A new framework is available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help local governments manage stormwater runoff and wastewater to meet obligations of the Clean Water Act. The Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework assists EPA regional offices, states, and local governments to develop storm- and wastewater management plans and implement integrated approaches to reduce overflows from wastewater systems and pollution from stormwater. The plan is meant to complement the Feb. 2012 handbook from EPA entitled “Planning for Sustainability: A Handbook for Water and Wastewater Utilities.”

When wastewater systems overflow, they can release untreated sewage and pollutants into local waterways, which can in turn threaten communities’ water quality and contribute to disease outbreaks, beach closings, and fishing or swimming advisories.

The full framework is available on EPA’s website. The agency also plans to provide practical examples of how municipalities can implements approaches as they become available.