Ensuring Clean Water Through Stormwater Rulemaking

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The U.S. EPA’s stormwater rulemaking process that is currently underway is a great opportunity for you to speak up for policies that will ensure cleaner water in the Great Lakes. Our workshop presenters will highlight the most important elements of the proposed rule. They will also describe how the policies they recommend will make a difference and why it’s critical for you to get involved and help actively promote the rule’s final adoption.

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Ensuring Clean Water Through Stormwater Rulemaking

  1. 1. Ensuring Clean Water through EPA’s National Stormwater Rulemaking Issues and Opportunities Katie Rousseau, American Rivers Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Restoration Conference October 13, 2011
  2. 2. Runoff: a growing problem <ul><li>Development rates outpace population growth </li></ul><ul><li>Development = Imperviousness = Impaired Waters </li></ul>Source: California Water and Land Use Partnership
  3. 3. Regulatory responses not keeping pace with impacts, or emergence of LID <ul><li>Increasing trend toward embrace of decentralized, “green infrastructure” management approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory structures often at odds with green infrastructure principles </li></ul><ul><li>Tension between permitting and community and water quality needs </li></ul>
  4. 4. Inconsistency frustrates successful resolution of these problems <ul><li>Permits without objective, retention standards </li></ul><ul><li>Post-construction requirements limited to MS4s </li></ul>DC NJ DE NY FL OH MD RI MN VT NC   AL AR AZ CO CT DC FL GA IA ID IL IN KS KY LA ME MI MN MO MS NC ND NE NM OH RI SD UT VA WY
  5. 5. Inconsistency frustrates successful resolution of these problems <ul><li>Inequitable distribution of local responsibility… </li></ul><ul><li>… contributes to national problems. </li></ul>
  6. 6. A National Stormwater Rule <ul><li>Possible options include : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Post Construction Performance Standards for New Development and Redevelopment Projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional Dischargers Brought into Regulatory Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retrofit Program to Address Existing Imperviousness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other issues at play : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public participation in municipal stormwater management programs, state designation of standards, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to impaired waters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial stormwater, Combined Sewer Overflows </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Post-Construction & On-site Management <ul><li>Not an LID or green infrastructure requirement, as some state permit programs are attempting </li></ul><ul><li>Performance standard requiring on-site precipitation management: EISA guidance (95 th % storm) as model ? </li></ul><ul><li>Possible relaxation for redevelopment , urban infill, and brownfields </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance flexibility where infeasible </li></ul>
  8. 8. Filling Holes in Stormwater Program <ul><li>More complete universe of sources subject to the Clean Water Act brought under regulation </li></ul><ul><li>EPA proposing alterations to MS4 definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ urbanized cluster” replacing “urbanized area” ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>out to sub-watershed boundary ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty about other needs – direct dischargers, areas of planned future growth </li></ul>
  9. 9. Retrofit Planning & Implementation <ul><li>Lots of movement in this field, despite perception of high costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Costs may be less than feared. Other benefits may offset these costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EPA proposing long term planning process to be implemented incrementally and tied to MS4 permits </li></ul><ul><li>Is this enough? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Where this all leads… <ul><li>Broader embrace of green infrastructure drives lower costs, improved efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Increased demand drives evolution in professional communities </li></ul><ul><li>Changing attitudes drive integrated water management </li></ul><ul><li>Continued local leadership </li></ul>
  11. 11. A National Stormwater Rule <ul><li>When ?? !! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed Rule : December 15, 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Comment Period : through February 2012 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final Rule : November 2012 </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Katie Rousseau </li></ul><ul><li>American Rivers </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>419.936.3759 </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Spread the word! </li></ul><ul><li>Wireless: </li></ul><ul><li>Choose “Woodward Prefunction” and use password HOW11 </li></ul><ul><li>  Conference website: Conference.healthylakes.org </li></ul><ul><li>  Email us photos, comments, tweets or video & we will post online: healthylakes@gmail.com </li></ul><ul><li>  On Twitter? Use the hashtag: #healthylakes </li></ul>

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