Federal agency seeks to help municipalities manage water quality.
Acknowledging that local governments are facing severe financial pressures, the EPA developed an integrated planning process that the agency claims will help states and municipalities manage storm and wastewater in an efficient and cost effective manner.
Under the Clean Water Act, local governments are faced with separate requirements for managing sewage and stormwater. The EPA guidance stems from concern that addressing these requirements individually may prevent local governments from reaching cost-effective solutions.
Under the planning process outlined in the guidance, the agency intends to collaborate with local governments to identify areas where “efficiencies may arise” from overlapping waste and storm water requirements.
The EPA stated that it will also assist local governments in prioritizing “infrastructure investments” and implementing new waste and storm water management solutions such as green infrastructure.
The EPA’s announcement of its guidance has received support from a number of municipalities.