By Chris Myers and Ashley Parker
Anacostia River near Pennsylvania Ave. Bridge, June 2014.
After receiving many requests for an extension on the public comment period for Waters of the United States Proposed Rule published in April by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers, the agencies responded announcing an additional 90-days. The new deadline is now October 20, 2014.
This proposed rule is a huge step forward for clean water as this would more clearly define those waters protected under the Clean Water Act. For the Anacostia River, this would mean that wetlands and seasonal streams that support the river and its tributaries are without a doubt protected under the law helping ensure smart land use and development near those areas.
AWS staff regularly monitors the water quality of the Anacostia River and, from our data, creates a report card which is your guide to how well our communities, environmental groups, and governments are meeting the goal of a fishable and swimmable Anacostia River, per the terms of the Clean Water Act. Our goal is to provide a benchmark of progress, create accountability for decision makers entrusted with the health of the river, and point to the most effective solutions to restore it.
Despite again earning a failing grade for water quality, we know that the Anacostia River can be made fishable and swimmable by 2025 and have plans in place to accomplish that goal.
Kudzu Removal: Next Steps
By Ashley Parker
In the fall of 2013 and in the spring of 2014, AWS brought in Eco-Goats to attack the kudzu infestation along the Northwest Branch in Kirkwood Park of Hyattsville, MD. As discussed in an AWS blog written on November 26, 2013, Kudzu is a non-native vine that is very aggressive once it becomes established in a natural landscape. It establishes quickly, and is very difficult to eradicate. The goats were a good tool for AWS land managers, as they reduced the thick biomass at the site which has paved the way for the next important steps in managing kudzu at this site.
February 2014. Meeting hosted by AWS and other members of United for a Healthy Anacostia River coalition regarding cleanup of toxics. Let’s grow this crowd for the meeting in June (details below)!
Progress continues to be made for the Anacostia River Sediment Project with District Department of the Environment (DDOE) officials recently announcing two important opportunities for public involvement. Get your keyboards ready and mark your calendars!
Click on the image for a larger view. Map showing study area of the Anacostia River Sediment Project. Specific locations (in orange) are also identified for past and ongoing efforts. Provided by Tetra Tech in draft Remedial Investigation Work Plan.
There has been a lot of recent activity on the issue of toxics in the Anacostia River so this is an excellent time to provide updates along with some background information on each of the projects.
Yesterday marked the official start of a 90-day public comment period for a proposed rule on the Clean Water Act (CWA) published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps). This proposal more clearly defines which waters are protected under the CWA closing some loopholes in the law for wetlands and streams. For the Anacostia River watershed, this could mean that there would be no doubt that the wetlands and seasonal streams that support the river are protected under the law ensuring smart land use and development near those areas.
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