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Sweeping Industry News Bulletin

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 6, 2008)

Elgin Sweeper Equipment Featured in 36th Anniversary Celebration of Clean Water Act

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Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the District of Columbia, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation recently met along the banks of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., for a news conference to celebrate the 36th anniversary of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

Photo at event
Speaking at podium (foreground): Michael Carter, deputy director, District of Columbia Department of Public Works; background (left to right): Doug Siglin, federal affairs director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF); Ken Kirk, executive director, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA); Jerry Johnson, general manager, District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA); Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and George Hawkins, director, District of Columbia Department of Environment.

The groups gathered to highlight the progress made by the District of Columbia in revitalizing urban corridors challenged by degraded water quality caused by aging infrastructure, storm water runoff and sewer overflows. The D.C. Department of Public Works displayed one of its fleet of Elgin Sweeper Pelicans at the event, highlighting its contribution to storm water pollution control in the nations capital.

Signed into law in 1972, the Clean Water Act is the cornerstone of surface water quality protection in the United States and employs a variety of regulatory and non-regulatory tools to sharply reduce pollutant discharges into waterways and finance municipal wastewater treatment facilities. The Anacostia River is emblematic of the current storm water issues facing urban communities throughout the United States. In its 2006 report, the State of the Anacostia, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation stated that, "polluted runoff dumps directly into the river, carrying trash, oil, animal waste, and other contaminants that then flow to the Anacostia River and Chesapeake Bay."

Participants in the press conference reported on the actions taken by the District of Columbia to reduce the pollution entering the Anacostia River, such as upgrading infrastructure to reduce combined sewer overflows, converting paved areas to green space, investing in green roofs, and implementing enhanced street sweeping and trash removal programs.

"Every year, the Department of Public Works sweeps up five-and-a-half million pounds of grease, oil and debris from District streets," said Michael A. Carter, Deputy Director, D.C. Department of Public Works. "This is one of the best ways to keep pollutants from contaminating the districts waterways and, ultimately, our marine life and drinking water supply." The D.C. Department of Public Works recently upgraded their sweeper fleet with 20 new Pelican machines from Elgin Sweeper.

Doug Siglin, federal affairs director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said, "Every improvement made in D.C. improves the overall water quality in the Chesapeake Bay."

George S. Hawkins, the director of the D.C. District Department of the Environment, said, "Its time to celebrate our victories in this effort of the community, society and the nation." Hawkins also recognized the role street sweepers have played in reducing pollutant discharges into waterways in D.C. "Machines like this are part of our storm water permit requirements under the Clean Water Act."

"The Anacostia River will be one of the greatest urban river revivals in the nations history," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, the assistant administrator of the EPAs Office of Water. "It will set a shining example for other communities on how to increase stewardship, grow responsibly, and adapt to climate change."

Grumbles added, "Preventing pollution on land, including removing trash from our streets, is a key step in preventing pollution in our waterways."

For additional information about Elgin Sweepers, please visit or see your local Elgin Sweeper dealer.

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