Environmental Protection Agency Tag

Cuccinelli vs. EPA Stormwater Case Verdict is In

Yesterday in a Federal court room in Alexandria, Virginia US District Judge Liam O'Grady ruled against the US EPA and in favor of VDOT and Fairfax County. The EPA had sought restrictions on stormwater flows of the Accotick Creek in Fairfax County in order to reduce sediment flow. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli led the case representing VDOT and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors who challenged the EPA's claim that stormwater should be regulated as a pollutant. O'Grady said in his ruling that "Stormwater runoff is not a pollutant, so EPA is not authorized to regulate it." Cuccinelli and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell stated that the EPA regulation would have cost Virginia taxpayers in Fairfax alone in excess of $300 million if the ruling were in favor of EPA and addional costs apporaching $100 million to retrofit and redesign VDOT projects to comply. Additional details of the case are addressed in today's...

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Arlington County – A Roadmap Towards Stormwater Compliance in Virginia?

Arlington County has submitted a proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation which could be used as a template by other municipalities throughout Virginia. Arlington’s plan to meet the requirements for reducing nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay offers a variety of options to improve current discharge levels. Other municipalities (as well as developers) should give strong consideration to how they develop and maintain their systems as well as future developments which may provide opportunities for additional improvements. The flexibility of the Arlington plan may assist other municipalities to move forward towards submitting their own permit and to achieve their Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements - not only the near future but also the ultimate deadlines in 2025. Read more about Arlington County's plan in this Washington Post story:

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What Do Stormwater and The Dead Poet’s Society Have in Common?

I recently came across a post on another stormwater blog which really struck a chord with me. Often, the challenges of dealing with more stringent demands for stormwater runoff (both quantity & quality), limited funding, and a disconnect between currently accepted stormwater management pratices and innovations being pursued by industry and engineers throughout the country. Robert Adair, President of Convergent Water Technologies shares his perspective on a recent Low Impact Development & Green Infrastructure program convened by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 3, and sponsored by the Low Impact Development Center. Read about how even Robin Williams can teach us something about stormwater management and the future of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.

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One Year Later, Henrico County Virginia to Settle with EPA for Clean Water Act Violation

One year after receiving an administrative complaint from the Environmental Protection Agency, Henrico County Supervisors have settled upon an agreement that will reduce the original $164,300 penalty levied by EPA for stormwater violations. In the spring of 2010, EPA conducted an audit of Henrico's records. Based on this audit, EPA issued an administrative complaint in April 2011 seeking civil penalties amounting to $164,300 for alleged non-compliance with permit conditions. Henrico's  penalty is not far from the $177,500 maximum administrative penalty that the EPA can levy without going to federal court. Benjamin A. Thorp, an assistant county attorney for Henrico, said the penalties levied in Virginia are "part of a big push by the EPA to address stormwater runoff." Henrico is not the first Virginia locality to have been sanctioned by EPA enforcement for stormwater violations. Another Richmond area municipality, Chesterfield County was issued a $131,000 penalty for stormwater pollution. (Chesterfield and the EPA negotiated a...

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Putting the LID on Stormwater Runoff

The following post is provided by guest blogger Thomas Powers, P.E., LEED AP, CFM, CPESC, A Project Manager with Wight & Company in Chicago Illinois and former colleague of The Inlet's Carolyn Howard. [caption id="attachment_688" align="alignleft" width="234" caption="Thomas Powers, PE, LEED AP, CFM, CPESC"][/caption] How many gallons of rain do you think falls each year on just one acre of land in Norfolk, Va.? Ten thousand? One hundred thousand? Would you believe more than one million? Unfortunately, most of that water isn’t absorbed by the land and instead becomes stormwater runoff, carrying debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks urban runoff and storm-sewer discharges as the fourth most prevalent source of impairment of our lakes, streams and rivers. The current best practices in stormwater management is called low impact development (LID), which refers to a comprehensive land planning and engineering design approach that emphasizes conservation and the use of...

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