EPA Solicits Comments on Aluminum Criteria Implementation Guidance
The EPA released the Draft Technical Support Document: Implementing the 2018 Recommended Aquatic Life Water Quality Criteria for Aluminum, for public comment. This document was created to support the adoption and implementation of the updated aquatic life ambient water quality criteria for aluminum, which was released in April 2019. The ACWA Aluminum Criteria Work Group worked with the EPA over the last year to develop this guidance. The draft technical support document provides answers to implementation questions previously identified by states, authorized tribes, and other stakeholders. Public comments can be emailed to email@example.com through 11:59 pm on Friday, September 13, 2019.
EPA Proposes Coal Ash Regulation Amendments
This week EPA is proposing regulation amendments to the coal combustion residuals rule. This proposal is one of three that EPA plans to advance in response to litigation, petitions for reconsideration, and legislation. As part of this proposal, EPA wants to replace the “12,400 ton” criteria related to whether an environmental demonstration must be completed for coal ash to qualify for beneficial use and instead use a “location based” approach criteria (e.g., placement in an unstable area, wetland, floodplain, fault area or seismic zone) as the trigger for environmental demonstration. EPA is also proposing to change the requirements for managing piles of coal ash, establishing a single approach, which would apply to all temporary placement of unencapsulated coal ash on the land, regardless of whether a pile is on-site or off-site, and regardless of whether the coal ash in the pile is destined for beneficial use or disposal. EPA is also looking for input on three other changes including:
- Revisions to the annual groundwater monitoring and corrective action report requirements
- Establishing an alternative groundwater protection standard for boron
- Website requirements to ensure that relevant facility information is available to the public
The comment period for this proposal will be 60 days and will include one public hearing. Click here for access to the pre-publication version of this proposal.
OECA Memo – Regional Role in Reducing NPDES Rate of SNC
Last week EPA published on their website a memo that provides EPA Regions with direction on their role and responsibility in helping states reduce the NPDES SNC rate as part of the National Compliance Initiative (NCI). The goal of the NCI is to “reduce the SNC baseline rate by 50% by the end of FY2022, while assuring that the worst SNC violators are timely and appropriately addressed.” The memo asks the Regions to start doing the following: 1) meet quarterly with states to discuss and review the SNC rate, including accuracy of the national data, timeliness of response, and approaches for reducing the rate; 2) Work with the state to improve the completeness and accuracy of ICIS data; 3) Discuss new approaches the state should consider if their rate is above the FY goal or they simply want to continue to push the rate down; and 4) Focus on improving SNC rate in jurisdictions where EPA is the permitting authority. Greater detail on each area can be found in the memo addendum.
AGs Send EPA Letter on 401
Last week, fourteen state attorneys general submitted a joint letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Stating their objection to EPA’s recent Clean Water Act Section 401 Guidance for Federal Agencies, States, and Authorized Tribes, the letter explains that the Guidance unlawfully undermines states’ broad and independent authority under section 401. The AGs also explain that the Guidance is in conflict with the Clean Water Act and therefore not controlling. To view the letter, go here.
National Drought Resilience Partnership Announces Priority Actions For Long-Term Drought Resilience.
EPA and other Federal Agencies, acting as the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP), have announced a new set of “priority actions,” which will focus on how federal agencies can assist states in areas related to drought resilience. The six goal areas are:
- Data Collection and Integration
- Communicating Drought Risk to Critical Infrastructure
- Drought Planning and Capacity Building
- Coordination of Drought Activity
- Market-based Approaches for Infrastructure and Efficiency
- Innovative Water Use, Efficiency, and Technology
The NDRP is co-chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture.
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
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 extended to August 9, 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.
SAVE THE DATE! 2020 National Pretreatment Meeting
The 2020 National Pretreatment Meeting will take place May 11-13 in Nashville, Tennessee. Though the agenda is currently in development, tentatively, Monday, May 11 will be a series of training sessions from 1-5; Tuesday, May 12 will be an all-day states-only meeting; and Wednesday, May 13 will be an all-day meeting partnered with NACWA at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University.
Washington Department of Ecology
Washington Department of Ecology is currently seeking candidates to fill there General Permit Coordinator (Environmental Planner 2) vacancy, located in Lacey, Washington. To learn more, see the job description here.
Be sure to check out other opportunities on ACWA’s jobs page.