Governing Law and Regulations
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) Division of Water
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. Kentucky has classified its waters into six categories based on the use of the water. Temperature standards vary with the classification. Kentucky also regulates water temperatures under its general water quality standards.
• Administration and enforcement. DEP's Division of Water administers and enforces the state's water quality program, including thermal standards.
401 KAR 10:026
Kentucky's surface waters have been classified based on usage. The usage categories are: warm water aquatic habitat, cold water aquatic habitat, primary contact recreation, secondary contact recreation, domestic water supply (applicable at existing points of public water supply withdrawal), and outstanding resource water. Each body of water or section of a body of water has three or four uses assigned to it. Specific thermal standards are assigned based on whether the body of water is a warm or cold water aquatic habitat.
COLD WATER AQUATIC HABITATS
401 KAR 10:031, Section 4(2)(b)
In cold water habitats, water temperature must not be increased above the natural seasonal temperatures as a result of human activities.
WARM WATER AQUATIC HABITATS
401 KAR 10:031, Section ...