Miami Waterkeeper and 51 other Waterkeeper organizations in the Southeast joined together to send a letter to EPA Region 4 administrator, Trey Glenn. This letter highlights the region's most pressing water quality challenges and identifies priority water resource issues for Region 4 as leadership transitions under the new administration.
The letter covers the following topics:
1) Hydrologic Alteration and Flow Protections
-- Urging EPA to continue its focus on hydrologic alteration and explicit flow protections.
-- Requesting that Region 4 requires every state in the region to formulate a water quality standard for flow.
-- Encouraging EPA Region 4 to continue supporting states in listing waters as impaired due to hydrologic alteration.
2) TMDL Development
-- Urging EPA to prioritize TMDL development for impaired waters under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.
-- Asking EPA to encourage states to devote resources to this process.
-- Asking Region 4 to ensure that states are properly identifying waters impacted by nutrients for the Section 303(d) list for States without numeric nutrient water quality criteria.
-- Requesting that EPA ensure that states are implementing proper nutrient-related assessment methodologies to develop the Section 303(d) list.
-- Urging Region 4 to assist states in addressing nonpoint nutrient pollution and implementing strong chlorophyll-a
4) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
-- Requesting that Region 4 actively partner with our states to improve the regulation and control of pollution from industrialized swine, poultry, and dairy facilities.
-- Asking that EPA encourage states and local communities to find and dedicate necessary funding to fix wastewater treatment plants.
-- Requesting increased oversight and enforcement of sewage spills.
-- Offering partnership opportunities with Region 4 in the development of strategies and programs to address stormwater runoff.
-- Develop and implementing controls to reduce stormwater pollution to the Maximum Extent Practicable.
-- Asking Region 4 to hold our states accountable for meeting enforcement standards, set clear and consistent performance benchmarks for state programs, and act effectively to curtail inconsistent enforcement by states.
-- Requesting more rigorous enforcement of NPDES permit limits, TMDLs, state water quality standards, and antidegradation policies.
8) Climate Change and Sea Level Rise
-- Urging EPA to take an integrative approach in decision-making that considers climate change and associated impacts.
To read the letter in its entirety, click HERE.