Environmental Protection Agency Considering New Stormwater Control Measures In The Charles River Watershed

Due to repeated incidences of toxic blue-green algal blooms on the Charles River, the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has sent a letter to stakeholders in the Charles River Watershed informing them that new stormwater pollution control measures are under consideration. The USEPA is concerned about phosphorus run-off, which leads to these blooms in fresh water.

According to the letter, the USEPA is considering exercising its “residual designation authority” (RDA) under the Clean Water Act, which allows the EPA to require stormwater permits for otherwise unregulated discharges. EPA may require these permits for commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities within the Charles River watershed in response to a citizen petition from the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA).

The EPA will be scheduling virtual information sessions for owners and operators of such facilities (stakeholders) in the late summer and fall of 2020, and GZA highly recommends stakeholders attend and ask questions. This is an opportunity to provide your feedback to EPA before the permits become reality. We will track this policy closely and keep our clients informed of key developments.