EPA Holds Webinar on EnviroAtlas
This week, EPA held a webinar on EnviroAtlas, an interactive web-based decision support suite that provides geospatial data, easy-to-use tools, and other resources related to ecosystem services, their stressors, and human health. The webinar focused on recent updates made to EnviroAtlas and highlighted examples of how EnviroAtlas has been used by communities to advance local initiatives in bolstering ecosystem services. To view the webinar slides, go here. A recording of the webinar will be released to next week.
House Democrats Introduce Resolution in Support of CWA
Representative Dingell (D-WI) introduced a non-binding resolution urging EPA officials to maintain and strengthen requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and reverse ongoing administrative actions to weaken this landmark law and protections for United States waters. The resolution outlines the environmental and economic benefits of healthy waters and urges EPA to either maintain and strengthen CWA protections and reverse current actions to weaken CWA regulations. The resolution specifically calls out administration actions to repeal and replace the WOTUS rule, actions to limit states’ ability to adequately review federally permitted projects impacts on state water quality, exempting pollution that travels through groundwater to to navigable waters, and using “blending as a means of dealing with stormwater pollution. The resolution also calls on EPA to address new and emerging threats caused by PFAS pollution.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Holds Hearing on the Nonpoint Source Program
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on January 8th entitled The Nonpoint Source Management Program Under the Clean Water Act: Perspectives from States. This hearing featured testimony from Jennifer Zygmunt, Nonpoint Source Program Coordinator, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Environment, Maryland Department of the Environment. The archived webcast and written testimony may be found here.
In response to the hearing, ACWA members provided input on the program as it stands now, and ways in which it could be improved. These recommendations include greater funding flexibility, reductions in the match requirements, and incentivizing partnerships between organizations. ACWA’s written testimony may be found here.
New USGS Online SPARROW Models and Interactive Mappers are Available
New online SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) models and interactive mappers for the Southwest, Pacific, Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast regions of the U.S. are now available from the U.S. Geological Survey. The watershed models estimate streamflow along with yields of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended sediment in monitored and unmonitored stream reaches across the country. This information can help land and resource managers prioritize water-quality improvement efforts, ensuring adequate supply for human needs and ecological integrity for fish and other aquatic life.
NEPA Proposed Rulemaking
The Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) is considering updating its NEPA implementing regulations and has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to modernize and clarify the regulations to facilitate a more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA review process. CEQ’s proposed rule would incorporate elements of the One Federal Decision policy, codify certain case law and CEQ guidance, revise the regulations to reflect current technologies and agency practices, eliminate obsolete provisions, and improve the format and readability of the regulations. CEQ requests public comment on the NPRM. Comments should be submitted on or before March 10, 2020.
ECOS ITRC Call: Bioavailability of Contaminants in Soil
ITRC will hold an online training course on Bioavailability of Contaminants in Soil: Considerations for Human Health Risk Assessment on January 23 at 1-3:15 p.m. Eastern.
Properly accounting for soil-chemical interactions on the bioavailability of chemicals from soil can lead to more accurate estimates of exposures to soil contaminants and improve risk assessments by decreasing uncertainty. After attending this training, participants will be able to: determine when a site-specific bioavailability assessment may be appropriate; consider factors that affect arsenic, lead, and PAH bioavailability; use the associated ITRC guidance to select appropriate methods to evaluate soil bioavailability; and use tools to develop site-specific soil bioavailability estimates and incorporate them into human health risk assessment.
Learn more and register here.
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.
Travel Scholarships Available for MYM 2020
ACWA is again offering a limited number of travel scholarships to the 2020 Mid-Year Meeting. We have a small pool of funding to cover meeting registration and hotel costs to support the travel of ACWA state members who would not otherwise be able to send a representative to an ACWA meeting. More information regarding Mid-Year 2020 lodging and registration is provided below.
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. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please contact Sean Rolland.
ACWA Comments on Draft Lead and Copper Rule Revisions
This week, on Wednesday, January 13, ACWA sent it’s comments early to EPA on the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions. The deadline for comments is February 12, 2020. For more information on this effort, go here. To view ACWA’s letter, go here.
ACWA welcomes Tish Robertson of Virginia DEQ as a Co-chair of the Monitoring, Standards, and Assessment Committee. Tish has served at DEQ for over a dozen years and has extensive experience in water quality issues, and has more recently focused on standards and criteria — namely related to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. ACWA Members and staff are very grateful to have her in the role. Please join us in welcoming Tish!
2020 National Stormwater Roundtable – February 2020
The 2020 National Stormwater Roundtable, taking place February 4-6, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas, has limited seats left. Please review details about this meeting on ACWA’s website.
2020 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting – March 17 – 18, 2020
Reserve your room now! Use this group code MWC to reserve online here. Guaranteed room rate Ends – February 21st.
Go here to register to the meeting at “Details” and the latest agenda update for Mid-Year 2020.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Division Director of Water Planning & Management
The State of Connecticut, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is charged with conserving, improving and protecting the natural resources and the environment of the state of Connecticut as well as making cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of the state. The agency is also committed to playing a positive role in rebuilding Connecticut’s economy and creating jobs and to fostering a sustainable and prosperous economic future for the state. Connecticut is seeking talented and dynamic candidates to join the agency’s management team as its Division Director of Water Planning & Management. This Division is responsible for implementing requirements of the federal Clean Water Act and state statutes and regulations to protect water quality and habitat, maintain water quantity, and protect public health and safety.
More details regarding this position can be found 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.
Watersheds Committee Call
Thursday, January 23, 2:30-4:00 EST.
This will be a states only call, discussing various aspects of the section 303(d) VISION.
Please contact Jasper Hobbs with any questions.