Vessel Permit Expiration
EPA’s 2013 Vessel General Permit is set to expire December 18, 2018 and a new permit has not yet been finalized. EPA will be administratively continuing this permit until the new permit is issued. All owners/operators of vessels covered by the 2013 permit should continue to comply with the terms and conditions of that permit. EPA strongly encourages owners/operators of eligible vessels currently without permit coverage to seek coverage prior December 18, 2018. Coverage under the VGP cannot be obtained after the permit’s expiration date.
For information on the status of the VGP, please go here.
Fall Regulatory Agenda Released
On Wednesday, October 17, the federal government released the Fall 2018 Unified Regulatory Agenda. The regulatory agenda provides insights and updates about what regulatory/rulemaking actions are planned in the coming year from each agency, including the Environmental Protection Agency. Notable EPA updates include official inclusion of a notice of a proposed rulemaking for the upcoming regulation redefining of Waters of the United States, slated for this month, addition of a entry for a rulemaking on EPA’s 404(c) “Veto Authority” with a notice of proposed rulemaking tentatively slated for summer 2019, EPA’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for increasing transparency in considering costs and benefits in the rulemaking process, and more.
The regulatory agenda also has a page for “long term actions“, or items where the agency does not expect to have a regulatory action within the 12 months after publication of this edition of the Unified Agenda. The noteworthy inclusion in this category for EPA’s Office of Water is an entry on CWA 404(g) program assumption by states.
As a reminder, ACWA’s website also has a continually updated EPA rulemakings page where we compile information and key dates for rulemakings relevant to ACWA members coming from the different offices within EPA’s Office of Water.
ACWA Attends EPA Urban Waters National Training Workshop
This week, ACWA staff attended EPA’s Urban Waters National Training workshop in Washington, DC. The workshop featured presentations on a number of topics related to the various urban waters partnership initiatives including sustaining partnerships, securing funding, and promoting inclusivity. ACWA continues to work with EPA and other urban waters partners to better define and explore the role of states in urban waters partnerships.
ASDWA Releases Primer on PFAS Laboratory Testing for Drinking Water Programs
The Association of Safe Drinking Water Administrators (“ASDWA”) recently released a PFAS Lab Testing Primer For States and Water Systems. Tailored for state drinking water programs, the document provides guidance and an overview of options and issues that are associated with testing for PFAS in water samples collected from public water systems. The primer includes information on:
- Selecting an analytical method.
- Finding a qualified laboratory.
- Specifying a list of compounds and the form that each PFAS needs to be reported in.
- Specifying reporting limits.
- Technical issues that cause variability in testing results.
- Sample collection procedures.
- Interpreting results.
- USEPA’s ongoing work to develop new analytical methods.
Financing Septic Systems Toolkit Released
EPA, The National Onsite Wastewater Association, and the State Onsite Regulators Association recently released a toolkit, Financing Septic Systems Learning Module, to help homeowners who are seeking information to support operations, maintenance, repair, or construction of septic systems. The toolkit includes chapters on septic system basics, design, maintenance, financing, and technical assistance.
National Network on Water Quality Trading Releases Demand Assessment Report
This week, the National Network on Water Quality Trading released its new report, Breaking Down Barriers: Priority Actions for Advancing Water Quality Trading. The report delves into the common barriers that keep utilities and municipalities from pursuing trading to achieve their clean water goals, and what proponents of trading can do to move beyond today’s challenges.
The report’s action agenda is a multi-stakeholder plan to:
- Simplify water quality trading program design and application.
- Ensure state regulatory agencies have adequate capacity and resources to engage on water quality trading.
- Clarify each administration’s and the U.S. EPA’s position on water quality trading.
- Actively address real and perceived risks for buyers.
- Identify and address risks of litigation.
- Create guidance on trading for stormwater.
- Build stakeholder relationships and trust.
The action agenda can help inform budgeting, grant-making, work-planning, and fundraising efforts for meeting clean water goals with water quality trading. And, it includes specific steps for state regulatory agencies, U.S. EPA, credit buyers, and nonprofit or foundation partners to, for example, provide clarity around models that quantify credits, create templates that ease program design, offer realistic expectations around the time and expenses involved, and ensure grant-making programs are better designed to support trading program development, among other efforts.
To learn more about what actions can help move water quality trading forward, download the report here.
Peak Flow Management
This week, ACWA participated in a Peak Flow Management Rulemaking Roundtable. Attendance at the roundtable was by invitation only and included representatives from EPA HQ and Regions, states, tribes, POTWs, engineering firms, public health agencies, and NGOs. Agenda topics for the roundtable included a discussions on: 1) Operational Challenges During Peak Flows, 2) Protecting Public Health During Peak Flow Events, and 3) Emerging Technologies and Operational Practices for Managing Peak Flows. On August 31, 2018, EPA announced an effort to get public input on Peak Flows Management. In particular EPA is “interested in the views of the public on possible approaches to updating the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations related to the management of peak wet weather flows at Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) treatment plants serving separate sanitary sewer collection systems.” For those who intend to submit written statements to the docket, EPA is asking that this information be provided before October 31, 2018.
November 2018 Nutrients Permitting Workshop
The next 2018 Nutrients Permitting Workshop is in two weeks from Tuesday, November 6 to Thursday, November 8, 2018 in Gulfport, Mississippi at the Courtyard Marriott Gulfport Beachfront, 1600 East Beach Blvd., Gulfport, Mississippi. If you have not already secured your lodging and you plan to attend, please contact Annette Ivey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-756-0602 as soon as possible! 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.
Watersheds Committee Call
October 25, 2:30 – 4:00 PM ET
For more information contact Julian Gonzalez.