The DC Bag Fee Is Cleaning Up the Anacostia River

By Bradley Kennedy

Nash Run is one of the dirtiest streams in the Anacostia River watershed. However, thanks to D.C’s 5-cent disposable bag fee, one major source of pollution is finally on the decline.

“Astronomical levels of trash” and “dirtiest of all streams” -- these are phrases used to describe the humble little Nash Run, a small tributary of the Anacostia River. Nash Run starts in Fairmount Heights, MD, and runs through the Deanwood neighborhood of DC before emptying into the Anacostia near the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. It is one of the biggest contributors of the litter pollution impairing the Anacostia River. But a study on this stream over the past 4 years offers hope that the litter problem can be reversed.

Funding Available For DC Green Roofs


Rebate helped fund this green roof atop the Mary Graydon Center at American University.

If you haven’t already heard, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is once again providing rebates, at $5 per square foot, for green roofs to qualified applicants for the third consecutive year! The Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) is administering the program for DDOE and believes this is a great opportunity to help people cover some costs of their proposed green roofs as well as an opportunity to reach out to those unfamiliar with this technology all in an effort to help restore the watershed.

UPDATED: Draft consent decree announced for Washington Gas toxic site

On December 12, 2011, the District Department of Environment (DDOE) announced, along with its federal partners, the entry of a draft consent decree regarding clean up of the Washington Gas toxic site along the Anacostia River. 

New Clean Water Act Permit a Step Toward Clean Rivers in DC

The single biggest source of pollution in the Anacostia River is stormwater runoff.  Perhaps the most important regulatory framework designed to reduce stormwater polution is the MS4 permit (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System), which is issued to DC directly by EPA Region 3.  AWS and its allies have been engaged in a years long campaign to strengthen this permit - a campaign that is finally coming to fruition today with a 1:00pm release event at Yards Park.

DC Combined Sewer / Separate Sewer Map
The new DC MS4 permit covers the separated sewer system, shown in white

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