Thursday, May 12, 2011

EPA Requires Revised Water Quality Standards For Rivers in Illinois

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a notification to the State of Illinois that water quality standards for portions of the Chicago and Calumet Rivers must be revised. According to EPA, to attain the new water quality standards, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC) will likely be required to disinfect sewage discharged from its North Side and Calumet treatment plants. MWRDGC ceased disinfection at these facilities in the mid-1980s.

EPA has directed the Illinois Pollution Control Board to adopt new or revised water quality standards for the North and South Branches of the Chicago River, the North Shore Channel, the Cal-Sag Channel and the Little Calumet River. If the board does not act, the Clean Water Act authorizes U.S. EPA to take what the agency considers to be the necessary actions. Since 2007, U.S. EPA has recommended that Illinois upgrade water quality standards for the waterway system.

In 2009, U.S. EPA made a similar determination under its Clean Water Act authority for a 28-mile portion of the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

[read more about 2009 EPA action in Missouri]

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.

Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website