EPA – in partnership with USDA – is encouraging increased engagement and a reinvigoration of state, tribal and federal efforts to reduce excess nutrients in waterways, with a focus on market-based and other collaborative pollutant reduction approaches. The Agencies are committed to working with federal agencies, states, tribes and stakeholders such as agricultural producers, wastewater and drinking water service providers, and conservation organizations, to develop solutions tailored to the needs of specific communities and watersheds.
We urge you to reject any changes to agency rules, guidance, and/or policy that may diminish, impair, or subordinate states’ well-established sovereign and statutory authorities to protect water quality within their boundaries. Any regulatory action related to states’ CWA Section 401 authority raises significant federalism concerns, and therefore, we request that EPA engage in meaningful and substantive consultation with state officials before the commencement of such action.
With the adoption of the CWA, Congress purposefully designated states as co-regulators under a system of cooperative federalism that recognizes state authority over the allocation, administration, protection, and development of water resources. Section 101 of the CWA clearly expresses Congress’s intent to:
…recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution, to plan the development and use (including restoration, preservation, and enhancement) of land and water resources, and to consult with the Administrator in the exercise of his authority under this chapter.
This declaration demonstrates Congress’s understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach to water management and protection does not accommodate the practical realities of geographic and hydrologic diversity among states.
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) passed the senate as a part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act. Under VIDA, the EPA and Coast Guard must work together to develop and implement ballast water and incidental discharge standards. The goal of this act is to have a more consistent national regulatory system for ballast water… Read More »
ACWA held the 2017 Nutrients Permitting Workshop in Boise, Idaho. The first of seven workshops, over fifty individuals from the states and EPA participated. Presentations were given on POTW technologies, permitting flexibilities and innovations, the interrelation of permitting for nutrients and other pollutants, and other issues. A group of attendees also visited the Dixie Drain project in… Read More »
In April 2018, ACWA hosted the 2018 National Pretreatment Meeting in Silver Spring, Maryland. The two-day meeting held at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center brought together over 80 representatives from states and EPA Headquarters and Regions to discuss issues including pretreatment enforcement, the Dental Amalgam Rule, contaminants of emerging concern, deindustrialization and changing industries, food processing and… Read More »
The June 2018 Nutrients Permitting Workshop was held in Columbus, Ohio. The second workshop in a series of seven, the Columbus workshop focused on the relationship between technology and permitting for nutrients. Presenters spoke on specific types of technology, optimization and alternative approaches to nutrients removal, costs analyses, operator training, small systems, and more. Also,… Read More »
The workshop focused on the relationship between permitting for nutrients and TMDLs. Representatives from 27 states attended along with representatives from EPA Headquarters and 5 Regions. Topics included breaking down barriers between TMDL and permitting programs, CAFOs and MS4s, reassessing and reevaluating TMDLs, politics and public perceptions of TMDLs and permits, small systems, variances and… Read More »
EPA’s Regional Realignment Plan. establish a standard organizational structure for its regional offices that is intended to: • Increase coordination between EPA National Programs and their regional counterparts as we work to meet our strategic goals and objectives; • Improve the consistent implementation of EPA regulations and policies; • Allow for better resource allocation to… Read More »
Memo from Acting Administrator Wheeler to regional administrators directing EPA to defer to state decision-making in most cases but also lays out situations when regulators should intervene to protect human health and the environment.
The August 31, 2018 Federal Register Notice indicates EPA is requesting input on “possible approaches to updating the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations related to the management of peak wet weather flows at Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) treatment plants serving separate sanitary sewer collection systems.” While states have historically expressed a diversity… Read More »
ACWA’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018