Farmer Fairness Act
On Thursday, July 18, 2019 Representatives Ro Khanna (CA) and Mark Pocan (WI) introduced a bill which would extend the environmental liability under the CWA beyond CAFO farmers, to the integrator companies that hire them. Large companies like Tyson, Purdue, Cargill, Smithfield, JBS, Dairy Farmers of America, etc. will hire contract farmers to grow their livestock and animal products. As part of the contracts they sign, these farmers generally assume all of the environmental liability of their activities. “The companies control the way livestock is fed, medicated and housed. They dictate what equipment and capital the farmer has to use. Farmers often don’t make enough to live off of because the cost of operations, as mandated by the companies, leaves the farmer in the red. Through all of this, the farmer takes on the liability (especially environmental liability) of the operation,” said Congressman Khanna. In a press release in support of the bill a 4th generation family farmer from Iowa is quoted as saying “[F]or far too long, industrial agribusiness corporations have escaped the true cost of doing business, instead externalizing their business costs onto farmers trapped in an unfair system and the costs of their pollution onto the tax-paying public.” A copy of the full press release can be found here. A copy of the bills text can be found here.
House Passes 2-Year Budget Deal
This week, Congress passed a two-year budget deal that will raise the federal debt limit until mid-2021 and increase current spending caps by $320 billion over the next two years and allow the government to keep borrowing to cover its debts. The deal—which will now go to the Senate for consideration, where it is expected to pass next week—would boost funding across government agencies compared to levels established under the 2011 Budget Control Act and allow lawmakers to fill in spending bills by agency. Absent the budget deal, federal agencies would have seen a $125 billion cut in fiscal 2020 alone across both defense and non-defense spending.
EPA to Hold Water Modeling Workshop in Dallas, TX : October 29 – November 1, 2019
EPA’s Water Modeling Workgroup has announced a workshop on exploring and applying surface water modeling tools. This four-day workshop is for program staff from EPA, states, tribes, and territories who want to learn more about surface water quality modeling and how these tools can be used to support their program activities.
The workshop format includes a pre-workshop hands-on training (Monday, October 28 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm), morning plenary sessions, and four afternoon break-out session tracks (HSPF hands-on training track, WASP hands-on training track, model overview track, and model managers track). The workshop agenda is available here.
All workshop sessions will take place at the EPA Region 6 Office (Renaissance Tower, 1201 Elm Street, Dallas, TX). https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/visiting-epas-region-6-office-dallas
To attend, please register here.
If you have questions about the workshop, please contact Kellie DuBay: firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Holds Webinar on Funding Nutrient Reductions
This week, EPA held a webinar entitled Federal Financing for Nutrient Reductions: Funding Landscape-Scale Nutrient Reductions. Part of a series of webinars on financing nutrient reductions, Environmental Incentives presented on the market-based stormwater program in the Lake Tahoe watershed and Virginia DEQ presented on their stormwater trading program. You can download a PDF of the slide deck, as well as find information on the other webinars in the Federal Financing for Nutrient Reductions series, here. The recording and slides from the July 24 webinar will be posted within a couple of weeks.
EPA Introduces CyAN app
This week, EPA held a webinar introducing the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network Mobile Application (“CyAN”). CyAN is an easy-to-use and customizable app that provides access to algal bloom satellite data for over 2,000 of the largest lakes and reservoirs across the United States. EPA scientists developed the CyAN app to help local and state water quality managers make faster and better-informed management decisions related to cyanobacteria blooms. To learn more, go here or email CyANapp@epa.gov.
ACWA Board & Leadership Elections Underway
The ACWA 2019-2020 Leadership Elections are continuing. Don’t forget to cast your vote! Along with the Executive Officers, this year it is the even Regions that are up for election.
All “members in good standing” may participate in these elections. The “member in good standing” is the formal or main ACWA representative for the state/interstate agency that paid dues for the previous fiscal year (FY2019). Only one vote per state/interstate. Please cast your vote no later than August 16th C.O.B. ET. If you did not receive your ballot, please contact Julia Anastasio.
303(d) and TMDLs: State of the States
In late 2018, ACWA Watershed’s Committee Co-Chairs Jeff Berckes and Traci Iott, along with ACWA staffer Julian Gonzalez, conducted interviews with state representatives covering a wide range of topics on the 303(d) / TMDL program. The results of those interviews were compiled and combined into this report.
Annual Meeting 2019 August 27 – 29, 2019
Reserve your lodging now at the Hyatt Regency Lady Bird Lake Austin, Texas. Call direct 1-512-477-1234 or 877-803-7534 use code (GHACW) for ACWA block of reserved rooms, or reserve online here. The cut-off date for a guaranteed rooms and rate is August 5, 2019.
All Annual Meeting activities are included in your registration. Please remember to confirm your attendance.
2019 National NPDES Permit Writers Workshop – September 2019
Meeting SOLD OUT !! ACWA is no longer able to accept new registrations. If you have any questions, please contact Sean Rolland.
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 live. To register, go here. The workshop will focus on identifying challenges and building solutions regarding water quality standards and permitting for nutrients. To view a draft agenda, go here.
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.