Results of 2017-2018 ACWA Board of Directors Announced
ACWA is pleased to release the results of the 2017-2018 ACWA Board of Directors election. During this year’s election cycle, ACWA members in good standing were asked to select the President, Vice President, and Treasurer, as well as regional representatives from ACWA’s even-numbered regions were up for election.
ACWA’s Executive Officers:
President : Jennifer Wigal (OR)
Vice President: Allison Woodall (TX)
Treasurer: Andrew Gavin (SRBC)
Past President: Peter LaFlamme (VT)
ACWA Regional Representatives
Region 1: Alicia Good (RI)
Region 2: Koon Tang (NY)
Region 3: Melanie Davenport (VA)
Region 4: Peter Goodman (KY)
Region 5: Rebecca Flood (MN)
Region 6: Caleb Osbourne (AR)
Region 7: Jamie Gaggero (KS)
Region 8: Karl Rockeman (ND)
Region 9: Krista Osterberg (AZ)
Region 10: Heather Bartlett (WA)
Interstates: Susan Sullivan (NEIWPCC)
Congratulations and thank you to all of the members of the ACWA Board of Directors for your leadership, commitment, and guidance!
ACWA Annual Meeting Final Agenda Available
The final agenda for ACWA’s Annual Meeting is now available here. The agenda is packed with substantive and relevant sessions. The annual meeting will be held in Burlington, Vermont from August 21st to the 23rd. For more information, please see the event page.
WOTUS “Step 1” Comment Period Extended by EPA
Last month, EPA published “Step 1” of the 2-step WOTUS redefinition process in the Federal Register. Step 1 returned the definition of “Waters of the US” to what it was prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule. EPA initially offered a month-long comment period, and has now decided to extend that comment period through September 27th. You can read the extension of comment period announcement here.
Idaho Submits NPDES Authorization Package
This week, EPA published in the Federal Register a request for comments regarding Idaho’s NPDES program application under §402 of the CWA. EPA also identified several public hearing dates and locations where EPA will be taking comments from the public. Idaho is one of four states (ID, NM, NH, MA) in the country where the EPA Region currently issues the NPDES permits in the state. Idaho’s request includes a phased implementation plan over a four-year period beginning July 1, 2018. As part of the package, Idaho must show that it has the authority to issue permits which comply with the Act, authority to impose civil and criminal penalties for permit violations, and authority to ensure that the public is given notice and an opportunity for a hearing on each proposed permit. If approved, EPA would retain oversight responsibilities and permitting authority over facilities located on tribal lands or that discharge into tribal waters. EPA must approve or disapprove the program application within 90 days, unless the review period is extended by agreement. Comments are due by October 10, 2017.
Stormwater Permit Coverage Required
This week, the Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association filed a combined federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals brief requesting the reversal of two district court cases forcing EPA to require stormwater permits from facilities not currently covered by a permit. These groups are claiming “EPA failed to carry out its mandatory duty to notify commercial, industrial, institutional, and high-density residential discharges of polluted stormwater that they are required to obtain permits.” While the district court case decisions were ultimately dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, the environmental groups contend they have alleged sufficient facts to trigger district court jurisdiction. It should be noted the Clean Water Act provides a legal standard in determining whether a case should start in the district or circuit courts.
The facts alleged by the environmental groups include: polluted runoff is coming from several facilities not currently required to get a permit, that those pollutants are causing water quality impairments, that the water bodies in question are violating their WQS, and that EPA has confirmed these identified facilities are contributing to the impairment as noted in a TMDL. These groups contend that EPA’s determinations are “permit triggers” which then created a mandatory/nondiscretionary duty to require permit coverage.The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island held that EPA has not completed any of the fact-finding that would require a mandatory duty to require new permits. The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts concluded that EPA is not mandated to require permits for all stormwater sources that affect the Charles River.
Comment Letter on EPA’s Draft National Water Program Guidance FY 2018-2019
The EPA Administrator signs Clean Water Act Methods Update Rule
This week, the EPA Administrator signed the Clean Water Act Methods Update Rule. This rule modifies the testing procedures approved for analysis and sampling under the Clean Water Act. With these revisions, EPA hopes to provide increased flexibility to the regulated community, improve data quality, update the methods to reflect technology advances, and address laboratory contamination issues. The rule and all available comments will be available at www.regulations.gov. For more information, please see the EPA’s website.
New USGS NAWQA Report Finds Pesticides Prevalent in Midwestern Streams
A new NAWQA report found complex pesticide mixtures detected in 100 Midwestern streams with a median of 25 pesticides detected in weekly water samples from Midwest streams. Benchmarks and a Pesticide Toxicity Index were used to screen for potential toxicity. The Screening predicted effects on invertebrates and acute reversible effects on plants and the pesticide stressors were significantly related to invertebrate community condition. The abstract of the paper can be found here.
Oceans and Coasts Work Group
ACWA is restarting the Oceans and Coasts Work Group. ACWA will organize and facilitate webinars and discussions for work group members and EPA participants regarding pertinent and pressing oceans and coastal issues like ocean acidification and trash free waters. The subject matter of future webinars and discussions will be highly influenced by the interests of the work group members. Please contact Frances Bothfeld if you would like to join.
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. For more information, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire.