2017 Mid-Year Meeting THIS 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 have a different 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, with attendance open only 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. Register Now!
ACWA’s block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn are full. Rooms are available at the Hyatt Place – NoMA a few yards away from the Hilton. Click here to reserve a room or call 202-289-5599. Ask for special rate, government per diem rate.
WOTUS Executive Order
On Tuesday, February 28, the White House released an executive order concerning the Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS). Titled Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” Rule, the order directs EPA to begin the long process of revising/withdrawing the previous administration’s WOTUS rule.
The executive order provides broad discretion on how EPA is to work toward that goal, as well as the goal of using a narrower jurisdictional determination approach originally set forth by Justice Scalia in the 2006 supreme court case Rapanos v. United States. ACWA will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds. For more information, contact Julian Gonzalez.
Pruitt Seeks to Defend Budget
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is asking the nation’s mayors to provide him with “success stories” that would help bolster his efforts to protect his priorities for EPA, including water infrastructure funds, from White House plans to slash the agency’s budget. Pruitt suggested that state and local officials across the country could provide a host of “success stories” about how EPA funds have helped improve water infrastructure. He states, “States across the country, cities and towns across the country, have relied upon those grants for a long, long time to improve water infrastructure.” Pruitt also emphasized that water infrastructure could benefit from the broader infrastructure package the Trump administration is developing, adding that he was asked by President Donald Trump to be part of an administration-wide infrastructure team.
Regulatory Reform Task Force Executive Order
On February 24, the White House released an executive order requiring each federal agency head to designate a “regulatory reform officer” (RRO), as well as “regulatory reform task force” made up of the RRO and several other agency officials. Each RRO and task force will be tasked with evaluating existing regulations
to make recommendations concerning repeal, replacement, or modification of regulations that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impost costs that exceed benefits, or create inconsistency with regulatory reform initiatives. The task forces shall, within 90 days, provide a report to the agency head detailing their findings and agency progress toward the goals of the order. We will monitor the implementation of this order at EPA and other relevant agencies and provide updates as we learn more about who fills these positions and what their priorities are.
Suit Filed over NH MS4 Rule
The Center for Regulatory Reasonableness (CRR), a group of municipalities and wastewater agencies, filed a petition for review with the DC Circuit asking that it overturns EPA’s small municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) general permit for New Hampshire. The suit parallels CRR’s suit in Massachusetts over a similar small MS4 permit. CRR states that the Massachusetts permit already under challenge “is virtually identical to the New Hampshire permit at issue in this petition . . . As such, CRR’s claims and challenges in this matter overlap with the other proceeding.”
Willamette Partnership in Portland, Oregon is seeking a skilled and motivated project manager ready to deliver policy solutions that cross boundaries to support bigger, stronger, and faster environmental outcomes. To view the job announcement, go here. For more clean water job postings, go to ACWA’s jobs page here.