Framework Emphasis Includes Priority-Setting, Sustainability, Adaptive Management
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently-released Clean Water Act (CWA) Integrated Planning Framework. The framework will set the stage to allow municipalities to “identify a prioritized critical path to achieving the water quality objectives of the CWA by identifying efficiencies in implementing overlapping and competing requirements that arise from separate wastewater and stormwater projects, including capital investments and operation and maintenance requirements.”
The revised Framework is supported by WEF and other water quality leaders looking to build on CWA wastewater treatment success and address aging infrastructure needs while effectively managing more recently identified threats to the nation’s water quality such as stormwater, wet weather overflows, and pollution from nutrients.
“WEF applauds EPA’s forward-thinking guidelines for integrated water quality management,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. “It will help water managers address the most pressing public health and environmental protection issues first while balancing Clean Water Act requirements with today’s limited funding.”
The Framework outlines a modernized approach to water program management through planning that is locally-driven, flexible, and voluntary and encourages innovative solutions such as green infrastructure to address current challenges to water quality and supply. Economic and risk analyses, cross-media impacts, and regional growth will all be considered as municipalities and regions define their best plans to implement water programs and requirements. The final Framework also includes an adaptive management process for identifying and selecting new projects and modifications based on changing circumstances.
Recognizing that public input is needed to ensure long-term support for implementation of water management plans, the Framework also calls for collaboration among the general public, engineers, scientists and other experts to achieve needed improvements.
“The devil is in the details, and we need everyone’s support,” said Eger. “We look forward to working with EPA, municipalities, states and the general public on implementation to realize our shared goals of protecting human health and improving water quality.”
WEF is hosting a free webcast for members only on Thursday, June 14 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm EDT to discuss the framework and next steps, including key provisions, revisions, and implementation. Click here
Click here to read EPA’s complete framework document.
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF members, Member Associations and staff proudly work to achieve our mission to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. For more information, visit www.wef.org
SOURCE: Water Environment Federation (WEF) - WEFTEC 2017