EPA Responds to Residual Designation Authority Petitions

EPA Responds to Residual Designation Authority Petitions

In February we published a post on Residual Designation Authority (RDA) and how it is shaping stormwater regulation in America. In that post we mentioned that several petitions had been submitted to EPA by environmental groups in an effort to get the regulator to exercise its RDA and require non-point source permits in a number of watersheds across the country. EPA has responded to those petitions. Here is the Water Environment Federation’s Stormwater Report explanation of the decisions:

In Region I, EPA is not granting or denying the petition as currently framed. Instead, the agency will evaluate individual watersheds for impairments, focusing on those with known stormwater pollution, to determine if RDA should be exercised and to what extent.

EPA denied the petition in Region III, stating that a number of tools and programs already are in place to address stormwater pollution including the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. EPA also stated that the petitioners provided insufficient data to support categorical designations and subsequent permitting of additional sources.

In Region IX, EPA will continue to evaluate currently unregulated stormwater runoff sources for potential designation. However, it said that there is currently insufficient information to support a region-wide designation to the sites specified in the petition.

Only one was unequivocally denied, but none of the three was accepted as written. This doesn’t mean that EPA won’t exercise RDA in some of the watersheds included in the petitions. Here again, the Stormwater Report explains that EPA “held that the petitioners’ proposed use of RDA to blanket all sites within the cited land use categories was applied too broadly. The intent of RDA is to be used in a more focused fashion, in situations where specific sites could be linked to specific impairments.”

Expect more petitions to be filed, taking into account the logic applied in these decisions. It is likely that petitioners will continue to influence how stormwater pollution is regulated through the RDA, and EPA will exercise RDA again in the near future.

Tags: Stormwater


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