Thursday, September 16, 2010

EPA Should Revise Outdated or Inconsistent EPA-State Clean Water Act Memoranda of Agreement -- Report

This Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Inspector General, Evaluation Report (10-P-0224) dated September 14, 2010 finds that the EPA Should Revise Outdated or Inconsistent EPA-State Clean Water Act Memoranda of Agreement.

NPDES MOAs between EPA and States do not ensure Agency management control and effective oversight over a national program administered by States that is capable of providing equal protection to all Americans. EPA Headquarters does not hold EPA regional or State offices accountable for updating their MOAs when necessary and relies on other planning and management mechanisms to exercise control over State programs. Outdated MOAs or MOAs that are not adhered to reduce EPA’s ability to maintain a uniform program across States that meets the goals of CWA sections 101 and
402. An effective national program must maintain consistent management control and oversight of State programs.

The Report recommends that EPA ensure that all NPDES MOAs contain essential elements for a nationally consistent enforcement program, including CWA, Code of Federal Regulations, and State Review Framework criteria. The Report also recommends that EPA develop and provide a national template and/or guidance for a model MOA; direct EPA regions to revise outdated or inconsistent MOAs to meet the national template and standards; and establish a process for periodic review and revision of MOAs, including when the CWA or Code of Federal Regulations are revised or when State programs change. Finally, it recommends that EPA establish a national, public clearinghouse of all current MOAs so that EPA, States, and the public have access to these documents.

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