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Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA


Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA

Implementation of the litigation settlement reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in August 2008 is proceeding.  The settlement requires EPA to implement the requirements of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act), including completion of the necessary scientific studies to develop new recreational water quality criteria by December 2010 and publication of the resulting criteria in the Federal Register no later than October 2012.  EPA has already completed a number of the needed studies and NACWA received its first status report on implementation of the settlement agreement from EPA on July 15, 2009, with another status report expected in January 2010.  Additionally, the agreement commits EPA to validate and publish a rapid test method for the new or revised criteria by October 2012.  The rapid test method will be based on indicators deemed appropriate by the Agency during the research period and will be validated through an inter-laboratory study.

The settlement also provides important opportunities for stakeholder input during the scientific study period and criteria development process.  The agreement requires EPA to convene at least one stakeholder workshop per year during 2009, 2010, and 2011 for interested parties to receive updates on EPA’s efforts and offer input on both the scientific studies and criteria development.  The settlement further resulted in a financial payment from EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice to NACWA to cover the Association’s legal fees. 

EPA held its first stakeholder meeting in October 2009 and NACWA was a participant in the discussions.  Additional meetings were also held in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 in which NACWA also participated.  EPA released the revised criteria on November 26, 2012.



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