DRN Defends Goose Creek and Clean Water Act
West Goshen Sewer Authority v. U.S. EPA & Delaware Riverkeeper Network, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-05353-JS
On June 10, 2013, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network filed a motion intervene in a legal action brought before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by the West Goshen Sewer Authority challenging a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Regulation established pursuant to the Clean Water Act in 2008. The TMDL was established for phosphorous loadings that had been determined by the EPA to be causing pollution impacts to Goose Creek, with a watershed located primarily in Chester County but also portions of Delaware County. The West Goshen Sewer Authority filed its legal action in September 2012 and asked that the TMDL be vacated by the court.
“Goose Creek suffers from nutrient problems, one can tell that in many ways including by the algae blooms that can be seen in the creek during times of year. The Environmental Protection Agency established this phosphorous TMDL as the result of a vigorous public process; West Goshen Sewer Authority should not now be allowed to undermine the protections it provides through this legal challenge. The Sewer Authority is a known source of nutrient pollution to Goose Creek, the Authority should take responsibility and invest limited resources in trying to comply with the law not evade or undermine it,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.
In 1996 the Delaware Riverkeeper Network was responsible for the filing of a legal action that resulted in increased protections for Goose Creek. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is intervening in the action to be sure that the concerns of the public and the organization are protected.
To read our motion to intervene: Goose_Creek_memo_in_support_of_motion_to_intervene.PDF
DRN achieved success when EPA announced that it was going to maintain its findings of impairment, which would mean the TMDL goes back into affect (documents signed May 2017). This will mean a reduction in nutrient pollution to Goose Creek and improvement of the water quality and habitat conditions in the creek. As a result of DRN’s efforts, the two major waste water dischargers into Goose Creek, the Goose Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and the West Goshen Township Sewer Authority, reduced their total phosphorous loads by 99% and 98%, bringing their total phosphorous loads from 60.59 lbs/day and 100.08 lbs/day to 0.56 lbs/day and 2.08 lbs/day respectively. In addition, the non-point contributions coming through the watersheds 5 MS4 permit holders will also be addressed and result in an over 50% reduction of their total phosphorous load for each MS4 permit holder.