The article “Akron files federal motion to reopen agreement addressing overflowing sewers” caught my attention this morning. Requests to amend or change existing consent decrees filed with the EPA are not unheard of, especially in cities who adopted their Long Term Control Plans relatively early, after the 1994 CSO Control Policy was passed, which required all cities with combined sewer systems to put together plans to characterize and reduce and sewer overflows due to wet weather events. In this article however, the author states that Akron’s effort for an Integrated Plan incorporating more green infrastructure components has been twice rejected by the EPA.
A couple weeks ago, Steve Kolmes of the University of Portland came by Penn to speak about EPA methodology for setting ambient WQ standards. He presented his involvement and knowledge with the process of amending Oregon’s water quality standards, touching on the technical aspects of toxicology, political framework, and the ethics of water quality regulation in the United States. I will summarize my main takeaways from the presentation here.