On July 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published their “Report to Congress on Integrated Plans to Comply with the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2019.” The 2019 Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) (PL 115-436) directed the EPA to develop this report to Congress on the 2012 Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework, which aimed to help municipalities address clean water infrastructure investment needs and meet water quality goals. The report is the outcome of a study conducted by the EPA from March 2019 to July 2020 to determine how many municipalities have developed an integrated plan and implemented them through permits, orders or judicial consent decrees.
The EPA’s report found that 27 municipalities have developed integrated plans that adhere to their Integrated Planning Framework, and 13 of those municipalities are being implemented through a permit, order or judicial consent decree. The 2019 WIIA added a new section 402(s) to the Clean Water Act, amending the CWA to include the 2012 Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework. Click here to view a map of the municipalities that have a developed an integrated plan and review the 13 case studies.
Counties play an essential role in building and maintaining the country’s water resources and water infrastructure. Many counties also have the responsibility to provide water services and have the authority to own and operate drinking water systems. Counties play a dual role as both co-regulators and regulated entities in protecting the environment and providing public water services for our residents and businesses. As regulators, counties are often responsible for controlling water pollution at the local level. We can enact rules on illicit discharges, remove septic tanks and adopt setbacks as part of land use plans. Counties are often responsible for water recharge areas, green infrastructure, water conservation programs and pesticide use for mosquito abatement. Counties also provide extensive outreach and education to residents and businesses on protecting water quality and reducing water pollution to prevent exposure from toxic chemicals.
In partnership with the National League of Cities, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Water Environment Federation, NACo sent the following letter endorsing Representatives Napolitano and Gibbs’ amendment to H.R. 4502, the Fiscal Year 2022 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. This amendment would direct important funding to help local communities affordably prioritize their clean water investments while providing increased human health and water quality benefits.