Public Webcast on Navigable Waters Protection Rule (WOTUS)
EPA and the Army will hold a public webcast to help explain the key elements of the final Navigable Waters Protection Rule on Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 2-3 PM ET.
Registration is available here.
The webcast will be recorded and available online following presentation. ACWA is working with our partners at EPA to schedule a webinar for state implementers. We will share that information when it becomes available.
Clean Water Act SRF Formula Modernization Bill and Regional Water Bodies Bills
Recently, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers introduced H.R. 5628, The Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act, to modernize the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) allocation formula. The legislation would modernize the existing formula by incorporating new criteria such as the Clean Watersheds Needs Survey data, decennial census population counts, and states’ quality impairment component ratio. The legislation would also require EPA to update the formula every four years.
The House is also set to vote on several bills to address pollution concerns in the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, and other regional water bodies across the country. H.R. 1620 Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act reauthorizes the Chesapeake Bay Program and increases spending levels to $90 million in FY 2020 and increase authorization levels by $500,000 annually through FY 2024 to address nutrient pollution in the bay. H.R. 4031, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act, would address nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes by increasing funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to $375 million for FY 2022 and then by $25 million annually through FY 2026. H.R. 4044, Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act, would reauthorize the National Estuary Program and increase authorizations to approximately $50 million. H.R. 1132, The San Francisco Bay Restoration Act, establishes a $25 million grant program to support restoration of the San Francisco Bay. Finally, H.R. 2247, PUGET SOS Act, would provide assistance for programs and activities to protect and improve the water quality of the Puget Sound.
EPA Announces NPDES eRule Phase 2 Extension Proposed Rule
This week, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the proposed Phase 2 Extension Rule. EPA is proposing an extension to the compliance deadline for implementation of the NPDES eRule Phase 2 by three years, from December 21, 2020 to December 21, 2023. The proposed rule would also give states the additional flexibility to request up to three additional years to implement Phase 2 if needed, subject to EPA review and approval. Further, this notice proposes changes to the NPDES eRule that would clarify existing requirements and eliminate some duplicative or outdated reporting requirements. These changes will help ensure a smoother transition from paper to electronic reporting for the NPDES program. EPA has posted a fact sheet and pre-publication version that can be found here. If you would like more information about the proposed rule or if you have any questions about NPDES electronic reporting, please contact Carey Johnston at EPA.
EPA ECHO Training February 18, 2020
EPA is hosting an Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) Training Webinar on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. The webinar will provide an overview of the data in ECHO and guide attendees 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 here 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 will include site characterization, fate and transport, remediation technologies, AFFF, and risk communications. The training dovetails with the Emerging Contaminants Summit occurring March 10-11. You can 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.
Introduction to the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model
EPA’s Water Quality Modeling Workgroup is hosting a series of webinars to help water quality professionals better understand surface water quality modeling and how models can be used to solve common problems that face water quality regulators. The next webinar will be an Introduction to APEX, on February 19, 1-3pm EST.
ACWA, ASDWA, ECOS Submit Joint Comments on TRI Listing of PFAS
This week, ACWA jointly submitted comments with ASDWA and ECOS in response to EPA’s ANPRM, Addition of Certain Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances; Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting ( Docket # EPA-HQ-TRI-2019-0375).
The letter makes several points:
- States largely support the PFAS TRI listing actions pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act (see a summary of those required activities here).
- TRI represents an important opportunity to fill critical information gaps for states, especially with respect to tracing the source(s) of discovered contaminants.
- PFAS should be listed individually and as major classes.
- A 100lbs reporting threshold (regarding NDAA requirements and otherwise) is too high. EPA should consult states and consider individual state comments when it considers and/or revises the thresholds.
- Criteria for TRI listing of PFAS are unquestionably met. If called into question, states urge EPA to err on the side of listing rather than not listing. If this determination is not made, we request that the EPA Administrator articulate to their state colleagues why this was the case.
To view the letter, go here.
2020 National Stormwater Roundtable
This week ACWA staff facilitated the 2020 National Stormwater Roundtable, held in San Antonio, Texas. In total, 88 individuals participated at this meeting with representatives from 33 states, 7 EPA regions, ACWA staff, and EPA Headquarters. We also had 57 people participate in this meeting remotely. Topics for this meeting included: An Overview of the Texas Program; the San Antonio Stormwater Program; Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices; Training, Outreach, and Tools for the Public and Private Sector; Long Term Stormwater Planning; Construction Permits for Small Sites; Implementation of the Small MS4 Remand Rule; TMDLs and General Permits; Integrating Municipal, Industrial, and Construction Stormwater Programs; Concerns Regarding WOTUS Impacts; Tier 2 Waters Analysis for Construction; Pollutant Specific Challenges associated with Chloride, Human Bacteria, Nutrients, and Trash; Updates to the Industrial Stormwater Program; Stormwater Permits for Solar Farms; Monitoring and/or Modelling Requirements in Stormwater Programs; and Municipal Coalition Building in Massachusetts. For more details about this meeting please contact Sean Rolland.
Association of Clean Water Administrators Leadership Education and Development System (LEADS)
What is it?
The ACWA Leadership Education and Development System (LEADS) is a new Board directed initiative intended to encourage participation in leadership activities and help future leaders in the organization improve their understanding of roles and responsibilities.
Who can participate?
All current state and interstate members and their staff interested in learning more about leadership in ACWA (Committee/Workgroup Chairs, Regional Board Members, Executive Officers) can volunteer to participate in LEADS.
How do I engage?
To learn more about the LEADS initiative, please contact Sean Rolland to get access to a short questionnaire. Upon completing the questionnaire, participants will be provided access to a new Member365 Workspace, which holds materials developed expressly for the ACWA LEADS program.
What if I have more questions?
After reviewing the materials, should a participant have more questions and/or be interested in further discussing future leadership opportunities in ACWA, a volunteer advisor with experience in that leadership role will notified and will reach out to you.
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 any questions. Thank you for your assistance!
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 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting – March 17–18, 2020
Reserve your room now! Use group code MWC to reserve online here. The guaranteed room rate ends February 21.
To register for the meeting and view the draft agenda, go here.
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 by February 14.
2020 ACWA Modeling Workshop – October 20-23, 2020
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.
Georgia Environmental Protection Division: Water Quality Standards Specialist
This environmental compliance specialist position is housed in the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Watershed Protection Branch main office in downtown Atlanta, GA. The incumbent in this position will serve as Georgia’s Water Quality Standards (WQS) specialist under the direct supervision of the TMDL Modeling and Development Unit manager. The incumbent will have the following specific duties and responsibilities that advance the implementation of the Clean Water Act and Georgia Water Quality Control Act within the State of Georgia. See more in the specific position description.
Instructions: Interested applicants should fill out the continuous recruitment application here by February 14, 2020. Note that you will not see the description for the Water Quality Standards Specialist position on the application webpage. Georgia EPD will contact interested applicants via email to provide further details regarding the Water Quality Standards Specialist position.
District of Columbia: Environmental Protection Specialist
This position is located in the Department of Energy and Environment, Natural Resources Administration, Water Quality Division, Monitoring and Assessment Branch. The incumbent serves as an Environmental Protection Specialist and a member of the interdisciplinary scientific monitoring team that is working to protect and restore the quality of the District of Columbia’s water resources. Apply by 2/10/2020.
To view the position details and apply, go here and search “9639.”
Wisconsin: DNR Environmental Management Division Policy Director
This position is located in the Office of Emerging Contaminants, in Madison, WI. Wisconsin DNR is seeking a division-level Policy Director to lead this new office. This career executive position plays a lead role in assuring program integration, innovation, issue management, and policy evaluation relating to a broad set of major environmental policy matters including emerging contaminants, such as PFAS, among other initiatives that have a significant impact on the state’s resources. Apply by 2/24/2020. To view the position details and apply, go here.
Washington: Department of Ecology Water Quality Program Manager
This position is located in Thurston County, WA. Washington Dept. of Ecology is seeking a motivated and innovative problem-solver, with both strategic and operational experience, to lead and manage the Water Quality Program. This new Program Manager will build strong relationships with various stakeholders in order to achieve results through technical and financial assistance and regulation. This a highly visible environmental management role which impacts fisheries, hydropower, land use, and other aquatic related programs. To view the position details and apply, go here.
New Mexico: Municipal Team Supervisor within the Point Source Regulation Section
This position is located in Sante Fe, Mexico. The New Mexico Environment Department, Surface Water Quality Bureau is looking for candidates to fill the Municipal Team Supervisor position within the Point Source Regulation Section. This position is responsible for the protection of the State’s surface water quality through implementation of the Bureau’s Point Source Regulation Program and works with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and certify National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to ensure compliance and conformance with the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), the New Mexico Water Quality Act (WQA), the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, the New Mexico Ground and Surface Water Protection Regulations (20.6.2 NMAC), and the New Mexico Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters (20.6.4 NMAC). This position also serves as a point of contact to disseminate information about the NPDES program to regulated entities. This position reviews NPDES permits and activities of permitted or unpermitted municipalities and industries, and assists EPA with surface water-related compliance evaluation inspections including enforcement actions for entities not meeting State and Federal discharge requirements. This position also involves direct supervision of two employees including review of technical work and documents generated by the team, performance evaluations, time reporting and approval, and recommendation for hiring or discipline. To view the position details and apply, go here and search Municipal Team Supervisor (NMENV/WPD #38201). If you have questions, contact Sarah Holcomb, PSRS Program Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-827-2798).