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EPA Agrees in Settlement to Update Stormwater Regulations [US]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to update their stormwater regulations by 2016 under the Clean Water Act following legal action.

EPA sued by environmental agencies

In a 2003 case known as Environmental Defense Center v. EPA,  the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) obtained a court order compelling the EPA to correct and strengthen urban runoff rules for communities with populations under 100,000.  The court ruled that the EPA‘s stormwater permit for such communities was inadequate as it allowed them to establish their own stormwater plans without state or federal oversight controls.  The court also required the EPA to determine which types of forest road runoff would be regulated by the stormwater rules.

Since the EPA failed to amend the stormwater regulations to reflect the 2003 court order, the NRDC and EDC sued in December 2014 to force the agency to act.

In the settlement, the EPA agreed to finalizing updated stormwater regulations by May 2016.

EPA’ s new rule

The EPA has stated that it will propose a new rule regarding stormwater runoff in communities with populations under 100,000 as well as determine whether certain types of forest road runoff should be regulated under the new regulations.

Red-on-line EHS Legalist


In re Environmental Defense Center and Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

Jason Loh, EPA sued for alleged failure to stem stormwater runoff, Red-on-line USA, January 23, 2015.

Clean Water Act

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