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Final Clean Water Strategy Released

2011 March 28

We are pleased to share the final strategy, Coming Together for Clean Water, EPA’s Strategy to Protect America’s Waters. Our strategy presents a framework for how EPA’s national water program will work to address today’s clean water challenges.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the forum, shared your thoughts on the topics, and provided comments on the draft strategy.  We hope you will continue to use this page to discuss the topics presented in the strategy.

We have lots of hard work ahead of us and we look forward to working together to achieve a “leap forward” in water protection!

Coming Together for Clean Water Final Strategy

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Comment Period for Draft Strategy Closed

2010 September 20

The public comment period for the draft strategy, ”Coming Together for Clean Water: EPA’s Strategy for Achieving Clean Water,” closed on Friday, September 17. Thank you for all the thoughtful input and comments that you submitted. We will spend the next couple of weeks reading and reviewing all of the input we received and considering how we will revise the paper. Our goal is to release a final paper before the end of the year.

As we emphasized in the paper, achieving our clean water goals can only happen with the cooperation and participation of a broad range of partners. Thank you for taking time to contribute to this effort by sharing your thoughts and ideas on the draft strategy.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Draft Clean Water Strategy is released

2010 August 20

The Coming Together for Clean Water event and online discussion gave us a lot to think about regarding how EPA can most effectively pursue our nation’s clean water goals. After a lot of consideration, we’ve developed this draft strategy to outline how we hope to accomplish those goals.

We’re pleased to share this draft with you and welcome your comments. If you’re commenting about something specific, please include the section title, page and paragraph number to which you’re referring. Also, please indicate whether you’re commenting as a private citizen or on behalf of an organization (and if it’s the latter, please include the name of the organization as well).

The draft strategy will be available for comment until September 17. After that, we’ll start developing the final strategy, which we hope to have ready by late 2010.

Coming Together for Clean Water Disc Draft Aug 2010 FINAL

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Final conference summary

2010 May 14

Here’s the final summary from the Coming Together for Clean Water Conference. It contains an overview of each component of the event, as well as an outline of next steps. You’ll also find the other conference documents (which were posted previously) in the appendix.

Meeting Summary

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Conference Materials

2010 May 4

The Coming Together for Clean Water Conference was a great success. We listened to many great discussions on how we should think about and address some of the most pressing issues facing our nation’s waters. We have a lot of information to digest, and hope to publish follow-up materials and strategies soon.

We’d like to share the documents that were provided to conference participants.  Links are found below.

Speaker Bios

Coming Together for Clean Water Agenda

Blog comment summary final

Comment index final

Guidelines for Small Group Discussions

Participant List & Thematic Assignment

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Comments will close March 31

2010 March 29

Thanks to everyone who shared comments. It’s great to see so many informed, thoughtful discussions.

We have begun compiling comments so they may be submitted to the Coming Together for Clean Water conference. Thank you again for your participation!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Welcome to Coming Together for Clean Water

2010 March 16

Nearly 40 years ago, Congress passed a truly remarkable piece of legislation—the Clean Water Act. This document outlined sweeping commitments to restore and maintain the integrity of our nation’s waters, rid them of pollution, and make them safe for humans and wildlife alike.

For even longer, the Environmental Protection Agency has worked to fulfill these ambitious and important goals. Our efforts have made our water resources cleaner and safer in many ways, but new challenges arise everyday.  This April, Administrator Lisa Jackson and I are inviting 100 leaders in water issues to help us sharpen our thinking during a one-day event, Coming Together for Clean Water, on how we can meet these challenges.

Specifically, we’ll discuss what we can do about the most significant pollution problems facing our waters. These evolving issues pose complex challenges to restoring healthy watersheds and creating sustainable communities across the country.

These priorities are important to all of us, and cannot be achieved in one day. That’s why Administrator Jackson and I are asking you to participate in this discussion forum, which was designed around the questions we’ll tackle during the Coming Together for Clean Water conference. I encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences on these topics, so we can use them to inform our discussion.

Addressing water pollution is an enormous task that will take a variety of ideas and experiences. I thank you for helping us in this effort.

–Peter Silva
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water
US EPA

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Topic 1: The Watershed Approach

2010 March 16

EPA has long focused on identifying impaired waters and restoring their water quality.  Recently, EPA has begun efforts on the protection and conservation of healthy, functioning watersheds, which provide the ecological support system essential for achieving water quality restoration. Our challenge is to weave a range of voluntary programs, regulations, and strategies into an effective method of protecting whole geographically based drainage areas.

•    If you have experience with protecting watersheds, what has worked and what hasn’t?

•    How can we protect and improve watersheds given the challenges of various sources of pollution?

•    What examples of effective practices and strategies can be “scaled up” to State and national levels for greater effectiveness and broader use?

For more detail about why and how conference participants will be approaching this topic, please see the Discussion Document at right.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Topic 2: Managing Pollutants from Nutrients

2010 March 16

Excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous entering the nations waters create pollution that is hard to track, contain, and control. Nutrient pollution is as damaging to our waters as it is complex, so finding effective ways to address it is critical. EPA and State agencies have used various approaches to tackle the problem but much more is needed to protect water bodies from these pollutants.

•    What critical elements need to be included in an effective nutrient strategy?

•    How should the strategies differ for protecting healthy and functioning watersheds versus those that need to be significantly restored due to previous pollution?

•    What has worked for your organization, state, or tribe in controlling nutrient pollution? What hasn’t?

For more detail about why and how conference participants will be approaching this topic, please see the Discussion Document at right.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Topic 3: Stormwater Pollution

2010 March 16

What, where, and how communities build will affect their residents’ lives including access to clean water. More pavement and non-porous surfaces mean less area where water can soak into the ground, where it recharges our water supplies and nurtures ecosystems. Stormwater that isn’t absorbed runs over these developed areas, picking up contaminants and sediments that eventually flow into rivers and streams.

•    In light of the principles of smart growth, including green infrastructure, what practices or approaches have you seen in urban settings that have been effective in supporting achievement of the CWA goals?

•    What additional practices or approaches do you believe hold potential to support achievement of CWA goals?

•    What actions can EPA and others take to promote these practices or approaches in support of achievement of CWA goals?

For more detail about why and how conference participants will be approaching this topic, please see the Discussion Document at right.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.