The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a targeted effort to apply more stringent controls on stormwater pollution in the Charles River watershed in Eastern Massachusetts, where stormwater containing high levels of phosphorus is a chief culprit in dramatic algae blooms—including toxic cyanobacteria—that have plagued the river in recent years. The EPA action will require certain industrial, commercial, and residential facilities in the towns of Milford, Franklin, and Bellingham, Mass., with two or more acres of impervious area (parking lots, roofs, roadways, et cetera) to operate under a Clean Water Act permit.
Radical changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s stormwater program are necessary to reverse degradation of fresh water resources and ensure progress toward the Clean Water Act’s goal of "fishable and swimmable" waters, according to a new report from the National Research Council. To provide meaningful regulation, all stormwater and other wastewater discharge permits should be based on watershed boundaries instead of political boundaries, the report says. Moreover, the program should integrate stormwater management and land management practices, and focus less on chemical pollutants in the stormwater and more on the increased flow of water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is issuing a new Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit for an estimated 4,100 industrial facilities in 29 sectors to implement site-specific stormwater pollution prevention plans to protect water quality. Facilities are required to install control measures that meet established technology- and water quality-based effluent limits and must develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan.