Thursday, April 9, 2009

EPA Excludes Water Transfer From NPDES Requirements

EPA is publishing a final rule to exclude water transfers from regulation under the NPDES permitting program. The final rule defines a water transfer as an activity that conveys or connects waters of the United States without subjecting the transferred water to intervening industrial, municipal, or commercial use. This does not apply to pollutants introduced by the water transfer activity itself to the water being transferred.

Water transfers are activities that divert water between waterbodies, typically through the use of pumps or passive redirection through tunnels, channels, and/or natural stream water features. Water transfers are necessary to allocate water resources to meet the water needs of those downstream in the receiving waterbody. Such needs include public water supply, irrigation, power generation, flood control, and environmental restoration.

The Bureau of Reclamation administers significant transfers in western States to provide approximately 140,000 farmers with irrigation water. With the use of water transfers, the Army Corps of Engineers keeps thousands of acres of agricultural and urban land in southern Florida from flooding in former areas of Everglades wetlands. Many large cities in the west and the east would not have adequate sources of water without continuous redirection of water from outside basins. Both the cities of New York and Los Angeles are dependent on water transfers from distant watersheds to meet their municipal demand.

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the evaluation NPDES permitting rules, water quality standards, and preparing cost-effective compliance management programs.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
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