U.S Code last checked for updates: May 20, 2024
§ 300h–6.
Sole source aquifer demonstration program
“Critical aquifer protection area” defined
For purposes of this section, the term “critical aquifer protection area” means either of the following:
All or part of an area located within an area for which an application or designation as a sole or principal source aquifer pursuant to section 300h–3(e) of this title, has been submitted and approved by the Administrator and which satisfies the criteria established by the Administrator under subsection (d).
All or part of an area which is within an aquifer designated as a sole source aquifer as of June 19, 1986, and for which an areawide ground water quality protection plan has been approved under section 208 of the Clean Water Act [33 U.S.C. 1288] prior to June 19, 1986.
Not later than 1 year after June 19, 1986, the Administrator shall, by rule, establish criteria for identifying critical aquifer protection areas under this section. In establishing such criteria, the Administrator shall consider each of the following:
The vulnerability of the aquifer to contamination due to hydrogeologic characteristics.
The number of persons or the proportion of population using the ground water as a drinking water source.
The economic, social and environmental benefits that would result to the area from maintenance of ground water of high quality.
The economic, social and environmental costs that would result from degradation of the quality of the ground water.
Contents of application
An application submitted to the Administrator by any applicant for a demonstration program under this section shall meet each of the following requirements:
The application shall propose boundaries for the critical aquifer protection area within its jurisdiction.
The application shall designate or, if necessary, establish a planning entity (which shall be a public agency and which shall include representation of elected local and State governmental officials) to develop a comprehensive management plan (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “plan”) for the critical protection area. Where a local government planning agency exists with adequate authority to carry out this section with respect to any proposed critical protection area, such agency shall be designated as the planning entity.
The application shall establish procedures for public participation in the development of the plan, for review, approval, and adoption of the plan, and for assistance to municipalities and other public agencies with authority under State law to implement the plan.
The application shall include a hydrogeologic assessment of surface and ground water resources within the critical protection area.
The application shall include a comprehensive management plan for the proposed protection area.
The application shall include the measures and schedule proposed for implementation of such plan.
Comprehensive plan
The objective of a comprehensive management plan submitted by an applicant under this section shall be to maintain the quality of the ground water in the critical protection area in a manner reasonably expected to protect human health, the environment and ground water resources. In order to achieve such objective, the plan may be designed to maintain, to the maximum extent possible, the natural vegetative and hydrogeological conditions. Each of the following elements shall be included in such a protection plan:
A map showing the detailed boundary of the critical protection area.
An identification of existing and potential point and nonpoint sources of ground water degradation.
An assessment of the relationship between activities on the land surface and ground water quality.
Specific actions and management practices to be implemented in the critical protection area to prevent adverse impacts on ground water quality.
Identification of authority adequate to implement the plan, estimates of program costs, and sources of State matching funds.
Such plan may also include the following:
A determination of the quality of the existing ground water recharged through the special protection area and the natural recharge capabilities of the special protection area watershed.
Requirements designed to maintain existing underground drinking water quality or improve underground drinking water quality if prevailing conditions fail to meet drinking water standards, pursuant to this chapter and State law.
Limits on Federal, State, and local government, financially assisted activities and projects which may contribute to degradation of such ground water or any loss of natural surface and subsurface infiltration of purification capability of the special protection watershed.
A comprehensive statement of land use management including emergency contingency planning as it pertains to the maintenance of the quality of underground sources of drinking water or to the improvement of such sources if necessary to meet drinking water standards pursuant to this chapter and State law.
Actions in the special protection area which would avoid adverse impacts on water quality, recharge capabilities, or both.
Consideration of specific techniques, which may include clustering, transfer of development rights, and other innovative measures sufficient to achieve the objectives of this section.
Consideration of the establishment of a State institution to facilitate and assist funding a development transfer credit system.
A program for State and local implementation of the plan described in this subsection in a manner that will insure the continued, uniform, consistent protection of the critical protection area in accord with the purposes of this section.
Pollution abatement measures, if appropriate.
Plans under section 208 of Clean Water Act
Consultation and hearings
Approval or disapproval
Grants and reimbursement
Activities funded under other law
Savings provision
Authorization of appropriations

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XIV, § 1427, as added and amended Pub. L. 99–339, title II, § 203, title III, § 301(f), June 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 657, 664; Pub. L. 104–66, title II, § 2021(g), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 727; Pub. L. 104–182, title I, § 120(a), title V, § 501(b)(2), (f)(3), Aug. 6, 1996, 110 Stat. 1650, 1691.)
cite as: 42 USC 300h-6