Archive for the ‘Lobby for Clean Water Act’ Category

VOTE NO on H.B. 2018

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
  • HR 2018, entitled, “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011,” as passed by the House and is now being heard by the Senate.  This bill is a direct assault on two key components of the Clean Water Act: enforcement of water quality standards and protection of aquatic resources from discharges of dredged and fill material.
  • Title V (H.R. 2018) would reverse decades of progress in cleaning our nation’s waters. It undermines the cooperative state-federal partnership at the core of the Clean Water Act. Under this title, the U.S. EPA would be stripped of its important authority to ensure that water quality standards are enforced and reflect the latest science. Sadly, this super polluter bill is one in a long line of bills introduced this year whose goals are to give polluters free reign to poison our air and water. The 112th Congress has cast a record-setting 302 anti-environment votes, making it the worst in history on the environment.
  • Congress is starting to hear the bills. Please pay attention.

Clean Water Action Letter to Senators with over 300 organizations against this bill

Save Maumee goes to Washington D.C. represented northeast Indiana for Clean Water Week

Friday, March 9th, 2012

 Peter Visclosky & Clean Water Advocates in front of the Capitol Building!

If you would like to see what we said in Washington D.C. last week – CLICK HERE for Save Maumee 2012 Newsletter:

Save Maumee Grassroots Organization represented northeast Indiana for Great Lakes Days again this year in Washington D.C. for Clean Water Week, through a grant from Healing Our Waters.  Save Maumee volunteers have represented northeast Indiana in D.C. every year since 2008!  This year was special though because we had Save Maumee volunteers, Celia Garza, Bruce Allen, Ryan Bailey and Abigail King all in attendance!

Today, streams and lakes suffer from a legacy of toxic pollution, the spread of invasive species, and loss of habitat.  These factors, among others; threaten jobs, public health and way of life for people who depend on clean water!  Clean water, in fact, has ranked as the number one environmental concern for the last 10 years!

125 people were included in the creation of this document if you would like to know more!
“Great Lakes Regional Collaboration”

On February 28th & 29th Save Maumee volunteers Bruce Allen, Celia Garza, Ryan Bailey and Abigail King spoke to the following federal legislative offices.

U.S. Federal Senators:
Dan Coats met with Celia Garza
Richard Lugar met with Abigail King

U.S. Senator Dick Lugar’s Meeting

U.S. House of Representatives:
Marlin Stutzman met with Abigail King, Bruce Allen and Ryan Bailey
Joseph Donnelly met with Ryan Bailey
Mike Pence met with Bruce Allen
Peter Visclosky met with Abigail King, Celia Garza and Bruce Allen

Abigail King, Bruce Allen & Ryan Bailey from Save Maumee - outside U.S. House of Representative Stutzman

Save Maumee representatives were only one group representing 8 States and 2 Provinces of Canada.  These groups speak for over 30 million people who depend on The Great Lakes and their tributaries for drinking water.   Representation of groups that lobbied on Capitol Hill included: Alliance for the Great Lakes, Save the Dunes, Great Lakes Commission, Fresh Water Future, National Wildlife Federation, American Rivers, Waterkeeper Alliance, Restore the Earth, Cardno JFNew, Hoosier Environmental Council, and Natural Resource Conservation Services, Northwest Indiana Forum, League of Women Voters and National Parks Conservation Association, just to name a few.

Priority issues for the groups were:
1. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – protecting $300 million from a 20% budget cut – President Obama has requested $300 million for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in 2013. Fully implementing the GLRI is a strategy projected to generate at least $50 billion in long-term economic benefits.  Over 22 million Americans live in the Great Lakes basin and an estimated 1.5 million jobs generating $62 billion in annual wages are directly related to the lakes.  Nearly 700 projects are producing measurable results for our waterways!  Clean rivers and lakes are good for the economy!

The Great Lakes maintains a $7 billion dollar industry for fishing, so it remains very important to maintain the language of the Clean Water Act.  We requested that legislators not support weakening of the language of the Clean Water Act, and asked that they also not support any weakening of the EPA’s ability to use their power of enforcement and oversight.

2.    Asian Carp – Support full implementation of Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework; accelerate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s study to protect against inter-basin transfer of invasive species.  If you would like to see our local available entry area for Asian Carp, read the letter here: from Betsy Yankoiak, Little River Wetlands Project’s Executive Director

3.    Incorporate strong Great Lakes conservation provisions and funding in the 2012 Farm Bill.  Conservation of land will help to protect waterways by reducing soil erosion and nutrient runoff.  We need strong provisions and funding for conservation and restoration efforts that address soil and water conservation.
Congress must maintain funding levels for these programs at $6.2 billion – a new Great Waters Regional Conservation Partnership Program in the next farm bill.

4. Invest in infrastructure, separate sewers while repairing and upgrading aging infrastructure. Make efforts to begin separating storm water from sewer drainage. Reauthorize and provide funding for the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.

Jay Jensen, Federal Land and Water Manager and speaking for EPA Director Linda Jackson, discussed the White House’s “Restoration Action Plan,” and “Restoration Initiative.” The challenge lies in communication; White House cares about the environment, but is also deeply focused on deficit reduction and job creation.

Abigail King & U.S. House of Representatives, Peter Viscloski

Great Lakes Restoration at work in Indiana:

Many groups are collaborating with the federal government to implement a comprehensive restoration strategy for the Great Lakes.  This partnership is generating on-the-ground actions that will improve Indiana’s economy, environment and the quality of life.

Great Lakes Commission Fact Sheet on Indiana: A vital Economic Asset for Indiana


you can find the 2012 Commission Meetings and other fact sheets 

Combined Sewer Overflows – college term paper

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Combined Sewer Overflows


Written by Sean Musi



I have spent half of my life in Fort Wayne, Indiana and the number one issue that comes to mind involving the environment is the poor condition of our water ways. This is especially upsetting because the city seems to take some pride in the fact that three rivers meet in it and even have a large week-long festival named after it, Three Rivers.


My mind went straight to a presentation given by a local grassroots project while I was studying at my previous college in Fort Wayne. Abigail Frost, founder of Save Maumee Grassroots Movement, spoke about her current efforts as well as how these three bodies of water came to be as unpleasant as they are today.


The St. Joe River is where over 200,000 people get their drinking water. This meets the St. Mary’s and both then flow together to create the Maumee. The St. Mary’s, which floods frequently and is highly polluted, passes through much of northeast Indiana. These two rivers come together to form the Maumee, which contains high levels of mercury, PCB and E. coli.,fish consumption advisories, as well as the accumulation of sediment and garbage. The Maumee just so happens to be the longest and largest contributing river to the Great Lakes (Frost).


The Maumee has been polluted since before January of 1975, which is when the EPA conducted an investigation on it as well as the section that passes through the Toledo area(Water). The legal release of pollutants by 38 industrial contributors has taken a toll on the health of these rivers. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has been criticized because of its inability to enforce when these regulations are violated (Frost).


Another contributing factor is the outdated and degrading status of the sewer system. Combined sewer overflows (CSO’s) take storm water runoff, sewer discharge, and industrial waste to all be processed at a water treatment facility. With heavy rainfall or snowmelt thesesystems are designed to overflow into nearby streams, rivers or bodies of water when capacity is exceeded. In Fort Wayne this can happen when 0.1 inches of rain falls. On average this amount of rain is produced 71 days out of the year. In 2006 it happened every 2.4 days. These overflows mean that one billion gallons of raw sewage are being dumped into the rivers each year (Frost).


As mentioned before the Maumee is the longest and largest contributing stream to the Great Lakes. This means that the pollution of this river has a negative impact on all the communities and wildlife from Fort Wayne to the Great Lakes. The Three Rivers Festival used to have a Raft Race and there also used to be a beach at the Johnny Appleseed Park, but because of excessive pollution are now unfeasible (Frost)This takes away additional revenue these activities may have produced for the city or local businesses as well as a uniqueness that may have made the city an attractive place to live or visit. Boating enthusiasts as well as fishermen are deterred from using these waterways for their recreation due to their poor condition, adding to the negative economic effects as well as social effects. Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is situated on the bank of the St. Joe River. They have recently constructed a beautiful bridge for pedestrian and bike traffic to the soccer fields on the other side of the river.However, the poor quality of the water than runs under this bridge could potentially have a negative effect on the likelihood of a student or student athlete deciding to attend this college. Thus losing tuition money as well as revenue this athlete may have produced. Elite professors and or students deciding not to come to this school because of the poor environmental aesthetics may hinder the chances that IPFW makes a household name of itself. This snowballing effect can all this could be traced back to a series of polluted rivers.


There are solutions to help prevent or eliminate the number of overflows a city can take that has a combined system. The first is to modify the existing system to separate the wastewater from the runoff water. The city of Minneapolis is aggressively pursuing this solution to their CSO’s. Separation started in the 1960’s and CSO’s are rare compared to other cities. Remaining combined sewers are still in place there due to the difficulty and expenses to separate them. Part of this problem is up to the home or business owner. If built prior to 1961 many structures have piping that runs off the roof and directly into the sanitary sewer system. Redirecting this water onto grade or to a storm drain on the street are the primary solutions (Minneapolis).


Another avenue of solutions leans more toward urban forestry. Riverkeeper, a member-supported watchdog organization, has also addressed the problem with CSO’s that discharge into New York Harbor. “More than 27 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted stormwaterdischarge out of 460 combined sewage overflows (“CSOs”) into New York Harbor alone each year” (Riverkeeper). This organization proposes implementing green streets, street trees, green roofs and rain barrels. Green streets are areas that use vegetated facilities to manage stormwaterat its source. If applied in New York City it could reduce CSO’s by 14,800 gallons. Implementing street trees could reduce an additional 13,170 gallons of water from CSO systems.Another way is through green roofs, reducing 800 to potentially 12,000 gallons. Utilizing rain barrels can subtract 9,000 gallons (Riverkeeper).


Seeing how these rivers are intricately connected to the city of Fort Wayne as well as all the communities to the Great Lakes calls for immediate action, especially Fort Wayne. Being the “Summit City” all the poor environmental practices carried out here will unfairly punish communities who may be carrying out safe methods. Fixing this problem has nothing but good outcomes for all. Cleaner rivers where those 200,000 people get their water increases their health as well as that of the environment. Cleaning these rivers may also add to the attractiveness of the city and add population growth, industry growth and overall prosperity.  


Like all policies there will be consequences of implementing them and these proposed solutions to CSO’s present no exception. There will certainly be a cost associated with change, either through reconstruction and separation of the sewage system or by introducing urban forestry to the area or a combination of the two. This issue can be met with a costs and benefits presentation that shows how the city will benefit from this policy. Visual outcomes will be cleaner looking rivers as well as a return to river recreation, should the other problems associated with the river be resolved as well. Also expected is resistance from citizens as well as officials who will have to pay monetary costs as well as comfort and convenience costs that this policy will forfeit during the time of construction and implementation. Then the obvious expected outcome is the stated policy objective which is a lower number if not a complete eradication of overflows into local rivers.


There is the possibility of unexpected outcomes occurring but if carried out properly they will be few. With the urban forestry approach there could be complications with tree roots. They have been known for damaging sidewalks, sewer systems and other manmade structures. Extraresearch will need to be conducted to assure the buildings can carry the extra weight the vegetation, soil and water that will be added to them. Normally this weight would not exist because the plants do not exist and rain or snow fall runs off the roofs and gutters. Also if not situated properly there could be the possibility of damage done to nearby areas to falling trees in the event of a storm.

There is also a positive unanticipated effect towards implementing more trees into an area. More trees and vegetation will increase the quality of the air, which in the long run may increase health of the populace by eliminating causes of disease and sickness. Incorporating more vegetation will also create an aesthetically pleasing effect for the area and may make it more attractive towards visitors and tourists. This in turn may unknowingly increase sales in the immediate area.  


With the separation of the current combined sewer system the project company as well as the city must be ready for the inconveniences. For instance traffic may increase where construction is being carried out. There is also the possibility that accidents happen that damage the existing infrastructure creating unintentional flooding or ground cave ins. With the separation of the storm from sewage water also creates an unintended negative side effect. All the storm water that collects oil, chemicals and other pollutants will head directly toward local rivers.There are measures limit or prevent this from happening. At high traffic areas of storm water entering bodies of water there have been filter systems that capture many impurities. These must be tended to often however to remain effective (Tolliver).


There is also a positive side effect towards the separation of the system. The cleaning process will use fewer chemicals, such as chlorine and aluminum sulphate, to process the lower volumes of water that would travel through the plant.


As far as tradeoffs between the current and proposed policies it is basically a one sided argument. Apart from having both storm water and sewage water being processed equally there is no benefit now for the combined sewer system. At one time it was considered breakthrough technology but as the city of Fort Wayne grew it frequently overwhelmed the system.


With a population of over 200,000 and average precipitation of 38.3 inches per year, it is unreasonable to have a combined sewer system in place (What)On average there are 71 times a year where the combined system overflows sending one billion gallons of raw sewage into the rivers every year. After conducting research for this project I have found that Fort Wayne plans to make the transition from combined to separate systems over the course of the next fifteen years. When completed they have predicted that the chances of overflows will go from 71 times a year to 4 (Long)The remaining overflows could be eliminated by incorporating urban forestry into the infrastructure of the city. Some of this can be done by volunteers by planting trees in parks or other open areas. More complicated projects such as green buildings and green streets will most likely be handles by professionals.


Transitioning from the combined to separate system can be carried out simultaneously with the urban forestry, so long as the budget and resources of the city permit it. This combination of policies will improve water quality, aesthetics of the environment, air quality andadd to a continually decrease in the environment and many more snowballing positive outcomes with little to no risk.




Works Cited

“Combined Sewer Overflow – A Minneapolis Solution.” City of Minneapolis, Minnesota – Official Web SiteWeb. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.


“Combined Sewage Overflows (CSOs) | Riverkeeper.” Riverkeeper – NY’s Clean Water Advocate. 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.


“EPA Combined Sewer Overflows – Office of Wastewater Management.” U.S. EPA ColdFusion Server. Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.


Frost, Abigail. Save Maumee – Index. Abigail Frost, 2005. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <>.


“Long Term Control Plan Chapter 4.” City of Fort Wayne Indiana. 2007. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. 



Toliver, Aaron. Personal Interview. 16 Nov. 2011.


“Water Pollution Investigation: Maumee River and Toledo Area.” EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency.Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.


Meetings Recap of LaFarga Copper LLC (Steel Dynamics Inc.)

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

On January 12, 2012, the Allen County Drainage board had their beginning talks about reconstructing the Bandelier Ditch #3.  Abby Frost-King and Celia Garza specifically requested from different contacts within the Surveyors office, to be informed of the day they would begin conversations. We were not called about this first meeting. They explained that this was only the introduction of the project and that there would be additional meetings. The Drainage Board meets the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 9:30am in the Council courtroom Suite 035 in the Garden level of Citizens Square. The next meeting will be January 26, 2012 at 9:30am. If they continue to speak and plan for this ditch improvement, it is imperative that we all attend to share our opinions…even though we have been informed that there will be a “public hearing” after the plans are in place and THEN the public who live in the area will be able to comment on their findings.

Save Maumee had attended the last Allen County Drainage Board meeting of 2011.  We requested the review of the restructuring of Bandilier Ditch #3, since it seemed necessary to do this work before LaFarga Copper LLC (Steel Dynamics owned) is built on this partial floodplain.  In addition, they would be required to install a retention pond on the property, to aid draining and storage of water. Originally, the “restructuring” of the ditch was, to our understanding, necessary for the new copper facility to be built. In previous meetings we understood that LaFarga was to pay for the restructuring of the Bandilier Ditch #3 and no plans had yet been designed.

1) Who is paying to restructure Bandilier Ditch #3?
2) If it is Allen County citizens, why is the drainage board planning to restructure this ditch at this time…rather than 2 years ago, or next year?

The residents of New Haven have been in a state of unrest since Steel Dynamics Inc. announced their intention of moving a copper processing plant into the community. On April 27, 2011 officials of Omni -Source and Superior Aluminum held a meeting in which they spoke with residents about this investment. After listening to complaints from neighboring citizens, they realized the primary concern is a combination of pollutants coming from a new plant, as well as an existing plant (all owned by Steel Dynamics) called Superior Aluminum. A plant that neighbors have experienced previous problems with pungent odors and colorful metallic scented emissions. The EPA regulated ambient air monitors that determine pollutant levels to be compliant with the NAAQS (National Ambient Air Quality Standards) in Allen County are located 7.4-10 miles upwind of where the two plants will be located. This fact left little comfort to those that live within the area and whose health and property would be negatively impacted by additional emissions. Residents shared this knowledge with President Mark Milet and former CEO Keith Busse on October 18, 2011. They compromised by telling everyone at the meeting, they were going to install a spot light on the smoke stack for nighttime view and process monitors (which were described as being only video cameras). They also extended an invitation to the community to tour the new plant when it’s completed. At this time, a date has not been released for a tour of the new facility, and the company has not yet installed a spot light or video camera to their smoke stacks on Superior Aluminum.

An appeal has been filed on the air permit for the SDI LaFarga LLC copper processing plant. The hearings with the Office of Environmental Adjudication (OEA) began on December 19, 2011. Evidence will be presented and expert witnesses will appear at future hearings to ensure that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) properly reviewed and approved the air permit for the SDI LaFarga copper plant. Investigation will continue until the OEA comes to a verdict. For more information, or if you live in the area and want to become involved, please e-mail


Save Maumee Grassroots Org. wins “Organization of the Year Award”

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Awards Ceremony at The 4th Annual Greening the Statehouse Policy Forum will be held on Saturday, December 10th at Butler University’s Reilly Room at Atherton Union in downtown Indy from 8:30am-3pm.  So join us for education from Indianapolis policy experts and environmental groups. For reservations call Jesse Karbanda at 317.685.8800 ext. 103

The Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest environmental policy organization, has claimed “Save Maumee won Organization of the Year!”  Abigail King, Ryan Bailey and Jain Young will be accepting the award for the group. Supporters of the day include Sierra Club, Blue Green Alliance, Carmel Green Initiative, Indiana Green Business Network, Indiana Recycling Coalition, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Save the Dunes, City of Indianapolis-Office of Sustainability.

Save Maumee has been chosen as a result of the positive impact on the community, the group’s great volunteer spirit, passion for the health of the rivers in the Great Lakes region, and ability to organize a number of very successful volunteer driven river clean-up and restoration events.

Northeast Indiana Rivers Represented in Washington D.C.

Save Maumee has been chosen by Healing Our Waters to represent Northeast Indiana for Clean Water Week during Great Lakes Days in Washington, D.C. The event will be held Feb. 28-29.

Every year, more than 125 citizens from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin travel to our nation’s capital to educate public officials about the importance of the Great Lakes to the region’s economy and quality of life.

Needed Action for Congressmen discussion;

* Enforce current laws

* Support legislation that protects natural areas.

* Proper review of permits for corporations and stronger oversight and enforcement of permits. If fines are levied when a company discharges beyond allowed permit effluent, the monies can be utilized to truly improve water quality for human health.

*  Indiana HB 1112 was passed and July 1st 2012 manufacturing waste (considered hazardous and illegal to discharge into the air or water), will now be added to soil and consider the soil to be “amended,” a.k.a. better than it was before.

 *  Tiles, straight pipes and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) outlets should be properly counted and available to the public on Indiana & Allen County GIS maps.

* Establish Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL’s) for the Maumee in Indiana, and complete the Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan so the community knows the priorities of our waterways.

* Rules being developed by the Indiana State Chemist will regulate livestock waste as a fertilizer material, but do not take into account the pathogens in manure. It is important in disclosing information on when, where, and how much manure is land applied to Indiana fields, and note it will have allowances to spread manure on frozen fields.  All this will allow more runoff into our waterways.

Save Maumee wants to see ALL people come together to improve the quality of Fort Wayne’s Three Rivers and thirty-four million that depend on the Maumee River, downstream. All these issues have workable solutions.


Save Maumee Grassroots Organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the conditions of the 3 Rivers in Fort Wayne, Indiana, while facilitating ecosystem restoration projects to improve water quality. Revitalizing the St. Joe/Maumee Watershed will protect and restore the environment, while improving the economic, aesthetic and recreational value. Research into historical importance of our navigable waterways and current pollution conditions began in 2001 and Save Maumee began bank-stabilization projects in 2005. To date Save Maumee has planted over 1,500 trees, 800lbs of native riparian seed and removed 22,000 lbs of trash on volunteer hours and in-kind donations alone.



Monday, May 9th, 2011

The EPA is looking for your input that needs to arrive at their office by May 16th regarding this memorandum  It is very important that we generate as many comment letters as we can in favor of the parts of the 2010 memo that improve upon the 2002 guidance. The 2002 guidance touted best management practice (BMP)-based approaches as the generally-accepted way to implement TMDLs and to comply with water quality standards except in “rare instances.” This EPA policy had been crafted to reflect the lack of sufficient data and experience available at that time in developing specific TMDL stormwater allocations and appropriate numeric water quality based effluent limits.

EPA has expressed their strong interest in getting lots of comments in on this memo. They are planning to use the comments to decide whether to amend it, withdraw it or leave it unchanged.  Save Maumee believes that it would be best IF this memo is left in tact! EPA is going to hear loudly from the regulators and the regulated community; the associations (state agencies and wastewater and stormwater permittees) are organizing their members against this memo.

·        EPA will likely change this memo in some way (if they don’t simply abandon it), and we need to let them know what pieces we think are worth keeping!

·       The EPA is calling for our support on this memo is a test to see how much support they will get from us on the federal stormwater rule in the works. EPA’s interpretation of this turnout could influence how far they are willing to go against mounting opposition to the stormwater rule.  PLEASE it is to keep us safe!



RE: Establishing TMDL, WLAs & NPDES permits

Dear EPA Decision Makers,

The Maumee Watershed is the largest and longest contributing stream to the Great Lakes in the USA.  It is important to note there are no TMDL’s and over 50 NPDES in the Upper Maumee in Fort Wayne/Allen County.  After reading an independent study in 2002, there are discrepancies in the total number of NPDES and pipe counts for the Upper Maumee are unknown.  The entire Maumee and St. Mary’s Rivers are on the 303 (d) list for impaired water.  Please continue your diligence in numeric limits are inherently measurable and accountable, EPA has appropriately recommended and enforce them in our area.

Army Corps of Engineers have stated, “We do not enforce BMP’s we only suggest and check on the process.  It is the EPA’s job to enforce the permits and law.” (April 2011 Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN)  IDEM has stated during a complaint in 2010, “We are understaffed and cannot accommodate your request to check on BMP’s for a construction build for up to 70 days from your complaint.” (It took them 7 weeks before checking on a complaint on Maplecrest Extension road.) The EPA policy had been crafted to reflect the lack of sufficient data and experience available at that time in developing specific TMDL stormwater allocations and appropriate numeric water quality based effluent limits. Keep the memorandum as it is!

I have seen the standards and am appalled at the regulators lack of enforcement by government agencies.   Please stand strong in safety of water and that begins with BMP’s, stormwater, waste water, NPDES and TMDL’s for the health and well being of over 25 million people in my watershed that flows to the Great Lakes.

 Key points to review:

 ·        November 2010 memo is an important step forward – encouraging more specifics in stormwater permits and TMDL stormwater wasteload allocations.

·        November 2010 memo is based on the same statutory and regulatory provisions as the 2002 memo that has been in effect as guidance. The 2010 memo is not a different interpretation of the law and regulations, instead it reflects the evolution of the stormwater programs, more available data, significant experience with stormwater controls, numerous examples of numeric water quality based effluent limits in stormwater permits, and continued demonstration of significant stormwater-caused impairments throughout the country in spite of numerous rounds of permitting.

·        It is appropriate and legally defensible for EPA to recommend numeric water quality based effluent limits in stormwater NPDES permits under circumstances including the following:

o   When the stormwater discharge is going to cause or worsen problems

The Clean Water Act requires that stormwater permits contain water quality based effluent limitations when the permitting authority has determined that the discharge has the “reasonable potential to cause or contribute” to an excursion of the water quality standards, including when a receiving water body is already identified on the threatened and impaired waters list. (CWA section 402(p)(3)(A), 40 CFR 122.44(d)(1)(iii)) Because numeric limits are inherently measurable and accountable, EPA has appropriately recommended that they be used.

o   When the stormwater discharge is a known source of problems

The Clean Water Act also requires that if a TMDL has been developed that includes wasteload allocations for stormwater discharges, stormwater permits regulating those sources must contain water quality based effluent limits and conditions consistent with the requirements and assumptions of the allocations in the TMDL. (40CFR122.44(d)(1)(vii)(B))

·        Requirements for MS4s

The memo correctly demonstrates that MS4 permits must include water quality based effluent limits when the permitting authority has determined that the discharges have a reasonable potential to cause or contribute to excursions of water quality standards OR when the MS4 discharges are included in a TMDL wasteload allocation. The Clean Water Act language requiring the control of discharge of pollutants from MS4s to the maximum extent practicable (MEP), also says “and such other provisions as the Administrator or the State determines appropriate for the control of such pollutants.” (CWA section 402(p)(3)(B)(iii)) EPA views the latter clause as allowing for development of effluent limits “as necessary for compliance with water quality standards.”  This interpretation is supported by the language in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision Defenders of Wildlife v. Browner, 191 F.3d 1159, 1166 (9th Cir.1999). State courts have further found that permit requirements that prohibit causing or contributing to water quality standards can be met by municipal efforts consistent with the MEP standard. 

·        Burden of proof for infeasibility

The memo recommends that numeric limits should be used “where feasible,” yet the regulatory language allowing for the use of BMPs to “control or abate the discharge of pollutants” lists as one of four reasons: when “numeric effluent limitations are infeasible.” (40CFR122.4(k)) The regulatory language clearly places the burden of proof on demonstration of infeasibility of numeric limits, and the 2010 memo should be changed to reflect that reality.

·        Disaggregation of stormwater sources in TMDLs

The memo notes the great challenges with establishing clear, effective and enforceable stormwater permit limits when TMDL stormwater wasteload allocations are aggregated. Due to those challenges, EPA now recommends that stormwater wasteload allocations be disaggregated to the extent feasible AND as narrowly as available information allows. This approach should certainly lead to allocations for individual permittees and wherever possible to individual outfalls. That transition should be supported.

·        Using surrogates for pollutant parameters

The memo highlights the recommendation from the National Research Council (NRC) in their 2008 report Urban Stormwater Management in the United States that suggests that a better way to “regulate stormwater contributions to waterbody impairment would be to use flow OR a surrogate, like impervious cover, as a measure of stormwater loading.” It is worthwhile to support the reference to the NRC’s highlight of the need to reduce stormwater flow not only as a cause of pollutant loading, but also to prevent harm to aquatic life caused by stream channel scouring, erosion and sedimentation.

It is also important to support EPA’s emphasis that use of any surrogates would require demonstration of the linkage between the surrogate parameter and the documented impairment (e.g., biological degradation) as well as adequate monitoring to ensure compliance. When use of any surrogate alone is not adequate to achieve water quality standards, additional pollution source control measures must also be included. Use of surrogates should not be considered as functional compliance with water quality-based requirements, although such approaches may help a permittee protect uses and meet criteria.

·        Numeric stormwater limits:

o   The Vermont Construction General Permit includes a turbidity limit – 25 NTU benchmark at the point of discharge.  Any discharge over that requires implementation of additional BMPs, and violation of the benchmark must also be reported within 24 hours to the state water quality agency.  However, in Indiana the standards are not being enforced and need to be written for TMDL’s.

Email to


Kevin Weiss
Water Permits Division
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Room 7334 EPA East
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20460

If additional information is necessary, please call Kevin Weiss at (202) 564-0742.

PLEASE write your own letter even if you understand little of what is being presented.  Simply tell the EPA that you are depending on them to keep you safe with the most stringent regulations!


Save Maumee Goes to D.C. ~ Clean Water Week 2011

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Save Maumee Grassroots Organization is representing north-east Indiana in Washington D.C. again this year for Clean Water Week!  Bruce Allen made it there on Monday to speak for our waterways  in 2011.  This is the 4th year that Bruce has represented Save Maumee and our local area, with sponsorship from Healing Our Waters.

We have written a letter to our 9 U.S. Congressman and our 2 U.S. Senators, that will be delivered personally in D.C. during arranged meetings.  Packages will also be sent to the home districts of 30 State Senators and State Representatives.

Who will receive information personally in Washington, D.C.:

U.S. Federal Senators:

Dan Coats
Richard Lugar

U.S. House Congressman

District 1 –  Pete Visclosky
District 2 – Joe Donnelly
District 3 – Marlin Stutzman
District 4 – Todd Rokita
District 5 – Dan Burton
District 6 – Mike Pence
District 7 – Andre’ Carson
District 8 – Larry Bucshon
District 9 – Todd Young

Capitol Building Photo Op for Clean Water Group Representing NE Indiana

 We wanted you to know what we said:










                                                                                                 February 26, 2011
Dear ______________,

Clean Water Week is a time to reflect on the importance of our waterways and our impact on the health of these vital ecosystems.  It is also a time to comment on the issues and appreciate your indispensable role in achieving resolutions. I am writing to ask you to help the citizens of Indiana protect our near and far economic interests, but never at the expense of the environment.

I speak to many citizens, government agents, non-for profit groups, etc., and I have compiled a list of concerns that need to be addressed immediately:

Issues Related to Impaired Waterways:
•    CO2 Emissions and Energy Efficiency
•    Hydraulic-Fracking/CO2 Injection
•    Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s)
•    Phosphorus removal from commercial fertilizer
•    MORE Oversight and Enforcement of current law; IDEM has stated they are unable to keep industry in check due to cuts in their budget.  Don’t let the EPA be next.

I urge you not to cave-in to lobbyists’ money and pressures from industry to deregulate or relax standards. Many of the regulations that have been put in place are currently being ignored, resulting in severe impairment to 2,882 waterways of Indiana.  This has a direct affect, economically and environmentally, on Hoosiers living in the state and those in neighboring regions. Therefore, it is imperative that Indiana keeps the health and vitality of our waterways a priority when determining the needs of the State and its residents. We cannot allow lobbyists of industry to determine the quality of our lives.

•    It is critical that mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide are put in place, and regulated, in an effort to reduce the negative impact on our waterways.

•    Include a 100% auction of pollution allowance so that polluters will think twice before violating State and Federally set standards.

•    Mandate that utility companies significantly increase energy efficiency measures and increase the use of renewable energy by 2020 to reduce the impact of our heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

•    Mandate the regulation and oversight of the disposal of manure from CAFO’s currently residing in Indiana and being shipped to Indiana from Ohio, which has a direct affect on waterways (as Ohio has come to find out with the current condition of Grand Lake St. Mary’s).

Please take the time to read the enclosed information, keeping in mind that natural ecosystems in Indiana contributed to over 18,000 jobs, $127 million in State and Local Tax Revenue, and $117 million in Federal tax revenue in 2006 according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

CLICK HERE for the happenings from last year (2010)  in Washington, D.C.!
Bruce Allen - Save Maumee Consultant in D.C.

CLICK HERE for what we said last year…

We encourage you to write your own letter or comments and send it to your elected officials!


Thursday, February 17th, 2011

These amendments have no place in a spending bill and they effectively aim to “handcuff” EPA and other federal agencies from enforcing current law or help to relax current law:

Where should we dump it?

Amendment No. 10 from Rep. Cliff Stearns (FL-6) would prevent EPA from developing or issuing standards that list coal ash as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Amendment No. 13 from Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) would stop EPA from using its funding to implement, administer or enforce new water quality standards for Florida’s lakes and flowing waters, which were issued in November.

Amendment No. 109 from Griffith (VA-9)  would block EPA from using its funding to implement or enforce new guidance for the review of water pollution from proposed coal-mining projects, including mountain-top removal mining.

Amendment No. 216 from Rep. David McKinley (WV-1) would stop EPA from administering or enforcing section 404 (c) of the Clean Water Act, which governs dredge-and-fill permits.

Amendment No. 217 from McKinley (WV-1) would also block the EPA coal ash rules.

Amendment No. 218 from Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-6) would prevent EPA from issuing new rules for the circumstances under which mining may be conducted near streams or from conducting an environmental impact statement on the impact of the rules.

Amendment No. 230 from Rep. Goodlatte (VA-6) would block EPA from implementing the federally-mandated water pollution “diet” for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Amendment No. 279 from Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18) would stop EPA from using its funding to re-evaluate health effects of the approved herbicide atrazine, a known endocrine-disruptor.

Amendment No. 289 from McClintock (CA-4) would block the Department of the Interior from issuing grants under the WaterSMART program. This conservation initiative, which was created by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last year, is intended to find solutions for the water crisis in West.  [Water should be used for needs, but not move so much water that it is displaced to areas of greed. (i.e. Las Vegas or water intensive plants in desert agriculture)]

Member Name DC Phone DC FAX
Senator Richard G. Lugar (R- IN) 202-224-4814 202-228-0360
Senator Dan Coats (R- IN) 202-224-5623 202-228-1377
Representative Peter J. Visclosky (D – 01) 202-225-2461 202-225-2493
Representative Joe Donnelly (D – 02) 202-225-3915 202-225-6798
Representative Marlin A. Stutzman (R – 03) 202-225-4436 202-226-9870
Representative Todd Rokita (R – 04) 202-225-5037 202-226-0544
Representative Dan Burton (R – 05) 202-225-2276 202-225-0016
Representative Mike Pence (R – 06) 202-225-3021 202-225-3382
Representative Andre Carson (D – 07) 202-225-4011 202-225-5633
Representative Larry Bucshon (R – 08) 202-225-4636 202-225-3284
Representative Todd C. Young (R – 09) 202-225-5315 202-226-6866

Bill Watch 2011

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Indiana Wildlife sent me their bill watch.  Keeping laws transparent and legislators honest should be demanded by the we the people.

Pork = Renewable energy?

Wildlife Management
SB 0017 Exotic animals. Support restricting release of exotic animals into the wild.
SB 0153 Disabled veteran hunting and fishing licenses. Opposed to new lifetime licenses
HB 1036 Exemption from hunter education course. Opposed to new exemptions
HB 1299 Animal hunting facilities Opposed to any hunting within fenced area
HB 1448 Lifetime senior hunting license. Opposed to new lifetime licenses

Water Quality

SB 0113

Confined feeding operation approvals. Generally support improved water quality protections from excess nutrients, E coli and other pollutants

SB 0118

Ordinances regulating fertilizers. Support local communities’ prohibitions on fertilizer pollution of waterways

SB 0200

Environmental general permits. Generally support proper NPDES permit requirements to protect water quality

SB 0202

Environmental approvals and other issues.Generally support for proper requirements to protect water quality

SB 0236

Septic tanks and sewer systems.

SB 0556

Confined Feeding Operations and CAFOs. Generally support for proper requirements to protect water quality

HB 1134

Confined feeding operation manure. Generally support for proper requirements to protect water quality

HB 1169

Soil and septic system education and research. Generally support additional research and educational out-reach on this topic

HB 1187

Manure storage structures. Generally support for proper requirements to protect water quality

HB 1425

Restrictions on fertilizer containing phosphorus Support – INCA Priority –

Natural Resource Management

SB 0157

Great Lakes task force. Generally support increased emphasis on Great Lakes water quantity and quality issues

SB 0265

Fish and wildlife rulemaking Generally Opposed. Support current system of using Natural Resources Commission setting rules for fish and wildlife management rather setting up new commission.

SB 0375

Sustainable natural resource task force. Support – INCA Priority 

SB 0379

Lake and river enhancement fund. Support the protection of the fund from reversion by the administration

SB 0412

Ballast water and sediment in oceangoing vessels. Support for further restrictions to keep out invasive aquatic species in Great Lakes

SB 0532

Various natural resources matters. Support for DNR proposals

HB 1097

Lake management work group.  Support continuation of work group

HB 1172

 Indiana heritage trust fund. Support extra funding for IHT but this bill would compete for dollars on the state tax form with the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund tax checkoff

HB 1198

Lake and river enhancement fund.  Opposed – allows funds to be used on logjams – not the intent of the fund

HB 1343

Lake and river enhancement fund Support for use of funds for controlling exotic and invasive species

HB 1348

Soil and water conservation districts. Support for administrative wording improvements

HB 1392

Sustainable natural resources task force Support – INCA Priority –

HB 1570

Backcountry issues. Generally opposed to arbitrarily setting aside forest areas for no management. Mature forest areas must be a part of an overall plan to support all fish and wildlife resources

Energy   -related bills but have not taken positions on them.)
SB 0015 Low carbon and noncarbon dioxide emitting plants.
SB 0066 Amend definition of “renewable energy resources”.- may consider trash burning and tree burning renewable
SB 0072 Carbon dioxide pipelines and eminent domain.
SB 0102 Utility recovery of federally mandated costs
SB 0260 Clean energy improvement financing district. Support – INCA priority 
SB 0314 Guaranteed energy saving contracts.
SB 0453 Renewable energy development
SB 0481 Wind power device exemption.
HB 1128 Hydrogen as a renewable energy resource.  
HB 1196 Wind power device deduction limitation.
HB 1231 Low carbon and noncarbon dioxide emitting plants.
HB 1235 Climate expenditure accountability
HB 1262 Energy savings contracts.
HB 1351 Wind energy conversion systems.
HB 1363 Rural renewable energy production.
HB 1407 Alternative energy.
HB 1445 Net metering.
HB 1457 Clean energy improvement financing district. Support – INCA priority

2011 Indiana Senate Pro-Consumer Voting Records

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Several bills are being voted-on right now.
SB72, eminent domain for CO2 pipelines,
SB71, hydrofracking, remains on 2nd reading in the Senate.
SB102, tracker bill, remains on 2nd reading in the Senate.

DUKE ENERGY is a large electric utility service for Indiana and has been in the news several times over the past few weeks for a range of issues: including Contractor says Duke took risks at plant and Utilities Back Bill to Cut Regulation and of course the newest report Dirty Energy’s Assault on Our Health: Mercury

Citizens Action Coalition’s fact sheet (below) is about Indiana General Assembly pro-consumer voting records thus far.  It is important to note that legislators need to know what YOU think.  Please take this opportunity to send them your views, whether it is through email, personal letter or a phone call.

A few things to remember when writing or speaking to your legislator:

1) Be SPECIFIC on what you want to happen or your view on an issue – short and concise
2) Be nice yet firmly held in your beliefs – respect will get you further than a personal attack
3) Ask for their stance on the issue and/or how they will vote – urge a response to your views
4) Personalize, let them know how their decisions in this matter will affect you, your family or business.
5) Tell them you are one of their constituents
6) Conclude your letter by urging the legislator to take action in support of your position and thank them for taking the time to consider your view.

***Do not forget your return address (or you are not considered a real person).


It says (at the bottom) that this information was collected by Follow the Money.  The campaign contributions are a total of contributions that the legislators accepted from Utility, Coal, Oil and Railroad Corporations