ACWA Participates in Call with USACOE on Sec. 401
ACWA participated in a call this week with a coalition of partners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to address several issues of importance including changes to section 401 policy, WOTUS, and WRDA 2018 Implementation. During the call the coalition received an update on the status of 401 program reforms that were outlined in a December 2018 Corps memo to Chief Engineers. Coalition members shared some ideas on process improvements and their concerns with any changes to the 401 program and encouraged the Corps to engage more substantially with the states and the Coalition as they moved forward in updating any guidance. The Corps also provided a brief update on the status of the WOTUS rule rewrite and the Corps’ plans for implementing WRDA 2018.
EPA & USACOE Host Second State WOTUS Outreach Session
EPA hosted the second of four state outreach sessions on the WOTUS rule rewrite this week in Atlanta. The focus of the discussion sessions was to hear states’ input on the proposed new definition, answer questions, and discuss various implementation considerations. State representatives from Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina participated in the half-day long session. The next state outreach session will be held in Albuquerque, NM on March 26, 2019 and Seattle, WA on April 3, 2019. State officials who would like to attend any of these meeting should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the agencies will respond with meeting details and registration information.
The proposed rule, fact sheets, and additional background are available at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule. The 60-day public comment period for the proposal began on the proposal’s publication date – February 14, 2019 – and continues until April 15, 2019.
EPA’s NSmart Program Webinars
Save the date for EPA’s NutrientsSmart (“NSmart”) program kickoff webinars! The webinars were rescheduled for April 10, 2019, 1 – 2 pm EDT and April 11, 2019, 3 – 4 pm EDT. You can view the informational flyer here.
To register for the webinars, go here.
For some background, NSmart is a proposed voluntary program to recognize water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) and their watershed partners’ progress towards reducing nutrients in water bodies. The EPA Office of Water and the NSmart Steering Committee are hosting an interest and information webinar to introduce a proposed voluntary recognition program for POTWs, WWRFs, communities, and other stakeholders and potential partners that have reduced or are working towards reducing nutrient loadings to streams, rivers, lakes, and other surface waters. As one of these stakeholders, we would like to provide you with background and answer your questions on the different ways to participate and be recognized as NSmart and gauge your interest in NSmart. We want to know how best to engage with you and make recognition valuable to you, your ratepayers, partners, and local communities.
WRF Nutrients MOU and Resources
Earlier this year, EPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with The Water Research Foundation (“WRF”) to accelerate progress on reducing excess nutrients in the nation’s waterways. The MOU builds on successes achieved through the Nutrient Recycling Challenge, a competition launched by EPA with WRF and others to develop affordable technologies to recycle nutrients from livestock manure. Through the new MOU, EPA, and WRF will collaborate with the agricultural community to build capacity and awareness of programs and tools that support watershed and market-based approaches to nutrient management.
As WRF moves ahead with the MOU, the organization wanted to share with ACWA various resources it has related to nutrients. Those resources are listed below:
- Phosphorus Recovery and Management – Tuesday, March 19th
- Managing Intracellular Cyanotoxin Release During Oxidation Processes in Drinking Water Treatment Plants – Thursday, March 21st
- Evaluation of Data Needs to Support Water Quality Models for Setting Nutrient Targets – Tuesday, April 2nd (this is joint with WEF)
The first two listed are free. Anyone can join. The last one listed is with WEF. WEF members are free, and WRF subscribers get a special code. Otherwise the cost is $40.
For more information on WRF’s nutrients efforts, contact Christine Radke.
No Wrap Next Week 03/18-03/22
ACWA Staff will be away from our desks while we host the 2019 ACWA Mid Year Meeting. The Weekly Wrap will resume the week of March 25, 2019.
State Clean Water Resources Survey
ACWA is currently working with a George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration research team (whose expertise includes water resource policy, public finance, regulatory policy, environmental law, and program evaluation) on a new project to update some of the information generated by ASIWPCA’s 2002 State Water Quality Management Resource Analysis. In 2002, ASIWPCA completed a State Water Quality Resource Management Analysis project which identified an annual funding gap ranging from $735 million to $960 million, between state expenditures and state resource needs for managing water programs under the CWA. In the seventeen years since 2002, statutory, regulatory, and policy changes have taken place at the state and federal level, and ACWA is no longer confident the 2002 report represents the latest information. While the GW Team cannot replicate the entirety of the three-year, multi-stakeholder process in the time allotted, they may be able to shed light on state CWA expenditures and resource needs in 2019, by answering several key research questions.
Early last week ACWA members were provided with a link to the online survey. ACWA is hopeful that updated information regarding state program costs to implement the CWA and major sources of funding support will provide the association and individual states an important tool for communicating resource needs. We recognize this survey will take a little bit of time and effort to respond to, but we hope you will agree on the importance of being able to tell this story. Timely state participation is vital to this research effort and we appreciate your efforts to respond to the research team’s efforts. Survey responses are due by Friday, March 29, 2019. If you have questions about the survey, please contact Kami Ehrich at email@example.com. ACWA thanks you for your assistance.
2019 National NPDES Permit Writers Workshop
The State/EPA 2019 National NPDES Permit Writers Workshop will be held September 17-19, 2019 in Washington, DC. This meeting is intended to help support states and EPA to showcase permit writer innovations, assist with analysis of training, guidance, tools, and other support material needs, improve administrative efficiencies, clarify roles and responsibilities, build stronger linkages to WQS & TMDLs, modernize permit terms and data management, discuss program performance measures, and identify program areas where targeted technical assistance would be most beneficial. For more information, contact Sean Rolland or see our website.
ACWA Nutrients Permitting Workshop – November 2019
Registration for the November 2019 Nutrients Permitting Workshop located in Alexandria, Virginia at the AlexRenew facility November 5-7, 2019 is now live. To register, go here. The workshop will focus on the relationship between water quality standards and nutrients permitting. Lodging is available at the Embassy Suites Alexandria Hotel. To reserve your lodging, call direct 703-684-7900 or 1-800-EMBASSY and ask for the Association of Clean Water Administrators group of rooms, or reserve online here.
ACWA is able to help support and organize this meeting because of a cooperative agreement with EPA. As part of the agreement, ACWA has funds available to assist states with travel. Our hope is to ensure that each state and interstate that wishes to attend is able. If you plan to request travel support from ACWA, please do your best to provide an estimate of the cost categories and total expenses you will need. Request for travel support should be submitted to Mark Patrick McGuire by Friday, April 26. Once all requests are in, we will have a better idea of the total travel funds needed, and will subsequently notify you of the costs for which we will be able to reimburse.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING ACWA MEETINGS: We ask that members registering to meetings please use your state email addresses and login credentials provided. If someone is registering on your behalf that does not have an account in Member365 make sure that they have access to your login credentials so as not to create conflicting or overlapping information within the system.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has a vacancy for the position of Bureau Chief of the Water Quality Bureau located in Des Moines, IA. This position provides oversight to the state of Iowa’s water quality programs, including an $18M budget and over 100 full time employees. For specific job duties, requirements, and application information, visit www.governmentjobs.com/careers/iowa , and search by job title (Job Number: 19-02077).
Be sure to check out other opportunities on ACWA’s jobs page.
Watersheds Committee Call: EPA How’s My Waterway App Update
April 4th, Thursday, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Contact Julian Gonzalez for more information