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Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Plans

OVERVIEW

EPA, the States and municipalities have achieved real progress in implementing the Clean Water Act (CWA) and protecting public health and the environment. The challenges today, however, are more complex than those of the past. Population growth, aging infrastructure, increasingly complex water quality issues and the current economic challenges are stressing the implementation of CWA programs. Today, EPA, States and municipalities often focus on each CWA requirement individually without full consideration of all CWA obligations. This approach may have the unintended consequence of constraining a municipality from addressing its most serious water quality issues first.

An integrated planning process has the potential to identify a prioritized critical path to achieving the water quality objectives of the CWA by identifying efficiencies in implementing competing requirements that arise from separate wastewater and stormwater projects, including capital investments and operation and maintenance requirements. This approach can also lead to more sustainable and comprehensive solutions, such as green infrastructure, that improves water quality as well as supports other quality of life attributes that enhance the vitality of communities. The CWA and implementing regulations, policy and guidance provide the necessary flexibility to implement an integrated planning process.

The integrated planning approach is not about lowering existing regulatory or permitting standards or delaying necessary improvements. Rather, it is intended to be an option provided to help municipalities meet their CWA obligations by optimizing the benefits of their infrastructure improvement investments through the appropriate sequencing of work.

WHAT CAN I FIND ON THIS WEB SITE?

October 27, 2011, Memorandum entitled Achieving Water Quality Through Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Plans (PDF) (3 pp, 1.1MB)

INTEGRATED PLANNING FRAMEWORK

On June 5, 2012, EPA released the final Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework (PDF) (9 pp, 396K) . The framework was developed in conjunction with the October 27, 2011 memorandum to provide further guidance for EPA, States and local governments in developing and implementing effective integrated plans under the CWA. This framework was finalized after extensive public input including a series of workshops across the country.

DIALOGUE WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Over the last several months, EPA and local governments have discussed clarifying how the Clean Water Act (CWA) provides flexibility to consider a community’s financial circumstances when developing schedules for municipal projects necessary to meet CWA obligations. This dialogue demonstrates EPA’s strong support for ensuring communities move forward to meet their CWA obligations in a sustainable manner. On January 18, 2013, EPA issued a memorandum to EPA Regions that described the status of the dialogue (PDF) (4 pp, 701K) .

FAQs ABOUT INTEGRATED PLANNING

EPA has developed responses to frequently asked questions about the Integrated Planning process (PDF) (10 pp, 234K) .

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?

The links presented below provide more information related to NPDES program areas that address municipal obligations.

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Last updated on July 17, 2013 4:34 PM
URL:http://cfpub1.epa.gov/npdes/integratedplans.cfm