EPA not great at regulating stormwater pollution, says report
Stormwater pollution from cities and suburbs is fouling the nation’s waterways, and the U.S. EPA is failing to do much about it, says a new National Academy of Sciences report commissioned by the EPA itself. Rain and melted snow run along paved surfaces — which show up more and more frequently these days — picking up oil, trash, motor fuels, dog poo, chemicals, and more, and dumping it all in rivers, lakes, and streams. “EPA’s current approach is not likely to produce an accurate picture of the extent of the problem, nor is it likely to control stormwater’s contribution to impairing water quality,” says the report; “radical changes” are needed to rein in runoff and keep waterways swimmable and fishable. The authors suggest putting local governments in charge of stormwater management instead of developers, emphasizing volume control, taking watershed location into account when issuing pollution permits, and (duh) conserving natural space.