National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)

Broad Coalition Urges EPA to Finalize Blending Guidance


Untitled Document A broad coalition of over 20 national and state organizations representing municipal interests, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Towns and Townships and AMSA, joined together to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) to finalize its November 7, 2003 blending policy (see attached coalition letter).

The coalition letter comes in response to mischaracterizations of EPA’s blending policy. Contrary to such mischaracterizations, which often tout the policy as an “environmental rollback”, blending has been an accepted, environmentally sound, practice used by the nation’s public treatment utilities for over 30 years. Municipalities use blending as a component of their wet weather management strategies to ensure that excess flows from heavy rains and snowmelt receive the greatest treatment possible under extreme wet weather conditions.

Blended effluent fully meets Clean Water Act permit requirements, protects public utility infrastructure from “washout”, and prevents the release of untreated sewage into the environment and sewer backups into homes and businesses. In fact, a final blending policy will increase permitting consistency and make more information publicly available – far from a rollback. A final policy also will recognize that already scarce public resources must be used to support meaningful, environmentally beneficial water protection efforts at the local level.

A final national blending policy affirming this critical practice is essential to communities across the country to provide treatment for unpredictable, exceptionally heavy precipitation and prevent the discharge of untreated sewage.

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