President-Elect Biden Names EPA Agency Review Team
As President-Elect Biden moves forward with transition preparations, he has released the names of agency review teams that are responsible for understanding the operations of each agency and ensuring a smooth transfer of power. The Environmental Protection Agency team will also review the Chemical Safety Board.
|Name||Most Recent Employment||Source of Funding|
|Patrice Simms, Team Lead||Earthjustice||Volunteer|
|Amanda Aguirre||Blue Crab Strategies||Volunteer|
|Ann Dunkin||Dell Technologies||Volunteer|
|Matt Fritz||Latham & Watkins, LLP||Volunteer|
|Lisa Garcia||Grist Magazine, Inc.||Volunteer|
|Cynthia Giles||Harvard Environmental and Energy Law Program||Volunteer|
|Joseph Goffman||Harvard Law School||Volunteer|
|Ken Kopocis||American University, Washington College of Law||Volunteer|
|Billie McGrane||PA Democratic Party||Transition — PT Fund, Inc.|
|Alejandra Nunez||The Sierra Club||Volunteer|
Center for American Progress Report
This week, the Center for American Progress (CAP) sent out a report asking Congress to increase funding for EPA and other federal programs to support and subsidize pollution reductions from stormwater runoff. Kevin DeGood, author of the report writes, “The United States will never achieve its goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of its waters without implementing a comprehensive, aggressive program to reduce nonpoint source water pollution and polluted urban runoff.” Specifically, the report calls for:
- Section 319 increases from $165 million to at least $1 billion, with 15 percent of funds set aside for competitive distribution to those states making the most progress toward achieving national water quality standards.
- Geographic program increases from $510 million to $1 billion annually.
- EQIP increased to $7 billion annually, with $200 million set aside for Conservation Innovation Grants. Additionally, EQIP should be amended to require that not less than 35 percent of funds go to projects explicitly designed to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff from agricultural lands.
- Regional Conservation Partnership Program increase from $300 million to $600 million annually, with at least 35 percent of funds set aside for projects primarily intended to improve water quality.
- CWSRF funds increased from $1.6 billion to $10 billion annually. States should be required to distribute 20 percent of the capitalization as grants to wastewater authorities in disadvantaged communities facing the greatest need. Additionally, 20 percent of the capitalization should be set aside for green infrastructure projects.
Additionally, the report notes that, “Congress must also be willing to bring a few sticks, including either reducing a state’s share of Geographic Programs, EQIP, RCPP, and CWSRF grant funds or raising the state’s matching requirement.” For instance, if a Great Lakes state fails to meet pollution control targets, that state’s share of the funds should be reduced. Likewise, under the CWA Section 319, grant funds “shall not exceed 60 percent” of the total cost of a state’s nonpoint source management program. The report recommends that states’ match be raised to 50 percent. And if after five years the state has still not made adequate progress on water quality goals, the state share should be raised to 60 percent. Similarly, the report wishes to raise the CWSRF state match from 20 percent match to 25/35 percent respectively if the state is not making water quality progress. A copy of the report can be found here.
EPA MOU Innovation Center for US Dairy
This week, EPA announced the signing of an MOU with the Innovation Center for U.S Dairy. Initiated in 2008 by dairy farmers through the dairy checkoff, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is a forum that brings together the dairy community to address the changing needs and expectations of consumers through a framework of shared best practices and accountability. This MOU is meant to continue building partnerships with the agriculture community, while promoting sustainability and reaching for environmental successes in mutually beneficial and critical areas. Highlights from this MOU include:
- Outreach and education tied to dairy community access to technical, financial and educational support related to adoption of environmentally beneficial practices and technologies across farms of all sizes, regions and designs.
- Contribution of EPA expert input and feedback on Innovation Center initiatives to help advance environmental stewardship.
- EPA membership in the Innovation Center’s Dairy Sustainability Alliance.
A list of agriculture MOUs can be found here.
Weekly Wrap Update – Week of 11/16
Due to internal maintenance of the ACWA website, there may not be a Weekly Wrap next week. Other updates to the website will also be delayed depending on how long the maintenance takes. Thank you for your patience as ACWA works to maximize our digital presence for members and staff.
ACWA Monitoring Standards and Assessment Committee Call
The ACWA Monitoring Standards and Assessment Committee will hold its next call on December 2, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:30 PM eastern. Contact Jake Adler for a registration link.
ACWA Legal Affairs Committee Call
ACWA Funding & Congressional Relations Committee Call
Meetings and Webinars
VIDA Stakeholder Engagement Webinar
November 17, 2020 | 2:00-2:00 PM ET.
EPA is hosting a public webinar on the proposed national standards of performance as required under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA). During the webinar EPA will provide an overview of the proposed rule, highlight changes from existing rules, and provide information on how to submit comments on the proposal.
EPA Creating the Water Workforce of the Future Webinar Series — Technology Adoption: It’s All About the People
December 9, 2020 | 11:00-12:30pm Eastern
Every day, water service providers tackle complex challenges, such as aging water infrastructure, extreme weather events, water shortages, rising costs, increasing customer demands, and cyber security. Water sector utilities serve as “anchor institutions” in their communities and are implementing new and exciting technologies to address these pressing challenges. As utilities adopt these new technologies, they also need to invest in their most important resource: their staff. It is critically important that employees receive training and support to ensure the water workforce remains efficient and resilient.
Please join EPA and speakers from two leading organizations as they discuss the motivations, challenges, and benefits they are experiencing as they work with their own employees and others to ensure their people get the best support possible to meet the technology and water quality challenges of the 21st century.
Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) — California State Water Resources Control Board
Location: Sacramento, CA
Closing Date: 11/23/2020
The State Water Resources Control Board’s (State Water Board) Division of Water Quality Sustainable Water Plans and Policies Section has an opening for a permanent full-time Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) to serve as the Division of Water Quality’s Environmental Regulation and Policy Specialist and Tribal Liaison in the Environmental Assessment Unit. The incumbent will work under the supervision with the Sustainable Water Plans and Policies Section Chief, but works independently as the lead staff to coordinate with appropriate program staff and external stakeholders to plan and prepare program analyses and documentation necessary to ensure compliance California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and AB-52 Native Americans: California Environmental Quality Act (collectively referred to as Environmental Assessment and Compliance) for all of the programs in the Division of Water Quality.
To learn more and apply, go here — Job Code JC-215398.