2017 Mid-Year Meeting
ACWA will hold its Mid-Year meeting in Washington, DC Mar. 20-21 and registration is LIVE! Returning users may register for the meeting by going here. New users may register here. Agenda details are still in development. Please direct any questions, suggestions, or comments on the agenda to Julia Anastasio.
Lodging for the Mid-Year Meeting is available NOW! The cut-off date for the room block is Feb. 27. Reserve your room here or reserve by phone by calling 202-408-4870 and requesting the ACWA block of rooms.
EPA Watersheds Modeling Survey
If you or one of your staff is on ACWA’s Watersheds Committee, you (or your staff) should have received an email on Tuesday, January 3rd, about a TMDL Modeling Survey we are conducting to assess the potential usefulness of creating an informal TMDL modelers network. For more information, see the email or contact Julian Gonzalez.
US Army Corps reissues Nationwide General Permits
On Friday January 6th, the US Army Corps of Engineers reissued 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and modifications as well as two new NWPs. The effective date for the new and reissued permits is March 19, 2016, and the expiration date is March 18, 2022. Earlier this year ACWA, along with ASWM, wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers emphasizing the importance, to states, of issuing the NWPs in a timely fashion in order to allow for adequate time for mandatory public review, state coordination under CWA section 401, and consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Act.
You can read the Federal Register Notice here for the issuances here.
EPA Climate Adaptation Practices Database
EPA, in collaboration with ACWA, The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), and The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM), recently updated a webpage showcasing innovative practices that state water agencies are currently performing to reduce their vulnerability and build resilience to climate change. The webpage was recently supplemented with new descriptions of select climate adaptation related practices in diverse programmatic areas and geographic locations across the country.
The information presented on these state practices can be a useful resource for other state agencies, as well as local and tribal governments, seeking to engage in climate adaptation efforts within their own water programs.
A huge thank you to our members who contributed to this! EPA and ACWA will continue identifying innovative practices in different state water agencies into 2017, as well as showcasing those already in the database through webinars, outreach, and more. For more information contact Julian Gonzalez.
OVEC v. Fola
This week the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that a permittee failing to comply with general permit conditions associated with discharges not specifically referenced in the permit, that might cause a violation of a water quality standard, was no longer covered by the “permit shield.” Environmental groups successfully argued in this case that the permittee violated the permit when the mine discharged ions and sulfates in sufficient quantities to increase conductivity and violate two West Virginia narrative water quality standards (WQS). And while Fola’s permit application included notice of ions in its discharge and the permitting authority chose not to include specific ion limits in the permit, the Court concluded Fola was still obligated to meet the narrative WQS.
ACWA is very interested in your state’s perspectives on this decision and any assistance we can provide (please contact Sean Rolland). A copy of the decision can be found here.
EPA Announces Plastics White Paper
This week, EPA posted a white paper on the chemical toxicity associated with plastics pollution and potential impacts on aquatic life and aquatic-dependent wildlife. The document is entitled “State of the Science White Paper: A Summary of Literature on the Chemical Toxicity of Plastic Pollutants to Aquatic Life and Aquatic-Dependent Wildlife” and can be viewed here. The accompanying Fact Sheet can be viewed here.
EPA Dental ELG Rule Web Page
EPA has updated the web page for the Dental ELG final rule (which was signed by EPA Administrator McCarthy on December 15, 2016), adding a brief summary of the compliance requirements and providing an email address for queries related to the final rule. To view the web page, go here.
EPA Releases Maine WQS
On Monday, December 19, EPA released its final federal CWA water quality standards for certain waters under the state of Maine’s jurisdiction, including human health criteria to protect the sustenance fishing designated use in Indian lands and in waters subject to sustenance fishing rights under the Maine Implementing Act. The final rule is effective on January 18, 2017. To view the Federal Register notice, go here.
To view the docket on regulations.gov, go here.
ACWA is Hiring!
ACWA is looking to hire an Environmental Analyst to work with us here in DC! For more information, see the job posting here. If you know individuals working in clean water program administration, science, research, or policy, who would be interested in joining the ACWA team in DC, we encourage you to send them the listing and get in touch with us as soon as possible!