2017 Mid-Year Meeting Next Month
The ACWA 2017 Mid-Year Meeting is fast approaching! At this critical time of transition, here in DC, the 2017 Mid-Year Meeting will be a great opportunity for you to hear from our partners in the Office of Water, key representatives from Capitol Hill and to help the ACWA Board of Directors develop a set of priorities for advancing state water quality programs nationwide over the next year to 18 months.
This year’s meeting will be a bit different in terms of format. There will be fewer presentations focused on just sharing information out to the attendees and more opportunities for discussion and input from the attendees present. The entire meeting is closed and attendance is only open to ACWA members and staff, Office of Water Partners and other invited guests. We will also devote a significant amount of time to reviewing and soliciting feedback on the draft strategic plan that is currently under development. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard! Remember to register today!
Remember to also make your lodging arrangements. While, the cut-off date for the room block is Feb. 27, please reserve by Feb. 15th at the latest, since block of rooms are filling up. Early bird registration rate ends COB Feb. 13, 2017. Reserve your room here or by phone by calling 202-408-4870 and requesting the ACWA block of rooms. The lodging link and reserve line call-in number is down and will be available to receive reservations for the ACWA group after 3PM EST today, Feb. 10, 2017.
Nutrients Reduction Progress Tracker Update
Over the past several years, EPA developed tools to measure nutrient pollution reduction progress on a state-by-state basis. However, many states thought these efforts did not reflect all of the actions they were taking to address nutrient loadings to state waters. Therefore, with assistance from EPA, ACWA worked to develop a tool to track nutrient reductions in every state. After many surveys and hours of hard work, EPA and ACWA have produced a beta version of the Tracker currently being tested by a select group of state members. ACWA hopes to have testing completed by the end of the month. Stay tuned!
NJ Arsenic Survey
New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) is contemplating developing a water quality standards variance for arsenic as a regulatory tool based on EPA’s 2015 revisions to the water quality regulations at 40 CFR 131. NJDEP has developed a questionnaire to determine current practices and research being performed by other state/regulatory counterparts. If you’d like to participate please contact Mark Patrick McGuire by Feb. 24. If you have questions on the effort, please contact Biswarup Guha (Roop).
Nationwide General Permits
On Mon., Feb. 6 ACWA, ECOS and ASWM submitted a joint letter to OMB requesting that the Nationwide General Permits (NWPs) be allowed to take effect on Mar. 19, 2017. This letter was sent to OMB because the NWPs were initially included in the list of regulations that would be delayed by the new administration while the regulations were being reviewed. The letter to OMB noted that “[i]f the NWPs are not renewed on Mar. 19, 2017 when the existing NWPs expire, then USACE would require individual permits for all activities until the rule reissuing the NWPs goes into effect.” On Wed., Feb. 8, we were notified that the exemption was granted and the permits would proceed on schedule.
Guidance on Administration’s “1 In, 2 Out” Executive Order
In response to the new administration’s Executive Order “Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs, (requiring that for every new regulation issued by an agency, the same agency must identify two other existing regulations to repeal), the administration released interim guidance on implementation of the executive order on Thurs., Feb. 2. The guidance clarifies that the order applies to regulations issued up until Sept. 2017, that guidance documents will be addressed on a case by case basis, and provides some direction on how costs should be measured, among other questions. ACWA staff will continue to monitor how agencies, especially EPA, begin to interpret, apply, and implement the order.
EPA Approves WI Phosphorous Variance
During the ACWA Annual Meeting in Bellevue, WA, Adrian Stocks (WI DNR) presented on a long-developed Phosphorous Variance plan designed to reduce cost for polluters to meet phosphorous standards. Under the plan, manufacturers and sewage treatment plants would have an option to pay fees which would be spent on eliminating phosphorous pollution from rain-induced farm runoff, as opposed to eliminating phosphorous after it reached the plants. EPA approved the plan on Tue., Feb. 7. For more information, see the local news article from Madison, WI and the WI DNR page.
New Jobs Posted
We posted information on a new job opportunity at the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. See our jobs page for more information.