EPA Water News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released several news items of interest, including security training for water systems, the use of environmental management systems and more.

June 18, 2003 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released several news items of interest, including security training for water systems, the use of environmental management systems and more.

Invasive species topic of Hill testimony

Assistant administrator G. Tracy Mehan III testified Tuesday before a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water. The hearing was on S.525, the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act of 2003, a bill to reauthorize the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act. (June 17, 2003). To read the testimony visit http://www.epa.gov/water/speeches/.

Nationwide security training opportunities for water systems now available

The EPA Drinking Water Academy recently collaborated with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators to provide states and Regions with information concerning new drinking water system security training. The training will be provided with $1.5 million in funds awarded last month by EPA to five nonprofit training and technical assistance organizations.

The web conference held May 29 allowed participants to better understand the type of training that would be made available. For more information about the training, including registration, visit: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/security/index.html ,or call James Bourne at 202-564-4095.

New EPA guidance encourages the use of environmental management systems in enforcement cases

To encourage the widespread use of Environmental Management Systems (EMSs), EPA has a new guidance to promote EMS use in compliance assurance and enforcement programs. An EMS is a continual cycle of planning, implementing, reviewing, and improving the processes and actions that an organization undertakes to meet its business and environmental goals.

Issued by EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, the Guidance on Use of EMSs in Settlements as Injunctive Relief and Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) will increase the use of EMSs in civil settlements.

The guidance explains how EPA will employ EMSs in enforcement settlements to address the root causes of violations and the risks they pose to communities and ecosystems.

EPA also has issued a memorandum, Expanding the Use of SEPs, announcing a variety of new actions to encourage and expand the use of SEPs in enforcement settlements, including shortening and simplifying the SEP Policy and increasing community involvement in SEPs.

In addition, EPA is working with the U.S. Department of Justice to seek EMSs in appropriate criminal plea agreements in order to achieve beneficial outcomes for the environment. The EMS guidance is an extension of EPA's May 2002 Position Statement on EMSs, in which the agency committed to promote EMS use and emphasize the adoption of EMSs to achieve improved environmental performance and compliance, pollution prevention through source reduction, and continual improvement.

The new guidance is available in PDF format at this web address

For additional agency information on EMSs visit http://www.epa.gov/ems/.

An example of how EMSs can be used in enforcement can be found at this web address.

EPA Administrator Whitman and NJDEP Commissioner Campbell end discharges of sewage from boats into Barnegat Bay

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell established a "No Discharge Zone" in New Jersey's Barnegat Bay, prohibiting boats from releasing treated or untreated sewage into an 85 square nautical-mile area off the coast of Ocean County.

Administrator Whitman, Commissioner Campbell, EPA Deputy Regional Administrator William J. Muszynski, Ocean County Freeholder Director John Bartlett, Berkeley Township Mayor Jason Varano and others gathered at Berkeley Island County Park to sign a resolution recognizing the Bay's environmental, recreational and economic value to New Jersey, and ending what had been one source of bacterial contamination in bay waters.

For the entire story visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/news/2003/03027.htm.

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