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ENVIRO-NEWS  May 2008

ENVIRO-NEWS May 2008

Subject:

EPA Water Headlines for May 19, 2008

From:

"Makuch, Joe" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Makuch, Joe

Date:

Tue, 20 May 2008 09:32:46 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (167 lines)

-----Original Message-----
From: Shawna Bergman [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 8:15 PM
Subject: [waterheadlines] Water Headlines for May 19, 2008

Water Headlines for May 19, 2008	 
Benjamin H. Grumbles
Assistant Administrator for Water

Water Headlines is a weekly on-line publication that announces
publications, policies, and activities of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's Office of Water

In This Week's Water Headlines:
1) EPA Proposes Stormwater Construction General Permit 
2) New Water Quality Website Released
3) Water Quality Standards Academy: New On-line Training Course
4) EPA Releases 2007 DWSRF Annual Report and Performance Data
5) Annual State Lakes Managers' Meeting Focuses on Improving Fisheries
and Lake Water Quality Management
6) Comment Period Extended on Draft Water Program Climate Strategy
[deletions]

1) EPA Proposes Stormwater Construction General Permit

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to reissue its
stormwater Construction General Permit for a two-year time period. The
permit would apply where EPA is the permitting authority, which is in
five states, most territories, and most Indian country lands. The draft
permit uses the same terms and conditions as EPA's 2003 permit, which
expires in July 2008. EPA is proposing the permit to coordinate with a
second effort that is underway to establish national clean water
standards, known as an effluent limitation guideline, for the
construction and development industry. Upon finalization of the
guideline, EPA plans to include its provisions into a new and improved
Construction General Permit to be reissued no later than July 2010. 

"Construction-related runoff can threaten water quality and watershed
health," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, Assistant Administrator for Water.
"Our proposed general permit is an important part of a broader strategy
to reduce stormwater pollution through new effluent standards which
we're developing this year, and a national partnership on green
infrastructure solutions, such as green roofs, rain gardens, and
stormwater wetlands."

EPA is also requesting comment on the criteria the agency will use to
recognize local erosion and sediment control program requirements in
this and future permits. EPA is inviting comments on the proposed permit
for a period of 30 days. Information on the proposed permit, including
instructions on submitting comments:
http://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/cgp  

2) New Water Quality Website Released

EPA released a new database/website for water quality assessment and
total maximum daily loads information. The site, known as ATTAINS,
combines two formerly separate databases: the National Assessment
Database (for water quality assessment information reported by the
states under Section 305(b)), and the National Total Maximum Daily Loads
(TMDLs) Tracking System (for impaired waters information reported by the
states under Section 303(d)). The site includes state-reported
information on support of designated uses; identified causes and sources
of impairment; identified impaired waters; and status of actions (TMDLs)
to restore impaired waters. The website allows the user to view dynamic,
continuously-updated tables and charts that summarize state-reported
information for the nation as a whole, for individual states and waters,
and for the 10 EPA regions. The new website is now online at
http://www.epa.gov/waters/ir .

3) Water Quality Standards Academy: New On-line Training Course

EPA has developed a multi-media, web-based training course for state and
tribal employees and the general public on key aspects of the water
quality standards program and other related Clean Water Act programs.
This internet-based training program is an abbreviated version of the
week-long, in-class Water Quality Standards Academy course, and includes
the following modules: (1) Introduction to EPA and the Clean Water Act,
(2) Waterbody Uses, (3) Water Quality Criteria, (4) Antidegradation, (5)
Standards Submittal and Approval, and (6) Variances, Using Attainability
Analyses, Mixing Zones and Other Flexibility Options. Each of the
modules is designed to be completed in about 15 minutes. The modules
present text-based information across a sequence of pages that include
user interactions, links to further information and resources, brief
video clips that expand on important points, and brief quizzes. 

The online training course is designed for people with little
familiarity with the water quality standards program, but it can also
serve as a good "refresher" for people with experience in this subject.
To access the online training course, visit
http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/standards/academy/ . For more
information, please contact Ibrahim (Bryan) Goodwin at 202-566-0762 or
[log in to unmask]

4) EPA Releases 2007 DWSRF Annual Report and Performance Data

EPA has released its annual report for the Drinking Water State
Revolving Fund program (DWSRF), which highlights the achievements of the
drinking water infrastructure assistance program in 2007 and over the
10-year history of the program. These successes include more than $14
billion in assistance made available to communities to finance important
infrastructure needs and an additional $1.3 billion to support state and
local drinking water programs through training, capacity development,
and source water protection. The program has supported more than 5,500
projects needed to help public water systems achieve and maintain
compliance with drinking water standards, including more than 1,400
projects for disadvantaged communities. Ensuring the long-term
sustainability of our nation's drinking water infrastructure is a key
challenge facing the nation, and the DWSRF offers multi-faceted support
for meeting this challenge. EPA is also providing the 2007 update to its
DWSRF National Information System Data. These data, which are collected
annually, are the most comprehensive data about the performance and
characteristics of the DWSRF. Finally, EPA is posting the DWSRF grant
allocation amounts for the Fiscal Year 2008 appropriation of $829
million. The allocation of funding to state DWSRF programs, tribes and
territories is based on state needs reported in the most recent 2003
Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey. The annual report,
performance data, grant allotments and additional information about the
program is available at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf.html . 

5) Annual State Lakes Managers' Meeting Focuses on Improving Fisheries
and Lake Water Quality Management

Each year for over two decades, state lake program managers have
gathered in Chicago to discuss approaches for improving the states' lake
management programs. The April 29-May 2, 2008 program focused on the
importance of fisheries in developing comprehensive lake management
strategies. Over 150 lake water quality and fisheries specialists
examined approaches for enhancing fisheries interactions with other lake
management objectives, such as water quality, recreation, and overall
ecosystem health. Conference sessions gave attendees insights into
topics such as global climate change impacts to lakes and reservoir
management amidst droughts. EPA gave a presentation on the Survey of the
Nation's Lakes, which included some preliminary results received from
labs across the country. Initial findings on water clarity, enterococci
and mycrocystins, and key biological indicators such as zooplankton,
phytoplankton, and diatoms were discussed, along with an overview of
physical habitat (see http://www.epa.gov/owow/lakes/lakessurvey/ for
more information on the survey). The concluding session of the
conference on Friday morning explored opportunities for more
collaboration between lake water quality and fisheries managers. Copies
of the conference agenda, as well as copies of the presentations, are
available at: http://nalms.org/Conferences/2008Chicago/ .

6) Comment Period Extended on Draft Water Program Climate Strategy

The Office of Water has extended the comment period on the draft
National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change. The new
date for the close of the comment period is June 10, 2008. More
information on the water program climate strategy is available at
www.epa.gov/water/climatechange/.
[deletions]

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Information Center at the National Agricultural
Library.  The center's Web site is at
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The Enviro-News list facilitates information exchange.
Inclusion of an item in Enviro-News does not imply
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