Public Webinar for the Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule
On June 1, 2020, the EPA finalized the “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule” to implement the water quality certification process consistent with the text and structure of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The final rule establishes procedures that promote consistent implementation of CWA section 401 and regulatory certainty in the federal licensing and permitting process. The final rule also, for the first time, provides a holistic analysis of the statutory text, legislative history, and relevant case law informing implementation of CWA section 401.
The EPA is hosting a public webinar to review the key elements of the finalized rule on June 17, 2020 from 2:00pm – 3:15pm (Eastern Time). The webinar will be a presentation only and will be recorded and posted on the CWA 401 website for future viewing.
You are welcome to send questions and points to clarify before and after the presentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration for the webinar is available here.
Utah Launches Data Dashboard for Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater
This week, Utah made available its data dashboard for a multi-entity pilot study conducted to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in wastewater. The dashboard provides virus detection results at select sewage treatment facilities, interactive data mappers, descriptions of key findings, and links to key resources. The pilot study did not detect SARS-CoV-2 in effluent (i.e. treated wastewater), only in influent (i.e. untreated wastewater), and measured increasing virus concentrations in regions that also experienced increased COVID-19 case counts. Per the pilot study results, collaborators are working to deploy the study’s virus detection methodologies at wastewater treatment facilities across Utah.
The dashboard is an early example of states and local entities working to operationalize virus detection data in untreated wastewater to better understand whether such monitoring could provide a useful tool for public health officials to evaluate community COVID-19 infection trends, identify emerging areas of infection, and/or confirm observed low infection rates.
Access the dashboard here.
Webinar: “Launching ASDWA’s New PFAS – Source Water Protection Guide and Toolkit”
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Click here
This Association of State Drinking Water Administrators webinar will showcase the new guide and toolkit that was developed with support from a Project Advisory Council (PAC) with representatives from nine states (Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin), and the Cadmus Group. The purpose of the guide is to demonstrate and share effective strategies for addressing PFAS contamination risk in source waters that will help inform policy decisions, assist state drinking water programs in protecting public health, and encourage collaboration and communication among states and water utilities. The tool includes three main components:
- The Decision Support Tool provides examples of state actions to address PFAS contamination.
- The Technical Appendix includes an overview of PFAS, chemicals of concern, PFAS in the U.S., and state PFAS profiles.
- The Mapping Guidance aids identifying and mapping source waters that are vulnerable to PFAS contamination.
12th National Monitoring Conference: Call for Sessions
The 12th National Monitoring Conference will occur the week of April 19, 2021. “This conference provides opportunities for water stakeholders – federal, state, tribal and local water professionals, non-profits, academia, and volunteer citizen scientists – to network, develop new skills and partnerships, and exchange information.”
The National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) is requesting proposals for concurrent sessions that align with the 2021 conference themes. Session proposals are due June 18, 2020. Please review the Concurrent Session Guidelines for details on the session proposal submission and review process. Instructions for submitting session proposals are available on the conference website. Please send all session proposal and program development questions to email@example.com.
EPA Webinar on Winner of Advanced Septic System Nitrogen Sensor Challenge Available Online
As part of the Decentralized MOU Partnership, EPA hosted a webinar on May 27, 2020 about the winner of their Advanced Septic System Nitrogen Sensor Challenge. The full webinar has been posted online here.
National CWA 303(d) Training Workshop Materials Available Online
The National CWA 303(d) Training Workshop took place in a virtual setting the week of May 26, 2020. Materials have been made available on the Environmental Law Institute’s website. You can view the agenda, presentations, and handouts from this year’s workshop (as well as summary reports and other materials from previous years’ workshops) here.
ACWA Nutrients Policy Committee Webinar: RCPP Case Studies
Date: Tuesday, June 16 | 2:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Click here
ACWA’s Nutrients Policy Committee will be holding a webinar on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The Kansas Water Office and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District have kindly agreed to present on their RCPP-funded projects.
Please contact Jasper Hobbs for more information on the webinar and the Nutrients Policy Committee.
EPA Webinar: Introduction to ECHO
Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 | 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Eastern Time
Register: Click here
EPA’s next Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) webinar will provide an overview of the data in ECHO and guide users through using the site to answer environmental compliance and enforcement questions. The focus of this session will be a collection of short, step-by-step demonstrations geared toward new and infrequent users. We will demonstrate the capabilities of the ECHO Facility Search to answer questions such as:
- How do I search for a specific facility?
- How do I search for facilities in my community?
- How do I search for facilities releasing a pollutant?
EPA Webinar: DMR Integrity Screening Tool Webinar
Date Change: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Contact Sean Rolland for more details
EPA’s Office of Compliance is creating a beta tool, called the DMR Integrity Screening Tool, that uses statistical algorithms to detect whether submitted effluent values may have been misreported. The algorithms screen NPDES discharge monitoring reports for a variety of misreporting indicators.
Here is some information about piloting a project: “The DMR Integrity Screening Tool would be made available via ECHO Gov – for the states that join in our beta testing period. We expect to have it ready to launch by the end of August. At that time, we’d like to begin field testing it with up to nine states that have volunteered. The goals of the pilot will be to:
- Evaluate how effective the screening algorithms are at finding misreporting, especially serious or intentional misreporting.
- Improve the tool to make it as useful as possible for states in planning and carrying out their NPDES inspections.
- Ensure that ICIS-NPDES data can be used in a uniform way to track success rates for audits/inspections selected from the Tool.
- Develop best practices for investigating when misreporting is suspected.
OC will conduct training for participating states on how to use the tool to choose targets for inspection. For us to adequately measure whether the algorithms work in a way that supports expansion of the tool to all states, we will ask participating states to report out on findings at targeted facilities. During our national webinar, we will explain the project in detail and answer questions so states can decide whether they want to participate. If you have questions about DMR Integrity Screening, please reach out to Andrew Schulman.”