(May 15, 2018) - NACWA convened member and non-member utilities discharging to Long Island Sound (LIS) and its tributaries on May 9, to discuss EPA’s recent work to address nutrient-related water quality impacts in the Sound.
Nutrient control efforts in LIS have been guided by a 2000 total maximum daily load (TMDL) for dissolved oxygen that has led to significant reductions in the nitrogen loadings to the Sound. But EPA Regions 1 and 2 have been working recently outside of the TMDL process – opting not to update the existing TMDL – to develop numeric nutrient targets based on narrative water quality criteria to address endpoints other than dissolved oxygen.
Outlined first in a 2015 letter, EPA’s new strategy on nutrients in the Sound has limited opportunity for stakeholder input and suffers from technical flaws, including the lack of sufficient, current data. NACWA expressed its concerns about the strategy and EPA’s tactics in an April 2 letter and in a meeting with the Region 1 Administrator earlier this year. While EPA has signaled recently that it may be scaling back its work on the strategy in response to the pressure it has been receiving, NACWA is planning a meeting with Regions 1 and 2 to discuss the matter further. Any members with questions can contact Amanda Waters, NACWA’s General Counsel.