Wednesday, May 27, 2020

EPA issues new general permits for Massachusetts municipalities

The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued new permits for 260 small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) in Massachusetts, which maintain flexibility for the municipalities while better protecting the state’s waterways from elevated nutrient levels.

“Updating these permits is a critical step to ensuring that Massachusetts continues to enjoy clean water and a healthy environment,” EPA New England Office Regional Administrator Curt Spalding said.

The new permits, which build upon general permits issued in 2003, require the municipalities to put in place a “Stormwater Management Program” that controls pollutants, protects water quality and complies with all pertinent portions of the Clean Water Act. Excess nutrients in Massachusetts waterways have been causing algae blooms and other problems in communities throughout the state.

“Addressing stormwater pollution is a major problem in our communities here in New England,” Spalding said. “EPA has listened to the input of local experts and we have developed an effective and state-of-the-art permit that allows flexibility for municipal leaders to tailor their efforts to their needs, which will mean better protection for Massachusetts’ lakes, streams and other water bodies.”

The EPA is planning to hold four workshops in the coming months, including four in May, to aid municipalities in compliance as the permits come into effect.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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