AWRA Hosts Webinar on Groundwater Hydrologic Connection
On Wednesday, September 19, the American Water Resources Association hosted a webinar on discharges to groundwater that lead to surface water through hydrologic connections. Speakers included Marcia Greenblatt, an engineer with Integral Consulting out of Colorado, and Kathy Robb, an attorney with Sive, Paget & Riesel out of New York City.
The first half of the call consisted of an overview of the status of WOTUS and the hydrologic connection cases. In the second half, the two speakers offered analysis on the current state of the issue and its future. They also offered a broad overview of the different ways one can monitor these type of discharges if a NPDES is required. Regarding the EPA request for public comment, the speakers stated that the comments basically break down into three main categories: 1.) EPA should define “direct hydrologic connection”, 2.) States should be allowed to regulate these types of discharges as they see fit, and 3.) EPA should regulate these types of discharges. The speakers also predicted that the Supreme Court will take up the issue and that EPA will clarify their position through a rulemaking.
The webinar was recorded and is available for $25 for non-members and free for members here.
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.
EPA Releases Surface Water Modeling Report
EPA recently announced the release of a new EPA water quality modeling report titled “Assessment of Surface Water Model Maintenance and Support Status”. This report provides a broad overview of several commonly used surface water quality models. It includes updated links to model websites, training materials, and selected example applications. It should be useful for helping people to select the right model for their project.
If you have questions, please contact the Water Modeling Workgroup at: WaterModelingWorkgroup@epa.gov
WGA Webinar: The Importance of State Authority under Clean Water Act Section 401
The Western Governors Association (WGA) will be hosting a webinar, The Importance of State Authority under Clean Water Act Section 401, on Monday, Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. (MT). This webinar will provide an overview of states’ legal authority to issue water quality certifications and the importance of Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 in the protection of the nation’s water resources.
In enacting the federal CWA, Congress established a system of cooperative federalism, whereby states – in partnership with federal agencies – are granted meaningful authority to ensure the proper balance of powers in the implementation and enforcement of the Act’s various programs. The states’ Section 401 authority has been the target of recent legislative and regulatory efforts to diminish and subordinate the states in environmental review processes. Panelists presenting will include Darrell Early, Chief, Natural Resources Division, Idaho Office of the Attorney General; and Jeanne Christie, Senior Policy Advisor, Association of State Wetland Managers. Register for the webinar here.
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.