Senate EPW Sets Date for Wheeler Confirmation Vote
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is set to vote on Acting Administrator Wheeler for EPA Administrator on February 5th. Wheeler had his confirmation hearing on January 16th. The Ranking Member and Chairman agreed to delay the committee vote until February to allow for enough time to ask questions. Wheeler is expected to make it out of committee and be confirmed by the Senate. He was previously confirmed by the Senate in April 2018 to be the Deputy Administrator of the EPA with a 53-45 vote.
ACWA Researching Impacts of Federal Government Shutdown on States
This week, ACWA staff sent emails to ACWA committees asking state staff if the ongoing government shutdown has impacted their water programs. If you have noticed that the shutdown has detrimentally impacted your ability to implement any clean water programs, or if your program has begun making contingency plans in case the shutdown goes beyond February, please email Julian Gonzalez with additional information. ACWA will not share the information provided with EPA – this internal project is intended to help ACWA better understand the implications of shutdowns for our members.
Advancing Water Quality Trading Story Map
In October 2018, the National Network on Water Quality Trading released its report, Breaking Down Barriers: Priority Actions for Advancing Water Quality Trading. The report delves into the common barriers that keep utilities and municipalities from pursuing trading to achieve their clean water goals, and what proponents of trading can do to move beyond today’s challenges.
This week, Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace launched an interactive story map based on the work they provided for the NNWQT’s report. Specifically, their work on mapping demand for water quality trading across the country. To view the story map, go here.
Groundwater/Hydrologic Connection Litigation Update
Last week, the Sixth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc in the TN Clean Water Network v. Tennessee Valley Authority case. The Sixth Circuit denied the petition for rehearing en banc for the sister case Kentucky Waterways Alliance v. Kentucky Utilities in late November 2018.
Regarding the petitions for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court for the County of Maui and Kinder Morgan cases, the justices were scheduled to review the cases last week but early this week took no action on the related petitions.
ACWA will keep you informed as more information comes out.
Legal Affairs Affairs Committee Call Schedule
ACWA released the call schedule for the Legal Affairs Committee 2019 quarterly calls.
- Wednesday, February 27, 2:00 ET (1:00 CT)
- Thursday, June 6, 2:00 ET (1:00 CT)
- Thursday, September 12, 2:00 ET (1:00 CT)
- Wednesday, December 4, 2:00 ET (1:00 CT)
Times and dates are subject to change. Call-in and agenda information will be provided as we approach each call.
Nutrients Project Identification
In late 2018, the Nutrients Working Group (“NWG”), a partnership between ACWA, ASDWA, NASDA, and EPA created to confront nutrients pollution related issues, worked to identify priorities. Specifically, the state partners of the group polled their memberships and introduced a series of priorities to the NWG.
The top five priorities for the state members of the NWG are:
- Technology implementation for POTWs (e.g., optimization, new nutrients removal technology, etc.),
- Harmful algal bloom (“HAB”) management (including scientific research to help understand how and when toxic HABs occur),
- Nonpoint source management (including 319 funds/resource availability),
- Small Facilities/Lagoons (specifically the issue of affordability in small towns where construction, maintenance, and operation of mechanical biological nutrient reduction is unaffordable)
- Improving coordination with agricultural agencies and interests.
(ACWA’s full list of ranked priorities is attached here.)
ACWA and the members of the NWG currently confronts these issues in various ways including the Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker, the Nutrients Permitting Workshops, EPA’s POTW Study on Secondary Nutrients Removal, EPA’s Compendium of Nutrients Practices, and more. However, ACWA and the NWG are looking to see if there are specific projects or concepts relative to the broad priority areas identified by states.
Please provide Mark Patrick McGuire (email@example.com – 202-756-0604) with any ideas you have on projects on which the NWG can work that would be helpful for your state on any of these big issues.
Examples of projects could be: a deeper study into the needs of small town systems and potential solutions, a blueprint for collaboration between state water and agriculture departments, a project that allows for increased access to trading or new partnerships to reduce nutrients, a project identifying POTWs that would greatly benefit from support to optimize processes to reduce nutrients, etc.
Please respond by February 6, 2019.
Mid-Year Meeting 2019
Planning is underway for the upcoming 2019 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting. Even in light of the partial government shutdown, we are putting together a great agenda and are confident that we can put on a successful meeting in the (unlikely) event that the shutdown is continuing during our Mid-Year Meeting. The Mid-Year Meeting agenda is still under development and is subject to refinement. Register Now! And receive the early bird rate!
Early Bird Registration is now available and ends February 28th
This meeting is planned as a day and a half meeting. State attendees will lead discussions relevant to states priorities. Members are encouraged to attend. Go here to reserve your lodging accommodations. Guaranteed room rate ends February 22nd. Call direct 703-837-0440 or 1-800 HILTONS and ask for the ACWA – Mid-Year Meeting 2019 group rate. Meeting registration can be found here. Members and invited guest, if you encounter problems logging into Member 365, go here. View the draft agenda here.
ACWA is also offering travel scholarships to the 2019 Mid-Year Meeting. We have funding for a limited number of scholarships for state travel support to ACWA state members who would not otherwise be able to able to send a representative to an ACWA meeting. Preference will be given to member organizations that have not been able to send a representative to a Mid-Year or Annual Meeting in several years and Members who are seeking assistance to bring another staff member to the meeting who would not otherwise be able to attend. The scholarships will cover meeting registration fee, airfare, local travel, hotel and associated taxes. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please contact Sean Rolland.
Save the Date! Nutrients Permitting Workshop – November 2019
The November 2019 Nutrients Permitting Workshop will be located in Alexandria, Virginia at the AlexRenew facility November 5-7, 2019. 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.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, has a position to fill immediately, located in the Environmental Quality Eastern Division, Pendleton, Oregon. Water Quality Regional Manager (Principal Executive/Manager E) The closing date for this position end February 7, 2019.
The Water Quality Regional Manager manages two of the Region’s environmental programs related to water quality: NPDES and WPCF permitting. The position oversees the work of seven staff who are a mix of permit writers, inspectors, engineers, and administrative staff. The manager ensures that program deliverables are met related to inspections, permit issuance and other critical regional implementation work. The manager also participates with other water quality program managers in identifying program and policy priorities, managing the program budget, and determining the best way to implement the Water Quality Permit program. This position also serves as the Pendleton office manager ensuring that the office runs in an efficient and effective manner. The manager also serves on the Eastern Region Management team ensuring cross media issues are taken into consideration in the course of their work.
For more information and details on how to apply follow the links to the job postings.
New Mexico Environment Department
The Surface Water Quality Bureau is seeking qualified candidates for a vacant Environmental Scientist Specialist-Supervisor position.
This position is responsible for the protection of the State’s surface water quality through implementation of the Bureau’s Point Source Regulation Program and works with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA} to review and certify National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to ensure compliance and conformance with the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), the New Mexico Water Quality Act (WQA), the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, the New Mexico Ground and Surface Water Protection Regulations (20.6.2 NMAC), and the New Mexico Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters (20.6.4 NMAC). This position also serves as a point of contact to disseminate information about the NPDES program to regulated entities.
To access the position description and apply (now through February 12, 2019), please go to the State Personnel Office website current position openings and search for Job ID 103648. The position is listed as Environmental Scientist Specialist-Supervisor (#38201).
If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact Sarah Holcomb by email (Sarah.Holcomb@state.nm.us) or phone (505-827-2798).
Be sure to check out other opportunities on ACWA’s jobs page.