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Inland Bays Foundation sends petition to EPA

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Foundation president calls for stormwater system monitoring

In a first initiative, the Inland Bays Foundation has sent a petition to Shawn Garvin, regional administrator of Philadelphia Region III U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The foundation has requested that EPA designate and regulate small municipal separate stormwater systems (MS4s) discharging into the Inland Bays watershed.

As documented by the extensive sampling done through the University of Delaware's Citizen Monitoring Program, and other scientific efforts, these discharges are responsible for high levels of pollution in the Inland Bays.

MS4 systems are set up to monitor (and target for remediation) high levels of pollution in waterways, with measurements known as total maximum daily loads, or TMDLs. These measurements monitor the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria and other toxins.

"I am asking for concrete action to clean up the pollution in our Inland Bays," Inland Bays Foundation President Nancy Cabrera-Santos said.

"The time has come to develop a solid plan with specific TMDLs for all the waterways polluting the bays. Our petition cites the high levels of enterococcus bacteria found in the Anchorage Canal in South Bethany (up to 2,500 times acceptable levels as set by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control) as one troubled example in our watershed."

MS4 designations have been made throughout the state of Delaware. Examples are cities such as Seaford and Laurel that fall within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Sadly, this is not the case in the Inland Bays watershed where a patchwork quilt of voluntary efforts are more the norm. Statewide, up to 90 percent of waterways are impaired for swimming or fishing-a disgrace that must be addressed for the benefit of the future and that of children.

For more information about the Inland Bays Foundation or to access the petition in its entirety, go to inlandbaysfoundation.org.



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Original Publication Date: April 8, 2016



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