EPA Announces Appointment of Cathy Stepp for Region 5 Administrator
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the appointment of Cathy Stepp to become regional administrator for Region 5. Ms. Stepp will oversee environmental protection efforts in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Stepp currently serves as a principal deputy regional administrator for Region 7 and will return to the Midwest region where she previously served as the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 2011 to 2017. Stepp also previously served as a Wisconsin state senator from 2003 to 2007, where she represented nearly 160,000 constituents and authored and advanced legislation on regulatory reform, job creation, and other issues.
SAVE THE DATE – ACWA National Pretreatment Meeting
The ACWA National Pretreatment Meeting will take place April 17-18, 2018 at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. The agenda is currently in development. For more information, go here or contact Mark Patrick McGuire. If you would like to request travel assistance and have not yet done so, please make your request by January 12, 2018.
ACWA still needs more members for the Planning Committee for this meeting, if you are interested in joining, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire ASAP.
ACWA Mid-Year Meeting – March 2018
The March 2018 Mid-Year Meeting will be a closed meeting for ACWA members and invited guests. Go here for more information and to reserve your lodging accommodations. To register and pay for your registration, go here. If you encounter problems logging into ACWA’s new member AMS system, Member 365, go here for more information. If you encounter issues while registering, contact Annette Ivey. The agenda for this meeting is currently in development.
NGA Water Policy Learning Network Webinar: Demystifying the Use of Public Private Partnerships in the Water Sector
The National Governor’s Association Water Policy Learning Network is hosting a webinar on the use of public private partnerships in the water sector. The webinar will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 from 3:00-4:00 pm EST. Please use this link to register: Using P3’s in the Water Sector_NGA Webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The webinar will highlight two case studies where the use of a P3 agreement enabled the projects to move forward.
ACWA Joins Letter to Oppose the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act
ACWA, along with the Environmental Council of States (ECOS), Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM), and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), wrote a letter to Congress opposing the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), which has been attached to the Coast Guard Authorization Bill (S. 1129). VIDA would exempt up to 140,000 vessels from the existing body of federal and state invasive species and water pollution laws. VIDA also preempts state authorities to protect state waters from harmful invasive species and water pollution discharged from vessels. The letter is available here.
Congress Passes Continuing Resolution
The Senate and House passed a continuing resolution, avoiding a government shut down. The current CR will keep government funded until January 19th, 2018. Continuing Resolutions generally keep EPA funding equal to FY17 levels and make it difficult to start new projects, programs, and initiatives.
Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker
ACWA staff and the Nutrients Working Group would like to thank all of the ACWA members that took the time to complete and submit the Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker. Next, the Nutrients Working Group will review the data and draft a report. We plan to complete the report in March 2018. For more information on this effort, go here.
EPA Announces Cross-Agency Effort to Address PFAS
The cross-agency effort will address per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The goals of this effort are to:
- Identify a set of near-term actions that EPA will take to help support local communities.
- Enhance coordination with states, tribes, and federal partners to provide communities with critical information and tools to address PFAS.
- Increase ongoing research efforts to identify new methods for measuring PFAS and filling data gaps.
- Expand proactive communications efforts with states, tribes, partners, and the American public about PFAS and their health effects.
For more information, please see EPA’s press release. For more information on PFAS and EPA, please refer to EPA’s PFAS page.
ACWA Board of Directors Region 5 Representative, Rebecca Flood, Announces Retirement
After forty years of combined service to the state of Minnesota, Assistant Commissioner Rebecca Flood has announced she is retiring in February 2018. Rebecca served at the Metropolitan Council from 1978 to 2008, where she was responsible for ensuring that the metropolitan area wastewater treatment plants were meeting environmental requirements, rising to the position of Environmental Compliance Manager at the time of her move to the MPCA. In 2008, Rebecca was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Water Policy where she has provided stellar leadership and wise counsel to four Commissioners and the agency on a wide range of water policy issues, ranging from wild rice water quality standards to septic tank installer licensing. She has championed the development of Minnesota’s nation-leading Watershed Approach that has led to the 10-year cycle of water assessment. In Rebecca’s view, MPCA work in this area has resulted in the most extensive and progressive water resource management framework anywhere in the world. Rebecca is proud to have helped gain support from EPA for implementing the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program; over 300,000 acres have been certified to date, leading to tremendous pollutant reductions and about serving as the state’s representative to the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force. Finally, it is with some sense of “coming full circle” that Rebecca has recently worked advancing proposals that help wastewater treatment facilities, the place where her career began. Rebecca also shared her wise counsel and leadership to ACWA by serving as a regional representative to the Board of Directors. Her steadfast support and commitment to ACWA is greatly appreciated and we wish Rebecca all the best in the next chapter of her life.
FY2017 Data Verification
EPA has sent a notice to states that they will be starting their annual compliance and enforcement Data Verification Process for FY2017 in January 2018. This schedule update is intended to allow for states to review proposed revisions to the State Review Framework data metrics as part of EPA’s planning for Round 4 reviews beginning in 2018. As in the past, states will have approximately 3 months to complete the data verification once the process begins. The goal of the data verification process is to give states the opportunity to verify that compliance and enforcement data regarding individual regulated facilities are accurately flowing into national databases and that this information displays correctly in the Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) website. EPA is planning a webinar for January 16, 2018 to discuss this process. For more information on the upcoming webcast, please contact Sean Rolland.
Public Notification Requirements CSOs Great Lakes
This week Administrator Pruitt signed the final Public Notification Requirements for Combined Sewer Overflows to the Great Lakes Basin rule. A pre-publication version of the rule can be found here. EPA was directed to establish this rule in legislation passed by the 114th Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. This rule is intended to protect public health by requiring timely notification of CSO discharges to help reduce the public’s exposure to pathogens associated with sewage, which can cause a wide variety of health effects including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, eye, and respiratory infections. The requirements of this rule address signage, initial notification of local public health departments and other potentially affected entities, initial notification of the public, annual notice provisions, and the development of a public notification plan. For more information about this rule, please contact Jenelle Hill at email@example.com.
If you are new to ACWA membership or new to Member365, we have created a “New Member Welcome Kit” which can be found under the Members tab of the website. This page is meant to provide information to help you get acquainted with ACWA as well as answer any organizational questions you may have.
ACWA’s offices will be closed from December 25, 2017 to January 1, 2018. The Wrap will be on hiatus at this time. We hope you all have a very merry holiday season!