CSO and Wet Weather Permitting

An increasingly complex area of regulatory compliance involves the establishment of appropriate wet weather flow treatment requirements. The firm has assisted communities across the country on the identification and implementation of appropriate CSO technology-based and water quality-based requirements. Long Term Control Plan development is particularly complex in that existing use and use attainability issues often control the degree to which elimination/reduction of CSO discharges is required. The firm has often worked with municipal coalitions to resolve regulatory uncertainties and identify appropriate methodologies to evaluate CSO LTCP compliance.

The Firm has been addressing EPA evolving interpretation of the federal bypass regulation with respect to SSO elimination, basement backups and peak flow treatment since 1997. A broad-based municipal coalition challenged EPA’s 2005 blending policy that would have forced communities throughout the country to use extreme measures in processing peak wet weather flows. In the case of
PMAA v. Whittman, the DC District Court ruled that Regional EPA Offices did not have authority to impose new regulatory requirements and that until EPA HQ determined that blending restrictions were required, there has been no legal change in regulatory program requirements. EPA has yet to finalize the 2005 blending policy. The firm continues to play a leadership role in fostering the use of more cost effective, common-sense approaches to peak flow processing. Current wet weather compliance projects are ongoing in Kansas, New Jersey, Iowa, and Oregon.