WGA Policy Resolution on Federal State Relationship
The Western Governors’ Association recently approved several policy resolutions, including a resolution focused on the Federal-State relationship, during its winter meeting in Las Vegas. The resolution calls for improving state-federal communication and coordination is among the Western Governors’ and is one of the association’s highest priorities. In the absence of a Constitutional delegation of authority to the federal government, state authority should be presumed sovereign. Each executive department and agency should have a clear and accountable process to provide states with early, meaningful and substantive input in the development of federal regulatory policies. Where authority has been delegated by the federal government to the states, states should be granted the maximum administrative discretion possible and should be treated as partners and co-regulators.
EPA Announces SAB Public Meeting – January 17
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announced a public meeting of the chartered SAB to discuss its reviews of the following proposed rules: (1) National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units—Reconsideration of Supplemental Finding and Residual Risk and Technology Review; (2) The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks; (3) Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science; and (4) Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States.” This public meeting will take place on January 17, from 1:00-5:00pm EST, and will be by phone only. Find more information here.
PFAS: New Drinking Water Method; Sector and Administration Positions on New Legislation
In late December, EPA published a new drinking water analytical method, Method 533. It focuses on 11 PFAS, bringing the total PFAS that can be verifiably measured in drinking water up to 29. This comes as USGS was tasked, via the National Defense Authorization Act, with a conducting nationwide monitoring of PFAS in surface waters. Find more information about the method here.
In the first week of January, after several PFAS provisions within the National Defense Authorization Act became law, the House re-introduced PFAS legislation. HR 535, similar to the PFAS Action Act of 2019, would establish a MCL and hazardous designation, among other actions. Upon its release, seven water sector trade associations penned a joint letter of opposition, citing potential CERCLA liabilities to utilities receiving PFAS in their influent and/or source waters. The White House also released a policy statement opposing the legislation and threatening a veto, citing that the bill language would require EPA to leapfrog statutory processes. Find the White House letter here.
AWWA Report: Methods to Assess Bromide from Coal-fired Power Plants
Report Summary: Coal Power Plants that discharge bromide regularly increase the concentrations in rivers and lakes that are may be used as source waters for drinking water. Elevated bromide in these source waters increases the formation of disinfection by products, which can pose health risks to consumers of drinking water. Coal naturally contains bromide, and bromide will sometimes be added to coal to control of mercury and other air pollutants. Bromide that enters the coal-fired power plant can end up in flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewaters. Wastewater associated with coal-fired power plant discharges is regulated through the Steam Electric ELG; however, the ELGs did not set numerical limits for bromide concentrations or loads in power plant discharges. In the ELG, EPA recommended that permitting authorities consider regulation of bromide discharges on a case-by-case basis, considering the potential of individual power plants to affect downstream drinking water plants.
The purpose of this study was to summarize methods for case-by-case assessment of individual power plants and associated bromide discharges. The report provides details on methods (1) to identify power plants that may be discharging bromide upstream of drinking water utilities; (2) to estimate bromide loads from power plants when monitoring data are not available; (3) to estimate the contribution of power plant bromide loads to in-stream bromide concentrations at drinking water intakes; and (4) to estimate the effect of contributed bromide on downstream drinking water total THM and associated risk. For more details on the report, visit: https://www.awwa.org/Portals/0/AWWA/ETS/Resources/17861ManagingBromideREPORT.pdf?ver=2020-01-09-151706-107
ACWA Releases Updated Funding Chart
This week, ACWA updated its funding chart to include President Trump’s recently-signed 2020 federal budget. The chart includes federal budget information on important water quality appropriations from Fiscal Year 2017 to present. To view the chart, go here.
ACWA Legal Affairs Committee Quarterly Call Schedule for 2020
- Thursday, March 5, 2:00 pm Eastern
- Thursday, June 4, 2:00 pm Eastern
- Thursday, September 3, 2:00 pm Eastern
- Thursday, December 3, 2:00 pm Eastern
For registrations information, contact Mark Patrick McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Times and dates are subject to change*
2020 National SNC NCI Symposium – January 2020 – Limited Availability
The 2020 National SNC NCI Symposium, taking place January 22-24, 2020 in Dallas, Texas, has limited seats left. Please review details about this meeting on ACWA’s website.
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 a national meeting specifically organized by state and federal regulators for EPA and state program staff representatives. Attendees include state managers, permit writers, inspectors, 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 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting – March 17 – 18, 2020
Reserve your lodging for Mid-Year Meeting using the group code MWC; Reserve online here.
2020 National Pretreatment Meeting – May 2020
The 2020 National Pretreatment Meeting will take place May 11-13 in Nashville, Tennessee. Monday, May 11 will be a series of training sessions from 1-5:00 pm; 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.
ACWA is able to organize this meeting because of a Cooperative Agreement with EPA and some state travel funds are included in that agreement. Our hope is that each state, interstate, or territory that wishes to attend is able to attend. Therefore, if you plan to request travel support from ACWA, please do your best to provide an estimate of the cost categories and total expenses you will need. Request for travel support should be sent to Mark Patrick McGuire at email@example.com by February 14.
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is seeking a Senior Manager – Ground Water & Reuse Section. The Water Quality Division has an incredible opportunity for an experienced, result-orientated leader to help build the next generation of water quality strategies, programs, and professionals. The Senior Program Manager for Ground Water & Reuse is an integral part of our diverse, talented, and innovative team and directly contributes to our agency’s mission by driving operational performance and continuous improvement in ADEQ’s groundwater program consisting of the Aquifer Protection program (APP) and ADEQ’s wastewater reuse program.” To apply and review the full job announcement, go HERE.
Washington State Department of Ecology currently has two vacancies at their Union Gap and Lacey, Washington locations.
Permit Writer (Environmental Specialist 3), Union Gap, WA location. This position performs the following tasks in Ecology’s Central Region.: Independently investigate water right applications, change applications, and permit extensions requests. Write reports of Examinations and make recommendations of approval or denial of those Water Right Applications. Independently investigate requests to extend development schedules on Permits and Water Rights Change Authorizations, and recommend approval or denial of extension requests.
Water Quality Monitoring and Data Analysis Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4), Lacey, WA location. This position is the Southwest Regional Water Quality Program senior environmental section specialist on water quality monitoring, scientific field studies, and data analysis. We are looking for applicants who possess water quality monitoring and data analysis skills, the ability to design studies to study water quality problems, and the ability to engage with stakeholders on the results of their projects.
To apply to these two positions and review the full job announcements, go HERE.
Be sure to check out other opportunities on ACWA’s jobs page.