2017 Mid-Year Meeting
ACWA will hold its Mid-Year meeting in Washington, DC Mar. 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 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 Feb. 27. Reserve your room here or by phone by calling 202-408-4870 and requesting the ACWA block of rooms.
Reduce Regulations and Control Costs
On Jan. 30, President Trump signed Executive Order 13771, which requires identifying two regulations for elimination for every one new regulation issued. The Order also reads that in proposing new rules and repealing old ones for FY2017, agencies must ensure the net total cost does not exceed $0 unless required by law or supported by OMB. Finally, the Order requests that agencies annually document all incremental costs/offsets associated with new and repealed rules.
Water Systems Partnerships Meeting
This week, ACWA Board of Directors Region 4 representative Peter Goodmann (KY) and Executive Director Julia Anastasio took part in a meeting focused on water systems partnerships, including promoting partnership activities and creating incentives for and reducing challenges to their development. The discussion focused on three key areas:
(1) incentives and drivers to support water system partnership development, (2) funding and finance options for partnerships, and (3) partnership outreach and education. While the meeting focused on discussion among the invited group, a small group of panelists, including Goodmann and representatives from the public and private sector, presented their experiences with water systems partnerships. Participants represented a wide range of experts from the water sector, including states, federal agencies, utilities, associations, not-for-profits, and technical assistance providers. EPA hopes to use input from the discussions to make a set of priorities for promoting and incentivizing partnership activities and identify more opportunities for engagement and collaboration on partnerships.
Chesapeake Bay Improving
On Feb. 1, the Chesapeake Bay Program released its annual report stating that the Bay’s health is moving in the right direction and is even ahead of schedule in some areas. The report explains that the Bay achieved 31% of nitrogen reductions, 81% of the phosphorus reductions, and 48% of sediment reductions required to meet its long-term clean water goals.
Iowa Court Rules for Drainage Districts
On Jan. 27, the IA state Supreme Court ruled that Des Moines Water Works cannot sue upstream drainage districts over excess nutrient pollution in the utility’s water source (Board of Water Work Trustees of the City of Des Moines, Iowa v. Sac County Board of Supervisors). Des Moines Water Works had asked the Supreme Court to allow it to sue the
drainage districts monetary damages, claiming agricultural runoff caused by Sac, Calhoun and Buena Vista counties drainage districts resulted in nutrient contamination. The court stated, “While one can critique the reasoning of specific decisions…the overall body of law supporting this proposition is . . . long-established.”
EPA Sued For Dental Rule Withdrawal
On Feb. 1, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed suit against EPA over the new Administration’s withdrawal of the Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental Category (“Dental Rule”). The Dental Rule was withdrawn after the Administration’s memo stating that all regulations sent to the Office of the Federal Register but not published would be withdrawn. NRDC argues that the Dental Rule “was adopted and duly promulgated by EPA when it was signed by the EPA Administrator, sent to the Office of the Federal Register, and at the latest, when it was filed for public inspection.”
EPW Approves Pruitt Nomination
On Feb. 2, Republicans on the Senate Env. & Public Works Committee (EPW), after suspending EPW rules to vote without the Democratic Senators, approved Pruitt’s nomination as the next EPA Administrator despite contentious hearings and a walkout by EPW Democrats to delay the approval vote. Pruitt’s nomination will reach the floor next, where he is expected to be confirmed. We will monitor his confirmation process and other Administration actions regarding EPA changes.