ENVIRONMENTAL LAWSUITS PRESSURE EPA TO ENFORCE CLEAN WATER ACT
States May Lose Funding For Failure to
Submit Water Quality Reports:
"EPA is warning states that they may lose access to some federal funding should they fail to turn in Clean Water Act reports which detail state water quality conditions. Unnamed EPA sources say the agency is concerned that a watchdog group may soon take legal action forcing the agency to penalize states that have not completed this key reporting requirement.
Under Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act, states are required to submit bi-annual reports detailing the condition of the state's water quality. However, in the past states have had trouble meeting this requirement. Many states complain that they lack the resources needed to conduct the water quality evaluations.
Disregarding these arguments, EPA last week warned state officials that failure to report is a serious issue. Currently EPA is fighting six lawsuits that have been issued to prevent the agency from issuing grants until overdue reports have been filed.
EPA says they have taken measures to improve the 305(b) reporting process, noting that the agency issued guidance last year to aid states in conducting the assessments. In the future EPA plans to continue to search for ways to improve the program and help states fulfill their mandatory reporting requirements."