Stormwater

New York's highest court has ruled that the state's regulation of municipal stormwater discharges does not violate the federal Clean Water Act, as environmental groups claimed in a lawsuit.

The Court of Appeals split 4-to-3 in the decision Tuesday that upholds the Department of Environmental Conservation's general permit for municipal separate storm sewer systems.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups contend the state's rules are too lax, allowing polluted runoff to pour unabated into rivers, lakes and coastal waters from hundreds of municipalities.

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has issued new storm water permits to thirteen communities and three institutions to help control runoff in the Lake Champlain watershed.  There are some concerns that the remediation timetable is too long.