Tag Archives: nonpoint sources

You Wash Your Face With What???

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Illinois has become the first state to ban the sale of products containing plastic microbeads, which are commonly found in personal care products such as facial scrubs, soaps, and toothpaste.  Plastic microbeads are an environmental problem because they pass through wastewater treatment plants and are discharged into receiving waters, where they attract toxins and can […]

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RCPP Ushers In New Era of Collaborative Conservation

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) last week which encourages partnerships between agricultural producers and municipal entities, such as water and wastewater utilities, to help farmers tackle various conservation and environmental issues on a regional scale.  Almost $400 million will be available in the first full year to […]

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Moving Beyond Gray vs. Green to Embrace “Sustainable Infrastructure”

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A bioretention pond slowly releases stormwater runoff into an enlarged storm sewer.  An overflow drain system collects sheet flow from a bioswale to manage storms larger than the design event.  These are both examples of how green infrastructure utilizes and integrates traditional “gray” components, like conduits and drains, to function properly and efficiently.  On a […]

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Put Cover Crops to Work in Your Watershed

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A couple of weeks ago, Patricia Sinicropi wrote an excellent blog on the new opportunities for water and agricultural interests to work together in the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) included in the 2014 Farm Bill. It is well known in water quality circles that investing in agricultural best management practices can be a […]

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It’s Time to Walk the Talk!

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By enacting the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) in the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress has extended an opportunity for the municipal wastewater community to prove what we’ve been saying for decades: if we want to see serious reductions of nutrient loadings in surface waters, it’s far more effective to invest in best management practices on […]

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Advocating for Our Future: Thoughts from NACWA’s Law Seminar

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Several themes dominated NACWA’s recently held 2013 National Clean Water Law Seminar: the Clean Water Act (CWA) is showing its age and is set in its ways but is here to stay for the foreseeable future and the forecast is Stormy with 100% Chance of More Regulation as one session was appropriately titled.  While the […]

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The Farm Bill and the Fight to Reduce Nutrient Run-Off

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Nutrient runoff is the greatest water quality challenge facing the United States today.  According to State water quality reports, 80,000 miles of rivers and streams, 2.5 million acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds, 78% of the assessed continental U.S. coastal areas and more than 30% of estuaries are impaired due to excessive levels of nitrogen […]

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Cooperative Federalism: Courts Get it Right in Nutrient Litigation

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In September, two federal court rulings reinforced NACWA’s long-held positions on cooperative federalism and EPA’s proper role in the total maximum daily load (TMDL) and water quality standard development process. Taken together, these two decisions paint a clear path forward for EPA to regulate nutrients in a holistic watershed manner that appropriately addresses nonpoint source […]

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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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The Case for Green and the Need for Strong NGO Collaboration

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Green infrastructure (GI) is entering a “make it or break it” phase; certain communities, with support from federal and state agencies, are now willing to invest broadly in GI, such as vegetated bioswales or green roofs, as a way to manage urban stormwater. These forward-thinking communities, many of whom see the challenge of wet weather […]

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