ECOS Officers Announced
This year is the 25th Anniversary for the Environmental Council of States (ECOS). New officers this year include: President Becky Keogh, Director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality; Vice President Jim Macy, Director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality; and Secretary-Treasurer Patrick McDonnell, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Todd Parfitt, Director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, moves to the role of ECOS Past President. See the ECOS press release on the new officers here.
SepticSmart Week is Next Week!
September 17-21! Each year, EPA holds SepticSmart Week with outreach activities to encourage homeowners and communities to care for and maintain their septic systems. During SepticSmart Week, EPA seeks to inform homeowners on proper septic system care and maintenance, assist local agencies in promoting homeowner education and awareness, and educate local decision makers about infrastructure options to improve and sustain their communities. Numerous resources are available on EPA’s SepticSmart Week webpage, including new SepticSmart posters, to educate users about what to flush or put down the drain:
EPA to Host Public Meeting on Oil and Gas Extraction Study
EPA is hosting a public meeting on its ongoing Oil and Gas Extraction Wastewater Study on October 9, 2018, from 10:30a.m. to 4:00p.m. ET at the EPA Headquarters, William J. Clinton East Building in Washington, DC. During this meeting, EPA will report on what it has learned to date and provide stakeholders the opportunity to provide additional input. The meeting will begin with EPA’s status report on the study and related work happening within the Office of Water. After a short break for lunch, the public input session will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Those wishing to attend and/or speak can register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your name, organization and email address, and indicate whether you plan to speak. Each speaker will be limited to three minutes. Registration is recommended but not required for this meeting. For security reasons, please bring photo identification with you to the meeting. Seating will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
In May 2018, EPA initiated a study to evaluate approaches to managing both conventional and unconventional oil and gas extraction wastewater generated at onshore facilities. EPA’s study is addressing questions such as how existing federal approaches to produced water management under the Clean Water Act can interact more effectively with state and tribal regulations, requirements or policy needs, and whether potential federal regulations that may allow for broader discharge of treated produced water to surface waters may be supported. A key component of the study is to engage with stakeholders to solicit information from their individual perspectives on topics surrounding produced water management. This spring and summer, EPA met with various stakeholders across the country. This public meeting is the next step in EPA’s outreach.
For more information, please visit EPA’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/eg/study-oil-and-gas-extraction-wastewater-management
House Passes Water Infrastructure Package
The House passed America’s Water Infrastructure Act on September 13th by voice vote after the Senate and House reached an agreement on the bill earlier in the week. The bill includes authorization of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund at more than $4.4 billion over three years. The bill also includes reauthorization of WIFIA and a National Academy of Sciences study on moving the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers out of the Department of Defense. More information is available here.
House Passes Minibus which contain Energy-Water Fiscal Measures
The House passed a minibus package yesterday that contained Energy-Water fiscal measures as well as other FY19 appropriations bills. The minibus will now go to the President’s Desk. Congress is working towards a third minibus which would contain the Interior-EPA bill. However, no deal between The House and the Senate has been made. Funding runs out on October 1st, 2019 when the next fiscal year begins.
Coal Ash Disposal Site Not a Point Source
On September 12, 2018 the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision indicating “[b]ecause we conclude that the landfill and settling ponds on the Chesapeake site do not constitute “point sources” as that term is defined in the Clean Water Act…we reverse the district court’s ruling…” In Sierra Club, et al., v. Virginia Electric Power Company (VEPCO) the court said that “[A]rsenic was found to have leached from static accumulations of coal ash on the initiative of rainwater or groundwater, thereby polluting the groundwater and ultimately navigable waters. In this context, the landfill and ponds were not created to convey anything and did not function in that manner; they certainly were not discrete conveyances, such as would be a pipe or channel, for example.” The court went on to say “[R]egardless of whether a source is a pond or some other type of container, the source must still be functioning as a conveyance of the pollutant into navigable waters to qualify as a point source.” The court also indicated “…that such pollution falls outside the scope of the Clean Water Act’s regulation does not mean that it slips through the regulatory cracks. To the contrary, the EPA classifies coal ash and other coal combustion residuals as nonhazardous waste governed by the RCRA.” A copy of the decision can be found here.
ACWA attends NGA Annual Water Policy Institute
ACWA staff attended the National Governors Association (NGA) annual Water Policy Institute in San Francisco, CA. Attended by a mix of state agency leadership and governors offices, over 30 states were represented as topics such as stormwater technology innovation, energy-water nexus, WIFIA funding, emerging contaminants, and others were presented on and discussed.
ACWA attends Integrated Water and Stormwater Infrastructure Roundtable
On Thursday, September 13, ACWA staff attended the Integrated Water and Stormwater Infrastructure Roundtable hosted by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships and the Environmental Protection Agency. The roundtable brought together public, private, and non-profit leaders to identify challenges and obstacles and examine integrated best practices and technological innovations in an effort to improve water quality and public health. Other things discussed included challenges and opportunities associated with integrated water management, Community-Based Public-Private Partnerships (CBP3s), and other alternative project delivery models that emphasize community benefits and economic development.
November Nutrients Permitting Workshop
The next 2018 Nutrients Permitting Workshop will be held Tuesday, November 6 to Thursday, November 8, 2018 in Gulfport, Mississippi at the Courtyard Marriott Gulfport Beachfront, 1600 East Beach Blvd., Gulfport, Mississippi. Secure your lodging now using this link, or you can call the hotel direct at 228-864-4310. To register and for more information, go here.
The draft agenda is available here. It is subject to change.
For more information on the meeting, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
OWOW Recruiting Mid-Career Scientist for 303d Program
EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds is recruiting a mid-career scientist for the Impaired Waters Listing and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program. To be considered for this position, applicants must apply on-line at the USAJobs.gov website by the closing date of the announcement and follow the vacancy announcement instructions for providing any applicable supplemental information. More information can be found on the job post page, here.
And be sure to check out other opportunities on ACWA’s jobs page.