ACWA Participates in White House Conversation on Infrastructure
The White House hosted a conversation with state and local leaders about infrastructure development and permitting barriers in response to the President’s Executive Order on Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure and the goals of the effort.
Invitees included a mix of state and local leaders including State Economic Development Directors, State DOT Directors, State Ag. Directors, State DEP Commissioners, State Budget Directors, County Commissioners, Mayors, and Tribal Leaders. The purpose of this event was to focus on underscoring the need for a different approach to infrastructure financing and development, outline draft guiding principles, and allow for time to offer suggestions and actions to help empower state and local leaders back to your states and communities. The Administration committed to addressing these problems through four mechanisms including changes to legislation, changes to regulation, changes to policy, and changes to culture. Over the last several months, Federal leaders have hosted several conference calls and in-person meetings with state, local, and tribal leaders to gain perspective and input on infrastructure challenges and opportunities. These challenges and opportunities will be incorporated into action and leveraged it to help shape the Administration’s guiding principles. The main take away from the conversation is that the Administration is interested in hearing directly from states and localities about ideas to improve the process.
ACWA Holds 2017 Annual Meeting in Burlington, VT
Representatives from 39 states, 4 interstates and the EPA met up last week in Burlington, Vermont for ACWA’s 56th Annual Meeting. The three and a half days were packed with clean water related presentations and conversations. We are currently working to make the slide deck available. Thanks to all that made it to Vermont, and we will hopefully see you next year in Portland, Oregon!
ACWA Submits Comments on EPA “Step 1” Proposed Rule for WOTUS
On Thursday afternoon, ACWA formally submitted a comment letter to EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers expressing support for their goal of increased clarity and certainty for determining jurisdictional waters by returning to regulatory status quo pre-2015 Clean Water Rule, and also imploring EPA to engage ACWA throughout the development of a new definition for Waters of the United States. The letter emphasized that this rulemaking was an opportunity to utilize cooperative federalism to create an improved proposed redefinition, more easily implementable by states, and more cognizant of both intended and unintended impacts of a definition which is influenced by Justice Scalia’s 2006 Rapanos opinion. You can read the letter here. For more information, contact Julian Gonzalez.
EPA Announces 10 Public Outreach Sessions to Hear Recommendations for a Revised WOTUS Definition
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army will hold ten teleconferences to hear from stakeholders their recommendations to revise the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. For the official Federal Register notice, click here. For the page containing meeting schedules and registration information, click here.
Nine of the teleconferences will be tailored to a specific sector, i.e., agriculture (row crop, livestock, silviculture); conservation (hunters and anglers); small entities (small businesses, small organizations, small jurisdictions); construction and transportation; environment and public advocacy (including health and environmental justice); mining; industry (energy, chemical, oil/gas); scientific organizations and academia; and stormwater, wastewater management, and drinking water agencies. One of the teleconferences will be open to the public at large.
Please note that these meetings do not include the planned state-specific/ACWA-specific outreach between ACWA and EPA. For more information, contact Julian Gonzalez.
North American Lake Management Society Releases New Source Water Protection Policy
Fellow Source Water Collaborative (SWC) member North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) released their position on source water protection, discussing and supporting ideas such as a multi-barrier approach to safe drinking water, prioritizing water supply use for source water bodies, identifying management strategies to minimize runoff and loadings, holistic watershed management strategies, identifying emerging contaminants from degrading water quality, and the role of water utilities in source water protection. To learn more about their positions click here.
NACWA Hot Topics in Clean Water Law Webinar
NACWA’s next Hot Topics in Clean Water Law Webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, from 2:00-3:30 ET, will feature a panel of expert clean water attorneys, including Attorney Allan Gates of Mitchell Williams and Attorney Karma Brown of Hunton & Williams, LLP, providing critical legal and regulatory insights for both clean water attorneys and managers. Registration is complimentary for NACWA Members. If you are not a member, contact Kelly Brocato for more information and registration options.
Updated Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Aluminum Webinar
ACWA, along with the EPA will be holding a webinar on the Updated Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Aluminum on September 13th. The criteria is out for public comment until September 26th, 2017. For more information on the draft criteria, please see the Federal Register. For more information on attending the webinar, please email Frances Bothfeld.
ACWA Job Opportunities Page
One feature of the new ACWA website is a page dedicated to posting water-related employment opportunities in various state agencies and interstate organizations. This Job Opportunities page is accessible via a link at the bottom of our home page (or you can just click here). Our state members often ask us to post new job opportunities, and we update the page regularly. If you would like us to post a job, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, as our intern will be the primary person updating this page.