EPA Releases Pre-Publication version of WOTUS “Step 1” Economic Analysis
EPA has released the economic analysis for “Step 1” of the Administration’s 2-step process reviewing the definition of Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) for Clean Water Act jurisdictional purposes. The proposed rule referred to as “Step 1” will re-codify the preexisting WOTUS rules and set the definition of Waters of the US back to what it was prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule. You can access the economic analysis here. The analysis compares the estimated costs and benefits of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, should it be fully implemented, to the costs and benefits for different parties if that rule were to be eliminated. The document is not long and worth a read for insight into EPA’s current and future WOTUS-related regulatory perspectives.
This economic analysis is required for any proposed rule determined to be a “significant regulatory action” under several executive orders and EPA guidelines.
Appropriations bill moves out of Subcommittee
EPA’s spending bill was approved in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and other Related Agencies with significant opposition from the minority. It will now go to the full committee for further deliberation. EPA’s budget would be cut by 7%. The bill would provide $1.14 billion for Clean Water SRF, which is an 18% cut from FY17 levels and lower than the President’s Budget Request. The drinking water SRF’s funding levels would remain near FY17 levels at $863.2 million. The bill would fund WIFIA at $25 million, a $5 million increase from FY17. The geographic programs would remain at FY17 levels. This bill is likely to change in the full committee which is scheduled for July 18th at 10:30am ET.
EPA publishes Recreation Materials
EPA released materials for recreational managers which can be used to protect public health during harmful algal bloom (HAB) outbreaks caused by cyanobacteria. Public health officials and outdoor water recreational managers can use EPA’s online resources to develop a cyanotoxin monitoring program, communicate potential health risks to the public, and address HAB outbreaks. ACWA members provided comments on these materials this past. The materials are available here.
Save the Date! December Nutrients Permitting Workshop
ACWA’s Nutrients Permitting Workshop will take place December 5-7, 2017 in Boise, Idaho at the Riverside Hotel. For room reservations, contact the Riverside Hotel at 1-888-606-0563 or 1-208-343-1871 and ask for the Nutrient Permitting Meeting group rate.
EPA Draft National Water Program Guidance FY 2018-2019
EPA is holding a call on the FY 2018-2019 National Water Program Guidance Draft on Thursday, July 20 from 3-4:00 pm Eastern. For call information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire. To view the Guidance, go here.
EPA POTW Study – Email Addresses for State POTWs
Last year, EPA initiated a new study to evaluate nutrient removal at POTWs with secondary treatment. The goals of the study are to establish a nationwide baseline for nutrient removal at municipal wastewater treatment plants and to characterize low-cost options, such as operation and management practices, that result in improved nutrient control at POTWs with secondary treatment. EPA announced plans to conduct a census of POTWs as the first step in this study.
ACWA offered to assist EPA in this effort by providing email addresses for permitted POTWs in each state. Therefore, we hereby ask that you contact the proper parties in your office to pull the email addresses for your permitted POTWs and provide them to EPA in a single document.
If you have not already done so, please email the information to EPA at firstname.lastname@example.org and cc ACWA’s Mark Patrick McGuire at email@example.com. Please send this information by Friday, July 28. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Mark Patrick McGuire at 202-756-0604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
56th Annual Meeting Early Bird Meeting Registration Ends Today
Today is the last day for early bird registration for ACWA’s 56th Annual Meeting. Rooms are filling up fast too, so be sure to reserve yours today! The saturday block of rooms for ACWA are already full!
On July 24, at 9:30 am ET, the Great Lakes Commission’s HABs Collaboratory will be hosting the 2017 Field Season Webinar. During this webinar, presenters from across the Great Lakes will discuss HABs field work they are conducting this summer. This webinar seeks to inform attendees about work being conducted across the Great Lakes this summer. After the webinar, a recording will be posted on the HABs Collaboratory website. To register, go here.