Jun 24, 2011

Water Officials Gather for House Hearing on EPA’s Nutrient Policies

A member of the National Assn. of Clean Water Agencies will address the EPA’s approach to controlling waterway nutrients

The National Assn. of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) testifies today at an oversight hearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s policy approach to controlling nutrients in our waterways. The hearing is scheduled to begin this morning and will be available via live webcast.

Barbara Biggs, chair of NACWA’s Water Quality Committee and Government Affairs Officer for the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District in Denver, Colo., testifies on behalf of the association and will discuss general views on EPA’s approach toward developing numeric nutrient criteria and related Colorado’s experience with the subject. Biggs will urge the subcommittee to explore new and innovative approaches to nutrient control and used Colorado as an example to illustrate her point.

In Colorado, wastewater utilities have been working for almost two years on an approach that includes scientifically derived numeric values for nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as an adaptive implementation plan that ensures nutrient reductions in priority watersheds. This includes those where point sources are a significant contribution. EPA officials, however, have told Colorado that these efforts may not be sufficient.