NPDES News - August 4, 2010

1. Webcast: Re-Visioning Landscapes with LID: The Houston Experience

Join us for a webcast on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm EDT on ?Re-Visioning Landscapes with LID: The Houston Experience.? Register at: www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts  

Take a break from the summer heat to join us for the ?Re-Visioning Landscapes with LID: The Houston Experience? webcast. During the past winter, the Houston Land/Water Sustainability Forum sponsored a national Low Impact Development (LID) Design Competition. The competition was created to educate design professionals, decision makers and the public on the economic, environmental and quality-of-life positive impacts of LID.

The design teams, most of whom had no previous experience with LID, created designs for three real developments being planned around greater Houston?a green roadway, urban redevelopment, and a suburban residential design. This webcast will feature participants from all portions of the competition?competition organizers, competition winners, and design judges. Speakers include Robert C. Adair, President, Construction EcoServices, Justin Ring, PE, Senior Project Manager, Edminster, Hinshaw, Russ & Associates, Christopher Browne, LEED AP, Manager, Land Planning and Development Services, Edminster, Hinshaw, Russ & Associates, and Frank Liu, President, Lovett Interests, Inc. The webcast will also feature a discussion of the competition?s ripple effect on Houston?s design/build community as well as the building ordinances in Houston.

You must register in advance to attend this webcast. Register at the Watershed Academy Webcast Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts

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2. Moratorium extended for incidental vessel discharges from commercial fishing vessels and non-recreational vessels under 79 feet

On July 30, 2010, President Obama signed Senate Bill S. 3372 to extend the existing moratorium from July 31, 2010 to December 18, 2013 that exempts all incidental discharges except ballast water from commercial fishing vessels and non-recreational vessels under 79 feet from having to obtain a Clean Water Act permit. This date coincides with the expiration of EPA's current vessel general permit (VGP) which covers incidental discharges from larger vessels (greater than 79 feet), and all ballast water discharges (regardless of vessel size). The extension of the moratorium provides EPA with the time needed to consider the impacts of incidental discharges, develop appropriate discharge limits, and provide the necessary permit coverage for the moratorium vessels if needed. The extension also gives Congress additional time to consider this issue and determine what regulatory approach might best control discharges from commercial fishing and smaller vessels. Go to http://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels for more information.

3. Appalachian surface coal mining projects

EPA recently released a final Report outlining its key conclusions after reviewing state water pollution permits for Appalachian surface coal mining projects. The report, ?Review of Clean Water Act '402 Permitting for Surface Coal Mines by Appalachian States: Findings and Recommendations,? summarizes the findings of EPA's Permit Quality Review (PQR) performed to assess the adequacy of State National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act. EPA recommends that states more consistently evaluate the potential for mining discharges to cause or contribute to a violation of state water quality standards, and the need to more fully implement narrative water quality standards. EPA's review helps its Regional offices, Appalachian States, and the public to identify areas for improvement and to ensure that States are developing permits that protect water quality consistent with the law. Report can be viewed on EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/guidance/mining.html  

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