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EPA Seeks Input on Regulatory Approach for Managing Excess Flows

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WASHINGTON  — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host three public listening sessions to seek input on a rulemaking effort aimed at providing certainty surrounding the management of peak wet weather flows at certain municipal wastewater treatment plants.

“EPA is taking action to provide municipalities with sought-after regulatory certainty so that facilities can optimize wastewater treatment during wet weather,” said EPA Office of Water Assistant Administrator David Ross. “It’s critical that we hear from cites, states, tribes, and others so that we can design a rule that protects public health and local water quality and also allows for innovation and flexibility.”

Recognizing the years of experience individual cities, states, tribes, utilities, and other stakeholders have in managing wet weather challenges to efficient publicly owned treatment works operations (POTWs), EPA is undertaking a robust outreach effort to gather critical input prior to proposing any changes to its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations.

The public listening sessions will be held:
• October 16, 2018, 9am local time; EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC
• October 24, 2018, 9am local time; EPA Region 7 in Lenexa, Kansas
• October 30, 2018, 11am EDT; online listening session.

To register for a listening session, visit; a transcript of remarks made at the listening sessions will be available after each event at this website. 

The public can also submit written input to inform this action until October 31, 2018, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at [Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0420].


Rainwater that inadvertently enters sewer systems increases flows to wastewater treatment plants, potentially creating operational challenges. In April 2018, EPA announced a new rulemaking to look at issues associated with managing and treating peak flows during wet weather events at POTWs with separate sanitary sewer systems. Through this rulemaking, EPA will consider changes to its NPDES regulations to establish a transparent and lasting approach to permitting flexible peak flow management strategies. The goal of this effort is to provide a regulatory structure that allows for the continuous effective operation of treatment plants and the protection of water quality and public health.

For more information, visit