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NACWA Releases Key Report to Help Address 21st Century Clean Water Challenges

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For Immediate Release:  October 18, 2007

Contact:  Adam Krantz
Managing Director of Government and Public Affairs, (202) 833-4657

Marking the 35th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act,

NACWA Releases Key Report to Help Address 21st Century Clean Water Challenges

In recognition of the 35th Anniversary of the landmark Clean Water Act, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) is pleased to present the report, Recommendations for a Viable and Vital 21st Century Clean Water Policy.  The report recognizes that despite tremendous water quality improvement made over the last 35 years, significant challenges to our nation’s waters threatens continued progress.

The report is the product of NACWA’s Strategic Watershed Task Force, which began its work on the report in the spring.  The Task Force is comprised of NACWA public agency leaders with the mission of investigating how the concept of a “watershed approach” can be successfully implemented to further improve the quality of the nation’s waters.

Chris Westhoff, NACWA President and Assistant City Attorney and Public Works General Counsel for the City of Los Angeles, officially announced the release of the report via his testimony today at a hearing before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure titled The 35th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act:  Successes and Future Challenges.

Westhoff’s testimony outlines the short-term and long-term recommendations for an effective watershed approach detailed in the Task Force report.  Examples of the short-term recommendations for an effective watershed approach include:

  • Reinvigorate the watershed-based planning process as outlined in Section 208 of the Clean Water Act;
  • Pursue new, more aggressive measures and funding to address needed controls on agricultural nonpoint sources; and
  • Use a more appropriate sequence for establishing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs).

Long term recommendations include:

  • Establishing  a new water quality framework via a 21st century Watershed Act;
  • Reorganizing EPA to reflect this new watershed framework; and
  • Conducting improved monitoring and research to track the progress being made via a watershed approach.

As the report states, “NACWA believes that the watershed approach is the appropriate approach to prioritize investments and resource allocations, and will result in the greatest benefit to the environment”.

The report marks a vital step in re-energizing the national discourse on implementing an effective, viable watershed approach to guarantee water quality progress for future generations.  NACWA looks forward to discussing this report with key stakeholders and to implementing its key recommendations.

The report is available on NACWA’s website at http://www.nacwa.org/images/stories/public/2007-10-18swtfrvv.pdf.  The Association’s 35th anniversary of the Clean Water Act testimony is also available online at http://www.nacwa.org/images/stories/public/2008-10-18cwesthtest.pdf.

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NACWA represents the interests of the nation’s public clean water agencies, serving the majority of the sewered population in the United States.  These agencies collectively treat and reclaim over 18 billion gallons of wastewater every day.

 
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