Archive | November, 2011

L.A. County Court Case Could Affect Navigable Water Definition

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District on Oct. 11 petitioned the U. S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit Court ruling. If the Supreme Court takes on this issue, judges would decide if navigable waters under the Clean Water Act (CWA) encompass only natural waterbodies. The Ninth Circuit Court found the district liable [...]

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Check It Out! Runoff Videos and Wetland Trends

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released a series of videos, Reduce Runoff: Slow it Down, Spread it out, Soak it in! The set of four educational videos provides an introduction to controlling runoff in urban areas and can help municipalities communicate with the public. Click here to watch the videos in small-screen format and [...]

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Montana District Court Allows for Watershed-Based TMDLs

The Montana Federal District Court ruled that it would be more efficient to address total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) on a watershed basis than by individual waterbodies. The decision made in Friends of the Wild Swan, et al. v. EPA, et al. amended a 2004 court order that required Montana to address all waterbodies listed [...]

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Logging Subject to Clean Water Act Permitting Without Supreme Court Action

In mid-October, 26 states filed an amicus brief asking the U. S. Supreme Court to overturn Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, U.S. This court case classifies logging as an industrial, rather than agricultural, activity subject to Clean Water Act permitting for point sources. States write that this ruling contradicts U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and [...]

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D.C. Breaks Ground on Largest Construction Project Since Metro

On Oct. 12, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority broke ground on its $2.6 billion — the largest construction project since the building of the city’s Metrorail. The first phase of the project, a 594,000-m (157-million-gal) storage/conveyance tunnel, is designed to eliminate 90% of combined sewer overflows to the Anacostia River. Future projects [...]

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WERF Seeks Proposals on Nutrient Modeling

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF; Alexandria, Va.) currently is seeking proposals for an applicability analysis of and guidance on existing models for water quality criteria to protect designated uses from nutrient impacts. Proposals are due by Nov. 18 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. WERF recently released a stormwater best management practice (BMP) performance [...]

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D.C. Adopts Precedent-Setting Stormwater Permit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Oct. 5 approved the District of Columbia’s , mandating 350,000 ft of green roofs. The permit encourages other forms of green infrastructure as well requiring new development with footprints of 5000 ft or larger to retain 1.2 in. of rainfall over a 24-hour period. The permit also calls [...]

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Studies Tout the Benefits of Green Infrastructure

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) released a database of 479 stormwater case studies from 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. These studies highlight the advantages of green infrastructure, including benefits to the bottom line. Of the projects in the database, 75% actually reduced development costs or had no impact on them. [...]

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WEF YPs Take On Stormwater Community Service

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee completed its fourth annual community service project Oct. 15 during WEFTEC® in Los Angeles. Nearly 90 volunteers participated, planting 37 trees at South Los Angeles Wetlands Park. The wetland is designed to capture and filter stormwater runoff before it enters the Los Angeles [...]

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U.S. EPA Addresses Concerns About Groundwater Pollution From Green Infrastructure

A 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency memo provides clarification on when green infrastructure practices may be regulated as Class V Underground Injection Wells. EPA will not provide further clarification within the proposed stormwater rule, contrary to a statement made at a September meeting of the Groundwater Protection Council. The memo provides guidance on the few [...]

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