ACWA Holds Workshop on Water Quality Trading
On Tuesday, June 27, ACWA held a workshop on water quality trading in Washington, D.C. focused on building a community of practice among state water quality trading program managers. Representatives from fourteen state organizations were present, as well as representatives from EPA and USDA. During the workshop, four states presented on their programs and answered questions. Also, attendees shared information with each other on their programs and experiences. Further, states new to trading communicated with states with vibrant programs to learn how to establish effective programs. For more information on the workshop, including presentation slides, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
EPA begins “Step 1” of WOTUS Process: Proposed Rule repealing 2015 Clean Water Rule
On Tuesday, June 27th, EPA released a pre-publication version of a proposed rule rescinding the 2015 Clean Water Rule. This is what EPA has been describing as “step 1” of a 2 step process to promulgate a new definition of “waters of the United States”, with “step 2” being the eventual publication of a 2nd rule actually redefining the term in a manner more reflective of the opinion of Justice Scalia in Rapanos v. United States (2006).
The official version of this “step 1” proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register in the coming 1-2 weeks. The proposed rule would, when finalized, repeal the 2015 rule and replace it with policy and definitions reflecting the status quo for CWA jurisdiction present prior to the 2015 rule (i.e. jurisdictional policy will be as it was during the George W. Bush era). The preamble language in the proposed rule also provides insight into statutory and legal justifications for EPA’s redefining of “waters of the U.S”. ACWA will reach out to our WOTUS workgroup members and determine if we will submit comments once the proposed rule is published. For more information, contact Julian Gonzalez.
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Passes FY18 Bill
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies passed the FY18 USDA budget out of committee. The bill left conservation programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program untouched, which deviates from the Administration’s proposed USDA budget. The bill, which can be read in its entirety here, will head to the full committee after the July 4th recess.
Stormwater Management Influences on Groundwater Quality Workshop
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) is hosting a workshop on stormwater management influences on Groundwater Quality in Kansas City, Missouri in November. As a fellow Source Water Collaborative member, NGWA reached out to ACWA to see if any of our state members or their staff have abstracts for the workshop, especially our members in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. For more information, click here. If you have questions about the workshop, contact Yuliya Vanchosovych at NGWA.
EPA releases paper on Algal Indicators in Streams
The EPA published a summary paper titled “Algal Indicators in Streams: A review of their application in water quality management of nutrient pollution” on June 27th, 2017. The white paper is broken into two sections. The first describes the use of algal indicators to develop water quality diagnostics for nutrient pollution in the United States and the second reviews scientific developments in the application of algal indicators across the world. The EPA intends water quality managers to use this paper to better understand when and how to utilize algae as indicators of nutrient pollution in stream ecosystems. You can view the paper in its entirety here.
NPDES Fact Sheets
This week EPA hosted a webcast to discuss NPDES permit fact sheets. At ACWA’s Mid-Year Meeting, several states indicated an interest in reviewing EPA’s fact sheet template and samples of fact sheets from other states to better understand expectations under the current and proposed regulations. EPA provided an overview of the current regulatory requirements, shared a couple of example templates that states and EPA had independently developed, walked through one of the example fact sheets for a specific facility, and provided samples of other example fact sheets that EPA believes meets the current requirements. For more information on Permitting & Compliance Committee calls please contact Sean Rolland.
New Job Postings
ACWA posted two new jobs this week. Oregon’s Bureau of Environmental Services is looking to hire a Wastewater Operator II and Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection is looking to hire a Deputy Director in the Division of Municipal Services. For these job posts and more, go to ACWA’s Job Opportunities page.
No Weekly Wrap Next Week
There will be no Weekly Wrap sent out next week due to the holiday. The next wrap will be Issue 25, which will be sent out the week of July 10th.