by Alicia Pimental
January 01, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is initiating new federal rulemaking to help control polluted runoff from cities, suburbs and farmland to the Chesapeake Bay and its network of streams and rivers.
The EPA is working with the six Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia to strengthen regulations on major sources of water pollution, including stormwater and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), to achieve the pollutant reductions of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, a federal pollution budget currently in development.
"We’re developing the most rigorous framework to date for reducing pollution in the Bay and its watershed," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who announced the new rules. "These rules will provide critical backstop measures to ensure accountability in state efforts that are the frontline for success in this historic cleanup effort."
The EPA’s regulatory initiatives for the Chesapeake Bay watershed include three major components. Each includes mechanisms to encourage and support alternative state regulatory actions.
Stormwater: No later than November 2012, the EPA will consider options for the Chesapeake Bay watershed that go beyond national requirements for controlling stormwater runoff from newly developed and redeveloped sites. These more stringent elements may include:
- More extensively redefining municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4)
- Establishing more stringent stormwater retention requirements for newly developed and redeveloped site.
- Applying these requirements to smaller sites
- CAFOs: The EPA will consider expanding the universe of CAFOs and requiring more stringent permit standards to control nutrients. The EPA may also consider options to streamline the designation process and improve off-site manure management. The EPA intends to propose this rule in 2012 and take final action by late 2013.
- Offsets: The EPA will support the implementation of a program to offset pollution loads from new or expanding sources under the TMDL, which will be adopted by December 2010.