EPA publishes Final Rule Adding Applicability Date to 2015 Clean Water Rule in Federal Register
EPA has published the final rule titled “Definition of “Waters of the United States” – Addition of Applicability Date to 2015 Clean Water Rule” in the Federal Register, accessible here. This is EPA’s rule pushing back the implementation of the 2015 Clean Water Rule two years, which would:
1) Prevent the 2015 rule from becoming active and enforceable on the heels of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense which effectively invalidates the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals’ nationwide stay on the 2015 rule, and
2) Provide the administration with time to complete a new rule with a new, narrower definition of Waters of the United States.
If you have any questions about the rule, feel free to email Julian Gonzalez.
Congress Passes Continuing Resolution
After a brief government shutdown, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) that keeps the government funded until March 23rd. Additionally, the bill extend the government’s borrowing authority until March 2019 and raised spending by $300 billion over the next two years. Of the $300 billion less than half would go towards non-defense spending, like the EPA. Therefore it is still unclear what levels at which the EPA will be funded if Congress is able to pass a long term budget in late March.
EPA Publishes Enforcement Results
This week EPA published the Fiscal Year 2017 annual enforcement and compliance results. An EPA press release provides highlights. “EPA’s enforcement program is helping carry out Administrator Pruitt’s goal of expediting the remediation of contaminated sites…EPA is increasing the deterrent effect of EPA’s enforcement program through criminal enforcement actions to address the most egregious cases…in FY 2017, environmental criminals were required to pay a total of $2.98 billion in fines, restitution, and mitigation, and were sentenced to serve over 150 years in jail…EPA’s civil enforcement actions also deter future violations and ensure a level playing field for the regulated community by assessing penalties, including penalties to cover the economic benefit of noncompliance. ” Assistant Administrator of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), Susan Bodine, noted “A strong enforcement program is essential to achieving positive health and environmental outcomes. In fiscal year 2017, we focused on expediting site cleanup, deterring noncompliance, and returning facilities to compliance with the law, while respecting the cooperative federalism structure of our nation’s environmental laws.” EPA’s FY 2017 enforcement results can be found here.
EPA/NEIWPCC Call for Abstracts/Presentations for 2018 National NPS Training Workshop
The 2018 National Nonpoint Source Training Workshop will be held at the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO from November 5-8, 2018, hosted by EPA and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC). This workshop is the premier gathering of NPS professionals on the federal, tribal, territorial, and state level, and will provide all attendees with an opportunity to share stories of challenges and successes, attend sessions covering a variety of NPS issues, receive updates on the national and regional level, and network with other NPS program managers and state NPS coordinators throughout the country.
They are currently seeking presentations from states and other practitioners in the NPS community, on topics such as: NPS management plans, innovative tools, agricultural NPS, improving state and tribal NPS effectiveness, TMDL and 319 program integration, measuring and communicating 319 program success, urban and suburban NPS issues, protecting healthy watersheds, and more. NEIWPCC and EPA ask that anyone interested in submitting complete the online submission form here by April 6th, 2018, and accordingly selections will be made in June 2018.
For more information, please visit the 2018 National Nonpoint Source Training Workshop Website or contact James Plummer at email@example.com
Reminder: Assessment/Listing Questions for States
On 1/29, ACWA staff sent an email to our main ACWA state representatives as well as members of the ACWA Watersheds committee containing a few questions on assessment and listing policy, in order to help further direct policy positions and discussions on those subjects. As a reminder: if you received the email we ask that you please send responses to Julian Gonzalez and Frances Bothfeld (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) by February 19th. A few states have already responded, and we look forward to receiving more responses in the days to come. Thanks in advance!
2018 Mid-Year Meeting
Please reserve your lodging as soon as possible! The guaranteed lodging group rate expires on February 23rd, 2018. If you have not secured a room by then, room rates will go up. Reserve here.
If you have not registered, why wait? Early Bird Registration is extended to February 12, 2018!
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. State attendees will kick off the morning with a states only discussion and then we will welcome our partners from EPA, Office of Water to join us at noon and stay with us for the remainder of the meeting. Our goal is to generate a conversation among the states and EPA. 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. View the updated draft agenda here.
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. If you choose to stay at TDCC as part of the ACWA room block, complimentary breakfast and dinner are included with your room. The deadline for the room block is Monday, April 2, 2018. For more information on TDCC, go here.
For more information on the meeting, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
ACWA is offering a limited number of scholarships for state travel support to ACWA state members who would not otherwise be 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 email@example.com or (202) 465-7179.
The deadline for submissions for the 2018 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting is February 20, 2018.
2018 National CAFO Roundtable – Save the Date
ACWA is excited to announce the dates for the 2018 National CAFO Roundtable which will be held in Boise, Idaho. The meeting dates are Tuesday, September 25, 2018 to Thursday, September 27, 2018. ACWA is looking for few volunteers to help us plan the agenda. Likewise, if you have specific topics you would like to present on or you would like to see discussed at the meeting this year, please send us your thoughts and we will share those with the Planning Committee. Finally, ACWA is pleased to be able to help support and organize this meeting because of a cooperative agreement from EPA. As part of that agreement, some state travel funds have been included. Requests for travel support should be submitted to Julian Gonzalez (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, March 9, 2018. For more details on the meeting, please go to ACWA’s 2018 National CAFO Roundtable event page.
Legal Affairs Committee Quarterly Call
Thursday, February 15 at 1:00 pm Eastern
For more information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire