Water: Water Headlines
Week of March 28, 2011
- Coming Together for Clean Water Strategy Released
- EPA to Open Public Comment on Proposed Standards to Protect Aquatic Ecosystems
- Memorandum Released: Information Concerning 2012 Clean Water Act Sections 303(d), 305(b) and 314 Integrated Reporting and Listing Decisions
- Office of Water's Acting Assistant Administrator Blogs on Beaches and Clean Water
Coming Together for Clean Water Strategy Released
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Coming Together for Clean Water: EPA's Strategy to Protect America's Waters. This strategy charts a path for meeting the nation's clean water strategic plan goals over the next several years. Protecting the nation's water resources is not only important to the health of the nation's citizens and the environment, but clean water is also a critical resource for the economy.
In April 2010 Administrator Jackson brought a broad range of stakeholders together for the Coming Together for Clean Water forum. The discussion at the forum focused on how to reinvigorate the nation's clean water programs to achieve a significant leap forward in clean water protections.
The Coming Together for Clean Water strategy presents a framework for how EPA's national water program will address the challenges and highlights EPA's priorities for achieving clean water goals. This strategy focuses on the following key areas: ensuring transparency and effectively reporting on the status of the health of all waters; increasing protection of source waters and healthy watersheds; restoring degraded waters and ecosystems; reducing the amount of pollution entering our waters that impact our health and our economy; and tackling new and emerging threats to our waters in a way that will ensure healthier, more livable communities. This vision for EPA's programs is important to consistent and collaborative efforts between EPA, state and tribal partners, local government partners, the private sector and the public in order to achieve significant improvements our nation's water quality.
More information is available at: http://blog.epa.gov/waterforum/.
EPA to Open Public Comment on Proposed Standards to Protect Aquatic Ecosystems
Today, as required by the Clean Water Act and pursuant to a settlement agreement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing for public comment standards to protect billions of fish and other aquatic organisms drawn each year into cooling water systems at large power plants and factories. The proposal, based on Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act, would establish a common sense framework, putting a premium on public input and flexibility.
Safeguards against impingement will be required for all facilities above a minimum size; closed-cycle cooling systems may also be required on a case by case basis when, based on thorough site-specific analysis by permitting authorities, such requirements are determined to be appropriate. EPA is proposing this regulation as a result of a settlement agreement with Riverkeeper, Inc. and other environmental groups.
The public will be able to comment on the proposal upon its publication in the Federal Register. EPA will conduct a 90 day comment period, and will carefully consider those comments before taking final action on the proposal. The administrator must take final action by July 27, 2012.
More information: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/316b/
Memorandum Released: Information Concerning 2012 Clean Water Act Sections 303(d), 305(b) and 314 Integrated Reporting and Listing Decisions
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Clean Water Act Sections 303(d), 305 (b), and 314 integrated reporting memorandum for the 2012 reporting cycle. This memorandum provides clarification on existing policy and regulations, including recommendations and options for States as they develop their 2012 integrated water quality reports. Specifically, this memorandum focuses on: 1) Timeliness of State Integrated Report submissions and EPA approval; 2) Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load Tracking and Implementation System data clarifications; 3) Availability of recent EPA guidance on Ocean Acidification; and 4) EPA's intent to work with States to develop future guidance on the interplay between antidegradation and the 303(d) program.
For more information: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/tmdl/ir_memo_2012.cfm
Office of Water's Acting Assistant Administrator Blogs on Beaches and Clean Water
March is Women's History Month. For the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Women in Science blog series, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water, Nancy Stoner, recently posted a blog on beaches and clean water, and the relevance to human health and environmental protection. In the blog, Ms. Stoner discusses EPA's ongoing efforts to address water quality at beaches and efforts to protect them from pollution, such as grants to help states, territories and tribes to monitor beaches and to notify the public when water quality problems exist.
To read the blog: http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2011/03/25/women-in-science-this-land-is-your-land-%E2%80%93-and-so-is-the-water/ For information on beaches: http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/