USDA Office of Environmental Markets announces the release of NTT
This week, USDA’s Office of Environmental Markets announced the release of the Nutrient Tracking Tool (“NTT”’) for nation-wide use. NTT is based on the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (“APEX”) model, the same model used by the NRCS Conservation Effects Assessment Project (“CEAP”). This release marks the first national version of the tool, which was previously developed for the Chesapeake Bay and a limited number of pilot states.
NTT is free and available to the public at http://ntt.tiaer.tarleton.edu. To learn more, see Mindy Selman of USDA’s blog post here. Also, there will be a webinar on NTT hosted by the Office of Environmental Markets on February 14 at 2pm EST.
Dr. Timothy R. Petty confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior
Dr. Petty was confirmed as the assistant secretary for water and science at the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) on January 11th, 2018 and had his first day at DOI earlier this week. The assistant secretary for water and science is in charge of the U.S. Geological Society and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Dr. Petty worked as the deputy legislative director for Senator James Risch (R-Idaho) and prior to that, Dr. Petty held multiple positions at in the DOI during the Bush administration.
Budget or Continuing Resolution Doubtful
The current continuing resolution ends January 19th, 2018. Discussion for an additional continuing resolution or budget have been tenuous, leading many to believe that a government shutdown is likely. If a new continuing resolution is passed, it will most likely keep EPA funding equal to FY17 levels and make it difficult to start new projects, programs, and initiatives.
House, Senate hold hearings on Water Infrastructure, WRDA, Permitting Reform
This week, the House of Representative committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing titled “America’s Water Resources Infrastructure: Approaches to Enhanced Project Delivery,” and the Senate committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing titled “America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges: Federal Panel.” The two hearings covered similar topics of discussion, such as the importance of balancing environmental protection with streamlining permitting while agreeing on any infrastructure funding legislation, the capacity for permitting reform in a new WRDA bill, and the importance of not stalling the large amounts of water infrastructure projects important to state, county, and city economies. Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers testified that their backlog on projects totals almost $100 billion, for example. Republican representatives at the hearings largely turned to permit streamlining as a favored mechanism for getting infrastructure projects underway, where Democratic representatives emphasized a need for a larger federal investment regardless of whether any permitting reform occurred. Representatives from both parties also emphasized a need for utilizing private sector funding as well.
Animal Waste Air Releases
This week EPA released a fact sheet related to CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Animal Waste at Farms. The purpose of the notification is to encourage federal, state, and local officials to evaluate the need for an emergency response to mitigate the effects of the release to the community. Due to a recent court decision, some farms, including ranches, livestock operations, and/or animal operations will soon (deadline of mandate extended to January 22, 2018) be required to report hazardous substance air releases from animal waste under CERCLA. The fact sheet covers a number of issues for CERCLA and EPCRA both including why reporting is required, when reporting is required, what substances need to be reported, who should be notified when there is a release, and who is exempt from reporting. More information can be found on EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/animalwaste. A copy of the fact sheet can be found here.
ACWA Attends EPA WIFIA Info Session
EPA held a one-day information session on WIFIA on January 17th in Washington, D.C. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA) established the WIFIA program, a federal credit program administered by EPA for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects, and in the past few months EPA has been hosting a series of in-person info sessions as well as very similar webinars, providing would-be borrowers and other interested parties with a thorough overview of the program’s eligibility requirements, application processes, federal requirements, financial benefits, as well as other pieces of advice from members of EPA’s WIFIA team. EPA has made several webinars which are very similar to the in-person info sessions available to the public, which can be found here.
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 go here. If you have any issues registering for the meeting, please contact Annette Ivey.
2018 Mid-Year Meeting
Early Bird Registration Ends January 31, 2018
Register Now for the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting and receive the early bird rate! This meeting is planned as a day and a half state and EPA round table discussion, and is a closed meeting for ACWA members and invited guests. Go here to reserve your lodging accommodations. To register and pay for your registration, go here. If you encounter problems logging into ACWA’s new AMS system, Member 365, go here for more information, or email Katie Foreman. If you encounter issues paying for your registration, contact Annette Ivey. The agenda for this meeting is currently in development and will be available soon.
2018 National Pretreatment Meeting
Event and hotel registration for this meeting is 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.
ACWA Watersheds Committee Call
Thursday, January 25 at 2:30 pm Eastern
For more information, contact Julian Gonzalez.
Dental Amalgam Rule Webinar from ADA
Wednesday, January 31 at 3:00 pm Eastern
For registration information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
ACWA Rural Workgroup Call
Wednesday, January 24 at 2:00 pm Eastern
For registration information, contact Sean Rolland.