Author Archives: Nathan Gardner-Andrews

U.S. Deserves Gold Medal in Water Quality

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When the Summer Olympics kick off on August 5, the world’s attention will be focused for two weeks on the Games and on the host city, Rio de Janeiro.  But instead of the international spotlight shining solely on the athletes and on the fabulous Brazilian culture enveloping the competition, scrutiny will also be turned to […]

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Could It Be? Stars Aligning for Potential Major CWA Improvements

Last week, I had the privilege of giving a federal policy update at the Texas Water conference in Ft. Worth.  As part of my presentation, I asked audience members to shout out the first word that came to mind when they thought about Washington, DC and Congress.  “Dysfunction,” “broken,” and “polarized” were among the favorites […]

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White House Water Summit Highlights Need for Innovation & Investment

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On March 22 – World Water Day – the White House hosted an important Water Summit focused on building a sustainable water future for the United States.  Themes of innovation, resiliency, and sustainability played an important role in the day’s events, but there was also significant attention on the water infrastructure challenges facing communities around […]

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Looking Back – And Ahead

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Last night, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address, presenting his vision for the future of the country.  One thing notably missing from his discussion was any mention of increased investment in the nation’s infrastructure, especially water infrastructure.  This serves as a stark reminder of the need for the municipal clean water […]

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Clean Water Affordability and the Need for Responsible Relief

Tomorrow the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will hold an important hearing to look at the state of clean water affordability in this country and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new integrated planning approach for municipal wastewater and stormwater requirements.  
Since passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1971, this country’s water […]

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New Rule Delays Show Continued Challenges of Federal Stormwater Regulation

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This script is becoming familiar.  EPA, working since late 2009 to develop a new national post-construction stormwater rule, approaches a deadline to release a draft of the rule proposal for public comment.  But the deadline comes and goes, no proposal is released, and there is confusion as to whether any new deadline exists.  This pattern […]

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Mississippi River Litigation Highlights Complexities of Nutrients

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A few weeks ago, NACWA and a number of other groups filed legal briefs in an ongoing federal court case over regulation of nutrients in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB).  At its heart, the case is about whether the federal government or individual states should take the lead in developing nutrient water quality criteria, and […]

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New Year, New Stormwater Rule?

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Recently, NACWA submitted a letter to EPA outlining the Association’s thinking on key issues related to the post-construction stormwater rule under development. The submittal of the letter is timely, as EPA is preparing to move into the final phases of rule development. Under the Agency’s current plan, a draft of the rule is expected for […]

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Defending Water Quality Trading in Court—The Right Thing To Do

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As has been previously discussed on this blog, water quality trading presents an exciting and innovative opportunity to achieve clean water improvements in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective way. This is particularly true for the Chesapeake Bay watershed and others that are impaired by excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Nutrient trading programs, especially […]

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Litigation Over Chesapeake Bay TMDL is All About Sharing the Burden

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Yesterday, a federal district court in Pennsylvania heard oral arguments in a litigation challenge to EPA’s total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay.  In five hours of intense and complex argument, agricultural interests, EPA, environmental activists groups, and municipal utility groups including NACWA presented their perspectives on the legal and policy issues underlying […]

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