APCC testified before a state legislative committee on Tuesday in opposition to a bill that would transfer authority from the U.S. EPA to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a federal permitting program that regulates water pollution.
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a permit program created in 1972 under the federal Clean Water Act to regulate sources that discharge pollutants to the waters of the United States. The NPDES program's authority includes regulatory oversight of pollution sources such as industrial wastewater, municipal sewage and stormwater.
The proposed legislation, An Act to Enable the Commonwealth's Administration of the Massachusetts Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, would transfer the EPA's longstanding authority of the program to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
APCC opposes transfer of the program to DEP on the grounds that the state agency lacks the budget or staffing capacity to satisfactorily administer this important pollution control program. APCC is concerned that water quality will suffer in Massachusetts--including on Cape Cod--if the state takes over the program.
Read APCC's letter to the state legislature.