will be identified in a compliance agreement that will be incorporated into the facility's UPDES permit.

4. The waiver identified under this section must be granted before January 1, 2020. Thereafter, no such waiver will be considered or granted.

E. Monitoring

1. All discharging treatment works are required to implement, at a minimum, monthly monitoring of:

a. influent for total phosphorus (as P) and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (as N) concentrations; and

b. effluent for total phosphorus and orthophosphate (as P), and ammonia, nitrate-nitrite, and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (as N).

2. The Director may authorize a variance to the monitoring requirements identified in Subsection R317-1-3.3.D.1.

3. All monitoring under Subsection R317-1-3.3.D shall be based on 24-hour composite samples by use of an automatic sampler or by combining a minimum of four grab samples collected at least two hours apart within a 24-hour period.

4. These monitoring requirements shall be self-implementing beginning July 1, 2015.

3.4 Pollutants In Diverted Water Returned To Stream.

A user of surface water diverted from waters of the State will not be required to remove any pollutants which such user has not added before returning the diverted flow to the original watercourse, provided there is no increase in concentration of pollutants in the diverted water. Should the pollutant constituent concentration of the intake surface waters to a facility exceed the effluent limitations for such facility under a federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit or a permit issued pursuant to State authority, then the effluent limitations shall become equal to the constituent concentrations in the intake surface waters of such facility. This section does not apply to irrigation return flow.

R317-1-4. Utilization and Isolation of Domestic Wastewater Treatment Works Effluent.

4.1 Untreated Domestic Wastewater. Untreated domestic wastewater or effluent not meeting secondary treatment standards as defined by these rules shall be isolated from all public contact until suitably treated. Land disposal or land treatment of such wastewater or effluent may be accomplished by use of an approved total containment lagoon as defined in R317-3 or by such other treatment approved by the Director as being feasible and equally protective of human health and the environment.

4.2 Use of Secondary Effluent at Plant Site. Secondary effluent may be used at the treatment plant site in the following manner provided there is no cross-connection with a potable water system:

A. Chlorinator injector water for wastewater chlorination facilities, provided all pipes and outlets carrying the effluent are suitably labeled.

B. Water for hosing down wastewater clarifiers, filters and related units, provided all pipes and outlets carrying the effluent are suitably labeled.

C. Irrigation of landscaped areas around the treatment plant from which the public is excluded.

R317-1-5. Use of Industrial Wastewaters.

5.1 Use of industrial wastewaters (not containing human pathogens) shall be considered for approval by the Director based on a case-specific analysis of human health and environmental concerns.

R317-1-6. Disposal of Domestic Wastewater Treatment Works Sludge.

6.1 General. No person shall use, dispose, or otherwise manage sewage sludge through any practice for which pollutant limits, management practices, and operational standards for pathogens and vector attraction reduction requirements are established in 40 CFR 503, July 1, 1994, except in accordance with such requirements.

6.2 Permit. All treatment works producing, treating and disposing of sewage sludge must comply with applicable permit requirements at R317-3, 6 and 8.

6.3 Septic Tank Contents. The dumping or spreading of septic tank contents is prohibited except in conformance with 40 CFR 503 and R317-550-7.

6.4 Effective Date. Notwithstanding the effective date for incorporation by reference of 40 CFR 503 provided in R317-8-1.10(9), those portions of 40 CFR 503 specified in R317-1-6.1 and 6.3 are effective immediately.

R317-1-7. TMDLs.

The following TMDLs are approved by the Board and hereby incorporated by reference into these rules:

7.1 Middle Bear River -- February 23, 2010

7.2 Chalk Creek -- December 23, 1997

7.3 Otter Creek -- December 23, 1997

7.4 Little Bear River -- May 23, 2000

7.5 Mantua Reservoir -- May 23, 2000

7.6 East Canyon Creek -- September 14, 2010

7.7 East Canyon Reservoir -- September 14, 2010

7.8 Kents Lake -- September 1, 2000

7.9 LaBaron Reservoir -- September 1, 2000

7.10 Minersville Reservoir -- September 1, 2000

7.11 Puffer Lake -- September 1, 2000

7.12 Scofield Reservoir -- September 1, 2000

7.13 Onion Creek (near Moab) -- July 25, 2002

7.14 Cottonwood Wash -- September 9, 2002

7.15 Deer Creek Reservoir -- September 9, 2002

7.16 Hyrum Reservoir -- September 9, 2002

7.17 Little Cottonwood Creek -- September 9, 2002

7.18 Lower Bear River -- September 9, 2002

7.19 Malad River -- September 9, 2002

7.20 Mill Creek (near Moab) -- September 9, 2002

7.21 Spring Creek -- September 9, 2002

7.22 Forsyth Reservoir -- September 27, 2002

7.23 Johnson Valley Reservoir -- September 27, 2002

7.24 Lower Fremont River -- September 27, 2002

7.25 Mill Meadow Reservoir -- September 27, 2002

7.26 UM Creek -- September 27, 2002

7.27 Upper Fremont River -- September 27, 2002

7.28 Deep Creek -- October 9, 2002

7.29 Uinta River -- October 9, 2002

7.30 Pineview Reservoir -- December 9, 2002

7.31 Browne Lake -- February 19, 2003

7.32 San Pitch River -- November 18, 2003

7.33 Newton Creek -- June 24, 2004

7.34 Panguitch Lake -- June 24, 2004

7.35 West Colorado -- August 4, 2004

7.36 Silver Creek -- August 4, 2004

7.37 Upper Sevier River -- August 4, 2004

7.38 Lower and Middle Sevier River -- August 17,2004

7.39 Lower Colorado River -- September 20, 2004

7.40 Upper Bear River -- August 4, 2006

7.41 Echo Creek -- August 4, 2006

7.42 Soldier Creek -- August 4, 2006

7.43 East Fork Sevier River -- August 4, 2006

7.44 Koosharem Reservoir -- August 4, 2006

7.45 Lower Box Creek Reservoir -- August 4, 2006

7.46 Otter Creek Reservoir -- August 4, 2006

7.47 Thistle Creek -- July 9, 2007

7.48 Strawberry Reservoir -- July 9, 2007

7.49 Matt Warner Reservoir -- July 9, 2007

7.50 Calder Reservoir -- July 9, 2007

7.51 Lower Duchesne River -- July 9, 2007

7.52 Lake Fork River -- July 9, 2007

7.53 Brough Reservoir -- August 22, 2008

7.54 Steinaker Reservoir -- August 22, 2008

7.55 Red Fleet Reservoir -- August 22, 2008

7.56 Newcastle Reservoir -- August 22, 2008

7.57 Cutler Reservoir -- February 23, 2010

7.58 Pariette Draw -- September 28, 2010

7.59 Emigration Creek -- September 1, 2011

7.60 Jordan River -- June 27, 2012

7.61 Colorado River -- December 5, 2013

7.62 Echo Reservoir -- March 26, 2014

7.63 Rockport Reservoir -- March 26, 2014

7.64 Nine Mile Creek -- October 27, 2016

7.65 North Fork Virgin River -- May 23, 2018

R317-1-8. Penalty Criteria for Civil Settlement Negotiations.

8.1 Introduction. Section 19-5-115 of the Water Quality Act provides for penalties of up to $10,000 per day for violations of the act or any permit, rule, or order adopted under it and up to $25,000 per day for willful violations. Because the law does not provide for assessment of administrative penalties, the Attorney General initiates legal proceedings to recover penalties where appropriate.

8.2 Purpose And Applicability. These criteria outline the principles used by the State in civil settlement negotiations with water pollution sources for violations of the UWPCA and/or any permit, rule or order adopted under it. It is designed to be used as a logical basis to determine a reasonable and appropriate penalty for all types of violations to promote a more swift resolution of environmental problems and enforcement actions.

To guide settlement negotiations on the penalty issue, the following principles apply: (1) penalties should be based on the nature and extent of the violation; (2) penalties should at a minimum, recover the economic benefit of noncompliance; (3) penalties should be large enough to deter noncompliance; and (4) penalties should be consistent in an effort to provide fair and equitable treatment of the regulated community.

In determining whether a civil penalty should be sought, the State will consider the magnitude of the violations; the degree of actual environmental harm or the potential for such harm created by the violation(s); response and/or investigative costs incurred by the State or others; any economic advantage the violator may have gained through noncompliance; recidivism of the violator; good faith efforts of the violator; ability of the violator to pay; and the possible deterrent effect of a penalty to prevent future violations.

8.3 Penalty Calculation Methodology. The statutory maximum penalty should first be calculated, for comparison purposes, to determine the potential maximum penalty liability of the violator. The penalty which the State seeks in settlement may not exceed this statutory maximum amount.

The civil penalty figure for settlement purposes should then be calculated based on the following formula: CIVIL PENALTY = PENALTY + ADJUSTMENTS - ECONOMIC AND LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS

PENALTY: Violations are grouped into four main penalty categories based upon the nature and severity of the violation. A penalty range is associated with each category. The following factors will be taken into account to determine where the penalty amount will fall within each range:

A. History of compliance or noncompliance. History of noncompliance includes consideration of previous violations and degree of recidivism.

B. Degree of willfulness and/or negligence. Factors to be considered include how much control the violator had over and the foreseeability of the events constituting the violation, whether the violator made or could have made reasonable efforts to prevent the violation, whether the violator knew of the legal requirements which were violated, and degree of recalcitrance.

C. Good faith efforts to comply. Good faith takes into account the openness in dealing with the violations, promptness in correction of problems, and the degree of cooperation with the State.

Category A - $7,000 to $10,000 per day. Violations with high impact on public health and the environment to include:

1. Discharges which result in documented public health effects and/or significant environmental damage.

2. Any type of violation not mentioned above severe enough to warrant a penalty assessment under category A.

Category B - $2,000 to $7,000 per day. Major violations of the Utah Water Pollution Control Act, associated regulations, permits or orders to include:

1. Discharges which likely caused or potentially would cause (undocumented) public health effects or significant environmental damage.

2. Creation of a serious hazard to public health or the environment.

3. Illegal discharges containing significant quantities or concentrations of toxic or hazardous materials.

4. Any type of violation not mentioned previously which warrants a penalty assessment under Category B.

Category C - $500 to $2,000 per day. Violations of the Utah Water Pollution Control Act, associated regulations, permits or orders to include:

1. Significant excursion of permit effluent limits.

2. Substantial non-compliance with the requirements of a compliance schedule.

3. Substantial non-compliance with monitoring and reporting requirements.

4. Illegal discharge containing significant quantities or concentrations of non toxic or non hazardous materials.

5. Any type of violation not mentioned previously which warrants a penalty assessment under Category C.

Category D - up to $500 per day. Minor violations of the Utah Water Pollution Control Act, associated regulations, permits or orders to include:

1. Minor excursion of permit effluent limits.

2. Minor violations of compliance schedule requirements.

3. Minor violations of reporting requirements.

4. Illegal discharges not covered in Categories A, B and C.

5. Any type of violations not mentioned previously which warrants a penalty assessment under category D.

ADJUSTMENTS: The civil penalty shall be calculated by adding the following adjustments to the penalty amount determined above: 1) economic benefit gained as a result of non-compliance; 2) investigative costs incurred by the State and/or other governmental levels; 3) documented monetary costs associated with environmental damage.

ECONOMIC AND LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS: An adjustment downward may be made or a delayed payment schedule may be used based on a documented inability of the violator to pay. Also, an adjustment downward may be made in consideration of the potential for protracted litigation, an attempt to ascertain the maximum penalty the court is likely to award, and/or the strength of the case.

8.4 Mitigation Projects. In some exceptional cases, it may be appropriate to allow the reduction of the penalty assessment in recognition of the violator's good faith undertaking of an environmentally beneficial mitigation project. The following criteria should be used in determining the eligibility of such projects:

A. The project must be in addition to all regulatory compliance obligations;

B. The project preferably should closely address the environmental effects of the violation;

C. The actual cost to the violator, after consideration of tax benefits, must reflect a deterrent effect;

D. The project must primarily benefit the environment rather than benefit the violator;

E. The project must be judicially enforceable;

F. The project must not generate positive public perception for violations of the law.

8.5 Intent Of Criteria/Information Requests. The criteria and procedures in this section are intended solely for the guidance of the State. They are not intended, and cannot be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party in litigation with the State.

8.6 Expedited Settlement Offer (ESO). Only enforcement cases classified as Category C or Category D violations may qualify for an ESO in lieu of the penalty process found in Subsection R317-1-8.3 Penalty Calculation Methodology. Except in cases where recidivism has been established by a pattern of non-compliance, an ESO may be used when violations are readily identifiable, readily correctable, and do not cause significant harm to human health or the environment.

A. A violator is not compelled to sign an ESO. If the violator does not sign the ESO, then the penalty will be recalculated according to Subsection R317-1-8.3.

B. The violator has 30 days total from receipt of the ESO to sign and return the ESO to the division. If the violator signs the ESO, then the violator must comply with its conditions within 15 days after receipt of the final ESO signed by the director, or as otherwise designated in the ESO. If the violator signs the ESO they agree to waive:

1. the right to contest the findings and specified penalty amount;

2. the opportunity for an administrative hearing pursuant to Section 19-1-301; and

3. the opportunity for judicial review.

C. Deficiency Form. A deficiency form is used to list the violations and corresponding penalties. Multiple violations at a site are totaled providing a final penalty commensurate with the extent of non-compliance. Penalties developed for the list of program violations on the deficiency form should be estimated at about 60% of the penalty as calculated in Subsection R317-1-8.3.

R317-1-9. Electronic Submissions and Electronic Signatures.

(a) Pursuant to the authority of Utah Code Ann. Subsection 46-4-501(a), the submission of Discharge Monitoring Reports and related information may be conducted electronically through the EPA's NetDMR program, provided the requirements of subsection (b) are met.

(b) A person may submit Discharge Monitoring Reports and related information only after (1) completion of a Subscriber Agreement in a form designated by the Director to ensures that all requirements of 40 CFR 3, EPA's Cross - Media Electronic Reporting Regulation (CROMERR) are met; and (2) completion of subsequent steps specified by EPA's CROMERR, including setting up a subscriber account.

(c) The Subscriber Agreement will continue until terminated by its own terms, until modified by mutual consent or until terminated with 60 days written notice by any party.

(d) Any person who submits a Discharge Monitoring Report or related information under the NetDMR program, and who electronically signs the report or related information, is, by providing an electronic signature, making the following certification: "I certify under penalty of law that this document and all attachments were prepared under my direction or supervision in accordance with a system designed to assure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate the information submitted. Based on my inquiry of the person or persons who manage the system, or those persons directly responsible for gathering the information, the information submitted is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true, accurate, and complete. I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment for knowing violations."

R317-1-10. Independent Scientific Review.

10.1 Applicability.

A. Independent Scientific Review may be used to solicit formal evaluations from outside Experts on the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific basis used to support any new Division Proposal or Highly Influential Scientific Assessment (HISA).

B. Independent Peer Reviews for permits shall be limited to modifications to wasteloads used in UPDES discharge permits, or the scientific basis of any other modification to a regulatory requirement used in developing permit limits. Review of individual permits shall follow existing adjudicative processes that govern their issuance or renewal in accordance with Subsection 19-5-105.3(1)(c)(iii).

C. The Director shall initiate an Independent Scientific Review when one of the following conditions is met:

1. A Challenging Party requests an Independent Peer Review on the scientific basis of a Division Proposal under Section 19-5-105.3 and provides the information described in Subsection R317-1-10.3.C.

2. The Director makes a determination that a new Scientific Assessment is a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment (HISA) and that sufficient resources are available to support an Independent Scientific Review.

D. Implementing an Independent Scientific Review or an Independent Peer Review does not affect any applicable public comment or public hearing requirements for any Proposal or other action considered during such a review. If a proposal or other action that is subject to a public comment or public hearing requirement is changed after a comment period has begun or hearing has been held, DEQ shall provide a new opportunity for comment or a new hearing, as appropriate. See also Subsection R317-1-10.4.D.

10.2 Independent Scientific Review process.

A. Independent Scientific Reviews shall be conducted in general accordance with the guidance contained in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Science and Technology Policy Council Peer Review Handbook 4th Edition.

B. Independent Scientific Reviews shall entail development of a scope of work for review; selection of independent Experts; management of the Independent Scientific Reviews; submission by Experts of findings and recommendations; development of a Division response to review findings; finalization of the Proposal or HISA; and publication for public comment.

1. The Director shall prepare a scope of work that defines the objectives of an Independent Scientific Review and provide instructions for the Experts. The Director shall also prepare a schedule for the review. In the case of an Independent Peer Review the Director will seek and incorporate input from the Challenging Party into the development of the scope of work.

a. The scope of work shall include several components:

i. A summary of the Proposal or HISA under consideration and reasons for the review.

ii. The specific charge questions that articulate the issues, areas of concern, or advice sought through the Independent Scientific Review process. Charge questions shall generally focus on the degree of confidence, certainty, and major data gaps with respect to the interpretation or application of the scientific basis of a proposed rule, regulatory guidance, or regulatory tool.

iii. A compilation of data, reports or other scientific information that has a material influence on the scientific basis of the Proposal or HISA under review.

iv. A statement of qualifications and expertise required for Experts that will be considered in conducting the Independent Scientific Review.

v. Other important instructions to Experts such as reporting expectations or communication protocols.

vi. A schedule for accomplishing the review.

b. The scope of work shall be made available for public comment for a minimum of 30 days and no more than 60 days to help identify missing data or missing elements of the charge questions. In the event of a condition which poses hazard to human health or the environment that may increase significantly during a review period, a shorter period may be specified. The Director shall prepare a response to any comments that are received and shall refine the scope of work, as appropriate, before sending the scope of work to the Experts.

2. The Director shall select Experts to conduct Independent Scientific Reviews using the following criteria:

a. Experts shall be selected who have demonstrated expertise in scientific disciplines that are relevant to the scientific basis of the Proposal or HISA.

b. Experts shall not have a conflict of interest that could jeopardize their objectivity or impartiality.

c. An Independent Scientific Review shall be conducted by at least three independent Experts. Additional Experts may be asked to conduct reviews, as needed, to fairly reflect the breadth of scientific perspectives or fields of knowledge related to the scientific basis under review. If the Independent Scientific Review is an Independent Peer Review, the conditions in Section 19-5-105.3 shall apply.

3. Management of Independent Scientific Reviews.

a. Management of Independent Scientific Reviews may be conducted by any of the following:

i. the Division;

ii. the United States Environmental Protection Agency;

iii. an independent contractor; or,

iv. an independent organization such as an editorial board of a relevant scientific journal, appropriate trade organization, or other research institute.

b. From the time they accept the invitation to participate in an Independent Scientific Review, Experts should avoid interaction with the Division, a challenging party, the general public or others that might create a real or perceived Conflict of Interest regarding the Proposal under review to ensure that Expert findings are independent and objective.

4. Compilation of Expert Findings.

a. Each Expert shall submit written comments that include responses to the charge questions and an evaluation of the scientific basis of the Proposal or HISA.

b. The Director shall charge Experts to identify in their written comments any areas of scientific uncertainty or major data gaps that have a reasonable likelihood of altering material provisions of a Proposal or HISA, including descriptions of the nature of the uncertainty, estimates of the relative extent of this uncertainty, and any recommendations for resolving areas of uncertainty.

10.3 Special provisions for Independent Peer Reviews conducted in accordance with Section 19-5-105.3.

A. On request from a Challenging Party, the Director shall conduct an Independent Peer Review of the scientific basis of a Proposal made by the Division on or after January 1, 2016, provided that the following conditions are met:

1. A Challenging Party requests the review, in writing, during the public comment period on a Proposal.

2. The Challenging Party agrees to fund the Independent Peer Review.

3. The Challenging Party provides the information described in Subsection R317-1-10.3.C.

4. The Challenging Party would be substantially impacted by the adoption of the Proposal.

B. Funding Independent Peer Reviews.

1. Costs associated with the peer reviews will be incurred by the Division and billed to the Challenging Party and may include management of the peer review process by an independent contractor agreed to by the Director and Challenging Party, honorariums provided to Experts to conduct the reviews, and expenses incurred by the Experts.

2. An estimate of projected costs for conducting an Independent Peer Review, including expenses identified in Subsection R317-1-10.3.B.1, shall be estimated by the Director and provided to the Challenging Party prior to finalization of contracts or other financial agreements with Experts.

3. If there is more than one Challenging Party to the scientific basis of a Proposal, the challenges will be consolidated for the Independent Peer Review. Those requesting the review will be responsible for the costs of the review and allocation of costs between parties.

C. The written request for an Independent Peer Review from a Challenging Party shall be included in the final scope of work and shall include the following as best determined by the Challenging Party:

1. An explanation of the specific scientific elements of the Proposal that the Challenging Party questions and an explanation of why these elements may not be scientifically defensible.

2. If the challenge involves review of whether a Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit is scientifically necessary, the Challenging Party should include an explanation of why the limits are or are not necessary, including consideration of:

a. all designated beneficial uses of the receiving water and the uses of downstream, hydrologically connected water bodies;

b. current conditions and projected future conditions with respect to wastewater effluent and receiving water quantity and quality; and

c. any other nutrient sources under current and projected future conditions that it is reasonable to believe may affect the same receiving water and downstream hydrologically connected water bodies.

3. Access to sources of data, reports or other information that can be used to establish a scientific basis to the challenge that the Challenging Party would like to be included as supporting materials in the scope of work.

4. Recommendations for qualified independent Experts, who do not have a conflict of interest and whom the Challenging Party would support as Experts based on their documented expertise in areas of relevance to the technical basis of the Proposal being challenged.

D. The Independent Scientific Review process specified in Subsection R317-1-10.2 shall be followed for Independent Peer Reviews conducted at the behest of a Challenging Party with the exception of several limitations outlined in this subsection that are needed to maintain consistency with Section 19-5-105.3.

1. An Independent Peer Review panel shall consist of at least three Experts who do not have direct association with the Division or Challenging Party in accordance with Subsection 19-5-105.3(1)(b)(iii)and shall be selected by both the Division and Challenging Party as described in Subsection 19-5-105.3(5).

2. The Director shall designate one member of the Independent Peer Review Panel to serve as a chair to develop and oversee the preparation of a final synthesis report. In the event that Experts are selected through Subsection 19-5-105.3(5)(c), then the mutually agreed upon member shall serve as the Independent Peer Review Panel chair.

3. Management of the Independent Peer Review process shall be conducted by an independent contractor, who does not have a conflict of interest with the Division or the Challenging Party.

4. Management responsibilities of Independent Peer Reviews include the following:

a. Estimation of appropriate honorariums for the Experts to complete their individual written reviews with consideration for the breadth of the review identified in the scope of work and volume of supporting materials including additional compensation for the Independent Peer Review Panel chair for overseeing and writing a final written report as described in Subsection R317-1-10.3.D.5.

b. Development of a work timeline and interim progress tracking to ensure timely completion of the Independent Peer Review process.

c. Development and oversight of contracts or other financial agreements with Experts or others identified as integral to the review process.

d. Facilitation of necessary communication among the Division, Challenging Party and Experts throughout the review process, in a way that ensures all parties have access to any additional information, such as clarification to charge questions or charge questions that were not considered in development of the scope of work.

e. Regular progress updates to the Division and Challenging Party.

5. The Director shall charge the Independent Peer Review panel chair with development of a final written report, which:

a. is written by the chair after written independent reviews have been submitted by each Expert;

b. is reviewed by all members of the Independent Peer Review panel;

c. documents areas of consensus and dissention among Experts on elements of the scientific basis of the Proposal that Experts believe to have material influence of the Proposal under review;

d. provides a final recommendation from the Independent Peer Review panel on the scientific defensibility of the Division's Proposal, as specified in Subsection 19-5-105.3(7);

e. includes a determination of scientific necessity for any review that involves an evaluation of the application of a Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit; and

f. includes the Experts' written findings of the underlying rationale for making a determination that any element of the scientific basis of a Proposal is not scientifically defensible or is scientifically defensible with conditions, and any applicable and reasonable conditions to remedy their concerns.

E. To avoid inordinate delays in rulemaking or other regulatory decisions, Independent Peer Reviews must be completed within one year following appointment of the Independent Peer Review panel.

10.4 Use of Independent Scientific Review results.

A. The Director shall incorporate as needed recommendations and findings from the Experts in the finalization of the Proposal or HISA under review.

B. The Director shall document how the findings of the Experts were applied to the Proposal or HISA.

C. All materials associated with any review process shall be made available during the public comment period applicable to the HISA or Proposal under review, including:

1. the scope of work used to conduct the peer review;

2. the written independent findings from individual Experts;

3. summary reports that were developed after individual Expert reviews were submitted, if appropriate; and

4. the final decision of the Director and rationale for any modifications to the original agency Proposal or HISA in response to Independent Scientific Review findings and recommendations.

D. In the event that the Proposal or HISA under review does not have an established public comment process that occurs after the Independent Scientific Review Process, the Director shall make peer review material available for public comment for a minimum of 30-days and shall consider all substantive public comments prior to finalization of the Proposal or HISA.

E. The Director shall prepare a responsiveness summary that includes:

1. all substantive public comments related to the Independent Scientific Review,

2. the Director's response to public comments, and

3. any changes to the Proposal or HISA that were made in response to public comments.

F. Incorporation of the Director's decisions into existing Division processes.

1. If the Expert findings result in a decision by the Director to modify any element of any UPDES permit, this decision will be summarized in the Statement of Basis on the next issuance of the permit and all Independent Peer Review materials shall be made available as supporting documentation when the permit is published for public comment. If the Proposal is a wasteload or other regulatory requirements for a permit the results shall be incorporated into the proposed permit on which the wasteload is based.

2. If the Proposal under review is regarding the application of a Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limit and the Independent Peer Review panel determines that the limit is not scientifically necessary, then this finding shall be included in the Statement of Basis in the new or renewed permit as a justification for not including Technology Based Nutrient Effluent Limits that would otherwise have been required. All materials associated with the Independent Peer Review shall be made available during the public comment period for this permit as support for this determination.

3. The decision to modify any permit element, based upon the results of an Independent Scientific Review, is not final until the permit is actually issued.

4. The decision to modify a rule, based upon the results of an Independent Scientific Review, is not final until the rule is actually modified.


TMDL, water pollution

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

July 1, 2019

Notice of Continuation

August 30, 2017

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law


Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R317, please contact the promulgating agency (Environmental Quality, Water Quality). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.