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E-M:/ Fw: Septic/Sewer Guidance Deadline Extended

Enviro-Mich message from "Anne M Woiwode" <ANNE.WOIWODE@prodigy.net>

Forwarded from the Clean Water Network: 

 EPA's Deadline on Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater Systems Guidance 
 Extended to December 19

EPA informed the Network today that the original comment deadline of
December 5 has been extended to December 19. The original Federal Register
notice  announcing the guidance is below and can be found at
http://www.doc-comments.com/epa/main.asp. You can also submit your comments
on-line via this web site.

You can also learn more about onsite/decentralized management issues by
 http://www.epa.gov/owm/decent/whatsnew.htm. Here you will find a 
listserver that addresses these issues as well as some additional 
articles and fact sheets. 

> Federal Register: October 6, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 195)]
>   [Notices]
>   [Page 59840-59841]
>    From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] 
>   [DOCID:fr06oc00-78]
>   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>   [FRL-6883-2]
>   Draft EPA Guidelines for Management of Onsite/Decentralized
>   Wastewater Systems and Guidance Manual Outline
>   AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.
>   ACTION: Notice of availability for comment.
>   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>   SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making
>   available for review and comment a draft of its Guidelines for
>   Management of Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater Systems and an outline
>   for a guidance manual that will be developed to supplement the
>   guidelines. The purpose of the guidelines is to raise the level of
>   performance of onsite/decentralized wastewater systems through 
> improved 
>   management programs. Onsite/decentralized wastewater treatment systems 
>   include individual onsite or cluster wastewater systems (commonly 
>   referred to as septic systems, private sewage systems, individual 
> sewage 
>   systems, etc.) used to treat and dispose of relatively small volumes 
> of 
>   wastewater, generally from individual dwellings, or groups of 
> dwellings 
>   and businesses which are located relatively close together. EPA is 
>   proposing the voluntary national guidelines in order to raise the 
>   quality of management programs, establish minimum levels of activity, 
>   and institutionalize the concept of management. Implementation of the 
>   guidelines will provide a greater range of options for 
> cost-effectively 
>   meeting wastewater needs and meeting water quality and public health 
>   goals.
>   The guidelines contain a set of model programs, based on a
>   comprehensive approach that relies on coordinating the 
> responsibilities 
>   and actions among the state, tribal or local regulatory agency, the 
>   management entity or service provider and the system owner(s). These 
>   model programs are structured to reflect a need for more comprehensive 
>   management as the sensitivity of the environment and/or the degree of 
>   technological complexity increases. A program's designation increases 
>   progressively from Model Program 1 through Model Program 5, reflecting 
>   the increased level of management activities needed to achieve water 
>   quality and public health goals. Adoption of the guidelines is 
> voluntary 
>   and EPA encourages that communities to consider the mguidelines as a 
>   basis for their onsite/decentralized wastewater management program.
>       The guidelines apply to both existing communities and to areas of
>   new development that use onsite/decentralized systems of any size for
>   residential and commercial wastewater treatment and disposal.
>   DATES: Email or written comments are requested by December 5, 2000.
>   ADDRESSES: Comments can be submitted online at 
>   http://www.epa.gov/owm/smallc/guidelines.htm, emailed to 
>   decentr-@epa.gov, via U.S. mail to Joyce Hudson, US EPA, Office of 
>   Wastewater Management (4204), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., 
> Washington, 
>   DC 20460, or faxed to (202) 260-0116.
>   FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any questions regarding the content 
> of 
>   EPA's Guidelines for Management of Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater
>   Systems can be addressed to Joyce Hudson by email at
>   hudson-@epa.gov. Additional copies of the documents may be
>   obtained by calling Melanie Montalvo, the EPA contractor, at (703) 
>   934-2323 or by downloading the documents at    
>   http://www.epa.gov/owm/smallc/guidelines.htm
>   In April, 1997, EPA prepared a ``Response to
>   Congress on the Use of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems.''
>   The report concluded that alternative treatment technologies offer a
>   cost-effective, long term wastewater solution for many communities.
>   However, the report emphasized that these ``decentralized'' (onsite 
> and 
>   small cluster) technologies must be implemented in the context of a 
>   responsible management program to consistently achieve water quality 
> and 
>   public health goals. The report identified the current lack of 
>   management as a barrier to successfully applying these otherwise 
>   promising technologies.
>       The development of management standards for decentralized
>   wastewater treatment systems was therefore included in the Clean Water 
>   Action Plan (CWAP) as Action Item 77B . In fulfillment of this action 
>   item, EPA prepared a concept paper in the spring of 1999, which was 
>   gradually developed into a set of voluntary national guidelines for 
> the 
>   management of onsite and decentralized wastewater systems. The 
>   guidelines which we are proposing for formal public comment have been 
>   developed with considerable input from
>   [[Page 59841]]
>   various stakeholders, including other Federal agencies, State health
>   agencies, environmental groups, trade associations and public interest 
>   groups. Based on comments received, a detailed outline was developed 
> and 
>   comments were once again solicited, which led to the draft document in 
>   this notice.
>       Onsite/decentralized systems currently serve about 25 percent of
>   the U.S. population and approximately 40 percent of new development.
>   The vast majority of these systems are conventional onsite wastewater
>   systems (septic systems). States report that these wastewater systems
>   have failed because of inappropriate siting or design or inadequate
>   long-term maintenance and that septic tank systems constitute the 
> third 
>   most common source of ground water contamination.
>       The final guidelines will be accompanied by a guidance manual. An
>   outline of this guidance manual is also available for review and
>   comment. The final manual will provide details on assessing,
>   developing, implementing, and sustaining a viable management program.
>   The guidelines for management and the accompanying guidance manual are 
>   scheduled for completion in the Summer of 2001. Prior to completion, 
> EPA 
>   will reach out to interested parties, primarily through discussions 
> with 
>   national and State-level organizations to gain input.
>       Dated: September 27, 2000. 

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