Archive | April, 2013

U.S. EPA Releases Proposed Rule on Construction Effluent Limitation Guidelines

On April 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed changes to its 2012 effluent limitation guidelines for the construction and development point source category. The proposed rule would withdraw numeric turbidity limits created in 2009 and instead rely on best management practices for controlling erosion and sedimentation during the construction phase. The proposed […]

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Kansas City, Kan., Agrees To Improve Sewer and Stormwater Systems

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan. (UG) collects and treats domestic, commercial, and industrial wastewater from about 110,000 residents at five water resource recovery facilities. The system contains more than 1290 km (800 mi) of sewer lines, one-third of which are combined sewers. Since 2004, UG has reported more than 450 […]

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Federal Appeals Court Rules on Blending and Mixing at Water Resource Recovery Facilities

On March 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled that the method of regulating blending and mixing at water resource recovery facilities specified in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) letters is procedurally invalid. The 2011 letters to Sen. Charles Grassley outlined EPA’s positions on mixing zones and blending. In the case, […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Logging Road Permits

Clean Water Act permits will not be required on logging roads, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 20 in Decker v. Northwestern Environmental Defense Center. Instead, best management practices, regulated at the state level, will continue to be the method of managing erosion and sediment on logging roads. The case began when the Northwest […]

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Cutting the Cost of Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts

Addressing stormwater pollution carries a significant price tag in Virginia, with cost estimates at $10.5 billion, half the total cost of estimated Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. However, if results from Richmond, Va., are an indicator, costs could be cut by more than 50%. On March 27, the James River Association and Center for Watershed Protection […]

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U.S. EPA Rulemaking — A Look Down the Road

Because of their unique configuration, linear transportation networks are often an awkward fit for the existing municipal stormwater regulatory framework. “Transportation networks have a different flavor than commercial, residential, and industrial development,” said Larry Schaffner with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Stormwater and Watersheds Program. As a result, it can be inefficient and, […]

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Researchers Study Lake Erie Algal Blooms

The dead zone in Lake Erie was shrinking until the trend reversed in the mid-1990s, along with a resurgence of harmful algal blooms in 2011 that could be seen from space. In 2012, numbers of algae began to decrease as phosphorus levels also decreased. One of the greatest sources of algal blooms seems to be […]

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Baltic Sea Denizens Willing To Pay for Water Quality Improvements

According to a BalticSTERN report released March 14, residents of Baltic Sea countries are willing to pay nearly $5 billion (€3.8 billion) to restore water quality in the sea. Willingness to pay exceeds restoration costs by approximately $2 billion (€1.5 billion). The report, Baltic Sea — Our Common Treasure: Economics of Saving the Sea, also […]

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‘Rebuilding Green’ after Hurricane Sandy

Rebuilding New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy provides an opportunity to utilize green infrastructure, which not only protects water quality but also can guard against the costs and effects of future storms. According to an analysis by the World Resources Institute, reducing storm surge by maintaining wetlands costs $0.12/m3 […]

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Los Angeles Governing Body Halts Stormwater Fee Vote

Following a public hearing on Jan. 15 at which nearly 200 residents voiced concerns, Los Angeles County officials decided to rethink the county’s proposed stormwater parcel fee. The goal of the fee was to raise $290 million per year to improve stormwater management and comply with new state regulations. However, as a result of the […]

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