NLC Leaders Laud Proposal to Fix Stormwater Management Regs

Article excerpt

Following intensive consultation with state and local governments and other interested parties, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair, Rep. Bud Shuster (R-Pa.) and 15 bi-partisan co-sponsors announced the introduction of a revised Clean Water Act proposal. The new version of H.R. 961, a measure which would reauthorize and amend the Clean Water Act was announced at a press conference held last Wednesday.

Participating in the session for the nation's cities and towns were NLC First Vice President, Mayor Greg Lashutka of Columbus, Ohio and Mayor Lucy Allen of Louisburg, N.C., a member of NLC's Board of Directors.

"It is indeed fitting and appropriate that we are here on Capitol Hill today--as President Clinton is about to sign the unfunded mandates bill affecting future mandates--lending our strong support to proposed amendments" to an existing, untenable mandate, the municipal stormwater management program, Mayor Lashutka said.

Both he and Mayor Allen--who pointed out that the average $625,000 cost of obtaining a municipal stormwater permit was more than her town's receipts from its ad valorem tax--expressed their appreciation for the committee's recognition of the importance of involving state and local governments in a new partnership to craft legislation.

NLC was principally involved in development of the stormwater provisions of the new bill--provisions which would repeal the current stormwater management program for all cities and substitute a state-by-state process similar to one now used for controlling pollutants from non-point sources such as run-off from agricultural, sylvicultural and ranching activities.

Under the proposed revisions, states would be required to assess the rivers and streams within the state, determine which sources of pollution contribute to degradation of these water bodies or prevent attainment of water quality standards, and identify measures and programs to control pollution from stormwater run-off.

States would then be required to develop, in consultation with local governments, a management plan which would identify management practices and measure to reduce pollution from stormwater run-off with a view to attaining the goal of meeting water quality standards' within the next 19 years. …