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Aug. 26, 2016 Waterkeeper Alliance

Changes coming for the EPA's Industrial Stormwater Multi-sector General Permit - Good news, Washington is already in the lead

By Tina Posterli
Aug 17 2016
Campaigns Waterkeeper Alliance

Agreement reached with EPA to adopt stronger standards in management of industrial stormwater pollution

NEW YORK, NY – August 17, 2016 – A coalition of environmental organizations reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two industry trade associations to settle a lawsuit challenging EPA’s industrial stormwater multi-sector general permit (MSGP). Under the settlement, EPA will begin adding both improved monitoring tools and a number of clear, numeric targets and standards to the permit in 2020 that simplify the job of controlling water pollution for regulators, businesses and citizens. The permit applies to thousands of businesses across the country in multiple industrial sectors, from cement mixing and scrap metal salvage to trucking and food processing, and sets limits and best practices that companies must follow before they discharge stormwater that has been polluted by their industrial operations.

The coalition, led by Waterkeeper Alliance, included Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Galveston Baykeeper, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Snake River Waterkeeper, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper, Ecological Rights Foundation, Our Children’s Earth Foundation, and Conservation Law Foundation.  The environmental coalition was represented by Super Law Group, Lawyers for Clean Water, and Conservation Law Foundation.

The landmark agreement will affect the terms of the MSGP permit when it is reissued in 2020.  Overall, the measures that EPA will consider in 2020 should make it easier to determine whether industrial operations adequately protect nearby waters. They will also clarify the expectations for businesses operating under the MSGP.

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