VNRC was recently asked to testify before the National League of Cities Steering Committee on the Environment about stormwater blending. Stormwater blending refers to the practice of wastewater treatment facilities bypassing secondary treatment when flows at facilities are increased during wet weather events. Partially treated wastewater is then blended in with fully treated wastewater prior to discharge.
Currently blending occurs under EPA regulations that allow wastewater treatment facilities to bypass secondary treatment when certain conditions are met. This includes potential loss of life, personal injury, or severe property damage when there are no feasible alternatives and notice requirements are met. EPA is proposing to amend its NPDES permit requirements so that blending will no longer be treated as a bypass, and would allow the practice of blending as a matter of course. This rolls back existing water quality standards and would routinely allow discharges of partially treated wastewater to rivers and lakes throughout the country. VNRC urged the Committee to oppose the rule. To learn more about this issue and to read the comments that VNRC submitted to the Committee, click on the link below.