EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is in Vermont today to talk about plans for cleaning up Lake Champlain.
McCarthy, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is meeting Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and other officials to begin a ‘Call To Action’ meeting with representatives of other federal agencies. The group will develop action plans to reduce pollution and harmful algae blooms in Lake Champlain.
McCarthy is expected to offer technical assistance from the EPA to help the city of Burlington take a more “integrated approach to stormwater and wastewater” projects.
“EPA is committed to helping communities meet their requirements and goals for water projects that benefit public health, the environment, and the local economy, Integrated planning provides the important flexibility that cities and towns need to address water challenges in an efficient and effective manner.” ~ Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator
Integrated planning lets communities sequence projects so they can begin the highest priority ones first. EPA technical assistance will help recipients meet Clean Water Act requirements for water management in a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial way. In the past, EPA, states and municipalities focused on meeting each Clean Water Act requirement separately, an approach that might have kept communities from addressing the most serious water issues first.
Burlington was one of five communities selected from around the country to participate in the project. The award to Burlington was based on its proposal to evaluate the financial capability to fund an integrated stormwater and wastewater program; to develop criteria for prioritizing community wastewater and stormwater needs based on social, economic and environmental factors; to develop a list of example projects that rank highly based on these criteria; and to evaluate innovative methods for pollutant reduction.
After a meeting at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, McCarthy is going to visit St. Albans Bay, which was particularly hard-struck by blue-green algae this past summer.
Read more info about the EPA technical assistance program.
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