Water quality designations
(1)The commission may adopt the following water quality designations:
(2)The commission shall promulgate criteria governing the designations provided in subsection (1) of this section. Such criteria shall be consistent with the provisions of this section and sections 25-8-102 and 25-8-104.
(a)Outstanding waters shall be maintained and protected at their existing quality. Segments shall not be designated as outstanding waters unless the commission determines that:
(I)The quality of the waters is better than necessary to support propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water based upon water quality standards for indicator parameters identified by the commission in the criteria promulgated under the provisions of subsection (2) of this section;
(II)The waters constitute an outstanding natural resource; and
(III)Protection of such resource requires protection in addition to that provided by the combination of water quality classifications and standards and the protection afforded reviewable waters under the provisions of subsection (5) of this section.
(b)All waters that were designated as high quality 1 by the commission prior to July 1, 1992, are hereby designated as outstanding waters.
(a)Use-protected waters are those waters with existing quality that is not better than necessary to support propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water.
(b)The commission shall utilize the criteria promulgated by rule pursuant to subsection (2) of this section in designating waters as use-protected.
(c)The quality of waters designated as use-protected may be altered if that quality provided for in applicable water quality classifications and standards is maintained.
(6)Water quality designations and reviewable waters provisions shall not be utilized by the commission or by any other state, federal, or local agency in a manner that is contrary to the provisions of section 25-8-104.
Section 25-8-209 — Water quality designations - rules,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-25.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).