Idaho Approved for NPDES
On June 5, 2018 Administrator Pruitt signed a delegation memorandum that allows Idaho DEQ to begin issuing NPDES permits starting July 1, 2018. As with most authorization approvals, Idaho will phase in the program over time along the following schedule.
- Phase I (July 1, 2018): Domestic Wastewater Facilities and the Pretreatment Program
- Phase II (July 1, 2019): Industrial Wastewater Facilities
- Phase III (July 1, 2020): General Permit (non-Storm water)
- Phase IV (July 1, 2021): All storm water permits and the Biosolids Program
In an EPA press Administrator Pruitt said “EPA’s approval of Idaho’s Pollutant Discharge Elimination System exemplifies cooperative federalism…Idaho has worked closely with EPA and local stakeholders to develop a program that will protect Idaho’s water resources and ensure permitting decisions are made in a safe and timely manner.”
To build their program, Idaho DEQ worked closely with the legislature to secure dependable funding, to hire and train permit-writers and enforcement staff, to gather public and other stakeholder feedback, and to developed the phase-in schedule. Idaho is now the 47th state to be approved to run their own water discharge permitting program. Idaho’s program will be called the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES). More information can be found on EPA’s website, on Idaho’s website, and in the federal register.
EPA and Army Take Next Step in Joint Efforts to Redefine “Waters of the United States”
EPA issued a press released announcing that EPA and the Department of the Army will be sending the proposed rule for “Step 2” of the administration’s WOTUS efforts (which would redefine Waters of the United States in a new rule replacing the 2015 Clean Water Rule) to the Office of Management and Budget for inter-agency review. After OMB review, the rule would presumably be issued officially and publicly in the Federal Register, and the public comment period would begin. ACWA will continue to stay on top of the rule as it progresses toward the public comment period. For more information, contact Julia Anastasio.
Federal District Judge Blocks 2015 WOTUS Rule Enforcement in 11 States
Earlier this week, District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia held that the 11 petitioning states (GA, AL, FL, IN, KS, NC, SC, UT, WV, WI, and KY) had a “substantial likelihood of success on the merits” regarding their claims about the 2015 WOTUS rule being a violation of the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. Accordingly, the 2015 rule is now officially stayed in those states (as well as 13 other states from a previous court case: AL, AZ, AR, CO, ID, MO, MT, NE, ND, NV, NM, SD, WY).
In the case, State of Georgia, et al., v. Pruitt, et al., the 11 states mentioned above were seeking a preliminary injunction staying enforcement of the 2015 rule, arguing that 1) their position that the 2015 rule violates the APA and CWA would likely be successful, 2) that enforcement of the 2015 rule right now would cause economic harm as well as loss of sovereignty over certain waters to EPA, and 3) that staying the rule for the time being would not harm the Agencies as much as it would harm the states. Judge Godbey Wood agreed with the 11 states.
It is worth noting that EPA is still concurrently in the process of officially delaying enforcement of the 2015 rule in all states through their rulemaking adding an “applicability date” of 2020 to the 2015 Rule.
In last week’s Wrap we provided a summary of a prepublication Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making titled Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Costs and Benefits in the Rulemaking Process. The ANPRM has been published in the federal register.
ACWA Pens Letter to USACE on Permit Streamlining Initiative
Earlier this year the President proposed a $200 billion initiative to stimulate at least $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure investment . While much of the public and congressional interest regarding the Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative has been focused on the legislative principles, the Administration is also addressing infrastructure delivery through a range of policy and regulatory changes. One of the top priorities of the Administration is to rebuild and modernize the Nation’s infrastructure. The Administration’s goal is to seek and secure long-term reforms on how infrastructure projects are regulated, funded, delivered, and maintained. By streamlining project delivery and removing barriers, the Administration hopes to incentivize and expedite the delivery of our Nation’s infrastructure.
The ACWA Board of Directors sent a letter to the USACE Infrastructure Team stressing the importance of consulting with the states, as co-regulators under the CWA, as they consider reforms on how infrastructure projects are regulated, funded, delivered and maintained.
Senate Committee Approve FY19 EPA Budget
The Senate Appropriations committee passed the FY19 EPA budget unanimously and without amendments on June 14th. In this bill, the EPA’s budget is set at $8.05 billion, which is equivalent to the FY18 budget. This budget includes an increase for State Revolving Funds. This bill departs drastically from the President’s budget, which called for large cuts to the EPA budget. Additionally, the Senate version differs from the House version, which passed out of committee last week and includes a $100 million cut to the EPA budget. This bill now goes to the Senate floor.
Save the Date for Septic Smart Week 2018
September 17-23, 2018 is SepticSmart Week! This is an annual event, organized by EPA, focused on educating homeowners and communities on the proper care and maintenance of their septic systems. Federal, state and local governments, the private sector, communities and academia, all participate in SepticSmart Week. You can participate too by sharing the core messages and promoting the outreach information:
- Protect It & Inspect It!
- Think at the Sink!
- Don’t Overload the Commode!
- Pump Your Tank!
- Don’t Strain Your Drain!
- Shield Your Field!
- Keep It Clean!
For more information and ideas to share, see the SepticSmart Week Social Media Guide.
2018 National CAFO Roundtable – Registration is LIVE!
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in Portland, OR currently has a Full Time opportunity for a Water Quality Standards and Assessments Manager to join an innovative team, and work to advance their agency’s mission to protect and improve Oregon’s environment. The Water Quality Standards and Assessments Manager works closely with Water Quality Division managers located in DEQ’s Headquarters as well as regional management teams to: develop and revise water quality standards policy, regulations and implementation procedures; and supervise the development of the state-wide water quality assessment, which includes identifying waters that are impaired and not meeting water quality standards.
This recruitment will remain open until filled. The first application screening is scheduled for Monday, July 2, 2018 at 8:00 a.m.
Be sure to check out other opportunities on ACWA’s website!
ACWA Watersheds Committee Call
Thursday, June 28, 2018
2:30 – 4:00 pm EST
Contact Julian Gonzalez for more information