Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Moscow City still waiting for EPA decision"

If Moscow, which is upstream from Pullman, is not required to implement the Phase II stormwater regulations when Pullman has already been forced to do so, it will prove the whole process is just a sham and a farce.

From yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
The city of Moscow should hear from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its Stormwater Phase II status in the next four to six weeks, EPA officials say.

The City Council sent the EPA a letter in August asking not to be subject to Phase II stormwater regulations. It anticipated receiving a reply in the fall.

"They (the EPA) just haven't made their decision yet," Moscow Public Works Director Les MacDonald said.

If Moscow is listed as a regulated small municipal separate storm system under Phase II, it will be required to develop a comprehensive stormwater management program and obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, according to a letter sent by an EPA Region 10 official in June.

The regulations are designed to manage the quality and quantity of runoff from development and to control stormwater discharge. The requirements are intended to reduce downstream pollution and contamination.

The council members who voted to send the August letter said Moscow should be self-guided as it improves stormwater management.

EPA spokesman Jeff Philip said the EPA has delayed its decision because it still is looking at the data.

"It's taking a while to go through the data and really make a solid determination on whether (Moscow) should be included or not," Philip said.

Philip said there is no firm deadline for the decision, "but we want to get it done as soon as possible so they're not waiting and we're not waiting."

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