Tag Archives: stormwater

Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit Asks: Who Should Pay for Nutrient Pollution?

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On March 16, 2015, Des Moines Water Works (“DMWW”) sued three drainage districts located in Sac County, Iowa (“the Districts”) seeking relief under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), state environmental laws, and state common law, for discharging large amounts of nitrogen through drainage ditches into the Raccoon River. The Raccoon River is a key drinking […]

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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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Partnerships for Clean Water: The Norm or the Exception?

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This year the City of Cedar Rapids and 15 partner organizations launched a $4.3 million project focused on improving soil health, water quality and water quantity in Iowa’s Middle Cedar watershed, a 2,417 square mile watershed which is part of the larger Cedar River watershed.  The Middle Cedar Partnership Project, made possible thanks to funding […]

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Ohio Places New Burdens on POTWs in Response to Toledo Water Crisis

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New legislation became effective in Ohio last Friday, July 3, that attempts to respond to the toxic algal blooms that shut down water service to approximately 500,000 customers in Toledo last summer.  The application of fertilizer on frozen, snow covered, or saturated soil in the Western Basin of Lake Erie—where the majority of phosphorous spills […]

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Greener is Better – DC Water’s Updated Consent Decree

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On May 20, 2015 I was joined by our partners at the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Mayor of the District of Columbia to announce the completion of the process to modify DC Water’s Long Term Control Plan to enable a significant investment in green infrastructure.
Under the […]

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The Nation’s Capital Shows Leadership on Integrated Planning, Green Infrastructure & Jobs

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At an event in Washington, DC today, DC Water announced its new agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to modify its long term control plan for green infrastructure to meet obligations under its wet weather consent decree. In addition to the multiple benefits that green infrastructure – […]

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Leading Beyond the Plant with the Urban Waters Federal Partnership

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Last week, NACWA partnered with 27 NGO’s and 14 Federal Agencies to support the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP). Groundwork USA, Wilderness Inquiry, and the Society of Municipal Arborists may seem to be unusual bedfellows, but NACWA shares the common belief that the best way to maintain and restore critical urban waters and watersheds is […]

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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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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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No National Stormwater Rule, Now What?

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Warmer temperatures have broken out in most of the country, thankfully putting a lid on the bitter chill of winter. While others were deep in hibernation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was busy making announcements that will significantly affect the trajectory of stormwater regulation around the country. In late March, EPA’s Office of Water released […]

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