The committee identifies and addresses stormwater quality and quantity issues affecting local governments including tracking, evaluating and making recommendations regarding federal legislation and regulations. The committee coordinates with other associations such as the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Governors' Association and American Public Works Association regarding stormwater quality and quantity management issues.
Environmental Sciences Department Manager
San Antonio River Authority
San Antonio, Texas
Water Quality & Environment Permitting Program Manager
City of Charlotte
Charlotte Mecklenburg Stormwater Services
Charlotte, North Carolina
Rulemaking to Strengthen the Clean Water Act.
EPA initiated a national rulemaking to reduce stormwater discharges and make other regulatory improvements to the stormwater program. The proposed rulemaking has the potential to place large fiscal impacts on municipalities and utilities for little discernible water quality improvement. As part of this process, NAFSMA has adopted some key principles. Those include: Removing MS4’s from the NPDES program; clarifying the Maximum Extent Practicable standard as the standard of compliance for municipal stormwater discharges; developing a strategic plan for implementing total maximum daily load standards (TMDLs) consistent with recommendations of the National Research Council and eliminating duplicated construction activities permitting, among other items.
- NAFSMA position paper on municipal stormwater management issues
- NAFSMA, NACWA and APWA Joint Comments on EPA’s proposed rulemaking
- NAFSMA comments on EPA’s proposed rulemaking to establish a comprehensive program to reduce stormwater discharges
Integrated Water Planning Approach
In an October 2011 memorandum, EPA agreed to work with states and communities to implement integrated water quality planning approaches. These concepts seek to take advantage of green infrastructure and encourage cost-effective projects that improve water quality for the most pressing local needs. NAFSMA members share the mission of protecting water quality and providing the greatest value to their constituents, as defined by local communities. NAFSMA is generally supportive of EPA’s framework and believes, that if crafted and implemented well, it can meet the mission of NAFSMA members to be effective stewards of their constituent’s resources.
Nationwide Ongoing Stormwater Management Litigation
In response to legal challenges, in recent years EPA has tightened certain NPDES permits managing stormwater discharges. In some cases, EPA has required municipal utilities to meet standards exceeding those required by the Clean Water Act. In Virginia and Missouri, for example, permitees have been required to meet TMDLs for pollution surrogates such as stormwater flow. In certain cases where legally ambiguous standards have been required, NAFSMA has filed Amicus Curiae briefs in support of its members. As a leading voice for stormwater management utilities, NAFSMA will continue to defend its members from these requirements - and other challenges - that can have broad impacts on stormwater utilities nationwide.
- NAFSMA, NACWA and APWA Amicus Curiae brief on behalf of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District
- NAFSMA, NACWA and APWA Amicus Curiae brief on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Transportation
- NAFSMA and Santa Clara Valley Water District Amicus Curiae brief on behalf of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District
Determination of Waters of the U.S.
*Shared issue with Flood Management Committee
In 2006, the Supreme Court levied a decision addressing the extent of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The verdict was fairly ambiguous and resulted in the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers issuing joint guidance in 2007 and 2011 to provide direction on implementing the decision. These actions have caused confusion among parties seeking CWA permits and regulators reviewing those permits; making permit approval difficult and constraining local agencies abilities to perform needed maintenance activities.NAFSMA believes the guidance, and related congressional legislation, will significantly expand the scope of CWA jurisdiction and will place costly mitigation requirements and undue liability on flood control and stormwater management agencies.
- Draft U.S. EPA and Corps of Engineers Guidance Regarding Identification of Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act
- NAFSMA final comments on U.S. EPA and Corps of Engineers Guidance Regarding Identification of Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act
- Joint congressional letter to the Office of Management and Budget on Clean Water Act guidance