The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants input from municipalities on a proposed stormwater rule that is intended to strengthen the national stormwater program under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Also, EPA is seeking proposals for educational sessions at the 14th National Brownfields Conference, scheduled for April 3-5, 2011, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

The proposed stormwater rule would focus on stormwater discharges from developed sites, such as subdivisions, roadways, industrial facilities, and commercial buildings or shopping centers. Local governments and businesses would nominate representatives who would provide input to a Small Business Advocacy Review panel, which will consist of officials from EPA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Office of Management and Budget. The representatives will provide input on how EPA can minimize the potential burden of the proposed regulation on small entities. Nominations must be received by Aug. 4.

The deadline for submitting proposals for the National Brownfields Conference has been extended to July 30. The conference, which is cosponsored by EPA and the Washington-based International City/County Management Association, focuses on cleaning up and redeveloping abandoned, underused and potentially contaminated properties. It generally attracts more than 5,000 registrants and hundreds of exhibitors, and includes more than 100 educational sessions.

The conference addresses issues facing brownfields practitioners, policy makers and communities. This year, conference organizers are particularly interested in ideas related to green jobs, community engagement and environmental justice, the business of brownfields, green technology and emerging solutions, planning for community revitalization, and sustainability. Additionally, the Brownfields 2011 planning committee wants to encourage more interactive sessions that use a marketplace/roundtable format or a public dialogue/debate format.

Download more information about participating in the stormwater rule panel or about EPA's rulemaking process. Submit proposals for the brownfields conference or contact Julie Butler for more information.

Related Stories