EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the state of Illinois announced a Clean Water Act (CWA) settlement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to resolve claims that untreated sewer discharges were released into Chicago area waterways during flood and wet weather events.

EPA has awarded $1,455,000 to the city of Lee’s Summit, MO, for improvements to its sewer system. The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

The One-Call and excavation damage provisions included in the new pipeline safety bill passed by Congress in December will trigger a number of state and federal responses in 2012. However, a rule allowing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to impose civil penalties on excavators -- ordered by the 2006 pipeline safety bill but never finalized -- would be even more significant. A proposed rule moving that requirement forward is expected this year, finally, perhaps as early as this winter.

Natural gas transmission companies are very unhappy with the EPA's decision to tighten industry air emission limits. A consent decree signed by the EPA requires the agency to revise both New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for the natural gas industry, including for pipelines, by the end of February. Those are two separate EPA regulatory programs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a commitment to using an integrated planning process to help local governments dealing with difficult financial conditions identify opportunities to achieve clean water by controlling and managing releases of wastewater and stormwater runoff more efficiently and cost effectively.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has picked up the pro-union cudgel from Democrats in Congress. In the last session of Congress, Democrats had tried and failed to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) which would have expanded union organizing rights.

In an effort to clean up Lake Erie that began with the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent has approved a 25-year regional sewer district plan to reduce the amount of untreated waste that is dumped into local waterways, usually during flooding.

CertainTeed Corporation, through its parent company Saint-Gobain, is once again sharing top honors for its contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $868,000 to the city of Clinton, IA, for improvements to its wastewater system. The construction project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2012.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s water infrastructure congressional appropriations are destined to sink, maybe like stones, this year. Republicans and some Democrats want to severely cut the appropriations for both the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds in fiscal year 2011, which started last Oct. 1.

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