House Democrats Introduce Infrastructure Framework
The Chairs of three U.S. House Committees released a framework for a five-year, $760 billion investment in infrastructure that would address some of the country’s most urgent infrastructure needs, from addressing the massive maintenance backlog, to designing safer streets, to putting the U.S. on a path toward zero emissions from the transportation sector and increasing resiliency. The framework put forth by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) would bolster the Federal role in order to help communities around the country undertake transformative projects that are smarter, safer, and made to last. Among other things, the framework outlines major investments, including those in surface transportation, rail and transit systems, airports, ports and harbors, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, brownfields, and broadband.
Additional details are included in a fact sheet that is available here. The specific clean water provisions include:
Clean Water & Wastewater Infrastructure — $50.5 Billion
- Funds building new, modern clean water and wastewater infrastructure by investing $40 billion in the
Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), to address local water quality challenges, with dedicated
funds for urban and rural communities with affordability concerns
- Encourages the use of energy-efficient and water-efficient technologies.
- Helps communities affordably address local sewer overflow and stormwater infrastructure needs,
preventing pollution in local rivers and waterways, and disruptions to service.
- Establishes a new EPA program to detect, prevent, and treat discharge of industrial chemicals, including
EPA ECHO Training February 18, 2020
EPA will be doing another Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) Training Webinar on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. This 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?
Register at https://echo.epa.gov/help/training#upcoming to save your spot.
Upcoming ITRC PFAS Training, Free to States
On March 11 in Westminster, Colorado, ITRC will provide training exploring the key elements for characterizing and managing PFAS impacted sites. Topics of discussion include site characterization, fate and transport, remediation technologies, AFFF, and risk communications. The training dovetails with the Emerging Contaminants Summit occurring March 10-11. Find registration information here.
ASWM State/Tribal/Federal Coordination Meeting – April 7-9, 2020
ASWM is holding an annual meeting to support state and tribal wetland program managers, and other wetland professionals as they respond to challenges in the coming year. This meeting will take place from April 7-9, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. Meeting info can be found here. Please click here for draft agenda.
For questions regarding registration and logistics, please contact Laura Burchill at email@example.com or at (207) 892-3399.
ACWA Summarizes New WOTUS Rule
Released in pre-publication form by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers on January 23, 2020, the Navigable Waters Protection Act: Waters of the United States Definition provided the agencies’ final rule defining “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act.
ACWA drafted a summary of the Rule to assist states. Once the Rule is published in the Federal Register, we will likely have 60 days to respond via comment. Therefore, as you review the pre-publication version, please send any questions/comments/and clarifications your state/interstate has with regard to the Rule to Mark Patrick McGuire.
You can view ACWA’s summary here.
ACWA Annual Membership Survey
The ACWA FY2018-FY2022 Strategic Plan directs management to annually survey the membership to evaluate ACWA’s services and member satisfaction. The survey results are intended to assist Leadership, Management and Staff in planning for the future. This survey is 17 questions long and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. This survey is being directed to the main ACWA member from each state and all their staff that might participate on our committees and workgroups. Please plan to complete the survey by Friday, February, 21, 2020. Please contact Sean Rolland if you have nay questions. Thank you for your assistance!
As per the FY2018-FY2022 ACWA Strategic Plan, over 70 state staff volunteered to be part of an Experts Directory, which is a new ACWA service provided in the Member365 Environment. These subject matter experts (SMEs) volunteered to make themselves available should their peers in other states have programmatic related questions. This new Directory was been added as a drop down on the Memebr365 dashboard page and is organized by Expert Subject Area. The subject matter areas include 316(b), 401 Certification, 404 Assumption, CAFO/Animal Agriculture, Enforcement and Compliance, Funding, Legal Affairs, Monitoring & Assessment, Nutrients Policy, NPDES Permitting, Nonpoint Source, Oceans and Coastal Issues, Pesticides, Pretreatment, State Implementation of CWA Programs, Steam Electric, Stormwater – Municipal, Stormwater – Industrial, Technology and Innovation, Water Quality Trading, Water Quality Standards, Water Quantity, and Watersheds & TMDLs. If you have programmatic questions, this may be another option to help you find out how other states are addressing the issue. Several volunteers offered to help research a question if they did not have an answer readily available. Beyond answering Member questions, ACWA may also ask the SMEs to identify:
- challenges & barriers to program implementation
- opportunities for state program improvement & enhancement
- state advances and innovations
- needs for training, guidance, tools, and other support materials
- positions the Associations wishes to take on specific issues
If you would like to volunteer as an SME, please contact Sean Rolland at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details on Member365, please check out our FAQ Page.
SNC NCI Symposium II – Dallas, Texas
Last 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.
Nutrients Tracker Still Open for State Responses
The Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker 2.0 – 2019 (the “Tracker”) is still open for states to respond.
For some background, the Nutrients Working Group (“NWG”), a partnership between ACWA, EPA, and ASDWA, began work in 2014 to identify a set of measures that demonstrate progress toward nutrient reduction in the nation’s waters. States recognized that while there was a national metric tracking state adoption of numeric nitrogen and phosphorus criteria for lakes, estuaries, and flowing waters, there was an opportunity to also measure the myriad of other approaches states take to reduce nutrient pollution.
The Nutrient Reduction Progress Tracker Version 1.0 – 2017 was the culmination of that effort. The NWG released a Report in March 2018 summarizing the data received.
The Nutrients Reduction Progress Tracker Version 2.0 – 2019 follows the 2017 version, seeking to both track state progress on nutrients pollution reduction efforts since 2017 and also seek more detail on state programs.
You may access the Tracker here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ACWATracker2019.
If you would like a fillable .pdf to assist in your efforts, you may access that here: Nutrient_Reduction_Progress_Tracker_2.0_-_2019.
For assistance in filling out the Tracker, please consult ACWA’s FAQs here: Nutrient_Reduction_Progress_Tracker_2.0_-_2019_FAQ.
If you have any other questions regarding this effort, please contact Mark Patrick McGuire or 202-756-0604.
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 email@example.com 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.