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Regulatory Impact and Compliance Challenges Created by EPA's Reinterpretations of the Federal Bypass Regulation – Rendering Wet Weather Compliance Impossible

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EPA has initiated a series of more restrictive federal bypass rule interpretations regarding collection system design, bypass rule applicability and acceptable plant design/operations that placed otherwise compliant facilities in ongoing violation and have dictated extreme sewer system and treatment plant designs to address rare wet weather flows. EPA now asserts that State rules and plant treatment processes previously approved as consistent with federal regulations are now unlawful under the very same rules. These same operations are now subject to federal fines and enforcement. Informally, EPA Region's are all notifying states that permit objections will be issued if the permits include what are now considered to be illegal defenses or treatment processes. This approach has very serious implications for existing facility operations as well as design requirements for all future upgrades.

Keywords: Blending; Bypass; Collection System Design; Overflow; Wet Weather

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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