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EPA Honors Clean Water Partners for the 21st Century

Release Date: 4/1/2003
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Three water quality improvement agencies in Texas received awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington today, recognizing the critical role that local governments play in protecting our nation's waters. The agencies include the city of Austin Water and Wastewater Utility, the Lower Colorado River Authority, and the Upper Trinity Regional Water District.

As part of the celebration of the Year of Clean Water proclaimed by President George W. Bush, EPA's Office of Water recognized extraordinary actions taken by local governments to protect watersheds over and above the requirements of the Clean Water Act. This includes such actions as restoring lakes, protecting wetlands, and reducing sewer overflows.

"Clean water begins at the local level. We applaud the efforts of all Clean Water Partners to improve the environment in the communities they serve," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said.

The agencies were among 79 chosen from about 200 applications from across the U.S. Applications were announced in the Federal Register in April 2002. Each applicant completed a compliance screen and demonstrated a good compliance record. Applications were reviewed by a panel including EPA, the Water Environment Federation, the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) and the National League of Cities.

The city of Austin Water and Wastewater Utility, Texas, adopted environmental principles to guide the utility and outline goals of the agency's clean water program. Austin's goals include ecosystem protection and conservation in management objectives, strategies partnerships, environmental education and supporting development and use of sound science to foster sustainable growth and protections of resources. The city has also developed a Master Plan, adopted by the City Council in June 2001, which has been integral to establishing community priorities for water quality and flood erosion control in the 17 local watersheds.

The Lower Colorado River Authority, Austin, Texas, has developed and implemented several programs to protect the water quality of local watersheds. The variety of programs, including watershed engineering and planning and water quality monitoring, typify the range of initiatives the Authority has developed, and is implementing, to protect and improve its local watershed.

The Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Lewisville, Texas, is a regional entity focused on the health of the local watershed. The district has developed many programs to meet this goal, including a watershed protection program, regional beneficial use of biosolids plans, services which will qualify as best management practices for stormwater regulations, and the development of long-term water supply partnerships. The district also brings a range of stakeholders together to work for plentiful and high quality water within the watershed.

More information about the Clean Water Partners program is available on the Internet at