Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Municipal Concerns Surface as Senate Begins Clean Water

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Municipal Concerns Surface as Senate Begins Clean Water

Article excerpt

Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and John Chafee R-R.I.), chair and ranking member respectively of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, last week proposed substantial revisions to the Clean Water Act which significantly reflect and address concerns expressed by municipalities required to implement this complex statute. In announcing the new measure, Baucus said his bill "provides state and local governments the resources to match their responsibilities." He described the measure as one that provides "a balanced, cooperative approach to provide real solutions to the water quality problems of this country" and to "relax somewhat, the |current command' and control approach to addressing water pollution in the nation's rivers and streams." "It does not," he said, "aim for perfection at the expense of the good."

Briefly, the major provisions in the Baucus-Chafee bill which affect municipalities include:

Stormwater Management

End-of-pipe treatment of stormwater run-off would be delayed for ten years for all municipalities regardless of size. Local governments in an urbanized area with a central city of 100,000 or more population and cities, regardless of size, in impaired watersheds would have to implement a stormwater management program six years after enactment of the statute. All other smaller municipalities would have no stormwater management requirements imposed on them for ten years. Under current law, the moratorium for implementation of a stormwater program for cities under 100,000 population expires in October of 1994.

Permits for cities required to comply with the stormwater management program will focus on best management practices and not on numerical effluent limits.

Combined Sewer Overflows

Communities with CSOs would have up to 15 years to come into compliance with CSO requirements. …

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