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U.S. EPA recognizes Oakland, Caltrans for 2007 water quality achievements


SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week presented its 2007 National Clean Water Act Recognition Award to the city of Oakland for its watershed improvement program and Caltrans for its stormwater management program.

“To mark the 35th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, this award provides us an opportunity to recognize the city of Oakland and Caltrans for their hard work to reduce water pollution,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "We celebrate their innovative approaches and achievements that protect public health and keep our water clean.”

The city of Oakland
The city of Oakland’s Watershed Improvement Program received 1st place for its numerous projects, policies and guidance documents aimed at protecting headwaters, promoting stormwater infiltration, and protecting and restoring vegetated riparian corridors. The city increased residential stewardship and awareness of water quality issues through “Friends of Creeks” groups, semiannual citywide cleanups and plantings, school outreach, and an adopt-a-creek program.

The city also helped generate innovative creek protection regulations, drafted and implemented innovative anti-litter laws and a ban on Styrofoam, and implemented restoration projects to improve flood control, improve water quality, create new wetland/riparian habitats with funding from state and local bonds, city agencies, the community, nongovernmental organizations, the Oakland Zoo, and the Alameda County Flood Control District.

The Caltrans Stormwater Management Program received 1st place for its strategies to control a large number of pollutants that vary across geography, geology, climate and population. Caltrans researched highway runoff and best management practices to prevent runoff, executed a statewide, multimillion dollar public education campaign called “Don’t Trash California,” and established stakeholder partnerships. Caltrans participated in a watershed initiative along the California coastline to enhance maintenance practices of highway areas, used low-impact treatment controls, and conducted discharge and in-stream monitoring.

The awards program, now in its 12th year, is aimed at recognizing municipalities and industries for outstanding and creative technological achievements in wastewater treatment and pollution abatement programs. The program is intended educate the public about the contributions that publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities make to clean water and to recognize communities that go far beyond the minimum needed to meet Clean Water Act requirements.

Each year, the awards are announced during the Water Environment Federations Technical Exposition and Conference held this year in San Diego. Awards are presented to first and second place national winners in four categories that include: outstanding operations and maintenance at publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities, exemplary biosolids management, pretreatment program excellence, stormwater management excellence, and combined sewer overflow control program excellence.

Candidates are nominated by the EPA, state water pollution control agencies, municipalities, consultants, wastewater treatment facilities or other interested parties in their state.


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