EPA: Clean Water Or Big Fines

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Wichita City Council appeared frustrated after learning the EPA requires clean water, but won't say what guidelines the city must follow.

Last year Wichita put new stormwater drainage guidelines into place, guidelines required by the Environmental Protection Agency. The new rules are supposed to help keep runoff water cleaner and in the end lower contamination in the Arkansas River.

Today, the city council heard a report on how the guidelines are working. Council members Pete Meitzner and Michael O'Donnell questioned the rules. Developers are now required to put in very expensive equipment to filter runoff.

"If we are going to send messages to developers that it's easier to go outside Wichita, I'm incredibly against this," said Meitzner.

Water Director Alan King said the EPA doesn't give any set parameters to go by, so each city has to come up with its own plan. If the EPA isn't happy with that plan, Wichita could be fined up to $50,000 a day for violations.

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