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 make your lodging arrangements. The cut-off date for the room block is this Monday, Feb. 27. Reserve your room here or by phone by calling 202-408-4870 and requesting the ACWA block of rooms.
EPA Administrator Pruitt Speaks to Staff
On Tuesday, February 21, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt spoke to EPA staff and laid out his policy goals for
EPA. On the co-regulator relationship with states, Pruitt stated, “I seek to ensure that we engender the trust to those at the state level. That those at the state level see us as partners.” Administrator Pruitt also affirmed the Trump Administration’s commitment to EPA stating, “There is no reason why EPA’s role should ebb or flow based on a particular administration, or a particular administrator…Agencies exist to administer the law. Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.”
Watersheds Committee Call
On Thursday, February 23, ACWA held its monthly Watersheds committee call. The call featured presentations from Jasper Hobbs of NEIWPCC and Hilary Snook from EPA Region 1 on different web based tools used to monitor cyanobacteria. The presentations touched on the technology used, how different groups including volunteer citizens can use it to provide improved, almost real-time information on harmful blooms, as well as how states can ensure reliability of the data collected. Several states expressed interest in learning about how they could potentially use the same or similar technology, and we will be sending out the presentations and some additional information via email to members of the Watersheds Committee, the 319 Workgroup, and the Monitoring, Standards and Assessment Committee. Additional information can also be found on their website, cyanos.org.
If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please contact Julian Gonzalez.
ACWA Member Involvement in the Source Water Collaborative
As a member of the SWC Steering Committee, we are looking to evaluate/review which resources have been useful to our members. Some of the resources are: the “How to Collaborate Toolkit” designed to initiate/enhance partnerships to protect source water, the “Your Water. Your Decision” template for source water protection pamphlets, the “Field to Faucet” website and handbook, the Ag Conservation Collaboration Toolkit, a guide to working with NRCS to implement source water protection, and learning exchange webinars.
New Guidance Released on Remediating Contaminated Sediment
Earlier this month, EPA released a supplemental guidance to regional administrators on remediating contaminated sediments. The guidance identified 11 recommendations based on current best practices for characterizing sediment sites, and selecting and implementing response actions. The guidance calls on the regions to weigh taking early actions at a sites high risk areas to lower risks. The guidance also emphasizes the need for close collaboration between Superfund and CWA programs to achieve water quality goals during and after a cleanup.
Suit Over WA Criteria
On Tuesday, February 21, Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) filed suit against EPA over its alleged failure to respond to NWEA’s long-standing petition claiming Washington’s water rules aimed at protecting aquatic life from toxic substances are inadequate and almost 20 years out of date. NWEA states that EPA has unreasonably delayed a response to the NWEA’s 2013 petition seeking an update to Washington’s water quality criteria.