Thomas G. Echikson
March 31, 2014
As you could probably tell from the number of posts I’ve written on the subject, stormwater fascinates me. Not that I particularly like rain or snow (particularly after this winter!). But, as an environmental concern and legal and policy issue, there are few subjects that can match both its simplicity – we all know what stormwater is – and its complexity – figuring out how to effectively control it has proven to be one of the more intransigent problems confronting EPA and the states. In fact, one of the very first cases I worked on over 25 years ago involved stormwater, and, despite some progress, the legal and policy debates over stormwater continue today. Given my interest in the topic, my next few posts are going to focus on stormwater.
What is it about stormwater? To begin, it’s well-established that stormwater discharges – both point and non-point – are significant contributors to surface water quality impairment. Major water bodies, such as the Chesapeake Bay and the Mississippi River, are not achieving water quality standards to a significant extent because of the contribution of stormwater containing nutrients and other pollutants. That stormwater presents an environmental problem that still needs to be addressed is difficult to dispute.