Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - February 15, 2000

February 15, 2000
Contact: John Millett, 202/833-4651, AMSA

AMSA Urges Congress to Support Future Water Quality Gains

Washington, D.C. — The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) urges Congress to support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to control the last major source of unchecked water pollution — nonpoint source pollution. The control of water pollution from all sources is absolutely critical to the success of the Clean Water Act and future water quality improvement in America.

For nearly 30 years, the Clean Water Act has focused almost exclusively upon point sources — easily identified and controlled discharges from industrial or municipal wastewater facilities. This approach has reaped enormous water quality benefits. But the dramatic improvements seen in the early years of the Clean Water Act have leveled off because nonpoint source pollution has gone largely unaddressed.

EPA's proposed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program — if designed and implemented properly — would provide a mechanism for addressing water quality impairments from nonpoint source pollution. AMSA supports EPA's overall vision that a revised TMDL program should encompass both point and nonpoint sources of impairment to the nation's waters.

“While AMSA members have a number of concerns with EPA's draft TMDL rule, we strongly support the fair allocation of pollution reduction by all sources,” AMSA Executive Director Ken Kirk said. “As EPA moves forward with its TMDL program, one thing is certain — the success of the nation's water quality program depends upon pollution load reductions by nonpoint sources.”

“AMSA recognizes the concerns of the nonpoint source community with respect to implementing TMDLs,” Kirk said, “and we fully support the need for flexible, cost-effective and reliable management practices as well as funding assistance for nonpoint sources to aid in improving the nation's water quality. Working together, municipal wastewater agencies, industry and the nonpoint source community can meet the goals of the Clean Water Act. Without everyone at the table, however, we will fall short of our goals.”

AMSA represents the interests if 242 of the nation's publicly owned wastewater agencies. Together, AMSA member agencies serve the majority of the sewered population and treat and reclaim over 18 billion gallons of wastewater every day.

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