ACWA Submits Letter in Support of STAG Grants to House and Senate Appropriations
ACWA submitted a letter to both House and Senate Appropriation Committees in support of EPA’s State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG). The President’s Budget cut every STAG program and eliminated funding for important programs like Section 106 funding and Beaches Protection. The letter is available here. For more information please contact Frances Bothfeld.
Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) Outreach & Engagement Sessions
Last year Congress passed the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act. The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (“VIDA”) (PDF) establishes a framework for the regulation of discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel under a new Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 312(p) and changes the role of states in regulating vessels. VIDA intends to streamline the patchwork of federal, state, and local requirements for the commercial vessel community.
EPA and the US Coast Guard are now moving forward with implementing VIDA and have planned several outreach activities. As part of this effort, the EPA and the USCG will be hosting webinars and in-person listening sessions both pre- and post-proposal of new national standards of performance to enhance public awareness and provide opportunity for engagement. During the webinars, EPA will provide an overview of VIDA, discuss the intended rulemaking process and remind folks that the VGP will still be in place while they are developing these regulations. https://www.epa.gov/vessels-marinas-and-ports/vessel-incidental-discharge-act-vida-engagement-opportunities
The agencies are currently putting together an outreach and engagement plan specific to states and tribes. It is anticipated that this outreach will occur this summer. It is not clear at this time if any of these outreach efforts will be specific to states and tribes. We are reaching out to EPA and USCG now to find out more and will pass additional details along as we get them.
Date: May 7, 2019 from 3:00-4:30 PM EST; May 15, 2019 from 9:30-11:00 AM EST
Description: The EPA and the USCG will provide a general overview of VIDA, discuss interim and future discharge requirements, describe future state and public engagement opportunities, and answer select clarifying questions raised by the audience. Participants may choose to register on either date provided.
May 7, 2019: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6495610530192866316
May 15, 2019: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3129022474263622668
Listening Session (2-day)
Date: May 29, 2019 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST and May 30, 2019 from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM EST
Location: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
300 Steamboat Road
Kings Point, NY 11024
Description: The EPA and the USCG are hosting a two-day listening session to provide a general overview of VIDA; a summary of regulatory considerations for specific incidental discharges, including an opportunity for public input; and an opportunity for a broader discussion on the regulatory framework to be developed under VIDA. The final agenda will be posted here two weeks prior to the start of the meeting.
Registration information: https://projects.erg.com/conferences/epa/register-vida.asp
ECOS to Host E-Enterprise Webinar on NPDES
On Thursday, May 2 from 1-3 p.m. EST, E-Enterprise for the Environment will host a webinar to spotlight work by states and U.S. EPA related to development and deployment of various NPDES permitting applications and workflows. The workshop will feature:
Nevada: An overview of Nevada’s Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) state developed E-Permitting system and NetDMR system. Nevada has built and deployed their an E-Permitting system that can flow federal NPDES permit information to EPA.
Speakers: Andrew Dixon, Stormwater Supervisor, Stormwater Branch, Bureau of Water Pollution Control, and Gursharan Gill, Lead Systems Developer NV DEP.
U.S. EPA Office of Water: An overview of the revised EPA OW NPDES Individual Permit Application forms stemming from the Feb. 2019 NPDES Updates Rule.
Speakers: Kevin Weiss, Chief of the National Program Branch, Water Permits Division and Pravin Rana, Project Manager, Office of Water Project Management Office, EPA Office of Water.
U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Rhode Island: A review of EPA OECA’s NeT reporting tool for NPDES general permits and program reports such as the Construction General Permit (CGP) and Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). Speakers: Randy Hill, Director, Enforcement Targeting and Data Division, OECA and Joe Haberek, PE Supervising Sanitary Engineer, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Water Resources
EPA Releases PFAS Groundwater Guide
EPA released draft interim guidelines for cleaning up groundwater contaminated with PFAS. There has been some disagreements within the federal government surrounding clean up levels. The Department of Defense advocated for less stringent levels (380 ppt) than what the EPA proposed (70 ppt). The interim guidelines are out for public comment until Jun 10th. For more information please see the EPA website.
ACWA to Create PFAS Subcommittee
ACWA is setting up a PFAS Subcommittee for members of the Monitoring, Standards, and Assessment (MSA) Committee. The goal of this committee is to create a forum to present new surface water related PFAS research and PFAS related program development from the EPA and States, provide updates on PFAS analytical methods for water, soil, and tissue, and provide updates and information from other media organization’s PFAS work groups. Additionally, the subcommittee aims to establish a forum of state experts to discuss state updates related to PFAS monitoring, standards, and assessment in surface water and to pose questions to colleagues from other states regarding PFAS in surface water. For more information please contact Frances Bothfeld.
ACWA to Host Make Up Introduction to Water Quality Standards Webinar
Due to popularity, ACWA is hosting another Introduction to Water Quality Standards Webinar for states on May 16 from 1-3pm EST. Not everyone who registered for the original 3/21 session was able to access the webinar. While not a replacement for the extensive in-person Water Quality Standards Academy, this webinar will provide an introduction to the core components of water quality standards. All interested parties should contact Frances Bothfeld for a registration link
Water Quality Certification Survey
As EPA prepares to implement the Executive Order: Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth potentially restricting state flexibility and authority stemming from 401, ACWA wanted to collect data to use to develop comments on the EPA effort and to better understand how each state is implementing water quality certifications. If your state has not already filled out the survey, please contact Julia Anastasio for a link.
Animal Agriculture Program Survey
This week, ACWA released a survey on animal agriculture programs. The CAFO/AFO survey is intended to provide basic information associated with state agency roles and responsibilities in regulating animal agriculture facilities and to answer a couple of questions that came in from a couple state program managers. The survey is 18 questions long and should take no more than fifteen minutes to complete. A short report will be generated and shared with the survey participants at the conclusion of the effort. We currently have 23 states that have replied. This survey deadline has been extended to Friday, May 3, 2019.
To take part in the survey, go here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019_AFO.
316(B) Cooling Water Intake Topic Survey
The 2019 National NPDES Permit Writers Workshop is scheduled for September 17-19, 2019 in Washington, DC. As part of that meeting there will be a full day’s track dedicated to 316(b) (Cooling Water Intake) topics. We are asking that states help us narrow this list to those top 7 or 8 most of interest to the state. The rest of the topics that do not make it as high priority topics will likely end up as topics for future conference calls. Please respond to this very short survey no later than Friday, May 3, 2019.
To take part in the survey, go here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019_316b
2019 National NPDES Permit Writers Workshop – September 2019
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.
NEIWPCC and NYSDOH
The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Bureau of Water Supply Protection (BWSP) are seeking to fill two positions that are highly organized and detail-oriented candidates for an Environmental Analyst – Drinking Water Specialist – New York City to conduct, or oversee the conduct of, investigations on matters such as source water assessment and protection, water storage, treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment and discharge, point-source and non-point source pollution, permitting, or other compliance and regulatory issues. The incumbent will develop and update source water assessment plans (SWAPs), collect, or oversee the collection of environmental samples for analysis, and summarize, evaluate, and present environmental information and data. Will develop written materials to provide guidance and training for local municipalities, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and local health departments (LHDs) on source water protection strategies and implementation. Will provide support for associated programs by implementing procedures and performing sampling and testing to ensure compliance and will develop concise and coherent multi-media documents for communicating program activities and accomplishments.
The additional position is an Environmental Analyst – Drinking Water Specialist – Monticello, New York to conduct, or oversee the conduct of, investigations on matters such as source water assessment and protection, water storage, treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment and discharge, point-source and non-point source pollution, permitting, or other compliance and regulatory issues. The incumbent will develop and update source water assessment plans (SWAPs), collect, or oversee the collection of environmental samples for analysis, and summarize, evaluate, and present environmental information and data. Will develop written materials to provide guidance and training for local municipalities, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and local health departments (LHDs) on source water protection strategies and implementation. Will provide support for associated programs by implementing procedures and performing sampling and testing to ensure compliance and will develop concise and coherent multi-media documents for communicating program activities and accomplishments. The final filing date for these two positions is May 24, 2019. Apply here.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to fill two positions. An Environmental Specialist 3 (20044619) serves as lead worker for the industrial NPDES program providing development of statewide general NPDES permits, guidance, policy, procedures and rules, implementation of USEPA initiatives including the ballast water program. Coordinates statewide consistency and auditing initiatives for the NPDES program and provides staff with guidance, technical support and training. Provides preliminary determinations on complex work products including industrial permit applications, variance requests, and other actions. Reviews coal NPDES permits to ensure accuracy, consistency, and adherence to Agency policies and procedures. Coordinates with USEPA on all coal related issues. Keeps current on coal technical developments. Conducts special projects that involve the use of database information to assist in NPDES program efficiency. Serves in negotiation settlements and as an expert witness where challenging application of NPDES issues exist. Serves as Agency representative on state, federal, binational and external committees and workgroups. Participates in annual workload planning. Coordinates projects with other Ohio EPA divisions on NPDES permitting and guidance development for Superfund sites, VAP sites, and landfills. The final filing date for this position is April 29, 2019. Apply here.