Water Quality Trading Notification and Request For Comment Published in Federal Register
This week, EPA’s notification and request for comment, Water Quality Trading Under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Program, was published in the Federal Register. Comments are due November 18, 2019. There will be a public listening session both in-person (at EPA HQ in Washington, DC) and online on October 21, 2019.
The action seeks comment on policy options related to one of the six market-based principles identified in EPA’s February 6, 2019 Water Quality Trading Policy memo—encouraging simplicity and flexibility in implementing baseline concepts. The proposal seeks comment on approaches to clarify and provide flexibility for nonpoint sources to generate credits for use in water quality trading, specifically discussing TMDLs, compliance schedules, variances, and in-lieu fee program options and considerations.
For more information visit www.epa.gov/npdes/water-quality-trading.
EPA Seeks Comment and Commitment on Draft National Water Reuse Action Plan
EPA’s National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) is now in the federal register and open for comments. The plan includes 46 action items, and EPA is looking for volunteers to lead certain actions through the comments.
The WRAP may be found here:
Links to the appendices may be found here:
The comment period will close on December 16, 2019.
Federal Register Notice: EPA Development of HAB Policy
The EPA published notice of the Development of Policy on the Determination of HAB and Hypoxia as an Event of National Significance in Freshwater Systems today.
The summary states: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment to inform the development of an Agency policy for determining if a harmful algal bloom (HAB) or hypoxia event in freshwater is an “event of national significance.” Recent amendments to the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA), provide the EPA with the statutory authority to make such a determination in the case of a freshwater HAB or hypoxia event. Public comments are intended to inform the development of a policy for the EPA to make such determinations, specifically for events in freshwater. A federal determination that such an occurrence is an event of national significance enables mobilization of federal resources to assess and mitigate its detrimental effects, subject to the availability of appropriations. The EPA requests input on what the Agency should specifically consider for determining a “HAB or Hypoxia event of national significance” in freshwater, and related factors in order to inform development of a draft EPA policy. On July 25, 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a separate notice to solicit comments on HAB or hypoxia events of national significance in marine and coastal waters.”
Comments close 10/31/2019 and the full notice may be found here:
If you may be interested in commenting, please let ACWA staff know.
House Passes Continuing Resolution
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed stop gap legislation to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month. The continuing resolution (CR) would fund the government at current spending levels until November 21, 2019. Senate appropriators expect a CR to move next week. The measure passed the House with a 301-123 vote. A section by section breakdown is available here.
T&I Passes Key Water Legislation
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved a slate of bipartisan measures by voice vote, including the Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act, the Resilience Revolving Loan Fund Act, and more.
H.R. 1620, Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act
H.R. 1620, introduced by Reps. Elaine Luria (D-VA), Robert Wittman (R-VA), Bobby Scott (D-VA) and John Sarbanes (D-MD), reauthorizes Federal appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program with funding increases over the next five years.
H.R. 1132, San Francisco Bay Restoration Act
H.R. 1132, introduced by Reps. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), establishes a new regional program within EPA to support restoration efforts in the San Francisco Bay.
H.R. 2247, Promoting United Government Efforts to Save Our Sound Act
H.R. 2247, introduced by Reps. Denny Heck (D-WA) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA), establishes a new regional program within EPA to support restoration efforts in the Puget Sound and authorizes Federal appropriations over the next five years for restoration activities.
H.R. 4031, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019
H.R. 4031, introduced by Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) and 39 other Members in the Great Lakes Region, reauthorizes EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (found at section 118 of the Clean Water Act) for the fiscal years 2021-2026.
H.R. 4044, Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act
H.R. 4044, introduced by Mr. Malinowski (LA) introduced the bill; which reauthorizes the National Estuary Program.
EPA Workshop: Opportunities and Challenges to Address Stormwater Financing Needs
Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM eastern
Managing stormwater can be a community’s most challenging and expensive problem. The price tag can be huge, the sources are diffuse, and public support is crucial to its success. EPA’s Water Finance Center invites you to join us at the ” Opportunities and Challenges to Address Stormwater Financing Needs” workshop at AlexRenew on Oct. 1. This workshop will be a facilitated discussion on current funding sources for stormwater projects and how they are being utilized. It will cover gaps for long-term operation and maintenance, including the affordability of stormwater infrastructure through various funding sources. It will also include a discussion on funding trash removal from stormwater. For more information on this workshop in Alexandria, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and or click here to register.
2019 National NPDES Permit Writers Workshop
This week ACWA hosted the 2019 National NPDES Permit Writers Workshop in Washington, DC. In total, 125 people participated at this meeting with representatives from 41 states, 7 EPA regions, ACWA staff and EPA Headquarters. We also had 100+ people participate in this meeting remotely. Topics for this meeting included permit writer resources and a clearinghouse, updated federal application forms, integrated planning, fact sheets, CSOs, peak flow management, several 316(b) cooling water intake structure topics, collection systems, performance based limits for nutrients, ammonia criteria, design flow, PFAS/PFOS, Antibacksliding, permit streamlining, NPDES eReporting Rule, permit streamlining, and program performance measures. A copy of the meeting packet which includes the agenda, bios, and participants list, along with a copy of the presentations, will all be available on ACWA’s web site early next week.
Version 2.0 of Nutrients Tracker Released to States
ACWA is proud to announce the official release of the Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker 2.0 – 2019 (the “Tracker”).
For some background, the Nutrients Working Group (“NWG”), a partnership between ACWA, EPA, and ASDWA, began work in 2014 to identify a set of measures that demonstrate progress toward nutrient reduction in the nation’s waters. States recognized that while there was a national metric tracking state adoption of numeric nitrogen and phosphorus criteria for lakes, estuaries, and flowing waters, there was an opportunity to also measure the myriad of other approaches states take to reduce nutrient pollution.
The Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker Version 1.0 – 2017 was the culmination of that effort. The NWG released a Report in March 2018 summarizing the data received.
The Nutrients Reduction Progress Tracker Version 2.0 – 2019 follows the 2017 version, seeking to both track state progress on nutrients pollution reduction efforts since 2017 and also seek more detail on state programs.
ACWA asks that your state complete the Tracker on SurveyMonkey by December 6, 2019. ACWA will then review the results and publish a report by March 2020. As you will see in the Tracker, some answers are to be provided by EPA. ACWA will distribute EPA’s data for state review upon availability.
You may access the Tracker here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ACWATracker2019.
If you would like a fillable .pdf to assist in your efforts, you may access that here: Nutrient_Reduction_Progress_Tracker_2.0_-_2019.
For assistance in filling out the Tracker, please consult ACWA’s FAQs here: Nutrient_Reduction_Progress_Tracker_2.0_-_2019_FAQ.
If you have any other questions regarding this effort, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire or 202-756-0604.
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. There are only 10 rooms left in the ACWA room block, so please get make your reservations ASAP!
2020 National Stormwater Roundtable – February 2020
The 2020 National Stormwater Roundtable will be held in San Antonio, Texas on February 4 – 6, 2020, supports implementation of federal and state municipal, industrial, and construction stormwater programs nationwide by sharing best management practices, showcasing innovative state programs and initiatives, highlighting new technologies, facilitating discussion on national program enhancements and improvements, identifying state resource needs including tools, training and guidance, and proposing solutions to challenges and barriers faced by the regulators and other stakeholders. The Stormwater Roundtable is national meeting specifically organized by state and federal regulators for EPA and state program staff representatives. Attendees include state managers, permit writers, inspectors, and compliance staff involved in regulating stormwater, EPA Headquarter and Regional staff involved in stormwater regulation, and partnering state and federal agency staff that provide technical and/or regulatory assistance to the stormwater program. Future updates for this meeting can be found on ACWA’s webpage – https://www.acwa-us.org/event/2020-national-stormwater-roundtable/
2020 National Pretreatment Meeting – SAVE THE DATE!
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 and EPA-only meeting; and Wednesday, May 13 will be an all-day meeting partnered with NACWA at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection seeks applicants for the position of Environmental Analyst III (EA III), TMDL scientist, within the Bureau of Water Resources (BWR). Under supervision of the DEP Watershed Planning Program (WPP) TMDL Section Chief or designee, the TMDL scientist will utilize their technical experience and expertise to assist in the development of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and other watershed assessment and planning projects. Projects focus on hydrology and water quality, and involve quantitative analyses and the preparation of reports. The preferred candidate will have a professional demeanor, be highly motivated, and possess excellent quantitative, problem-solving, and written and oral communication skills. Excellent organizational skills are a must, and the preferred candidate will be able to manage and work on multiple projects concurrently, meet tight deadlines, and work well both independently and as a member of a team. Candidates with advanced degrees and/or work experience will be given greater autonomy and project management responsibilities.
This position will be based in Worcester at DEP’s Watershed Planning and Program’s Office and will remain open until filled, however, please note first review of applicants will take place on October 2. For more information, see the job posting, here.
Be sure to check out other opportunities on ACWA’s jobs page.
Watersheds Committee Call
September 26, 2:30 – 4:00pm EST
This webinar will feature a reprisal of the “Freshman Orientation” session from the 2019 TMDL National Training Workshop. There will also be an update from EPA on the upcoming IR Memo.
For further agenda and call-in information, contact Jasper Hobbs
ACWA Legal Affairs Committee Quarterly Call
Thursday, September 26 at 2:00 pm Eastern
For agenda and call-in information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire