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Evaluation of NRDC Secondary Treatment Rule Petition: End Running the TMDL Process

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On November 27, 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), along with several other environmental interest groups (collectively known as the ‘Petitioners’), submitted a petition to EPA seeking amendments to the secondary treatment requirements for wastewater treatment plants. The Petitioners requested that EPA “fulfill its obligation under the Clean Water Act” by specifying “the degree of effluent reduction attainable at the present time through the application of secondary treatment for nutrient pollution.” The Petitioners suggested that EPA issue nitrogen and phosphorus secondary treatment limitations for wastewater facilities of 0.3 mg/l total phosphorus (TP) and 3.0 mg/l total nitrogen (TN). NRDC's November 27, 2007 petition for rulemaking was premised on the position that 1) nutrients cause ubiquitous impairments in all watersheds, 2) the Clean Water Act requires EPA to update the Secondary Treatment Regulation to address these pollutants, and 3) mandating state-of-the-art nitrogen and phosphorus reduction requirements would not be very costly.
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Keywords: Nutrient Requirements; Petitions for Rulemaking; Secondary Treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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