EPA Amends Regional Administrators Delegation Authority under 404
Administrator Pruitt sent a memo and associated amendment to EPA regional offices outlining changes to the standing delegation of CWA authority from the administrator to regional heads regarding certain jurisdictional determinations. The revisions apply specifically to regional authority to implement CWA section 404, as opposed to the section 402 discharge-permit program. Along with the change to jurisdictional determinations authority the new CWA delegation document says the power to “veto” disposal sites in dredge-and-fill permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers is being delegated to the Assistant Administrator for Water instead of the regions. The memo does not clearly define the roles EPA Headquarters and Regional Offices will play leading up to a final determination.
Drinking Water Needs Survey Sent to Congress
EPA released the sixth Drinking Water Needs Survey Report to Congress which provides Congress with a needs survey and assessment every four years. The results of the survey are used to allocate Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grants to the states. The report identifies a need of $472 billion in needs to maintain and improve drinking water infrastructure over the next 20 years. EPA’s sixth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment identified investments needed by the country’s 150,000 public and tribal drinking water systems through 2034, including more than two million miles of pipes and thousands of treatment plants, storage tanks and other key assets. The assessment is based on a statistical survey of over 2,500 public water systems.
$5.5 Billion in Loans Available for Water Infrastructure Projects
EPA announced the availability of approximately $5.5 billion in credit that could finance over $11 billion in water infrastructure projects through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. The Notice of Funding Availability is to solicit letters of interest from prospective borrowers seeking credit assistance from EPA. It also announces two priorities for this selection round: (1) provide for clean and safe drinking water, including reducing exposure to lead in the nation’s drinking water systems; and repair, rehabilitate, and replace aging infrastructure and conveyance systems.Prospective borrowers may submit letters of interest until July 6, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT.
ECOS Call for State Examples of Innovations in Drinking Water Financing
ECOS is conducting a research project to identify best practices in leveraging EPA programs that finance drinking water infrastructure, including the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), Public Water System Supervision (PWSS), and Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) programs. They will profile projects and approaches that leverage the above programs in unique ways and best utilize available funds to address drinking water needs in a variety of large, medium, and small communities, and in rural, suburban, and urban settings. ECOS is specifically seeking examples that are:
- Driving demand for these programs and funding sources through marketing efforts,
- Coordinating across funding sources (eg. DWSRF and WIFIA),
- Coordinating within the state across agencies (communication between DWSRF and PWSS programs),
- Partnering and combining small systems through a variety of methods, including legislation, education, and encouraging statewide changes,
- Focusing on public health to better utilize these programs, and
- Changing state or agency processes to improve the use of funds.
Please share a brief description of relevant projects with Megan Swanson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, April 13. Selected projects will be featured in an ECOS Green Report in Fall 2018. There will also be an accompanying webinar featuring some of the projects.
EPA Holds Utility of the Future Recognition Program Webinar
On Thursday, April 5, EPA held a webinar on the Utility of the Future Recognition Program for water sector utilities. The webinar provided details on how to apply for recognition in 2018 and information from a peer utility that is currently in the program. The webinar will be repeated on April 25 at 1:00 pm Eastern. To register, go here.
The Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program seeks to recognize the achievements of forward-thinking, innovative water utilities engaged in providing resilient value-added service to communities. The Recognition Program, through the aggregation and sharing of utility practices and experiences, enables participants to learn from each other as they grow and sustain their efforts to be, and continually advance the concept of, the Utility of the Future. To date, 78 utilities have been recognized under this innovative program. A list of these organizations and more information is available on the Utility of the Future website.
2018 Applications are currently available at the Utility of the Future website and will be accepted until May 30.
Member365 Frequently Asked Questions
We have added a new FAQ page to our website under the “Members” tab. If you are new to our association management system, Member365, or are still trying to get the hang of it, please see this page to help you get acquainted with some of Member365’s features.
ACWA and Willamette Publish Water Quality Trading Toolkit Videos
This week, ACWA and Willamette Partnership published a new video on the Water Quality Trading Toolkit. The Toolkit, based on the National Network on Water Quality Trading publication Building a Water Quality Trading Program: Options and Considerations, consists of a series of templates that provide a blueprint for states/organizations seeking to create a water quality trading program. The new video explains how the Toolkit templates address the issue of trading baseline. The video is part of a series of videos on the Toolkit that include an introduction to the Toolkit and how a state or organization can use the Toolkit. To view the videos and to learn more about the Toolkit, go here.
ACWA Releases Survey on Discharges to Groundwater
ACWA is seeking to collect information on how states regulate direct discharges of pollutants to groundwater. This information will help inform ACWA’s comments on the recent EPA request for public comment, Clean Water Act Coverage of “Discharges of Pollutants” via a Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface Water. ACWA has convened a workgroup to address the request for public comment.
The survey was sent to ACWA Main Members. If you are an ACWA Main Member and have not received it, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
2018 National Pretreatment Meeting
Registration is now closed for the 2018 National Pretreatment Meeting. The meeting will be held April 17-18, 2018 in Silver Spring, Maryland at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center (“TDCC”), 10000 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903. If you plan to attend the meeting and have not registered, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire ASAP.
2018 Nutrients Permitting Workshop
The 2018 Nutrients Permitting Workshop will be held June 5-7, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio at the Riffe Government Center, 77 S. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. If you plan to attend the meeting, you must register. Please do so by Friday May 18, 2018. To register for the meeting, go here. To view the most recent draft agenda, go here.
Lodging is available for the workshop at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square. Please ask for the Association of Clean Water Administrators block of rooms when making your reservation.
For more information on the meeting, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
2018 TMDL Modeling Workshop
Last week, ACWA announced and opened up registration for the 2018 TMDL Modeling Workshop which will be held June 19-21 in Denver, Colorado . The workshop will support implementation of state 303(d) programs by building a community of practice among state agency staff who use or want to use TMDL modeling in implementation of state 303(d) programs. This discussion-based workshop will feature presentations, breakout sessions, and dialogue where states will share and highlight modeling implementation success stories, obstacles faced, and lessons learned to begin an ongoing transfer of knowledge between states via the ACWA TMDL Modeling Workgroup.
A very preliminary agenda is available here and will be updated periodically. To attend you must register – the registration deadline is May 31st. To register click here. The registration page also contains information about lodging and a link to reserve lodging. Yesterday, Julian Gonzalez sent out an email to ACWA members and committees with much of the aforementioned information, including an official request for states to submit requests for travel support from ACWA, as we will be providing limited travel support in order to help as many states as possible attend the meeting. If you have questions or want to know more, contact Julian Gonzalez.
2018 Contaminants of Emerging Concern Workshop – Registration Now Open!
ACWA is excited to announce and open registration for the Contaminants of Emerging Concern Workshop for monitoring, standards and assessment state staff. The workshop will be held June 20-21 in Washington, DC. This workshop is meant to facilitate state to state information sharing, identify common issues states are having with contaminants of emerging concern, and provide updates from the state associations, EPA, and other federal agencies on emerging contaminant research, programs, and policy. A preliminary agenda is available here and will be updated periodically. Space is limited, so we are capping the attendance to one participant per state on a first come, first serve basis. Please contact Frances Bothfeld to register for this workshop.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is looking for an Environmental Consultant to add to their Central Field Office in Nashville. The selected candidate will report to the Watershed Unit Manager for the Division of Water Resources. This position, in support of the Division of Water Resources, is primarily tasked with running dynamic water quality models in support of TMDLs and assimilative capacity studies. Engineer Intern or Professional Engineer is
preferred. All interested candidates should submit applications via the Tennessee Department of Human Resources website and search under Current Openings for the position with the title, TDEC-ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT 1-166507. The position will remain posted until April 17, 2018.
Be sure to check out other opportunities on ACWA’s website.