Charles River environmental group accuses EPA of negligence

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BOSTON — A lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court by a Charles River environmental advocacy group accuses the Environmental Protection Agency of failing to notify high-density commercial and residential property developers of their responsibility to obtain stormwater discharge permits, a move that comes ahead of the federal government’s plan to enact a series of expensive regulations on cities and towns located in the river’s 308-square-mile watershed.

The complaint, filed by the New England-based Conservation Law Foundation and the Weston-based Charles River Watershed Association, looks to require the EPA to force “stormwater dischargers” to obtain discharge permits.

“Defendants have determined that stormwater discharges from unregulated commercial, industrial, institutional and high density residential sites in the Charles River Watershed are contributing to violations of water quality standards in the river as a result of nutrient pollution that prevents the Lower Charles River from attaining Massachusetts water quality standards,” the lawsuit alleges.

The environmental groups originally filed the suit last April but withdrew the complaint in August after failing to obtain a deadline extension in the case, according to a Boston Globe report. Earlier this week, the Globe reported that new federal regulations will be issued next month that will force municipalities located inside the watershed to spend millions of dollars on cleanup efforts.

A copy of the lawsuit:

2016-02-25 Charles River v EPA