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C&E-1.2

Fighting Storm Water Pollution

  • Goal: Reduce pollution from storm water runoff
  • Year Started: 1999
  • Client: Environmental Defense Center

Storm water runoff is one of the nation’s most widespread forms of water pollution, leading to the contamination of many of our country’s rivers, streams, and coastal waters. In late 2014, we joined forces with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to file a lawsuit challenging the failure of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to comply with a prior court order directing the agency to strengthen standards to prevent pollution from storm water. This order, issued more than ten years ago, was the result of another lawsuit that EDC and NRDC won back in 2003. In particular, our 2014 lawsuit targets dirty water that runs off roads, parking lots, and other hard surfaces in cities and suburbs when it rains, and which is one of the prime causes of beach closures around the country. This lawsuit also aims to reduce sediment-laden runoff from forest roads, often used for logging, oil and gas extraction, recreation, and other purposes. Such runoff threatens drinking water supplies and kills fish and other aquatic life.

EDC and NRDC seek a court order that will impose clear deadlines for EPA to update its storm water program, thus reducing the threat of water pollution on public health, wildlife, and recreation.

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