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Clean Water Act

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Clean Water Act

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  1. Clean Water Act Master Water Steward February 25, 2014 Faye Sleeper, Co-Director Water Resources Center

  2. Clean Water Act Overview • Clean Water Act Overview • Local and State governance • Articles and discussion

  3. Clean Water Act Context: Environmental Conditions • Condition of surface waters • Potomac River • Cuyahoga River • Lake Erie and Ontario • Soybean oil spill in MN River

  4. Clean Water Act Context: Societal Action • 1960s – time of protest • First earth day • Upsurge in citizen lawsuits over industrial discharge • Outrage over environmental conditions

  5. Clean Water Act Context: Values • Human Health – pre-1960s • Water Quality Act of 1965 – water quality standards for interstate waters • 1970 executive order – Refuse Act Permit Program

  6. Listen to one of the key staff authors http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEQcUngxbLI

  7. Four Key Precepts40 Years of Public Policy Decisions • No right to pollute • Permits required to discharge pollutants • Use best technology possible • Higher standards only based on receiving waters

  8. Clean Water Act Timeline water quality criteria; designated uses; Permit program; Funding Revision to wastewater treatment facility grant funding regulations non-point source program and funding; wastewater loan funds Permit Program (NPDES) for industrial dischargers 1987 1977 1972 1981

  9. CLEAN WATER ACT • Delegation to states • EPA oversight role • States can establish more stringent rules • EPA can over-file • Border Waters • EPA can withdraw delegation

  10. Current Process – Integrating Both Pathways Set Standards Monitor/Assess Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluate Implementation Best Management Practices Permitting and Enforcement

  11. Water Quality Standards • Fundamental tool of the Clean Water Act • CWA objective: • “Restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters” • “Fishable and swimmable” interim goal • Address three key questions: • What and who are we protecting? • What conditions are protective? • How do we maintain high water quality?

  12. Beneficial Uses • Seven classes in MN Rules: • Drinking water • Aquatic life and recreation • Industrial use and cooling • Agricultural and wildlife use • Aesthetics and navigation • Other uses • Limited resource value • Waters have multiple uses • Existing, designated

  13. Setting Water Quality Standards • Set in 1974 • Determine the use of the water body, what conditions are protective of those uses and ensure protection of those waters that are already good (anti-degradation) • Eg. • Use: swimming and recreation • Limiting Phosphorus to 30 ug/L

  14. Current Process – Integrating Both Pathways Set Standards Monitor/Assess Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluate Implementation Best Management Practices Permitting and Enforcement

  15. Goals of Monitoring • Monitor/assess waters on a 10-year cycle • Integrate agency, citizen & local efforts • Assess conditions (not just impairments) • Identify stressors • Inform TMDL/protection strategy development • Track trends • Report to Congress every 2 years

  16. Compare monitoring results to standards Waters identified as supporting beneficial use, not supporting use, or not assessed In selecting monitoring data, consider: Data quality Monitoring design/purpose Frequency of exceedence Local knowledge Assessment

  17. Current Process – Integrating Both Pathways Set Standards Monitor/Assess Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluate Implementation Best Management Practices Permitting and Enforcement

  18. What is a Total Maximum Daily Load Calculation for waters that do not meet standards Point source (Waste Load Allocation) + Nonpoint source (Load Allocation) + Margin of safety (+ reserve capacity)

  19. urban runoff rural runoff WWTF suburban runoff MOS RC Reducing the pollutant load Current Allocation Future Allocation

  20. TMDLs by Pollutant Type State – 2010 list by pollutant National – completed TMDLs by pollutant

  21. Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy The goal is clean water. To get there we are: • Monitoring all 81 watersheds by 2017; by watershed • Monitoring: chemical, physical and biological • Protection and restoration strategies • Taking a comprehensive, focused and targeted approach • Adapting – revisit and build off what’s been done and see if it’s working • Reduced costs of doing assessments and TMDLs

  22. Implementation Table

  23. Rotating Through the Major Watersheds on a Ten-Year Cycle Every 10 Years 23

  24. Current Process – Integrating Both Pathways Set Standards Monitor/Assess Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluate Implementation Best Management Practices Permitting and Enforcement

  25. Implementation : Regulatory and Voluntary • Regulatory (through the Permits) • Industrial and Municipal wastewater • Large Animal Feeding operations • Permitted Storm water • Voluntary (incentives) • Non-permitted urban run-off • Agricultural run-off • Septic Systems

  26. Municipal WastewaterTreatment - Regulatory • National Pollutant Elimination Discharge System (NPDES) Permit • Direct discharge into waters of the United States • Navigable waters and tributaries • Interstate waters • Storm water used to flow into the sanitary sewer

  27. Industrial Wastewater • NPDES discharge permit • Pre-treatment permit • Regulated by NPDES permit holder Photo courtesy of Great Lakes United

  28. Storm water • Three permit types • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) • Industrial • Construction

  29. Storm water – Urban Runoff (MS4) • Who is covered • Publicly owned or operated storm water infrastructure • Cities, townships, public institutions • April 2008: 243 MS4s • University of Minnesota is one

  30. Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System • No effluent limits • Storm water Pollution Protection Plan • Public education • Public participation • Annual meeting and report • A plan to detect illicit discharges

  31. Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System • Six elements • Construction-site runoff controls • Post construction runoff controls • Storm water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

  32. Construction Storm water • EPA estimates that 20 – 150 tons soil/ acre loss • Disturb one acre or more – need permit • General permit • Storm water pollution prevention plan – how they will control storm water

  33. Industrial Storm water • Certain industries • Storm water associated with industry • Industry categories • Benchmark monitoring • Benchmark Values • BMPs • Storm water Pollution Prevention Plan

  34. Current Process – Integrating Both Pathways Set Standards Monitor/Assess Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluate Implementation Best Management Practices Permitting and Enforcement

  35. Non-regulated “urban/rural” runoff • Not under a permit • Smaller municipalities and rural communities • Voluntary measures • Rain gardens • Buffers • Keeping water where it falls • Homeowners and businesses

  36. Voluntary Agricultural restoration Board of Water and Soil Resources Photo Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation Photo

  37. Current Process – Integrating Both Pathways Set Standards Monitor/Assess Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluate Implementation Best Management Practices Permitting and Enforcement

  38. Clean Water ActWhat isn’t regulated • Ground water • State protection, no federal • Septic Systems • State law, no federal • Agricultural runoff • Huge controversy

  39. The Constitutional Amendment Funding 33% Habitat 33% Water 14.25% Parks 19.75% Arts & Culture

  40. Primary State Agencies – Water Responsibilities

  41. Local Governments and their roles • Cities • Counties • Soil and Water Conservation Districts • Watershed Districts • Watershed Management Organizations

  42. Cities • Wastewater treatment • Stormwater treatment • Drinking water • Regulated and regulatory • Vary in capacity • Land use planning

  43. Counties • County water plan • Comprehensive Plan • Land use planning • Delegation for portions of: • Feedlots (not NPDES) • Septic Systems • Stormwater

  44. Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) • 1st MN SWCD 1938 • In response to dust Bowl • Initially established to more wisely use our soil and water resources • Now authorized under Minnesota Statutes 103c • Wetland authority • Conservation • Funding

  45. Watershed Districts • Boundaries follow natural watershed boundaries • Est. by legislature in 1955 • Manage water by watershed districts rather than other political subdivisions • Board of Managers + staff • Voluntary

  46. Watershed Management Organizations • Metropolitan area only • 1982 Metropolitan Area Surface Water Management Act (103B) • Implement comprehensive surface water management plans • Mandatory • Storm water management • Funding

  47. Citizen Engagement Old tools: 1)Command and control approaches (regulation) 2) Market-based incentives “New tools”-- rely on voluntary behavioral changes: 1)Education (encourages understanding, creates values and norms for behavior) 2) Information (provides facts intended to change behaviors) 3) Voluntary measures

  48. New tools effective for addressing local environmental problems Encourages use of a strategic combination of: • education and information • incentives • stakeholder involvement • inter-personal communication and persuasion • development of new social norms • peer pressure • removal of barriers to participation Local, small scale focus

  49. What does NOT work • Communication of information alone cannot overcome other factors affecting behavior (inconvenience, expense, difficulty, legal barriers) • Many communication efforts fail because they do not address these underlying barriers to behavioral change

  50. What works • incentives are coupled with it • it comes in many forms and from many sources • it provides alternatives regarding what to do (provides sense of control vs. anxiety) Communication of information can change behavior if…