EPA threatened with lawsuit over runoff into Charles

The US Environmental Protection Agency has failed to enforce federal laws that ban the discharge of significant amounts of storm water into the Charles River watershed, environmental advocates said Tuesday in a notice of intent to file a lawsuit against the agency. The Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association alleged that the EPA has violated its obligations under the Clean Water Act to notify companies and other large institutions that they must obtain permits for large amounts of runoff from their properties. The problem, they said, is the result of rain or melting snow draining from strip malls and industrial parks from Hopkinton to Boston Harbor. EPA Region 1 officials said they would review the allegations. "EPA is proud of our long track record of accomplishment working with many partners to improve water quality in the Charles River, Boston Harbor, and other area water bodies," officials said in a statement.