On June 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its revised Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework. The framework does not lower existing regulatory standards but allows municipalities to prioritize stormwater and wastewater projects. The framework is designed to help municipalities better manage the costs of implementing Clean Water Act requirements. Rather than implementing stormwater and wastewater requirements separately, the framework encourages municipalities to identify complementary and innovative solutions, such as green infrastructure.
EPA held a series of public workshops on the framework earlier this year. The revised framework incorporates comments from these workshops by adding a new element on adaptive management approaches, placing more emphasis on public outreach, addressing prioritization more effectively, providing more detail on cost and affordability, and explaining the balance between permitting and enforcement.