EPA Outlines 99 Clean Water Action Plan Goals

EPA and eight other federal agencies have released a report on accomplishments under the Clinton Administrations Clean Water Action Plan. Announced by Vice President Al Gore in February 1998, the plan seeks to protect public health and restore waterways by setting strong goals and providing states, tribes, communities, farmers and landowners with the tools and resources to meet them.

May 1st, 1999

EPA and eight other federal agencies have released a report on accomplishments under the Clinton Administrations Clean Water Action Plan. Announced by Vice President Al Gore in February 1998, the plan seeks to protect public health and restore waterways by setting strong goals and providing states, tribes, communities, farmers and landowners with the tools and resources to meet them.

Accomplishments include the first national assessment of watershed conditions; a strategy to control runoff from animal feeding operations; an emergency plan to coordinate federal response to harmful algal blooms; and the first national Internet listing of beach water quality conditions.

The Clean Water Action Plan is a multi-year effort with major actions continuing through 2008. Below are highlights of activities scheduled to occur in 1999.

Protecting Watersheds

Watershed Restoration Action Strategies - Key Action #98. States and tribes will be developing Watershed Restoration Action Strategies in 1999. Action Strategies are intended to guide restoration efforts in those watersheds that were identified by the states and tribes as most in need of restoration during 1999 and 2000. Action Strategies will be used to target the additional funding, including $100 million appropriated for polluted runoff controls.

Protecting Watersheds

Watershed Assistance Grants - Key Action #103. Additional funding will be provided to expand the Watershed Assistance Grants program. This program makes financial assistance available to local communities to build capacity for watershed improvement.

Improving Information and Citizens Right-to-Know

Water Information Network - Key Actions #92, 93. During 1999, the first version of the Water Information Network will be released to the public. Cooperating agencies and other stakeholders will continue this multi-year project to make a comprehensive set of information available to the public on the condition of each watershed in the U.S.

Improving Information and Citizens Right-to-Know

The National Watershed Forum - Key Action #108. To support and help develop community-based watershed efforts, up to 12 regional watershed forums will be sponsored across the country. These regional forums will provide a mechanism for information exchange and collaboration on watershed protection and restoration issues among diverse stakeholders such as local watershed interests, tribes, and local, state and federal government agencies.

Improving Information and Citizens Right-to-Know

Tax Incentives for Clean Water - Key Action #86. The federal partners will report on tax proposals that would foster water pollution prevention and natural resource enhancement.

Addressing Polluted Runoff

Agriculture - Multiple Key Actions. Work will continue in 1999 to address polluted runoff from agricultural sources. Conservation programs, the National Buffer Initiative, and various funding programs (Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Nonpoint Source Grants Program, the State Revolving Fund Program, etc.) will address more sources of polluted runoff from agricultural lands.

Addressing Polluted Runoff

State Polluted Runoff Programs - Key Action #70. EPA, with the support of other federal agencies, will assist states, territories, and tribes to upgrade polluted runoff programs (nonpoint source management programs).

Addressing Polluted Runoff

Air-borne Sources of Water Pollution - Key Actions #75, 76. The federal partners will complete an assessment of the risks associated with atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to watersheds and work with appropriate stakeholders to address major sources of this type of pollution.

Addressing Polluted Runoff

Address Pollution from Septic Systems - Key Actions #77, 78. Septic systems and other decentralized systems serve approximately 25 percent of the U.S. population and are responsible for significant water quality problems around the country. EPA, in cooperation with other partners, will develop information on onsite sewage disposal technologies, performance standards, and innovative technologies and management solutions.

Addressing Polluted Runoff

Stormwater Regulations - Key Action #79. EPA will publish final regulations (stormwater phase II) and work with states, tribes, municipalities, and the regulated community to make sure that storm water control measures are implemented.

Enhancing Natural Resources Stewardship

Natural Resources - Multiple Key Actions. Building on the successes of 1998, a wide variety of stakeholders will continue to restore wetlands, address the impacts of forest roads and mining operations, and improve coastal water quality.

Enhancing Natural Resources Stewardship

Federal Lands - Key Action #19. The federal partners will complete the Unified Federal Policy to improve watershed health on federal lands and begin implementation.

Enhancing Natural Resources Stewardship

Stream Corridor Restoration Projects - Key Action #61. Utilizing techniques contained in the new Stream Corridor Restoration document, the federal partners and other stakeholders will initiate stream restoration demonstration projects in 12 areas.

Enhancing Natural Resources Stewardship

Identification of Essential Fish Habitat - Key Action #54. All 39 Fisheries Management Plans will be updated and approved in 1999. Updated plans will include identification of habitat that is essential to fish and will include recommendations for conservation and enhancement measures.

Protecting Public Health

Public Health - Multiple Key Actions. All of the public and private sector partners in the Clean Water Action Plan will continue to implement key actions to protect the sources of drinking water (rivers, lakes, and ground water), address sources of pollution that affect the quality of fish and shellfish, and protect beaches from pollution.

Protecting Public Health

Mercury Contamination - Key Action #2. EPA and other partners will complete a multi-media strategy for addressing mercury and other bioaccumulative pollutants.

Protecting Public Health

Contaminants in Fish - Key Action #5. Guidelines will be completed to improve monitoring of fish tissues and improve decision making on fish consumption advisories.

Protecting Public Health

Safety of Recreational Waters - Key Action #13. EPA will initiate a multi-year effort with states and tribes to strengthen standards for microbiological contaminants to ensure that waters are safer for swimming.

Protecting Public Health

The report highlights the progress that has been made in implementing the plan and outlines the agenda for the coming year. The general public can get copies of the Clean Water Action Plan and the First Anniversary Report from EPA by calling 202-260-5700. The plan and anniversary report are also available at: http://www.cleanwater.gov.

Court Cases:

Ronald Merckle of Moxahala, Ohio, has been convicted in Columbus U.S. District Court on 31 counts of violating the Clean Water Act.

Court Cases:

Between September 1993 and September 1996, Merckle submitted false reports to the Ohio EPA concerning the levels of fecal coliform bacteria, ammonia and other pollutants which were being discharged from six wastewater treatment plants in Muskingum County in southern Ohio.

Court Cases:

Merckle was the sanitary engineer for Muskingum County and was also the vice president, treasurer and half-owner of the TCW company of New Lexington, Ohio. TCW had a contract with the county to manage the six treatment plants. Merckle faces a maximum sentence of up to 2 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine on each count.

Court Cases:

Martin J. Klipsch, president and owner of MJK Distribution of St. Louis, Mo., and his company have pleaded guilty in St. Louis U.S. District Court to violating the Clean Water Act by discharging acids and caustics into the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District.

Court Cases:

Klipsch faces a maximum of up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000. MJK faces a maximum fine of up to $200,000 per day of violation.

Court Cases:

Charles McNamee, the facilities manager at Syro Inc.s steel mill in Centerville, Utah, has been sentenced in Salt Lake City U.S. District Court to 3 months imprisonment and a $2,500 fine for violating the Clean Water Act.

Court Cases:

In November and December 1993, McNamee ordered Syro employees to discharge waste water from production tanks into a floor drain that led to the South Davis Sewer Improvement District sewer treatment works. The wastes contained acids and high concentrations of zinc.

Court Cases:

Because of the illegal discharges, the South Davis treatment works incurred additional expenses to dispose of zinc contaminated biosolids. The company previously pleaded guilty to two violations of the CWA and was ordered to pay a fine of $750,000.

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