NACWA is the national advocacy voice for stormwater and wet weather managers across the country dedicated to protecting water quality, addressing flooding, erosion, and watershed impacts, and leading with innovative solutions that address the challenge of water quality impairment from sewer overflows, urban stormwater and land use impacts. Although combined and separated storm sewer systems are inherently different, as are their challenges, NACWA and its members are committed to advancing robust, innovative programs and working collaboratively with regulators and stakeholders in both contexts.
Although clean water agencies have made significant progress in reducing combined and sanitary sewer overflows (CSOs and SSOs), overflow control remains a significant cost for communities and a priority enforcement area for EPA. NACWA is working to ensure reasonable implementation of the CSO Control Policy and the development of responsible policies related to SSOs and other wet weather management issues. These policies must allow clean water agencies to manage wet weather using the most effective and efficient techniques to address environmental and public health concerns. Space for innovation – including new technology, green infrastructure (GI), and watershed based approaches – should be encouraged.
Innovation will also be critical in meeting the challenge of urban stormwater management in the 21st century. NACWA’s advocacy on behalf of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) endeavors to ensure MS4s have adequate available funding and financing models, and seeks to preserve the maximum extent practicable (MEP) standard to which all MS4 permittees are held.
As pressure from outside stakeholders and regulators mount, and costs for urban management skyrocket, NACWA is working with EPA and our members to encourage GI and innovative practices where appropriate, assist in “second generation” permit negotiation, and encourage stream restoration and land protection as part of stormwater management. NACWA has taken the lead interacting with EPA as they have developed a series of guidance documents, draft and final rules regarding stormwater – including most recently, the Phase II Remand Rule.
In addition to its standing stormwater committee, NACWA also convenes the National Stormwater Advocacy Network composed of state and regional stormwater organizations. Recognizing stormwater solutions in urban areas will take long time to implement given a significant built environment, NACWA commits to educating and assisting policymakers in executing reasonable approaches to urban stormwater management.