Key House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Blending, Municipalities Voice Need for Critical Wet Weather Management Practice

Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - April 13, 2005

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2005
Contact: Adam Krantz: 202/833-4651, AMSA

Key House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Blending
Municipalities Voice Need for Critical Wet Weather Management Practice

Today’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee hearing on the blending issue highlights the importance to the nation’s municipalities of this vital wet weather management practice. The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA*) believes it is crucial that the media have the facts about blending — an accepted, environmentally sound practice used by the nation’s public treatment utilities for over 30 years. For your use, attached is AMSA’s Fact-Fiction piece that sets the record straight on the need for blending and the environmental and public health safeguards that this long-standing practice provides.

The Association has consistently supported the finalization of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed November 2003 blending guidance. A finalized guidance would provide additional national consistency in implementing this time-tested practice, ensure increased public input via the permitting process and be an environmental step forward.

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 the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 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.

Simply stated, 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.

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.

*As of May 2, 2005 AMSA’s new name will be the National Association of Clean Water Agencies or NACWA

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