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.
USDA Announces Funds for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program
On Thurs., Jan. 12, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack invited potential conservation partners, including private industry, NGOs, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts, and universities to submit project applications for federal funding through its fourth Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Through this Announcement for Program Funding, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will award up to $252M to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability. Applicants must match or exceed the federal award with private or local funds. For more information, contact Kaveh Sadeghzadeh at 202-720-2182.
USGS Releases Report on Gaps in Agency Stream and River Data
USGS released a study reporting that ~60% of nutrient WQ data for rivers and streams have missing or ambiguous reference
information, revealing an important challenge for both federal and state agencies to overcome by working together. The study found that nearly 14.5 million of the 25 million records collected since 1899 by about 500 public and private organizations at 321,927 sites across the country had missing or ambiguous metadata—the standard descriptive information needed to determine the amount of a chemical present in the sample. At current costs, nutrient records with missing or ambiguous reference information represent ~$12B worth of data that are unavailable for regional or national analyses by secondary data users. The study will be discussed during our next Monitoring, Standards, and Assessment call. For more information, contact Julian Gonzalez.
Water Week 2017 is Fast Approaching!
Water Week 2017 is Mar. 19-25. With the new Administration and Congress assuming power in DC this Jan., it is more important than ever to elevate water as a top national priority. Opportunities to offer your name and support and join others nationwide in highlighting the importance of clean and safe water are just around the corner. The anchor event of Water Week is the Nat’l Water Policy Fly-In & Expo, Mar. 21-22, 2017 in Washington, DC. This collaborative offering of the Nat’l Ass’n of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), along with the American Water Works Ass’n (AWWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), WateReuse, and the Water Research Foundation (WRF) will feature a “Rally for Clean Water” at the U.S. Capitol, and the always-popular “Regulatory Roundtables” with EPA program directors. Water Week will take place concurrently with the 2017 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting (Mar. 19-21).
You may want to extend your travel time for the activities. Details on this year’s Water Week are available here.
This week, EPA issued the final 2017 Construction General Permit (CGP). The permit takes effect on Feb. 16, 2017 and lasts for five years. EPA indicated the 2017 CGP is similar to the 2012 CGP and includes discharge limitations and requirements for self-inspections, corrective actions, staff training, and development of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans. It also includes some new provisions, including requirements that waste containers have lids/covers when not in use or at the end of the business day, requiring controls to minimize exposure of building materials containing PCBs, and requiring large disturbances to be stabilized faster. EPA did not move forward with the “joint SWPPP” for subdivisions.
EPA Announces $1B in Credit Assistance for Water Infrastructure through WIFIA
On Tue., Jan. 10, EPA announced that ~$1B in credit assistance for water infrastructure projects would be available through the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, supporting upwards of $2B in total infrastructure investment. Published in the Federal Register, the Notice of Funding Availability outlines the process for prospective borrowers. Letters of interest will be accepted until midnight on Apr. 10, 2017. The WIFIA website has also been updated with resources, including a program handbook, application materials, and FAQ. EPA will hold a webinar on the submission and application evaluation processes on Feb. 9 and Mar. 7.
ACWA is Hiring!
We are hiring an Environmental Analyst to work with us here in DC! See the job posting for more information. If you know anyone working in clean water program administration, science, research, or policy who would be interested in joining the our team, send them the listing and contact us as soon as possible!