Save the Date! ACWA-EPA Variance Workshop
ACWA will be hosting a Variance Workshop on November 16 – 17, 2017 at the Morrison-Clark Inn in Washington, DC. The meeting will be fashioned as a workshop and discussion on the creation and implementation of variances. EPA will provide an overview of their post-Reg Revision vision of variances, and states that have utilized variances will offer tales of success. States should leave the meeting feeling confident that they have the information to use variances as another tool to meet water quality goals in their state. Keep an eye out for registration information and a preliminary agenda. For more information please contact Frances Bothfeld.
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. To view the extremely bare bones agenda, go here. ACWA is currently forming a Planning Committee for the Workshop, if you are interested in joining, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
Deadline for Guaranteed Lodging for the 2017 Annual Meeting is August 1, 2017.
Rooms are almost full! Please reserve your lodging as soon as possible if you plan on attending.
NEIWPCC Selects New Executive Director
This week the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) announced the selection of Susan Sullivan as its new Executive Director. Ms. Sullivan has more than thirty years of experience in the water pollution prevention and resource protection industry. She joined NEIWPCC in 1989 and has served as the organization’s Deputy Director since 1997. NEIWPCC is a 70-year-old interstate organization that coordinates clean-water efforts among the six New England states and New York. NEIWPCC employs 119 staff across the seven states and works on the following issues: training and certification of wastewater-plant operators; management of the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program; research about, and monitoring of, the state of wetlands and estuaries, the economic impacts of climate change, and the health of Long Island Sound; inspections and support for ongoing recovery work in New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy; support for state efforts to protect water resources, reduce water pollution, and improve water quality; and, regional coordination of policy on water-management and water-protection issues. Listed as one of her many accomplishments, Ms. Sullivan serves on the ACWA Board of Directors as a representative for the Interstates. She is replacing Ron Poltak who has served as Executive Director of NEIWPCC since 1983.
EPA Selects 12 Projects to Apply for Water Infrastructure Loans
EPA is inviting twelve projects in nine states to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. These potential applicants were selected from a group of projects that represent large and small communities from across the United States that submitted letters of interest to EPA in April 2017.
In FY 2017, the WIFIA program received $25 million in funding to make loans to accelerate investment in our nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. This year’s projects will also leverage more than a billion dollars in private capital and other funding sources including EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) loans, to help finance a total of $5.1 billion in water infrastructure investments.
- Miami-Dade County, Florida – Ocean Outfall Discharge Reduction and Resiliency Enhancement Project.
- San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, California – Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant Biosolids Digester Facilities Project.
- Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Missouri – Deer Creek Sanitary Tunnel and Sanitary Relief.
- City of Omaha, Nebraska – Saddle Creek Combined Sewer Overflow Retention Treatment Basin.
- Orange County Water District, California – Groundwater Replenishment System Final Expansion.
- City of San Diego, California – Pure Water San Diego.
- Indiana Finance Authority, Indiana – Indiana Finance Authority FY 2017.
- King County, Washington – Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station.
- Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Maryland – Comprehensive Infrastructure Repair, Rehabilitation and Replacement Program.
- Maine Water Company, Maine – Saco River Water Treatment Facility. (Private)
- City of Morro Bay, California – Water Reclamation Facility Project. (Small Community)
- City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee – Water Treatment Plant Design and Construction.
The selected projects demonstrate the broad range of project types that the WIFIA program can finance including wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and water recycling projects. To learn more about the WIFIA program, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.
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 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
On Monday, July 24 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, 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. After the webinar, a recording will be posted on the HABs Collaboratory website. To register, go here.
SCOTUS Oral Arguments Date Set for WOTUS Jurisdiction Case
On Wednesday, July 19, The United States Supreme Court set a date for oral arguments in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense. On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether a federal district court rather than an appeals court should hear challenges to the 2015 Clean Water Rule. The 2015 rule caused confusion when dozens of lawsuits were filed in federal district and appeals courts across the country. While the Trump Administration has begun the process of repealing the 2015 rule, both opponents and proponents of the rule say the same question will dog them unless the Supreme Court weighs in. The Obama administration opposed a petition by the National Association of Manufacturers asking the Supreme Court to review whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit erred in establishing itself as the proper venue for reviewing the merits of the 2015 rule. The Trump Administration has said it would be a waste of resources to argue about which court should hear the case if the rule is to be substantially changed. Stay tuned!
Trump Administration releases Unified Regulatory Agenda
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has published the Trump Administration’s Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which provides an updated report on the actions (for example, proposed rules, final rules, or “long term actions” which are further off) administrative agencies plan to issue in the near and long term. Made up of the regulatory agendas for every agency, the Unified Agenda is published twice a year. You can view EPA’s list by clicking the link above and selecting EPA from the drop down menu, or just click here. Note that on the first page, twelve items are listed under “EPA/OW” (i.e. Office of Water), such as: “step 1” and “step 2” of EPA’s process to redefine “Waters of the U.S.”, and the rulemaking to postpone Steam Electric Effluent Guideline Compliance Dates. Each individual item has an individual page containing basic information and, in some cases (not all), projected timelines for different steps in the regulatory process.
EPA FY18 Budget Approved by Appropriations Committee
The House Appropriations Committee passed the FY18 budget, which would cut EPA’s funding by $528 million. This budget is very similar to the budget passed out of subcommittee on July 12th, 2017, with a $238 million reduction in STAG grants, a $13 million reduction in the Geographic Programs, and a $10 million increase in WIFIA funding. The bill also includes language that would exempt the Clean Water Rule repeal from Administrative Procedure Act, stating that the administration “may withdraw the Waters of the United States rule without regard to any provision of statute or regulation that establishes a requirement for such withdrawal.”