Supplemental WOTUS Notice Sent to OMB
This week EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) sent a supplemental notice to the pending repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule (CWR) to the Office of Management and Budget for inter-agency review. According to the agency, the agency is issuing a supplemental notice to provide the public with additional clarity on the scope of the agencies’ efforts to redefine federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction. This notice supplements the step 1 proposal to review and rewrite the 2015 CWR. The agencies’ will take comments on the supplemental notice and this is likely to delay the anticipated June 2018 release of the second step in the process to replace the 2015 rule.
11 Agencies Sign MOU Designed to Streamline NEPA Reviews
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released a memorandum of understanding (MOU) designed to streamline NEPA reviews for infrastructure projects. The MOU would implement a “one federal decision,” where there is one lead federal agency for a NEPA review. This could limit the EPA’s role in reviewing other agencies NEPA analyses. ACWA is watching this MOU as it could have potential implication for 401 certification in the future.
EPA Rule Standardizing Cost Assessments
BNA reported on April 11, 2018 that OMB had begun to review a draft rule that would standardize how EPA determines the regulatory costs across its divisions. OMB review is typically 90 days and one of the last steps before a proposal is released to the public. OMB’s website notes that EPA is “developing implementing regulations that would increase consistency across EPA divisions and offices, increase reliability to affected stakeholders, and increase transparency during the development of regulatory actions. Many EPA statutes, including the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, provide language on the consideration of costs, but costs have historically been interpreted differently by the EPA depending on the office promulgating the regulatory action. This has led to EPA choosing different standards under the same provision of the statute, the regulatory community not being able to rely on consistent application of the statute, and EPA developing internal policies on the consideration of costs through nontransparent actions. By developing implementing regulations through a notice-and-comment rulemaking process, [the rule] will provide the public with a better understanding on how EPA is evaluating costs when developing a regulatory action and allow the public to provide better feedback to EPA on potential future proposed rules.” This rule is being developed by EPA’s Office of Policy. More details on this rule can be found here.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee To Hold Hearing On Groundwater
On Wednesday, April 18 at 10:00 am Eastern, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing entitled, The Appropriate Role of States and the Federal Government in Protecting Groundwater. ACWA is planning to submit testimony and will have a state representative testify at the hearing. The hearing will be streamed. A link will be posted here in the coming days.
EPA Holding Webinar on EPA Lead Exposure and Monitoring Tools
EPA’s Office of Research and Development will hold a webinar on April 30th, 2018 from 3-4pm EST entitled EPA Tools and Resources Webinar:Multi-media modeling of lead exposure in children and water lead monitoring research to inform public health decisions. EPA’s Office of Research and Development has developed an innovative exposure-dose modeling approach that can be used to better understand the relationship between drinking water lead concentrations and children’s blood lead levels (BLLs) considering exposures from water, soil, dust, food, and air. This presentation will provide an overview of the multimedia exposure-dose lead modeling approach at the national-scale to inform public health decisions, discuss future data needs to apply the approach at state/local scale, and provide an overview of water lead monitoring research relevant to states’ priorities. For more information, please see the flyer.
House Agriculture Committee Releases Farm Bill
This week, the House Agriculture Committee released H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also referred to as the Farm Bill. The bill calls for increases in funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (“EQIP”) to $3 billion per year over the life of the farm bill and incorporates the best features of the Conservation Stewardship Program (“CSP”). Further, the bill provides $250 million per year for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (“RCPP”), $500 million per year to the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (“ACEP”), and $100 million per year to Small Watershed Rehabilitation, while simplifying complicated application processes and adding program flexibility. To view the bill text, go here. To view the fact sheet, go here. To view ACWA’s 2018 Farm Bill Priorities, go here.
ACWA Extends Deadline for 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 have not already responded, please do so by Friday, April 20. If you are an ACWA Main Member and have not received it, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire ASAP.
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.
Updated CEC Workshop Agenda Posted
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, 2018 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. 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.
2018 National Pretreatment Meeting
Registration is now closed for the 2018 National Pretreatment Meeting. The meeting will be held next week, 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. Please make your reservation by Friday, May 11, 2018.
For more information on the meeting, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
2018 TMDL Modeling Workshop
The 2018 TMDL Modeling Workshop 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 go here. The registration page also contains information about lodging and a link to reserve lodging. Last week, 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.
Be sure to check out recent job opportunities on ACWA’s website!
ACWA 319/Nonpoint Source Workgroup Call
Thursday, April 19, 2018
2:00 – 3:30 PM EST
For more information contact Julian Gonzalez