2018-2022 Strategic Plan Approved By ACWA Board of Directors
During the 2017 ACWA Annual Meeting, the ACWA Board of Directors adopted a new five year strategic vision to guide the association’s work and activities. The Board of Directors undertook this effort under the leadership of Immediate Past President Pete LaFlamme (VT) and began with discussions at the FY2016 Annual Meeting. ACWA secured the services of Paul Davis, formerly the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Director for the Division of Water Resources and current ACWA alumni, to help facilitate this undertaking. Paul then took the lead on a comprehensive survey of our membership, covering a wide range of issues including member services, use of technology, interactions with Congress and the Administration, stakeholder collaboration efforts, programmatic and substantive issues, structuring of committees and workgroups, and staffing. At the FY2017 Mid-Year Meeting, Paul and Pete presented the draft and subsequently provided the membership with an opportunity to comment on the draft strategic plan at that time.The plan sets forth our association’s goals and establishes clear and measurable steps for us to ensure the association continues to grow and thrive, becoming even more effective in its stated role as ‘The Voice of States and Interstates”.
The Strategic Plan Task Force worked diligently to utilize all this information and feedback to further refine the plan’s goals, objectives, and action items. The Strategic Plan Task Force included: Shellie Chard (OK), Rebecca Flood (MN), Jaimie Gaggero (KS), Peter Goodmann (KY), Traci Iott (CT), Jeff Manning (NC), Leslie McGeorge (NJ), Martha Clark Mettler (IN), Adam Schnieders (IA), Jennifer Wigal (OR), Allison Woodall (TX).
Steam Electric Rule
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a rule postponing certain compliance dates by two years for the effluent limitations guidelines and standards for steam electric power plants (ELG Rule) that were issued in November 2015. The final rule postpones the compliance dates for the best available technology economically achievable (“BAT”) effluent limitations and pretreatment standards (“PSES”) for two waste streams, bottom ash transport water and flue gas desulfurization (“FGD”) wastewater. Early in August 2017 EPA communicated the decision to conduct a new rulemaking to reconsider the BAT effluent limitations and PSES for bottom ash transport water and FGD at existing sources. In consideration of this decision and the approximate three-year timeline it will take the agency to finalize the new rule, EPA has formerly (through rulemaking) postponed the earliest compliance dates for the BAT effluent limitations and PSES, from November 1, 2018 to November 1, 2020. A copy of the prepublication rule can be found here.
ACWA Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker Released to States
This week, ACWA released the first version of the Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker to states. Over the past several years EPA developed tools to measure nutrient pollution reduction progress on a state-by-state basis. However, states expressed concern that the only national metric utilized for demonstrating progress on addressing nutrient pollution was the establishment of nitrogen and phosphorus criteria for lakes, estuaries, and flowing waters. States believed there was a potential for more robust national metrics to demonstrate state actions taken to reduce nutrient loads in conjunction with the development of nutrient criteria. Therefore, over the last three years members of the ACWA/ASDWA/EPA Nutrients Working Group worked to develop a tool to track nutrient reductions in every state. The Tracker is the culmination of that work.
States have until November 1 to complete the tracker. For more information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire.
House Passes FY18 Spending Bill
House members approved spending legislation for EPA FY18, which would cut the agency’s budget to below FY17 levels by $526 million. The House of Representatives unanimously approved an amendment to restore $250 million to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Also notable, the House voted to reject an amendment that would prohibit the use of funds to close or consolidate regional offices. This bill must now be approved in the Senate, which is unlikely. For more information, the full text is available here.
ACWA Creates Farm Bill Workgroup
The 2014 Farm Bill expires in September 2018. Therefore, Congress is now beginning the process of drafting a new bill. As the Farm Bill affects ACWA members in various ways, ACWA is creating a Farm Bill Workgroup to develop ideas and priorities to focus on as Farm Bill discussions heat up in late 2017/early 2018 and continue through 2018. If you are interested in participating in this new Workgroup, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Annual Meeting Survey Reminder
ACWA is currently collecting feedback on the program and location for the 2017 Annual Meeting. Please take some time today to provide us with your feedback. It is invaluable as we plan for future meetings and events. It is a short survey and should only take 5 minutes. The survey is available here.
The Variance Face-to-Face Workshop will be held on November 16th and 17th, 2017 in Washington, DC. The workshop will be a venue for face-to-face information sharing between the state water quality standards staff and the EPA. For more information on this meeting and a draft agenda please see the website, which will be update periodically. ACWA will be able to provide some travel support for the states. For more information on travel support and to register for this workshop, please contact Frances Bothfeld. The last day to register is October 23rd, 2017.
EPA Rules Chart
The updated EPA Water Regulations, Guidance and Policy chart is now available here.
Septic Smart Week: September 18-22, 2017
Septic Smart Week is next week. The goal of Septic Smart Week is to encourage homeowners, wastewater professionals, and state, tribal, and local officials to design and maintain effective systems to protect public health, preserve valuable water resources, and sustain economic vitality in their communities. Keep a look out for EPA’s quick tips to make staying smart a breeze:
- Think at the Sink
- Don’t Overload the Commode
- Don’t Strain Your Drain
- Shield Your Field
- Test Your Drinking Water Well
You can find more information on how to get septic smart proclamation in your area, new home buyer’s brochure, case studies and other septic system outreach materials here.
Water Quality Trading Case Studies
This past June, ACWA held a Water Quality Trading Workshop in Washington, DC. The workshop was a venue for face-to-face information sharing between the states with various levels of involvement in water quality trading, including states with robust programs, states in the process of starting programs, and states looking to learn more about trading. The goal of the workshop was to establish open lines of communication between practitioners nationwide.
To continue these efforts, ACWA is seeking case studies on water quality trading programs to share on the ACWA website. We are looking for states at various levels of program development to describe their programs/efforts answering questions such as, what are/were the drivers for starting a water quality trading program?; what was the process to get the program created and running?; who are/were the players in the process?; what is the public reception of your program?; what do you hope to achieve with the program?; and what challenges did you face in development and implementation of your program? If your state used or is using The Water Quality Trading Toolkit, please describe your work with it as well. Even if your state/organization is at the beginning of the process, we would still appreciate hearing the status of your efforts. The descriptions need not be longer than a page or two.
If you would like to contribute, please reach out to Mark Patrick McGuire. We would like to get the case studies posted by the end of the month.
ACWA Monitoring, Standards, and Assessment Call: Algal Indicators Paper
Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 2:30 – 4:00 pm Eastern
For call-in information and agenda information, contact Frances Bothfeld.
ACWA Legal Affairs Committee Quarterly Call
Thursday, October 12, 2017, 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern
For call-in information and agenda information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire.