DALLAS — EPA issued the Middle Rio Grande Watershed Based Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit establishing “requirements to reduce pollution carried by stormwater runoff and to restore portions of the Middle Rio Grande River that are too polluted,” according to a press release.

Stormwater runoff has been identified as the source of pollution for tens of thousands of miles of U.S. streams and rivers including the Rio Grande River in the Albuquerque area, stated the release.

The release reported that the permit allows for collaboration and combined programs among local jurisdictions, and EPA recognizes the need for everyone within the area to do their part to protect the Rio Grande River.

Applicants of the Middle Rio Grande Watershed Based MS4 permit are required to develop a stormwater management plan and apply stormwater management controls, continued the release.

Replacing existing permit requirements, the new permit will supply local municipal systems with up to an additional four years to develop or update local pollution control programs, as well as provide more flexibility to meet water quality requirements, noted the release.

“As a New Mexican, I understand water is a vital resource in our state,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “It is important that we take steps to improve water quality in the Rio Grande River and continue to replenish the groundwater that so many New Mexicans depend on for their drinking water.”

Read the entire release here.