EPA Releases FY 2021 National Water Program Guidance Addendum
The Office of Water released the FY 2021 National Water Program Addendum. In June of 2019, the FY 2020-2021 National Water Program Guidance (NWPG) was published. This guidance was streamlined in an effort to provide clear, concise guidance and to focus on achieving the long-term performance goals laid out in the FY 2018-2022 EPA Strategic Plan. As a follow-up to the FY 2020-2021 NWPG, EPA released the FY 2021 National Water Program Guidance Addendum. The purpose of this Addendum is to highlight changes to National Water Program’s performance metrics over the last year as they have adapted to and evolved with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lean Management System (ELMS). It also includes planning FY 2021 performance metric targets.
NRCS Releases the Finalized National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) Update for FY21
The NRCS has finalized and posted the NWQI Update for FY21. The release of the changes may be found here.
The ACWA NPS/319Workgroup will be holding a webinar on Tuesday, April 21, at 2:00pm EST, which will feature presentations from NRCS and EPA regarding changes to the NWQI and the release of the FY21 Bulletin. A link to registration and the agenda may be found below, and a calendar invite will be sent out shortly.
You can register for the webinar here.
EPA WaterSense Program Maintains Product Water Efficiency Standards After Review
On Wednesday, EPA announced it had completed a review of voluntary product efficiency specifications developed prior to 2012, as mandated in the 2018 America’s Water Infrastructure Act. Rather than revising water efficiency standards, the WaterSense Program will instead work to broaden adoption of WaterSense standards. The WaterSense label, launched in 2006, “makes it easier for consumers to identify water-efficient products, new homes, and programs that meet the EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance.”
Additionally, EPA “is seeking input and requesting information on any data, surveys, or studies to help assess consumer satisfaction with WaterSense labeled products, which could inform future product specification development. The EPA is also seeking input on how to design a study or studies to inform future reviews that incorporate customer satisfaction considerations. The results of these studies could inform future Agency action when developing criteria for labeling products in the WaterSense program. The EPA is also requesting input on whether it should include consumer satisfaction criteria into the WaterSense program guidelines and, if included, what criteria should be considered and how.”
Learn more from the Federal Register notice here.
USGS is Developing a Next Generation Water Observing System
USGS is developing a Next Generation Water Observing System (NGWOS) as a result of substantial advances in water science, together with emerging breakthroughs in technical and computational capabilities. The NGWOS will provide real-time data on water quantity and quality in more affordable and rapid ways than previously possible, and in more locations.
The NGWOS is not intended to replace existing USGS monitoring networks. It is intended to help fill in data and knowledge gaps. More information on the NGWOS may be found here.
National Pretreatment Meeting Postponed
ACWA has officially postponed the National Pretreatment Meeting to 2021. In 2021, the meeting will still be collocated with NACWA at the same hotels in Nashville, Tennessee, the Holiday Inn Nashville Vanderbilt and the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University.
If you have not cancelled your hotel and airfare, please do so now or change your reservations for next year. We will resume planning and have more information once things return to normal.
Nutrients Permitting Workshop Postponed
ACWA has officially postponed the June Nutrients Permitting Workshop. Thank you for your patience as we worked through options for the June 2020 Nutrients Permitting Workshop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have not cancelled your hotel and airfare, please do so now. We will have more information on rescheduling once things return to normal.
EPA Webinar on Citizen Science Activities
Date and time: April 15, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM Eastern
Registration: click here
With the advent of new technologies for environmental monitoring and tools for sharing information, community volunteers are more engaged than ever before in collecting environmental data, and many environmental agencies are using these data. A major challenge is ensuring the quality of the data collected by citizen science organizations. One of the keys to breaking down this barrier is a Quality Assurance Project Plan. EPA’s Handbook for Citizen Science Quality Assurance and Documentation is for organizations that are starting or growing a citizen science project, and where transparency in the scientific methods for collecting the data are central to the outcome of the project.
This webinar will provide an overview of citizen science at the Agency and showcase several EPA citizen science activities that involve partnerships with state, tribal and local governments on a diversity of issues, including 1) monitoring for cyanobacteria in waterbodies, 2) building and operating “real-time,” low-cost water quality sensors in Georgia; 3) demonstration of a new test method for community mapping of radon in Puerto Rico; 4) the Los Angeles Public Library air sensor loan program; and 5) using citizen science to analyze underwater video in the Great Lakes. For more information, visit EPA’s Citizen Science webpage.
Municipal Stormwater Permit Implementation Planner – Washington Department of Ecology
The Department of Ecology is currently looking for a Municipal Stormwater Permit Implementation Planner (Environmental Planner 3) in the Water Quality Program, located in Union Gap, WA. This position develops policies, procedures, and standards of adequacy for municipal stormwater permit-related policies and efforts. The Department is looking for applicants with experience in water quality-related planning and implementation, and experience developing, planning, and coordinating stormwater programs; and, who will help guide the local communities through the permitting process and to success in permit compliance.
To learn more and apply, go here.
ACWA Nutrients Policy Committee Webinar – Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination of NRCS conservation activities with partners that offer value-added contributions to expand our collective ability to address on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns. The 2018 Farm Bill made many changes to the RCPP program. On February 13, 2020, an interim rule was published in the Federal Register to incorporate the 2018 Farm Bill changes to the RCPP program administration. Comments are being taken until May 12, 2020.
On Thursday, April 16, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern, the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Kari Cohen will present on RCPP, the new rule, and how states can get involved.
To register for the webinar, go here.
ACWA Modeling Webinar – Overview of US EPA Homeland Security Research Program Stormwater Modeling Studies
On April 28th, 2020 at 2:00pm Eastern, EPA will be presenting an Overview of US EPA Homeland Security Research Program Stormwater Modeling Studies.
The Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response (CESER) in the Office of Research and Development at the US Environmental Protection Agency conducts research to enhance response capabilities and community resilience to man-made and natural disasters. Following an intentional or accidental release of a chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) agent, tracking contaminant fate and transport is necessary for effective recovery. This presentation will highlight a number of laboratory, field, and modeling efforts being conducted in CESER to develop capabilities to accurately parametrize stormwater models for CBR agents. This includes rainfall simulator washoff studies of spores, SWMM modeling of radiological deposition across a city, and expansion of PySWMM to access additional water quality and pollutant data in SWMM5.
You can register for the webinar here.
Contact Jasper Hobbs for more information on ACWA’s modeling workgroup.