AMSA Urges EPA to Finalize Critical Pretreatment Streamlining Rule

Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - January 24, 2005

For Immediate Release: January 24, 2005
Contact: Adam Krantz: 202/833-4651, AMSA

AMSA Urges EPA to Finalize Critical Pretreatment Streamlining Rule
The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) sent a letter (PDF) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assistant Administrator for Water, Benjamin Grumbles, following a December 20, 2004 meeting urging the Agency to finalize its proposed pretreatment streamlining rule.

In the letter, AMSA recommends that EPA, which proposed the rule in 1999, provide a timeline for finalizing the pretreatment streamlining proposal. In line with its report, EPA Needs to Reinforce its National Pretreatment Program, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) requested that the Office of Water develop such a timeline in line with rule. Of significant importance is the report’s finding that wastewater agencies with approved pretreatment programs were approximately half as likely to experience a pass through and/or interference event as those without an approved pretreatment program, making finalization of the rule critical to continued progress of the pretreatment program. In addition, OIG’s December 2004 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda anticipated finalization of the rule by February 2005.

The Association has continually emphasized the need for flexibility in converting traditional concentration-based limits to mass-based limits, revised definitions of nonsignificant or de minimis categorical industrial users, and significant non-compliance criteria. These AMSA-supported changes would have no negative impact on the environment and would have the potential to save wastewater utilities hundreds of millions of dollars – and other resources – for facilities of all sizes to channel into other high-priority water quality projects.

EPA now has a valuable opportunity to reevaluate the pretreatment program, reduce unnecessary administrative burden and allocate saved resources to other programs that can achieve greater environmental benefit. The Association strongly supports OIG’s recommendation that the Agency finalize the Pretreatment Streamlining Rule as a key component of updating the pretreatment program.

AMSA is a national trade association representing hundreds of the nation's publicly owned wastewater treatment utilities. AMSA members serve the majority of the sewered population in the United States and collectively treat and reclaim over 18 billion gallons of wastewater every day. AMSA members are environmental practitioners dedicated to protecting and improving the nation's waters and public health.

1816 Jefferson Place, Washington, DC 20036-2505 • 202.833.AMSA • 202.833.4657 FAX