Webinar: What States Must Consider Before Assuming Clean Water Act §404 Authority to Regulate Alteration of Wetlands.
The National Governors Association Water Policy Learning Network is hosting a webinar on state assumption of the 404 program. The webinar will be held on Thursday March 1, 2018 from 1:00pm-2:00pm EST. Please use this link to register: NGA Webinar on Assumption of CWA 404 Authority
Speakers will address the benefits to states for assuming Clean Water Act §404 authority and the challenges including the need for specific state authority, cost to the state, and the need for permit standards and procedures and compliance and enforcement programs that are consistent with federal programs. Speakers will also address the effect of state assumption on environmental review and wetlands protections. Specific actions that must be considered by states with, and without, an existing parallel state program will also be discussed.
Welcome and Introduction of Speakers:
Bevin Ann Buchheister, Senior Policy Analyst, National Governors Association
Misael Cabrera, PE, Director, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
John J. Truitt, Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from GoTo Webinar with a code that is specific to you for joining the webinar. Your code will not work for other parties.
EPA Budget in Brief Released
President Trump’s Budget Proposal and EPA’s Budget in Brief were released on Monday. EPA’s budget was very similar to the FY17 budget proposal. The FY19 proposal reduced EPA’s budget by ~25% and zeroes out many programs like Beaches and Section 319 Non Point Source funding. The budget also calls for greatly reducing funding to nearly all clean water act programs. The only programs to receive an increased budget were the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. For more information, ACWA’s budget chart is available here. For EPA’s Budget in Brief, go here.
EPA Groundwater Conduit Theory Request for Comment
This week EPA Office of Water Assistant Administrator Dave Ross signed a Notice and Request for Comment associated with Clean Water Act Coverage of Discharges of Pollutants via Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface Water. EPA is requesting comment on the Agency’s previous statements that pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface water via groundwater or other subsurface flow may be subject to CWA permitting requirements. EPA has made these statements in previous rule makings, permits, and guidance documents, however, for the most part these statements were tangential to the central focus of the rule making/policy. Some courts have concluded that a hydrologic connection between ground water and surface water is insufficient to justify CWA regulation while other courts have interpreted Congress’s intent to regulate such releases under the CWA. EPA has also stated that determining whether a direct hydrologic connection exists is a fact specific determination that relies on evidence such as the time it takes for pollutants to move to jurisdictional waters, the distance the pollutant has to travel, the traceability to specific point sources, etc.
Specifically, EPA is seeking comment on whether subjecting such releases to CWA permitting is consistent with the text, structure, and purpose of the CWA, whether these releases would be best be addressed under NPDES or some other federal authority, and whether these releases are adequately addressed through state law. For a copy of the prepublication notice please go here.
Clearinghouse of Advanced Monitoring Technology Launched
Earlier this year, the E-Enterprise for the Environment Advanced Monitoring Strategy and Implementation Team (AMSI) launched the Scan and Screen Advanced Monitoring Technology Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse). To date, there are over 300 water sensor entries and more than 50 air sensors with plans to continue to grow. The focus is primarily on advanced monitoring equipment that has not (yet) been formally approved under federal regulations as an approved method and currently contains screening of technology for commercially available sensors with a focus on monitoring nutrients in water and PM 2.5 in air. This data is housed on the EPA’s SharePoint website and is intended for use by federal, state, local, and tribal agency employees.
Currently, the team is looking to gain new viewers and contributors who wish to add advanced monitoring devices to the Clearinghouse or update existing device information. If you are interested in viewing the database of sensors and possibly contributing to the library of data, please reach out to Catherine Tunis via email, email@example.com, or phone, 202-564-0476, to request access.
The E-Enterprise for the Environment Advanced Monitoring Strategy and Implementation Team is made up of employees from state environmental agencies and EPA who work together to address challenges created by rapidly changing monitoring technology, ranging from uncertainty about the quality of new devices and the data they generate, to confusion about the interpretation of the data and lack of uniform data exchange standards. If you would like more information regarding this work, please contact Kelly Poole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 but have yet to respond we ask that you please send responses to Julian Gonzalez and Frances Bothfeld (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, 2/23. We originally asked for responses by Monday 2/19 but it has come to our attention that many states have off on Monday for President’s Day, therefore we are extending the deadline.
We have received responses from the following states so far: WY, OR, NC, MD, VA, PA, AL, CO, IA, TN, and AZ.
ACWA Soliciting Volunteers for Planning Committee for 2018 Emerging Contaminants Workshop
ACWA’s Monitoring Standards and Assessment Committee identified Emerging Contaminants as a primary issue facing the states. ACWA is planning on having an Emerging Contaminants Workshop in June, 2018 in Washington, DC. We hope to address some of them issues during this workshop. ACWA is looking for ~2-4 more volunteers for a workshop planning committee. The committee will help with:
- Defining the scope and format of the workshop
- Identifying important topics
- Identifying expert speakers
This effort will require about 4 hours a month for the next couple of months. Planning committee members will receive financial support from ACWA to attend the meeting. Please let Frances Bothfeld know by COB 2/20 if you are interested in joining the planning committee. We will have our first call soon thereafter.
The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) Board of Directors is seeking a dynamic Executive Director to lead the Association of State Wetland Managers. ASWM is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit membership organization established in 1983 to promote and enhance protection and management of wetland resources, to promote application of sound science to wetland management efforts and to provide training and education for our members and the public. The Association of State Wetland Managers’ Board of Directors invites qualified candidates to electronically submit a resume, cover letter outlining their interest and qualifications for the position (including salary requirements and requested relocation expenses), and three professional references, including contact information. All documents are required and must be submitted via email in .doc or .pdf format. Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com . Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. ET on March 2, 2018, unless otherwise explicitly extended.
Be sure to check out ACWA’s other job opportunities. These are external job postings sent to ACWA by our member agencies.
2018 National Stormwater Roundtable
Tuesday, February 20 – 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Travel Safe!
2018 Mid-Year Meeting
Reserve your room now!
The guaranteed lodging group rate expires on February 23rd, 2018. If you have not secured a room by then, room rates will go up.
2018 National CAFO Roundtable
The 2018 National CAFO Roundtable will be held in Boise, Idaho. The meeting dates are Tuesday, September 25, 2018 to Thursday, September 27, 2018. ACWA is looking for a 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.
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.
Cooling Water Steam Electric Workgroup Call
Thursday, February 22 at 2:00 pm Eastern
For more information, contact Sean Ramach
ACWA Watersheds Committee Call – States Only
Thursday, February 22 at 2:30 pm Eastern
For more information, contact Julian Gonzalez