ATSDR Releases Toxicological Profile for PFAs
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (“ATSDR”) announced the release of its ATSDR Toxicology Report profile evaluating 14 per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (“PFAS”). The preliminary analysis found that certain exposures to PFOAs and PFOS could pose greater risk levels much lower than a previous EPA analysis concluded. EPA relied on the 2016 analysis to set a drinking water health advisory for those substances of 70 parts per trillion. The ATSDR’s report concluded that the compounds posed health concerns at levels seven to 10 times lower than the level calculated in 2016. ATSDR is taking public comment on the preliminary report until July 23, 2018. ATSDR’s key messages document is available here.
ANPR: Update to the Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA
This week, the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) issued an ANPR: Update to the Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act requesting comment on updating the implementing regulations related to National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). CEQ is requesting public comment on ideas for revisions of basic definitions of NEPA regulations, how to make federal agencies work more efficiently, and how to shape the documents used in NEPA analyses. CEQ will take comments on the proposal until July 20, 2018.
OKDEQ CCR Permit Program
On June 18, 2018 Administrator Pruitt signed a pre-publication federal register notice approving Oklahoma DEQ’s Coal Combustion Residuals (“CCR”) state permit program, which will operate in lieu of a federal program. Oklahoma is the first state to be authorized to implement this program. By approving the program, EPA has determined that Oklahoma’s program meets the standard for approval under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCR”A). Facilities operating under the state program requirements and resulting permit provisions can still be subject to EPA’s inspection and enforcement authorities under RCRA. Once a program is approved, EPA must review the program at least every 12 years, as well as no later than three years after revisions to RCRA CCR regulations, or one year after any unauthorized significant release from a CCR unit located in the state. EPA also must review a program at the request of another state alleging that the soil, groundwater, or surface water of the requesting state is or is likely to be adversely affected by a release from a CCR unit in the approved state. Oklahoma indicates there are currently five CCR facilities in the state. One of the current five facilities is not yet permitted as it was previously under the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Department of Mines. The other four facilities have permitted landfills and/or surface impoundments that are now subject to the CCR. To assist states in applying for state authorization and outline the process and procedures EPA generally intends to use to review and make determinations on state CCR permit programs, EPA developed a guidance document titled Guidance for Coal Combustion Residuals State Permit Programs.
ERIS and ASTHO Publish Risk Communication Case Studies
The Environmental Research Institute of the States (“ERIS”) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (“ASTHO”) released case studies on how states frame their risk communications for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) and harmful algal blooms (“HABs”). ERIS and ASTHO interviewed 13 states and compiled the results on how they develop guidance values and health advisories, roll out advisories and relevant information, and craft key messages for the public. The case studies also look at the challenges and gaps associated with risk communication of the two classes of substances.
FAQs Document Released Regarding Dental Amalgam Pretreatment Rule
Recently, EPA released an FAQ document for control authorities on the dental amalgam pretreatment rule (40 CFR Part 441). The three page document offers answers to frequently asked questions from control authorities on rule implementation. To view the document, go here.
ITRC Request: Sustainable Groundwater Use & Aquifer Protection
The ITRC is in the process of accepting proposals for new technical teams (learn more here). Over the course of 2-3 years, ITRC technical teams develop guidance documents and training courses to reduce barriers to the use of innovative air, water, and soil technologies and processes. One of the major environmental issues that ITRC state members identified this year as a potential new team topic was Sustainable Groundwater Use & Aquifer Protection. If you or any of your colleagues have insights on the gaps in technical knowledge and/or regulatory barriers that a Sustainable Groundwater Use & Aquifer Protection team could address and provide solutions to, please contact Molly Olonoff. ITRC hopes to develop a team proposal that will, with the help of water experts, identify the important issues in this area.
Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century
This week, the Trump administration released a proposed plan for reorganizing several agencies within the federal government. This plan was developed in response to Executive Order 13781 Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch. This plan, titled Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations, proposes a number of benefits across a multitude of federal agencies as part of this reorganization effort, including a refocus of government structures around mission and customers, enhancing management accountability, prioritizing limited resources and eliminating unnecessary activities, and improving communication and coordination.
On the environmental front, the plan proposes that EPA “re-calibrate resources devoted to oversight of state-delegated programs, including the role of EPA National Programs and Regions, and their respective levels of effort.” The plan goes on to say that EPA should “recognize states as the primary implementers and enforcement authorities where states have authorized delegation of Federal environmental programs.” With input from states, EPA should “streamline, reduce, and tailor its oversight activities to focus on national consistency and technical assistance to states as needed.” As part of this effort EPA should “assess the best locations from which to provide key functions and services to customers.” EPA should also “review the current laboratory enterprise in an effort to operate EPA’s labs in a more strategic, corporate, and efficient manner.”
The plan also recommends a merger of the Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) with the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”). The plan indicates the merger would “consolidate the administration of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (“MMPA”) in one agency and combine the Services’ science and management capacity, resulting in more consistent federal fisheries and wildlife policy and improved service to stakeholders and the public, particularly on infrastructure permitting. The plan also proposes to “consolidate and move the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works (“Corps”) out of the Department of Defense (“DOD”) and into the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) and Department of the Interior (“DOI”) to consolidate and align Corps civil works missions with these agencies.” Another proposal would have the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Central Hazardous Materials Program and the Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Hazardous Materials Management program consolidate into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Superfund program. The plan claims this consolidation “would allow EPA to address environmental cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation & Liability Act (“CERCLA”) on federal land regardless of which of these agencies manages the land, while DOI and USDA would maintain their existing environmental compliance, bonding, and reclamation programs for non-CERCLA sites.”
ACWA Scholarships Available
ACWA offers a limited number of scholarships for state travel support to ACWA state members who would not otherwise be able to able to send a representative to an ACWA meeting. Preference will be given to member organizations that have not been able to send a representative to a Mid-Year or Annual Meeting in several years and Members who are seeking assistance to bring another staff member to the meeting who would not otherwise be able to attend. The scholarships will cover meeting registration fee, airfare, local travel, hotel and associated taxes.
To apply for a scholarship, please contact Sean Rolland, Deputy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 465-7179.
The deadline for submissions for the 2018 ACWA Annual Meeting is July 20, 2018.
ACWA Holds Contaminants of Emerging Concern Workshop
This week, ACWA held a workshop on Contaminants of Emerging Concern. Twenty-six states gathered in Washington, DC to learn about EPA programs and activities surrounding CECs, engage in state to state discussion on monitoring and regulating CECs, and discuss their concerns and challenges with relevant EPA staff. For more information, please contact Frances Bothfeld.
ACWA Holds TMDL Modeling Workshop
From Tuesday, June 19th, through Thursday, June 21st, ACWA held a TMDL Modeling Workshop in Denver, Colorado attended by 31 states, the District of Columbia, NEIWPCC, EPA HQ, and several EPA Regions. The workshop brought together TMDL managerial staff, modelers, and others, and served as a kickoff for the ACWA TMDL Modeling Workgroup. The discussion-heavy workshop covered topics such as model selection processes, areas of concern for states with less experience in water quality modeling, ways to ensure quality assurance when using models both internally and through contractors, best practices for modelers working with EPA, public outreach regarding modeling, state examples of model implementation, and more. If you are interested in learning more about the workshop or the workgroup, contact Julian Gonzalez.
ACWA and Willamette Water Quality Trading Toolkit and Videos
If you or your state are interested in water quality trading, check out ACWA and Willamette Partnership’s Water Quality Trading Toolkit and accompanying videos. 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 accompanying videos provide an introduction to the Toolkit, a detailed guide on how a state or organization can use the Toolkit, and how the Toolkit addresses the issue of trading baseline.
2018 ACWA Annual Meeting – Registration is LIVE!
2018 National CAFO Roundtable – Registration is LIVE!
The 2018 National CAFO Roundtable will be held in Boise, Idaho from Tuesday, September 25, 2018 to Thursday, September 27, 2018. A copy of the draft agenda for this meeting can be found on the 2018 National CAFO Roundtable events page. If you are with a state or interstate and have attended ACWA meetings in the past, we recommend you login to Member365, go to the Events Calendar, and register from there. If you do not remember your login credentials, please contact Member Services. If you are with EPA or another organization, or you have never attended an ACWA event in the past, then please use the public registration link found here. Registration for the meeting is free, registration for the field trip is $25.00 and is limited to 45 seats. If you intend to go on the field trip, we highly recommend you register ASAP and select the “Field Trip Workshop” option. Please direct all meeting registration questions to Katie Foreman. Be sure to also book a room at the Riverside Hotel.
November Nutrients Permitting Workshop
The next 2018 Nutrients Permitting Workshop will be held November, 6-8, 2018 in Gulfport, Mississippi at the Courtyard Marriot Gulfport Beachfront, 1600 East Beach Blvd., Gulport, Mississippi. Secure your lodging now using the group code G-3657 to receive the group rate when making either online reservations or reservations over the phone. You can call the hotel direct at 228-864-4310. To register and for more information, go here.
The agenda is currently in development, however, the meeting will focus on the relationship between TMDLs and permitting for nutrients.
For more information on the meeting, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
ACWA Watersheds Committee Call
Thursday, June 28, 2018
2:30 – 4:00 pm EST
Contact Julian Gonzalez for more information