Oct 17, 2008
Federal environmental regulators must make "radical change" to the U.S. storm water program to clean up the nation's water and reverse degradation, a new report says.
The report by the National Research Council highlights the problem of combined sewage systems that attempt to dispose of both rainwater and waste. In most cities, those systems are reaching capacity, causing increasing amounts of rainwater to flow across urban landscapes—picking up pollutants from garbage to toxic chemicals—and into streams, lakes and rivers. That runoff pollutes watersheds and causes erosion.
The council recommends that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates storm water discharged by cities, shift its focus from chemical pollutants in storm water to the runoff problem. The EPA commissioned the report.
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