BACKGROUND

On January 14, 2019, President Trump signed legislation that amended the Clean Water Act (CWA) to include EPA’s 2012 framework for integrated planning for municipal stormwater and wastewater. The statute allows local water agencies to develop plans to prioritize and sequence projects to address combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, stormwater control measures, and wastewater treatment in an affordable manner. Integrated planning can be incorporated into Consent Decrees (including existing decrees) and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Integrated plans can include water reclamation, recycling, reuse, or green infrastructure. The statute also establishes a municipal ombudsman within the EPA administrator’s office to help municipalities with CWA compliance.

Integrated planning is voluntary. If a municipality decides to take advantage of this approach, the integrated plan that it develops provides information for the permit and enforcement processes and can support the development of conditions and requirements in permits and enforcement orders. For more information, please see EPA’s website: www.epa.gov/npdes/integrated-planning-municipal-stormwater-and-wastewater.

In 2018, the Water Research Foundation published a Users’ Guide for utilities/municipalities to follow while determining if an integrated plan is right for their community. The guide also includes information for communities to use when developing integrated plans. The guide is available at no cost at www.werf.org/a/ka/Search/ResearchProfile.aspx?ReportId=SIWM9R14. (If you don’t have a Water Research Foundation account, you can create an account and download the Users’ Guide at no cost.)

The Water Research Foundation and the Water Environment Federation have been working together on the topic of integrated planning. View the Water Environment Federation’s recent webcast “Integrated Planning Amendments to the Clean Water Act: What you need to know” at https://wef.org/resources/online-education/webcasts/ArchivedWebcasts/IPAmendmentsCWA_Arch/.

INSTRUCTIONS

This survey is intended to provide information to update the Users’ Guide by gathering information in each of the 10 EPA Regions on the status of integrated planning, the barriers (including lack of knowledge), and challenges associated with integrated planning. It is intended to take no more than 5-15 minutes to complete. Wherever possible, please answer this survey as a representative of your community’s management group, rather than simply from an individual perspective.

(To ensure confidentiality, results will be aggregated. If verbatim answers are cited, they will only be attributed by EPA Region).

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