President Biden’s FY 2022 Discretionary Funding Request
Please see the President’s “skinny” budget request. The discretionary request proposes $769 billion in non-defense discretionary funding in FY 2022, a 16% increase over the FY 2021 enacted level, and $753 billion for national defense programs, a 1.7% increase. Specific requests of interest may include:
- Invests more than $1.4 billion, including $936 million toward a new Accelerating Environmental and Economic Justice initiative at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- An increase of more than $1.4 billion from the 2021 enacted levels for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climate work
- Provides $100 million more than 2021 enacted levels for Rural Water and Wastewater Grants and Loans
- The President’s 2022 discretionary request includes $11.2 billion for EPA, a $2 billion or 21.3% increase from the 2021 enacted level with specific priorities mentioned below:
- Restores Critical Staff Capacity to Carry Out EPA’s Core Mission
- Tackles Climate Change with the Urgency Science Demands
- Delivers Environmental Justice for Overburdened and Marginalized Communities
- Invests in Critical Water Infrastructure and Creates Jobs
- Protects Communities from Hazardous Waste and Environmental Damage
- Tackles Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Pollution
- Overhauls and Strengthens External Civil Rights Compliance Office
A copy of the “skinny” budget can be found here.
OECA Extends Inspection Flexibilities
The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) sent a letter to state partners extending inspection flexibilities to count both off-site and onsite compliance assurance activities in meeting your compliance monitoring commitments through September 2021. EPA will evaluate the need to extend this date further at that time, if appropriate. This letter extends the flexibilities issued by OECA in July 2020. The letter also provides additional clarification on processes and documentation.
EPA Releases Updated PFBS Toxicity Assessment
On April 8, 2021, EPA released an updated toxicity assessment for perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) as part of EPA’s commitment to restore scientific integrity to all of the agency’s actions and increase the amount of research and information available to the public on PFAS chemicals.
EPA, federal agencies, states, tribes, and local communities can use the PFBS toxicity assessment, along with specific exposure and other relevant information, to determine if and when it is necessary to take action to address potential health risks associated with human exposures to PFBS under appropriate regulations and statutes.
The assessment released on April 8 has gone through all appropriate reviews, includes input EPA received from external peer review, upholds the tenants of scientific integrity, was authored by expert career scientists in EPA’s Office of Research and Development, and has not been compromised by political staff – these were all issues with a version of the assessment that was posted during the previous administration.
EPA Administrator Announces Agency Actions to Advance Environmental Justice
On April 7, 2021, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan directed all EPA offices to clearly integrate environmental justice considerations into their plans and actions. The new measures announced are one of EPA’s response to the Biden-Harris Administration’s directive to all federal agencies to embed equity into their programs and services to ensure the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals.
For more information, click here.
ECOS Seeking Water Reuse Projects
ECOS is soliciting examples of water reuse projects that showcase the successful integration of low-input solutions to meet local water needs as an action of the National Water Reuse Action Plan. Low-input solutions include projects that can be considered low-energy, low-cost, or low-maintenance, or that have another feature that makes them accessible to a variety of practitioners while still meeting public health and environmental goals. Feel free to share this request and the full solicitation with colleagues or those who might be interested. Please submit examples to Layne Piper of ECOS by April 23, 2021. ECOS will collect additional information from selected projects to develop into case studies, and some projects will have the opportunity to be featured in a webinar later this year.
USGS Update: The Quality of Our Groundwater—Progress on a National Survey
A U.S. Geological Survey study of groundwater quality across the nation that began in 2013 now includes water-quality information for 18 of the most heavily used aquifers in the nation. In addition to summary fact sheets for 15 principal aquifers previously released, fact sheets are now available for the Edwards-Trinity aquifer system (primarily Texas, parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas), the Stream Valley aquifers in the western U.S. (Arkansas River, Missouri River, and Red River drainages in parts of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado), and the Colorado Plateaus aquifers in the western U.S. (SE Wyoming, E Utah, W Colorado, NW New Mexico, NE Arizona).
Untreated groundwater from nearly 1,300 deep public-supply wells has been sampled from the 18 aquifers. Overall, inorganic constituents with a geologic source—related to the interaction of groundwater and aquifer rocks and sediments—most commonly exceeded human-health benchmarks. Among the aquifers, from 3-50% percent of samples contained at least one inorganic constituent that exceeded a benchmark. Those constituents were primarily the trace elements arsenic, fluoride, manganese, and strontium. The most frequent trace element exceedances occurred in the Stream Valley aquifers (37%), Rio Grande aquifer system (27%), and the Glacial aquifer system (24%).
One or more radioactive constituents, which also have geologic sources, exceeded a human-health benchmark in a small percentage of samples (0-12%) in most of the 18 aquifers studied. The exceptions were the Piedmont and Blue Ridge crystalline-rock aquifers and the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system, where exceedances were 30% and 45%, respectively. The nutrient nitrate was the only constituent with a manmade source that exceeded the human-health benchmark, typically in a low percentage of samples (0-7%).
About half of the nation’s population relies on groundwater for drinking water. The U.S. Geological Survey is intensively studying principal aquifers that provide most of the nation’s groundwater pumped for public supply. Water-quality information for three remaining principal aquifers is slated for publication in 2021.
Access related groundwater-quality data is available here.
EPA Offers State Training on New Overflow Sewer Grants
EPA is offering several identical training opportunities related to the New Overflow Sewer Grants. EPA’s Office of Water has released a Grant Implementation Document for the new Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants (OSG) Program. The OSG Program was authorized by the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 and will begin accepting applications and awarding grants to states in 2021.
EPA HQ is offering four virtual trainings for states and other stakeholders in 2021. The content will be the same for each training date. Please register at one of the links below:
- OSG Program State Training #1 – Thursday, April 15, 2021 – 11:00AM – 5:00PM Eastern Time
- OSG Program State Training #2 – Tuesday, April 20, 2021 – 11:00AM – 5:00PM Eastern Time
- OSG Program State Training #3 – Thursday, May 6, 2021 – 11:00AM – 5:00PM Eastern Time
- OSG Program State Training #4 – Tuesday, May 18, 2021 – 11:00AM – 5:00PM Eastern Time
For more information, please contact Rachel Congdon at (202) 566-1564 or email@example.com.
2021 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting Recap
Thank you for joining us at this year’s Mid-Year Meeting! ACWA is deeply appreciative of all panelists and participants for making both days such great successes. If you are interested in learning more about any of our speakers, please click here for a list of bios. If you would like to revisit any presentations from the meeting, please click here for Day 1 and click here for Day 2.
To ensure that ACWA continues to provide high-quality services for our members, we are gathering feedback on the Mid-Year Meeting that will be essential to the planning of future meetings and workshops. Please take a moment to fill out our post-meeting survey and share your thoughts directly with our staff by clicking here!
Meetings and Webinars
EPA Webinar: ICIS-NPDES – Introductory Q&A
Date: April 16, 2021 | 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Please see Monday March 29, 2021 email or contact Sean Rolland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join EPA Headquarters for an ICIS NPDES Q&A Webinar on April 16th, 2021, from 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST. The webinar will be an hour-long session of questions and answers with our panel of experts.
EPA Webinar: Enhanced Aquifer Recharge: the Influence of Stormwater on Groundwater Quality and Aquifer Recharge
Date: April 28, 2021 | 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Click here
Registration is now open for EPA’s Water Research Webinar on Enhanced Aquifer Recharge: the Influence of Stormwater on Groundwater Quality and Aquifer Recharge. This webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 28 from 2:00-3:00pm ET, with an optional Q&A session from 3:00-3:15pm ET.
After registering for the webinar, you should receive an automatic reply with a link to test your computer’s compatibility with the webinar software. Please note that for this webinar, attendees can only listen with computer audio and will not be able to call into the webinar using a phone line. This change has been made to allow more people to attend the webinar.
Environmental Analyst – Water Quality Liaison | NEIWPCC
Location: Lowell, MA
Apply by: April 23, 2021
NEIWPCC is seeking an Environmental Analyst to assist their Director of Water Quality Programs with various program issues and grants and develop information on which NEIWPCC policy decisions are based. The candidate will work with other project officers to prepare individual project/program element work plans and budgets, approve payments under those projects, and pursue potential new sources of funding for projects. Finally, they will assist in the preparation of grant applications for new projects, contracts, and final project reports.
To learn more and apply, click here.
Environmental Analyst VI – Director of Watershed Planning Program | Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Location: Worcester, MA
Apply by: Open until filled (first consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days)
MassDEP’s Watershed Planning Program has posted a requisition for the Director of Watershed Planning Program (Environmental Analyst VI). The Director will guide MassDEP’s Clean Water Act Program and staff in monitoring, water quality assessment, surface water quality standards, development of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and the nonpoint source program. The Director supervises a group of approximately 30 people.
To learn more and apply, click here.
NPDES Permit Writer (Natural Resource Specialist 3) | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Eugene or Salem, OR
Apply by: April 20, 2021
This position will develop National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permits for major or minor sources that originate in any part of Oregon. In addition, the candidate will solve difficult NPDES permit-related problems, such as developing strategies for compliance with water quality standards or discharges to water bodies that are not meeting water quality standards.
To learn more and apply, click here.