Tag Archives: nutrients

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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Bound Until Clean Water Act Compliance Do Us Part

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What are the following figures associated with? 

Atlanta –  1998-2013: $1.5 billion; 2014-2027: ~$445 million 
Cincinnati –  2006-2022: ~$1.5 billion 
St. Louis – 2011-2034:  $4.7 billion

Major League Baseball stadium construction/renovation costs?  Nope. These are expenditures made or planned pursuant to wet weather consent decrees and the figures do not even include civil penalties, expenditures made prior to entry […]

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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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2012 Ended in Victory—Looking forward to a Terrific 2013

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As the New Year begins, we’re excited to have ended 2012 on a high note with two key victories for NACWA and our public agency members. At the end of December, NACWA learned that the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) petition seeking to have the Agency expand the definition […]

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EPA Makes the Right Call on Addressing Nutrient Discharges from Clean Water Agencies

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Consistent with NACWA’s recommendations, on December 14, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a strongly worded denial of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) 2007 petition that sought to modify the secondary treatment regulations to include nutrient removal. NRDC wanted one-size-fits-all limits for nitrogen and phosphorus for all 15,000+ public wastewater utilities across the […]

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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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Is the Clean Water Act Broken and Can We Fix It?

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Much has been written and will continue to be written about the Clean Water Act this year as we celebrate the Act’s 40th anniversary. I don’t think anyone would argue the fact that the Act has been great for our waterways or that we would be much worse off without it.

But now we’ve entered a much more difficult and complex period in the history of the Clean Water Act. Federal money continues to dry up. Costs continue to increase. And requirements have become more stringent. We also have many new challenges to deal with including climate change, altered weather patterns, and population growth, to name just a few. [ … ]

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