The EPA recently announced a new Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Framework: EPA Press Release. Here’s some additional context for their approach.
How does it work?
EPA's new framework provides guidance on the development of a logical plan to address human health and water quality objectives of the Clean Water Act. The concept is to create one plan incorporating National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements for wastewater treatment and collection systems, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and Combined Sewer Overflows / Long Term Control Plans. Combining all CWA permits into one plan allows municipalities to prioritize the work needed to comply.
Elements of an integrated plan include:
- a description of existing water quality, public health, and regulatory requirements;
- a description of stormwater and wastewater systems;
- a communication and stakeholder plan;
- an alternatives analysis and implementation schedule;
- a method to measure success;
- incorporation of "green" and "sustainable" technologies; and
- a process to improve the plan throughout implementation.
Opportunity to Maximize Funds
New stormwater regulations, inflow/infiltration reduction needs, new NPDES permit requirements (especially those related to nutrients), and wastewater treatment plant improvements are all opportunities to create and leverage an integrated plan. Using this approach will help you get the biggest bang for your buck.
An Integrated Plan is Underway
Woodard & Curran is currently initiating work on one of the first integrated plans in EPA Region 1 (New England) for the Town of Durham, NH and the University of New Hampshire. These proactive stakeholders recognize the value and cost-savings of addressing their stormwater and wastewater needs in one consolidated plan.
An informational webinar from EPA is forthcoming and will be found at the following link when it becomes available: EPA Webcasts.