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To: Members & Affiliates, Legal Affairs & Wet Weather Committees, SSO Workgroup
From: National Office
Date: January 12, 2004
Reference: Legal Alert 04-1
Attachment: SSO Legal Issues White Paper (icon-pdf)

The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) is pleased to provide the attached White Paper, entitled Sanitary Sewer Overflows: Legal Issuesicon-pdf. Using Technical Action Fund (TAF) resources, AMSA’s Legal Affairs and Wet Weather Committees, and the SSO Work Group, developed the White Paper with AMSA affiliate law firm Squire, Sanders and Dempsey, LLP to outline in one useful document legal analysis and precedent that publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) can use to respond to sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) questions in the context of permitting, enforcement, or other related proceedings.

The White Paper builds on SSO precedent and concepts that have been discussed both before and after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its January 2001 draft SSO regulatory package. The White Paper critically reviews the approaches to SSO regulation described in EPA’s January 2001 draft. The White Paper then discusses in detail the rationale and legal basis behind alternatives to EPA’s approaches, some of which EPA discusses and dismisses in the draft’s preamble, and others which have come to light with subsequent AMSA study and evaluation. The arguments and issues discussed in the White Paper reveal that there is much greater statutory, regulatory, and legal flexibility than previously exercised to develop an innovative, flexible, and effective SSO regulation.

In addition to providing a resource document to AMSA members, the Legal Affairs and Wet Weather Committees, and the SSO Work Group plan to use the White Paper’s elements to support future discussions with EPA and stakeholders regarding workable approaches to SSO regulation and policy.

Please contact Alexandra Dunn, AMSA’s General Counsel, with any questions regarding the White Paper at 202/533-1803 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .