EPA, Army Announce Final WOTUS Step 2 Revision
On January 23, the EPA and the Department of the Army finalized the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” (i.e. Step 2), the latest action in defining “Waters of the United States.” Similar to the proposal released in September 2019, the rule delineates 4 categories of waterbodies that are within CWA jurisdiction and 12 that are excluded. It replaces the Step 1 Rule published in October 2019.
The Rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Find the Rule (pre-publication version) and associated materials on EPA’s site.
EPA and Army Corps will be hosting a webcast to explain key elements of the final rule on February 13. Find registration information here.
EPA Adds Certain PFAS to Community Right-to-Know Act’s Toxics Release Inventory
On January 16, pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act s.7321, EPA added 160 PFAS to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) effective January 1, 2020. Those PFAS listed met the following criteria: (1) the compound was already subject to a SNUR; (2) the compound was noted as “Active in Commerce” in the February 2019 TSCA update; and, (3) not subject to a claim of protection from disclosure (i.e. confidential business information). Entities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use 100lbs or more of the selected PFAS will be subject to reporting requirements for calendar year 2020.
EPA will still accept public comments on an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to how other PFAS may be reported to the TRI, and how EPA should go about considering and potentially adding PFAS to the TRI in the future. Comments are due February 3. Find more information here.
CEQ Announces Details of First Public Hearing on Proposed Rule to Modernize NEPA Regulations
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the details of the first public hearing on its proposal to comprehensively update National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations for the first time in over 40 years. The hearing will be held on February 11th in Denver, CO, at the EPA Region 8 office. There will be a morning and afternoon session available for registration.
- The morning hearing session will convene at 9 am and will conclude at Noon MST.
- The afternoon hearing session will convene at 1 pm and will conclude at 4 pm MST.
Individuals wishing to attend the public hearing, either as a speaker or as a listener, must register in advance on Eventbrite. The same individual cannot register for multiple tickets. Free tickets to both sessions will be available at the links below at 1:30 pm EST (11:30 am MST), today, January 22, 2020.
- Tickets for the morning session (9 am-Noon MST) will be available HERE.
- Tickets for the afternoon session (1 pm-4 pm MST) will be available HERE.
CEQ is also planning on making a public webcast presentation of its proposed rule available on its websites in advance of the public hearing.
On January 10, 2020, CEQ published a notice of proposed rulemaking for the comprehensive update of NEPA. Comments on CEQ’s proposed rule should be submitted on or before March 10, 2020.
ECOS ERIS Website Live
The Environmental Research Institute of the States (ERIS), ECOS’ science and education subsidiary, recently launched its first website, eristates.org. The site is home to research and tools from state and federal agencies, ERIS projects including the new PFAS Risk Communication Hub, and a calendar of events for easy access to trainings and webinars. If you have a science or research item, tool, or event you would like to share with other states, email Sarah Grace Longsworth.
Wyoming & Montana Petition SCOTUS
Wyoming and Montana filed a Supreme Court petition arguing that Washington regulators violated constitutional protections on interstate commerce when they denied a Clean Water Act section 401 permit for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, WA. The states’ petition is based upon the Commerce Clause and they argue that, “[w]hen Washington denied “with prejudice” a Section 401 Water Quality permit for the Millennium Bulk Terminal in Cowlitz County, it did so to protect its own agricultural interests and because it objected, as a matter of political posturing, to the commodity that Wyoming and Montana sought to export: coal.”
USGS Releases First Iteration of National Integrated Water Availability Map
USGS has released the first of three major mapping services related to water quality and quantity under development. The Availability Map provides near real-time estimates of natural water storage (water present on the landscape as standing water, snowpack, soil water, and shallow groundwater — but not rivers or deep groundwater) in 110,000 regions across the lower 48 states. The map’s shading illustrates how current conditions deviate from a 30-year normal and is updated daily. The map is another tool intended to improve understanding of water resources and the real-time management of land and water use, water quality and quantity, nutrients, and other inter-related considerations.
View the map here.
National Stormwater Calculator: Great Lakes Applications Webinar
February 19, 2020 | 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET
“To reduce impairments of our nation’s waterbodies caused by stormwater runoff, EPA developed the National Stormwater Calculator (SWC) to help support local, state, tribal and national stormwater management objectives and regulatory efforts to reduce runoff through infiltration and retention using green infrastructure practices as low impact development (LID) controls. The primary focus of the SWC is to inform users on how well they can meet a desired stormwater retention target with and without the use of green infrastructure. The SWC makes it easy to estimate runoff reduction when planning a new development or redevelopment site with LID stormwater controls.
This presentation focuses on examples of how EPA’s SWC has been applied in the Great Lakes region; advancing the science and implementation of green infrastructure to protect water quality and human health. The applications include: EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, University of Michigan’s Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments program, and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Green Infrastructure Grants Program. Webinar participants will see how the lessons learned in the Great Lakes region could be applied in their own area.”
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.
SNC NCI Symposium II – Dallas, Texas
This week ACWA staff and 100+ state and federal program staff and managers attended the SNC NCI Symposium II meeting in Dallas, Texas. The goal of this meeting is to share information and best practices related to improving the rate of SNC across authorized states and EPA direct implementation areas – with particular focuses on the challenges associated with reducing SNC at small POTWs and other small systems, approaches for improving data quality and addressing completeness issues, and the roles of compliance assistance and enforcement in this initiative. Presentation topics included: 1) Evidence-Based Best Practices for Improving Compliance; 2) Expanding Use of Notifications for Deterring and Preventing Effluent SNC; 3) Importance of Enforcement Actions to Achieve the NCI Goals; 4) Recent EPA SNC NCI Guidance; 5) Improving Compliance at Small POTWs; 6) Importance of Addressing Data Completeness and Data Quality Issues to Achieve the NCI goals; 7) SNC Electronic Tool Intensives; 8) Reducing the Rate of True DMR Non-Submittal and Faulty DMR Submission; and 9) Role of EPA and State inspections/inspectors in SNC NCI. Copies of the presentations can be found here. For more details on the meeting please contact Sean Rolland.
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.
2020 ACWA Modeling Workshop – October 20-23
ACWA will be holding a Modeling Workshop, October 20-23, 2020 at the EPA Region 5 facilities in Chicago, IL. This workshop is aiming to build off of last year’s EPA-led workshop in Dallas. We have a great planning team of State and EPA members, working hard to put together an agenda. There will also be a Pre-Conference Workshop on Monday, October 19 designed as an intro course for those new to modeling or interested in a refresher.
Please stay tuned for more information regarding travel, lodging, and content.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Environmental Specialist Senior located in Iowa City, IA in the Watershed Improvement Section of the Department’s Water Quality Bureau (in Des Moines, IA). Closes 1/30/2020.
The primary responsibility will be to serves as the Basin Coordinator for assigned river basins throughout eastern Iowa. In addition, this position is a key element of DNR’s role in implementing the nearly $97 million HUD National Disaster Resiliency Competition – Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) project. Also serves as a Project Manager and technical advisor for several EPA Section 319 watershed projects. This position will work closely with the Non point Source Pollution Program Coordinator and Watershed Improvement Section Supervisor and serve as a liaison between the DNR Watershed Improvement Program and other local, regional, and state watershed groups for assigned eastern Iowa River basins.
To view the full vacancy and apply, go here.