HONOLULU, HI, Feb. 9, 2011 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a decision to require all dischargers of urban stormwater in Guam to obtain permits to control pollution in runoff from urbanized areas of the island.
Today's action designates all current and future municipal stormwater sources in Guam to follow Clean Water Act permitting requirements. Municipal stormwater is a leading cause of water quality problems in Guam, and the requirements will help protect Guam's marine environment from polluted runoff from urban areas, military bases, and road systems.
"This decision demonstrates EPA's commitment to address all significant sources of water pollution in Guam," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "As Guam embarks on an ambitious military development process, these stormwater permits will help ensure that new buildings and roads are designed to protect the island's unique coastal waters and groundwater."
Within a year, EPA plans to issue permits to facilities that will specify controls necessary to prevent and control polluted runoff from urban and military sources. The permits will also create requirements to minimize pollution into existing storm drain systems throughout the island.
Guam's coastal waters are home to a variety of important marine environments including several threatened coral reefs. Guam's groundwater basins supply virtually all of the island's drinking water needs. Stormwater is a substantial source of pollution in coastal streams, bays and beach areas, and groundwater in Guam and can harm coral reefs, sicken beachgoers and swimmers, and threaten drinking water supplies.
The public can comment on the decision by contacting: Lisa Honor, NPDES Permits Office (WTR-5), EPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901
For more information on the municipal stormwater designation and the Clean Water Act permitting program, please visit EPA's website at:
http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/npdes/pubnotices.html and http://cfpub1.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6