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EPA to Work with Springfield Officials in Developing New TMDL Mandates

Jordan Creek
Photo Credit: Watershed Committee of the Ozarks

The city filed a lawsuit against the EPA in September 2011, saying the organization went beyond its authority under the Clean Water Act when it established rules governing the Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL limits of pollution into Wilson’s, Jordan and Pearson Creeks.  TMDL rules are designed to limit the amount of pollutants that can flow into a stream. 

EPA issued rules mandating a reduction of the flow of storm water into the three creeks by approximately 40% of an average 2 inch rain event.  City officials say those limits are unattainable and that the approach exceeded EPA’s authority by failing to identify or address a pollutant.

The EPA filed a motion recently respectfully moving the court to vacate the agency actions challenged by the plaintiff, stating they would like to reconsider the challenged TMDL’s.

City Manager Greg Burris says the rules would have required the city to spend millions of dollars to reduce the flow of runoff in Springfield and restrict development.  He says there is no sound and scientific evidence that would improve water quality.

In a recent Virginia federal court case, the judge determined the EPA’s attempt to make storm water a pollutant exceeded the agency’s authority under the Clean Water Act.

Burris hopes the city can work with the EPA to redevelop new TMDL’s.