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House Hearing on EPA Nutrient Policies

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing today entitledRunning Roughshod Over States and Stakeholders: EPA’s Nutrients Policies.”  The Subcommittee received testimony from North Carolina, Ohio, and Montana state water quality regulators representing ECOS and ASIWPCA; NEIWPCC; the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the Denver Metro Wastewater Reclamation District; and Nancy Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.

The witnesses (except for Nancy Stoner) noted opposition to EPA’s methods for developing, and pushing states to develop, one-size fits all nutrient standards.  As alternatives, the witnesses shared some examples of the work they are doing to address nutrient pollution,  They all emphasized the need for state flexibility in developing and implementing numeric criteria and called for innovative approaches that are based on biological assessments of individual waterways along with environmental response analysis using a suite of adaptive water quality management approaches.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)) stressed the need for EPA to take economic costs into greater consideration when developing policies and making recommendations to states.  His principal concerns were with costs associated with implementing point source nutrient load reductions that can have large impacts on the economy and the creation (or loss of) jobs.  At the end of the hearing, the Subcommittee Chair (Bob Gibbs (R-OH)) thanked all witnesses but did not signal further committee action on this particular topic.

For more information and to view the testimony, visit the web site HERE.