2017 Mid-Year Meeting
ACWA will hold its Mid-Year meeting in Washington, DC March 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 February 27. Reserve your room here or reserve by phone by calling 202-408-4870 and requesting the ACWA block of rooms.
ACWA is Hiring!
We are looking to hire an Environmental Analyst to work with us here in DC! For more information, see the job posting.
January 20 (this Friday) is the closing date for applications. If you know anyone working in clean water program administration, science, research, or policy who would be interested in joining the our team in DC, send them the listing and contact us as soon as possible!
New Jobs Posted
We posted information on job opportunities at the State of Washington Department of Ecology. Find these jobs and more on our jobs page.
WOTUS to SCOTUS
On Friday, January 13, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether challenges to the EPA Clean Water Rule (also referred to as the Waters of the U.S. or WOTUS Rule), which seeks to clarify Clean Water Act jurisdiction, properly lie in federal district courts or a specific federal appeals court (Nat’l Ass’n of Mfrs. v. DOD, No. 16-299). The Supreme Court granted a request filed by the National Association of Manufacturers, which asked the court to determine whether the Sixth Circuit erred when it claimed exclusive jurisdiction to decide petitions to review the Clean Water Rule. The Court is likely to review the case this term with a decision issued around June.
MSA Committee Call Recap
On Wednesday, January 18, the Monitoring, Standards, and Assessment Committee held its first call of 2017. On the call, EPA’s Christine Bergeron presented on EPA’s State of the Science White Paper: A Summary of Literature On the Chemical Toxicity of Plastic Pollutants to Aquatic Life and Aquatic-Dependent Wildlife. Christine described EPA’s efforts to date on the studying the toxicity of plastics and the potential effects on aquatic life. For more information, contact Christine.
USGS’s Lori Sprague spoke on her study entitled Challenges with the Secondary Use of Multi-Source Water-Quality Data in the United States and issues related to the lack of standardization of water quality metadata. Her Lori’s presentation slides, go here. For more information, contact Lori.
Water Transfer Rule
This week the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued their decision overruling a district court and concluded “[t]he Water Transfers Rule is based on a reasonable interpretation of the Clean Water Act and therefore entitled to Chevron deference.” This case focuses on water that was transferred or moved 110 miles from the Schoharie Reservoir to NYC and EPA’s rule that allows that transfer to occur without requiring an NPDES permit. Judges in this 2-1 decision also concluded that the Clean Water “Act does not require that water quality be improved whatever the cost or means, and the [Water Transfer] Rule preserves state authority over many aspects of water regulation, gives regulators flexibility to balance the need to improve water quality with the potentially high costs of compliance with an NPDES permitting program, and allows for several alternative means for regulating water transfers.”
A copy of the decision can be found here.
Nature Conservancy Source Water Protection Report
The Nature Conservancy’s Global Water Program has just released a report which may be of interest, titled “Beyond the Source: The environmental, economic, and community benefits of source water protection”, which is paired with a companion decision tool mapping website.
The report analyzes the source watersheds of more than 4000 large cities worldwide, and highlights how nature based solutions can be scaled up and implemented to make a difference in biodiversity conservation, resilience, and public health. For example, the analysis shows that 4 out of 5 of the ~4000 cities studied could meaningfully reduce sediment and nutrient pollution in water they use through 3 source water protection activities: reforestation, forest protection, and planting cover crops. It also dedicates significant discussion to potential cost-saving repercussions of source water protection efforts.