House Caucus Releases Ideas for Funding Water/Wastewater Infrastructure
The Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members, released a report outlining actions Congress could take to fund water and wastewater infrastructure projects. The report details bipartisan policy solutions to improve the nation’s infrastructure. The report concludes that policies modernizing existing user fees, providing incentives for innovation and private investment through public private partnerships, and making smarter investments with limited federal dollars will enable the U.S. to build a 21st century infrastructure network.
U.S. Water Alliance Big Seven
The US Water Alliance is a national nonprofit organization that represents a broad spectrum of stakeholders including utilities, public officials, the business community, environmental organizations, community leaders, policy organizations, and researchers. This organization is promoting a set of priorities, challenges, and solutions they heard consistently in listening sessions around the country. These listening sessions engaged more than 500 leaders, including water utility managers, public officials, business executives, farmers, environmental and watershed advocates, community organizations, planners, and philanthropic organizations. The insights from the listening sessions were synthesized into the “Seven Big Ideas for Sustainable Management of Water.” During the first quarter of 2018, the organization will issue a policy brief on each of these big ideas, accompanied by a webinar. Please see the following tentative schedule below:
- January 17 – Advance regional collaboration on water management – Register here.
- January 31 – Accelerate agriculture-utility partnerships to improve water quality – Register here.
- February 7 – Sustain adequate funding for responsible water infrastructure management – Register here.
- February 21 – Blend public and private expertise and investment to address water infrastructure needs – Register here.
- March 7 – Redefine affordability for the 21st century – Register here.
- March 21 – Reduce lead risks, and embrace the mission of protecting public health – Register here.
- April 4 – Accelerate technology adoption to build efficiency and improve water service – Register here.
Want to attend all seven? Register once for the series.
Using the SW Toolbox for Estimating Critical Flow Statistics
Join EPA and USGS for a Webcast on the new, updated Surface Water Toolbox Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm EST. The Surface Water Toolbox is a user friendly, downloadable tool for water managers to estimate a wide variety of streamflow statistics. It combines features of DFLOW and SWSTAT, and has been enhanced with features specifically for NPDES permit writers. This tool can be downloaded from https://water.usgs.gov/osw/swtoolbox/ and enables users to:
- Estimate a wide array of hydrologic and biologically based critical flow statistics such as 7Q10 for gaged and un-gaged streams;
- Use a variety of statistic tests to evaluate emerging trends and identify anomalies.
Webcast participants are eligible to receive a certificate for their attendance. The Webcast presentations are posted in advance at http://www.epa.gov/watershedacademy/watershed-academy-webcast-seminars and participants are encouraged to download them prior to the Webcast.
You must register in advance to attend this Webcast. Register at the Watershed Academy Webcast Website at: http://www.epa.gov/watershedacademy/watershed-academy-webcast-seminars.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Holds Hearing on Water Infrastructure
On January 10th, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing titled “America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges.” The hearing, featuring speakers from the National Association of Counties, Environmental Defense Fund, Muskogee City County Port Authority, American Association of Port Authorities, and Congressional Research Service, focused on permitting efficiency issues and funding issues. Specifically, a large portion of the hearing centered on streamlining CWA Section 404 permitting as part of a potential Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorization bill, and how different localities would balance increased funding, expedited permitting, transparency, and environmental safety. Other topics discussed included the difficulty of the US Army Corps of Engineers to facilitate projects under WIFIA, Integrated Planning, importance of infrastructure maintenance, and cooperation between federal, state, and local government. You can watch the hearing here.
Forest Service Offers Stormwater BMP Crediting Webinar
On Wednesday, January 10, The U.S. Forest Service held a webinar on crediting stormwater BMPs as part of the Urban Forest Connections Webinar Series. On the webinar, Karen Cappiella of the Center for Watershed Protection and Justin Hynicka of American Forests reviewed the available stormwater crediting systems for urban tree planting and presented a new crediting system that can be integrated into state and local compliance systems for stormwater management, TMDLs, and other water quality requirements. Karen and Justin also shared an example of how this crediting framework has been formally adopted by state and federal agencies as part of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. For more information on this webinar and the series, go here.
EPA enters into a Cooperative Agreement with Metals Associations
The EPA has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with eight metals associations. The goal of the CRADA is to leverage the scientific expertise of these associations to develop a simplified modeling approach that can predict the bioavailability and toxicity of metals. For more information, please refer to the EPA summary.
EPA Deregulatory Actions Webpage
EPA has a new webpage titled “EPA Deregulatory Actions“, the goal of which is “an effort to provide the public the most up-to-date information on agency implementation of EO 13771.” Executive Order 13771, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” directs agencies to repeal at least two existing regulations for each new regulation issued in FY 2017 and thereafter, and also directs agencies that the “total incremental costs of all regulations should be no greater than zero” in FY 2017. The page contains 2 tables: one listing deregulatory actions currently in development, and one listing completed deregulatory actions. As expected, the notable water-related actions in the first chart are the “recodification of pre-existing rules” proposed rule setting the definition of WOTUS to what it was prior to Rapanos, and the proposed rule adding an applicability date / delaying the 2015 WOTUS rule. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Julian Gonzalez.
National Governors Association Webinar: Using Public Private Partnerships in the Water Sector
NGA’s Water Policy Learning Network is hosting a webinar on public private partnerships (“P3’s”) in the water sector, titled “Demystifying the Use of Public Private Partnerships in the Water Sector and Key Actions Governors Can Take to Enable their Use.” The webinar will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 from 3:00-4:00 pm EST. Please use this link to register: Using P3’s in the Water Sector_NGA Webinar . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information, and a code specific to you, for joining the webinar. See below for details:
Welcome and Introduction of Speakers
- Bevin Ann Buchheister, Senior Policy Analyst, National Governors Association
What, Why and How to use P3’s in the Water Sector
- Klair White, Senior Vice President, Infrastructure Advisory, Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC
- Stephen Auton-Smith, Managing Director, Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC
Case Studies: San Antonio, Texas, and Rialto, California
The $920 million Vista Ridge Project is one of the largest public-private partnerships in the water sector in the U.S. It consists of a water pipeline and well field that is expected to increase water supply to the City of San Antonio by 20 percent for at least the next 30 years. Use of a P3 shifted risk from the public sector to the private sector for the financing, building and operation of this critical infrastructure. Robert R. Puente, JD., President and CEO, San Antonio Water System will be presenting on the Vista Ridge Project.
The City of Rialto’s water system needed major capital repairs and its wastewater treatment facility was at the end of its useful life and needed a major upgrade. Significant capital was needed for the upgrades, so the City entered into a 30-year public-private service delivery agreement that accelerated needed improvements through the use of private capital. Tom Crowley, City Utilities Manager, City of Rialto, CA, will be presenting on their P3.
2018 National Stormwater Roundtable
Event and hotel registration for this meeting is now live! The 2018 National Stormwater Roundtable will be held February 20 – 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. There are a limited number of hotel rooms available at government rate – please register with the hotel ASAP.
This meeting supports implementation of federal and state municipal, industrial, and construction stormwater programs nationwide by sharing best management practices, showcasing innovative state programs and initiatives, highlighting new technologies, facilitating discussion on national program enhancements and improvements, identifying state resource needs including tools, training and guidance, and proposing solutions to challenges and barriers faced by the regulators and other stakeholders. Attendees should include program managers, permit writers, inspectors, and compliance staff involved in managing and regulating stormwater. For more details on the meeting please click on this link. If you have any issues registering for the meeting, please contact Annette Ivey.
2018 National Pretreatment Meeting
Event and hotel registration for this meeting is now live! The 2018 National Pretreatment 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, you must register. Please do so by Monday, April 2, 2018. To register for the meeting, go here.
Lodging is available on site at TDCC at rates of $209 for single room and $249 for a double room (plus tax). To reserve a room, please call 240-645-4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ask for the Association of Clean Water Administrators block of rooms when making your reservation. The deadline for the room block is Monday, April 2, 2018. For more information on TDCC, go here.
Mid-Year Meeting 2018
Early Bird Registration Ends January 31, 2018
Register Now! The 2018 Mid-Year Meeting will be a closed meeting for ACWA members and invited guests. Go here for more information and to reserve your lodging accommodations. To register and pay for your registration, go here. If you encounter problems logging into ACWA’s new member AMS system, Member 365, go here for more information. If you encounter issues paying for your registration, contact Annette Ivey. The agenda for this meeting is currently in development.
ACWA and Willamette Publish Water Quality Trading Toolkit Videos
Recently, ACWA and Willamette Partnership published two videos 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. USDA – Office of Environmental Markets provided partial funding for the production of the videos. The first video is an introduction to the Toolkit and can be viewed here. The second video explains in greater detail how a state or organization can use the Toolkit and can be viewed here.
ACWA Farm Bill Workgroup Call
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm EST
For call-in information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire
On this call, Adam Carpenter of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Coleman Garrison of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) will provide background on their respective organizations’ 2018 Farm Bill priorities.
POTW Study call with EPA
Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 3:00pm Eastern
For call-in information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire