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Great Lakes Article:

Clean Water Network Status Report February 2002


Articles in this issue:

1.  Wetlands Workgroup Moves Towards Strengthening Wetland Permits—Join the Effort!

2.  First Insights Into EPA’s New TMDL Rule

An attack on the TMDL program is gearing up

3.  EPA Releases Report to Congress on Sewer Overflows

4.  Support a Conservation-Oriented Farm Bill by February 22! 5.  Clean Water Act 30th Anniversary Campaign Update 6.  Students—it is time to make your voices heard! (Student Essay  Contest)

7.  Show us your good, your bad, and your ugly! (CWN Photo Contest) 8.  Make your Event or Press Release a Part of the 30th Anniversary  Campaign!

9.  Clean Water Network Announces Clean Water Proclamation Campaign—  Sign up to Participate Today! 10.  CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS-Wetland Photo Contest 11.  Featured Water Resource of the Month




1.  Wetlands Workgroup Moves Towards Strengthening Wetland Permits—Join

the Effort!


On January 14, 2002, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) issued  new Nationwide Wetlands Permits (NWPs).  The new permits seriously  undermine the environmental standards that were adopted in 2000 by the  Corps, and allow the continuation of activities that damage or destroy  thousands of acres of wetlands and miles of streams every year. This is  a serious blow to wetlands protections. 


There are a number of resources available to help Network members  understand what these new permits mean, and what Network members can do  to protect their wetlands.  In our last Status Report we reprinted a  fact sheet on the new permits and 401 state certification of those  permits.  An updated version of that fact sheet is available at The Sierra Club  has also developed a detailed fact sheet of the new NWPs and the NWP  program as well as an explanation of how people can influence the permit  process both through regional conditioning at your Corps district  office, and through state certification. That is available at


The Network held a conference with Wetlands Workgroup members on  February 8 to discuss these latest developments.  We are calling on all  Workgroup members to improve these permits through regional conditioning  and state certification.  If you are working on either of these efforts  in your state, please contact Ami Grace at or





2.  First Insights Into EPA’s New TMDL Rule

An attack on the TMDL program is gearing up


EPA is continuing with its plan to issue a new Total Maximum Daily Load  (TMDL) regulation late this spring, and first reports indicate that the  new rule may be an all-out attack on the program.  In mid-January, EPA  made its first public statement on their plans for the new rule.  According to reports, much of their presentation was unclear and  inconsistent but we have attempted to summarize here some of the things  the agency is considering, based on a report of that presentation. 


EPA plans to have its proposed new rule ready for public comment in late  June 2002.  Here are some of the changes EPA is considering based on the  main points of the agency’s January presentation:


General points ·            Create more “flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency” in the  TMDL rule.  · Increase focus on Use Attainability Analysis as part of the TMDL  process and address a variety of water quality standards issues. Revisit pace and schedule issues in the rule.


Listing ·            Require public comment on all the lists – including 305(b). ·       Create a combined 303(d) and 305(b) five part listing with only part 5  being the actual 303(d) list (i.e. the list of waters needing a TMDL). ·           Address when listing methodologies should be submitted and whether EPA  should approve both the methodology and the lists. ·       Switch to a 4 or 5-year frequency for the combined lists. ·   Avoid TMDLs for waters impaired by nonpoint sources only by listing  them as expected to meet standards.


TMDL Development

·           Consider not requiring reasonable assurance in a TMDL.  ·        Require TMDLs to provide for “adaptive management.” · Create a “NPS load reduction cap” to include:  achievable NPS load  reduction (cap), NPS load allocation, wasteload allocations.  Changes to  allocations could be made within the cap after EPA had approved the  TMDL.  Alternately, allocations would be removed from the TMDL  altogether and just have the cap, with the allocation done within a  watershed process or the Continuing Planning Process (CPP).  NPDES  permits would be issued based on the cap with nonpoint sources not  having to reduce more than originally determined.   ·         Require greater stakeholder involvement in setting allocations.


Implementation ·           Require no timeframes in rules, because it limits flexibility.  ·       Require implementation planning be done outside of the TMDL itself. ·         Create regular CPP review, evaluation, and revision every 5 years  including a public review and EPA approval.  ·     Address where should CWA §301(b)(1)(C) be satisfied – in TMDLs, in  CPPs, or both? ·            Treat NPDES stormwater permits like nonpoint sources.  ·        Encourage post-TMDL implementation monitoring and adaptive management.


As you can see, we have our work cut out for us to defend the TMDL  watershed cleanup program! Stay tuned to the Network for more news and  action items as rule development gets rolling.  For a more detailed,  5-page version of this summary, contact Merritt Frey at or 208-345-7776.


The facts in this article are based on a report from Nina Bell of  Northwest Environmental Advocates based on a presentation by Chuck

Sutfin of the U.S. EPA, Jan. 14, 2002 at an ASIWPCA Meeting.  Thanks to

Nina for providing this information.




3.  EPA Releases Report to Congress on Sewer Overflows


As required by the Wet Weather Quality Act of 2000, EPA issued its long  overdue report to Congress on the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) program.  This report includes both a national overview, state by state data, and  17 community case studies.  Some of the report’s major findings include:


*  Raw sewage from combined systems continue to spew 1,260 billion  gallons of raw sewage into our waterways every year. 

*  Exposure to raw sewage discharges can cause diarrhea, vomiting,  abdominal pain, and even life-threatening illnesses like hepatitis.

*  Only 32% of CSO communities have implemented the nine minimum  controls, required  by Jan. 1, 1997.  These controls were supposed to be  the relatively inexpensive and easy things for communities to do while  they were developing a long-term solution. 

*  Only 19% of CSO communities have finalized a plan for long-term  control of CSOs. Less than 10% have fully implemented a plan to control  raw sewage


You can find the report by clicking on the “New” button on our web site  at  For more information on the report, please contact

EPA’s CSO National Program Manager, Tim Dwyer, at (202) 564-0717,




4.  Support a Conservation-Oriented Farm Bill by February 22!


Last week the Senate passed their version of the Farm Bill.  Since the  House passed a substantially different version last fall, the conference  committee members now charged with reconciling these two versions of the  bill have their work cut out for them.  From an environmental and conservation community standpoint, the Senate  bill's conservation and energy titles are far and away superior to the  House versions. Important conservation programs like the Wetlands  Reserve Program were funded at much higher levels (250,000 acres per  year) in the Senate bill, compared to the House bill (150,000 acres per year).  While the House bill lifted restrictions on large CAFO's  receiving funding under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program,  some reasonable restrictions, thought not as strong as we would have  liked, on the use of EQIP funds for expansion of these operations were included in the Senate version of the bill.  In  addition, the Senate bill includes a new Conservation Security Program  which will provide incentives to farmers who improve conservation  practices to protect our air, land and water on lands that are under  active cultivation. More sustainable energy programs are funded under  the Senate bill's energy title as well. The list is long, but most will  agree that the approach taken by the Senate deserves our support during  conference committee deliberations.


Please consider signing your national, state, or local group on to the  following letter to Farm Bill Conference Committee members.  Please send  your group's name and state to Ami Grace with the Clean Water Network at by close of business on Friday, February 22 if you  would like to join the letter.  In addition, please help us get as many  other groups signed on to the letter as possible.  Think about local  government groups, hunting and fishing clubs, watershed associations,  your local chapter of the League of Women Voters, Garden Clubs, etc.   The broader the list of groups, the better. 


February 25, 2002


Dear Farm Bill Conferee:


We the undersigned national, state, and local organizations join in  urging you to adopt the conservation and energy titles of the Senate  farm bill during conference deliberations.  In our view, the Senate  adopted comprehensive, appropriately funded titles, with strong stewardship incentives and very important policy considerations with  respect to soil and water quality and conservation, wetlands, wildlife,  renewable energy, energy efficiency, sprawl, and other natural resource  and environmental concerns.  Passage of the Senate titles will not only  improve environmental protection, energy security, and natural resource  conservation, but will also provide significant new income streams for farmers and ranchers and rural communities.  Thank you for considering  our request.






5.  Clean Water Act 30th Anniversary Campaign Update


As the Network’s Clean Water Act 30thAnniversary Campaign moves in 2002,  the Clean Water Network continues to roll out campaign activities.  We  are dedicating a large portion of this month’s Status Report to update  members on each part of the campaign, to announce some new campaign  activities, and to give you some ideas of ways to get more involved!   Please use this pullout as your guide to the 30th anniversary campaign.   Remember that all campaign activities and resources can also be found on  the Network’s web site at by clicking on the 30th logo.


City Clean Water Proclamation Campaign: Get your city to recommit to the  goals of the Clean Water Act through our new City Clean Water  Proclamation Campaign!  Our goal is to have 100 cities sign on to this  proclamation and to commit to taking action for clean water. See page 6  for more details.


30th Anniversary Reports: Reports that tie in the theme of our 30th  anniversary campaign (The Clean Water Act at 30: Time to Keep the  Promise) can be found at  Make your  report a 30th anniversary report and we’ll include it on our site!  See  pages 4 and 5 for more details.


State Anniversary Activities: New on the website is a state index,  listing member organizations and their 30th anniversary activities.  Let  us know what 30th anniversary activities your group is doing and we will  add you to the site!  Send your press clips, releases, reports, and  photos to Lindsey Christ at or by mail.   To view the  state grassroots activities go to




6.  Students—it is time to make your voices heard! 


The Clean Water Network is asking students in grades K-12 to answer the  question “How do you feel about having clean, safe water in your  community?” through our Why Students Need Clean Water Contest.   Do you  have kids, work with school groups, or know people who do?   Then help  us get the word out!  One winner from each of the three grade  categories: k-5, 6-8, and 9-12 will win a trip to Washington, DC to help  us commemorate the 30th anniversary!  Teachers can use the Clean Water  Network essay contest as an activity in their classroom. For more ideas  how to incorporate the essay into the classroom, essay topic ideas, or  what students can do to help, check out


Directions for essay submission:  To enter, submit a 1-page essay (500 words or less) explaining why clean  water is important to students and to you.  Be creative.  The deadline  for submission is April 15, 2002.  Include your name, address, telephone  number, age, and grade during the 2001-2002 school year.  Essays can be  submitted via the CWN website at, email them to, or mail them to CWN Essay Contest, Clean Water

Network, 1200 New York Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005.  For

a complete list of rules visit the CWN website at


We are encouraging our members to advertise this essay with local  school, teachers, friends, and students.  Think of the press you could  generate for clean water if a student from your home state or local area  won!  The student would have the chance to read their essay to your

Members of Congress.  Contact Lindsey Christ, at 202-289-2422 if you

would like materials for advertising the contest or have further  questions.




7.  Show us your good, your bad, and your ugly! 


That’s right, the Clean Water Network wants to see your photographs that  depict either clean, picturesque waters or your polluted,  in-desperate-need-of-saving waters.  If you can capture either of these  in a photograph, you should enter the Clean Water Network’s Clean Water  Act at 30 Photo Contest! Winning photos will be included in the  Network’s 30th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act report or other  Network reports to be released in 2002-2003. 


To enter, submit a photo of a clean or polluted waterbody.  The deadline  for submission is April 15, 2002.  Include your name, address, e-mail  address, and telephone number and mail photos to CWN Photo Contest,

Clean Water Network, 1200 New York Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C.

20005.  To submit a digital photo e-mail it to   All electronically submitted photos must have a resolution of 300 dpi or  greater.  No photographs will be returned.  For a complete list of rules  visit the CWN website at  


We have already received some great photos, so keep them coming!  Also,  please feel free to advertise the contest in your newsletter, press  releases, or on your website.  Contact Lindsey Christ, at 202-289-2422  if you would like materials for advertising the contest or have further  questions.




8.  Make your Event or Press Release a Part of the 30th Anniversary  Campaign!


October 2002 marks the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.  As part  of our yearlong build-up to the anniversary, the Network will be  releasing reports, hosting events, and otherwise highlighting the Act  throughout the year.  We encourage you to do the same!


We’ve all been told how important message and repetition are to reaching  the public.  This year, we’re hoping to all work together to create a  cry for clean water across the country. To  help get the word out in a  unified fashion, the Network is offering the following opportunities and  ideas to help our members weave 30th anniversary messages into your work  throughout the year.


All events, publications, and other 30th campaign happenings that  incorporate the 30th theme will be highlighted on the 30th anniversary  section of the Clean Water Network’s website at


Make Yours a 30th Campaign Activity


Consistent visuals and themes are important in message work.  In order  to foster a unified look and feel for the 30th anniversary, we suggest  you include at least two of the following pieces in your press (or  educational) materials this year:


1.) The 30th anniversary logo.    One thing that everyone can agree on  is that the environmental movement needs a clear, consistent message.   What better way to achieve this goal than through the use of the same  logo!  The Clean Water Network had this logo designed specifically for  our 30th anniversary campaign.  We want you to use it!  Use the logo on  your letterhead, factsheets, reports and website.  A web-friendly  version of the logo is available for download at:  We also  have higher quality versions available that are better for printing on  letterhead or for use in reports – contact Ami Grace at 202-289-2421. We also strongly encourage all members to put this logo on their web  site.  Here’s how…

*  Download the image from

*  Use the logo on your website to advertise the 30th anniversary or as  a link to CWN’s 30th anniversary campaign.

*  Turn the logo into a clickable link with the address  This is the  homepage for the Network’s 30th anniversary campaign on CWN’s website.    If you have any questions about using the logo or how to get it on your  website, please contact Lindsey Christ at 202.289.2422 or


2.) An introductory tie-in to the anniversary.  For reports, speeches,  or other types of communications, consider framing the issue in the  context of the 30th anniversary. For  example, a report on Total Maximum  Daily Loads might begin “This year marks the 30th anniversary of the  Clean Water Act, but our government is still resisting clean up of  Idaho’s most polluted waters.”


3.) A 30th anniversary trailer.  In order to present a consistent face  to the media and the public, it is important to let them know your work  is part of a larger campaign.  For each event or release where you  mention the anniversary, the Network asks that you use the following  trailer to tie your work to the national campaign.  The Network will use  the following trailer on all publications this year:


“October 2002 marks the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.  Three  decades ago, our government promised us clean and safe rivers, lakes,  and coastal waters for our kids and our communities.  Despite some  important successes, we are far from achieving the Clean Water Act’s  goals of clean and safe water for everyone. 


It is time to keep the promise of the Clean Water Act.  As part of the  Clean Water Network’s 30th anniversary campaign, citizens around the  country are educating the public, the press, and elected officials about  the need to defend and strengthen our clean water protections.”


4.) A quote on the anniversary.  Quotes are often the most read parts of  a press release.  Consider including one of the sample quotes below or  write one of your own.


5.)        Other fun tools.   The Network can provide 30th anniversary logo  stickers for your use on press packets or fact sheets. The Network also  has copies of our beautiful 30th anniversary brochure available for  educating the press or public about the basics of the Act.  We can also  provide fun items for handouts such as bookmarks, educational fact  sheets, and more.  Let us know what you need and we’ll see what we can  do!  Contact Merritt Frey at 208-345-7776 or for  more information.


Including the logo, trailer, quotes, and other 30th anniversary campaign  pieces in your work will help us develop a nationally consistent  drumbeat about clean water protections.  Remember, repetition is the  easiest, cheapest message tool we have – let’s work together to create a  campaign that breaks through the public’s conscience! Sample 30th anniversary quotes for use throughout 2002 We’re sharing a selection of quotes for your use in press materials  throughout the 30th anniversary campaign.  These quotes are fairly broad  in order to make them useful in a range of situations.  Of course, you  should feel free to edit the quotes and weave in whatever issue your  press work is about.


Note:  If you would like a national organization staff person to cite in  these quotes, contact Eddie Scher at or 202-289-2395.   Eddie can set you up with a national representative who can speak to the  issue in your release. 


“The Clean Water Act turns thirty in 2002.  Thirty years is too long to  wait for clean water,” said [INSERT NAME] of [INSERT ORGANIZATION].  “It  is time to keep the promise of the Clean Water Act – clean and safe  waters for everyone.”


“This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Clean Water Act, yet  here in [INSERT STATE OR LOCATION] we still haven’t made our waters safe  for our kids,” said [INSERT NAME] of [INSERT ORGANZIATION].  “Now is the  time for [INSERT STATE OR OTHER TARGET] to recommit to the goal of safe  and clean water for everyone.”


“Thirty years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, we’re still  faced with [INSERT ISSUE/PROBLEM] (ex. toxic runoff, fish kills),” said  [INSERT NAME] of [INSERT ORGANZIATION].  “Thirty years is too long to  wait for clean water.  We need to enforce the Clean Water Act today to  protect our families and communities.”


“Despite some important successes, we are far from achieving the Clean Water Act’s goals,” said [INSERT NAME] of [INSERT ORGANZIATION].   “Unfortunately, opposition form corporate special interests and  foot-dragging by government has slowed down progress.  As the Act turns  30 this year, we must recommit ourselves to the goal of clean and safe  water for everyone.”


“This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Clean Water Act,” said  [INSERT NAME] of [INSERT ORGANZIATION].  “This year give us the chance  to make the Act’s promise of safe and clean water a reality for  everyone.”


Note:  You may want to insert your state numbers in place of the  national numbers in the following quote:  “Thirty years after the  passage of the Clean Water Act, 40 percent of our waters aren’t safe for  swimming, fishing or aquatic life,” said  [INSERT NAME] of [INSERT  ORGANZIATION].  “This is unacceptable.  As the Act turns 30, we must  recommit to the goal of clean and safe water for everyone.”




9.  Clean Water Network Announces Clean Water Proclamation Campaign—  Sign up to Participate Today!


On January 30th, the Clean Water Network launched a campaign that  empowers your organization, your community and your local government to  use the Clean Water Act to protect your precious waters and to  revitalize them as you rejuvenate your neighborhood.  The goal of the  Network’s City Clean Water Proclamation Campaign is to get 100 cities  nationwide to take a public stand for clean water by signing onto a  clean water proclamation, and making specific commitments to achieve  clean water.  The proclamation puts your city or local government on  record as supporting clean water.


We encourage you to ask your city council or local government to flesh  out their commitment by declaring actions they will take to prove their  clean water promise is real.  On September 18, 2002, we will hold a  series of press events across the country with our local governments  announcing the proclamation, announcing October 18 as Clean Water Act  Day, and announcing the city’s new clean water goals.


Below you will find the sample proclamation.  Visit the Network’s web  site at to  get an electronic version of the proclamation, to get a list of actions  you can ask your city council or local government to commit to for the  30th anniversary, and to contact us about your plans.  (Please e-mail  Ami Grace at if you would like to take part in the  campaign.)


*Note: While we are calling this the City Clean Water Proclamation  Campaign, we realize municipalities and counties may be your focus as  well. That’s  fine— we just want to get local government commitment.


Sample Clean Water Proclamation


WHEREAS, maintaining and improving water quality is essential to protect  public health, fisheries, wildlife, and watersheds, and to ensure  abundant opportunities for public recreation and economic development in  the City of [INSERT CITY NAME];



(For example, from the San Diego resolution of 2001, “San Diego’s  beaches and bays are an invaluable natural resource benefiting local  residents and contributing to a flourishing recreation and tourism  industry.”)


WHEREAS, [INSERT PERCENTAGE] percent of [INSERT STATE NAME]’s lakes,  rivers, and [coastal areas] are still not fishable nor swimmable, and  [INSERT PERCENTAGE] percent of [INSERT NAME OF YOUR CITY]’s lakes,  rivers, and [costal areas] are not fishable nor swimmable;


WHEREAS, wetlands continue to be lost at an alarming rate within the  state of [INSERT STATE NAME] and within the city of [INSERT CITY NAME];


WHEREAS, raw sewage discharges still flow through communities across the  United States including [INSERT CITY NAME];


WHEREAS, toxic pollution continues to plague our lakes, rivers, aquifers  and [costal areas] and threatens public health and the health of aquatic  habitats;


WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the government and of all American  citizens to provide and protect clean water for future generations;


WHEREAS, the Clean Water Act is the primary federal law that protects  our nation’s waters, including lakes, rivers, aquifers, and coastal  areas, and seeks to ensure Americans will enjoy clean water safe for  swimming and fishing and aquatic life will thrive;


WHEREAS, the quality of our waters has improved dramatically as a result  of cooperative efforts by federal, state, tribal and local governments  to implement the pollution control programs established in 1972 by the  Clean Water Act, as well as tireless efforts by other non-governmental  organizations and citizens;


WHEREAS, serious water pollution problems still persist throughout  [INSERT NAME OF CITY AND STATE] and significant challenges lie ahead in  the effort to protect water resources from point and nonpoint sources of  pollution including raw sewage discharges and contaminated stormwater  discharges, and in the effort to clean-up those water resources that are  already polluted beyond standards;


WHEREAS, the Clean Water Act continues to provide a clear path for clean  water and a solid foundation for an effective national clean water  program;


WHEREAS, enforcement of the Clean Water Act is tantamount to realization  of the goals of fishable and swimmable waters for all; and


WHEREAS, as the 30th anniversary of enactment of the Clean Water Act in  October 2002 is a prime opportunity to recommit to meeting the goals of  the Clean Water Act:



and on behalf of the people of [INSERT NAME OF CITY], does hereby  recognize the accomplishments and value of the Clean Water Act in  helping to make [INSERT NAME OF CITY] a healthy, thriving, and vibrant  community.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that October 18, 2002 be and is hereby proclaimed  to be “CLEAN WATER ACT DAY” in the City of [INSERT CITY NAME].


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of [INSERT CITY NAME] recommits to  the goals of the Clean Water Act by [DESCRIBE THE NEW PROJECT/GOAL THE





10.  CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS-Wetland Photo Contest


The Environmental Protection Agency’s Wetlands Division is sponsoring a  wetland photography contest focusing on images that show the functions  and values of wetlands.  EPA is seeking high quality photographs of  wetlands in different regions of the United States and at different  seasons of the year.  The winning photographs will be used to produce an EPA wetland poster and will be prominently displayed at the National  Wetland Awards ceremony in Washington, DC in May 2002.


The deadline for submission is March 1, 2002.  For more information  anddetails on how to submit your photographs please go to  www.epa/owow/wetlands/photocontest.  If you have any questions or need  additional information please call 1-800-832-7828 and ask for wetland  photo contest.  To learn more about the functions and values of wetlands please visit EPA’s website at www.epa/owow/wetlands.




11.  Featured Water Resource of the Month


Nonpoint Source Focus Group Report


U.S. EPA has released a final report on a series of 8 focus groups on  nonpoint source pollution.  EPA’s goal was to “...better understand the  attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and motivations of the general public...”  Much of the discussion in the report focuses on appropriate media  outlets, health and personal connections, and environmental education  generally.  Network members might find the lessons learned in these  focus groups useful in their media work centered around nonpoint source  pollution.  For a copy of the report, e-mail Merritt Frey at




Contact CWN Staff


Please use the information below for contacting CWN staff. Note that the email address can also be used to contact CWN with  general clean water concerns.


Eddie Scher, Director, 202-289-2395


Ami Grace, Grassroots Director, 202-289-2421


Lindsey Christ, Program Assistant/Webmaster, 202-289-2422


Linda Young, Southeast Field Coordinator, 850-222-9188


Merritt Frey, Watershed Restoration Program Director, 208-345-7776




Jackie Savitz, Coast Alliance Nancy Stoner, Natural Resources Defense Council




Catherine Hazlewood, The Ocean Conservancy



Ken Midkriff, Sierra Club Martha Noble, Sustainable Agriculture Coalition



Richard Caplan, PIRG



Merritt Frey, CWN Coordinator



Julie Sibbing, NWF Daniel Rosenberg, NRDC


Wet Weather and Funding: Nancy Stoner, NRDC Paul Schwartz, CWA


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