EPA is proposing a targeted set of changes to the water quality standards (WQS) regulation to improve its effectiveness in helping restore and maintain the Nation's Waters. The core of the current WQS regulation has been in place since 1983. Since then, a number of issues have been raised by stakeholders or identified by EPA in the implementation process that will benefit from clarification and greater specificity. The proposed rule will provide clarity in the following six key areas: 1) Administrator's determination, 2) designated uses, 3) triennial review requirements, 4) antidegradation, 5) variances to water quality standards, and 6) compliance schedule authorizing provisions. These clarifications will allow EPA to better achieve program goals by providing enhanced water resource protection and clearer and simplified requirements.