EPA Publishes NWQI Practitioners Guide
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), EPA has published Planning and Implementing Agricultural Water Quality Projects Through the National Water Quality Initiative: a Practitioners Guide (NWQI Practitioners Guide) on EPA’s webpages. The document provides a resource for EPA staff, NRCS staff, and state agency partners involved in implementing the NWQI, describing the structure of the initiative, its focus on accelerating water quality progress, and the roles of agency staff and stakeholders in planning, implementing, and monitoring water quality results for NWQI projects. The Guide will be useful for anyone interested in learning about the NWQI and agricultural water quality projects.
EPA FY22 Budget Request Released
On May 28th, the Biden Administration released its FY22 budget request. The plan allocates $11.233 billion for the EPA, the largest top-line request in the agency’s history. The budget emphasizes EPA’s four central priorities: tackling the climate crisis through science; advancing environmental justice; supporting state, tribal, and local partners; and expanding the capacity of EPA. Complementing the American Jobs Plan, the agency plans to devote significant resources to addressing aging water infrastructure, replacing all lead pipes and service lines in drinking water systems, and investing in PFAS monitoring and remediation.
Some of the key takeaways:
- $3.8 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants, including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
- $560 million for Categorical Grants, including funding for Section 106, Section 319 NPS, Wetlands Program Development, Public Water Supply, and Beaches Protection
- $547 million for Regional Programs, including Great Lakes Restoration, Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound, Long Island Sound, Gulf of Mexico, and Lake Champlain
- $80 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act
For a more detailed breakdown of programmatic funding and to compare levels since 2019, click here.
EPA Publishes Cyanotoxins Preparedness and Response Toolkit
This week, EPA posted a Cyanotoxins Preparedness and Response Toolkit (CPRT) online. The CPRT will help EPA’s state and tribal partners prepare for potential harmful algal blooms in freshwater bodies and respond to protect public health. Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) can cause fouling of beaches and shorelines, economic and aesthetic losses, taste and odor problems in drinking water, and direct risks to human, fish, and animal health. The CPRT includes:
- A template to develop Cyanobacteria/Cyanotoxins Management Plans, including worksheets and checklists to assist before and during a bloom event.
- Frequently Asked Questions on cyanoHABs, drinking water health advisories, and EPA’s Recommended Recreational Water Quality Criteria or Swimming Advisories for Microcystins and Cylindrospermopsin.
- Links to key tools relevant to the development of management plans and effective communication during cyanotoxin events.
- A cyanoHABs incident response questionnaire to use when a cyanotoxins event is suspected or confirmed.
- A post-incident technical support questionnaire to evaluate the effectiveness of the response.
The resources in the toolkit can be completed electronically, downloaded, and shared. The CPRT does not cover long-term management actions or the control and mitigation of cyanoHABs.
To learn more about cyanoHABs, visit EPA’s website here.
EPA Adds Three PFAS to TRI
EPA is adding three PFAS to the list of chemicals subject to toxic chemical release reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA). The analytes (and CAS No.’s) are: Perfluorooctyl iodide (507-63-1), Potassium perfluorooctanoate (2395-00-8), and Silver(I) perfluorooctanoate (335-93-3).
This action implements the statutory mandate in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020 NDAA) enacted on December 20, 2019. As this action is being taken to conform the regulations to a Congressional legislative mandate, notice and comment rulemaking is unnecessary and the final rule is effective July 6, 2021. Find more information at the Federal Register here.
Meetings and Webinars
EPA Webinar: Stormwater Funding and Financing June 8
Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm eastern
Registration: Click here to register!
On June 8th, EPA’s Water Finance Center kicks off a series of webinars presenting approaches for funding and financing stormwater infrastructure! You are invited to attend a 60-minute webinar that will highlight opportunities for funding and financing stormwater infrastructure through existing EPA programs. This webinar features speakers who will share their experiences and expertise. There will also be time for question and answer with the speakers.
Speakers for this first webinar include representatives from EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, Georgia Environmental Protection Department’s Nonpoint Source Program, and EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants program. The WIFIA program accelerates investment in water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects, including stormwater infrastructure. Georgia has funded green infrastructure projects across the state through EPA’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management grants. EPA’s CWSRF program is a source of low-interest funding for stormwater management projects. The new Municipal Grants Program will provide grant funding to states to allocate for projects that address infrastructure needs for combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, and stormwater management. Space for this webinar is limited.
Overview of Draft Data Element Template (DET) Spreadsheet for Phase 2 NPDES eRule Data
Date: Thursday, June 10, 2021
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm eastern
Registration: Contact Sean Rolland (email@example.com)
The U.S. EPA Office of Compliance invites you to participate in an important webinar regarding a new tool that can help you as you implement Phase 2 of the NPDES Electronic Reporting rule (NPDES eRule).
This new spreadsheet tool, called the Data Element Template (or “DET”) spreadsheet, provides detailed information on each Appendix A data element listed in the NPDES eRule (40 CFR part 127) and the related existing or proposed schema data tags. This spreadsheet tool is organized in blocks (called “payloads”) and identifies linkages to Appendix A data elements (e.g., required, conditionally required) as well as optional data fields recommended by EPA-state technical workgroups. The DET spreadsheet builds on the recommendations provided by states and documented in a series of technical papers. This tool also identifies data tags that currently exist in the ICIS-NPDES schema (v5.9), additional data tags that EPA recommends for inclusion to support Phase 2 implementation, and data tags that EPA recommends be dropped from the existing ICIS-NPDES schema.
The purpose of the review is to ensure close coordination between EPA and states as states build or enhance their NPDES electronic reporting tools and data systems. This webinar will provide an overview of how to read and use the draft DET spreadsheet, kick-off a two-month review period for states, and answer questions on how EPA intends to use this spreadsheet as it builds out its capabilities for receiving Phase 2 data. In particular, EPA plans to continue to use extensible markup language (XML) to receive data from states and be backwards compatible to the data tags identified in the DET spreadsheet. This will allow states to start sharing the Phase 2 data that they collect or generate with EPA after EPA has its infrastructure in place.
EPA is reserving 20 minutes of this meeting for your questions and comments.
This webinar will help states better understand EPA’s current overall approach and schedule for implementing Phase 2. EPA encourages all states to attend. If, however, you cannot attend, a recording of the webinar will be available afterwards.
EPA Webinar: Intro to ECHO Webinar – June 15
Join EPA for its next Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) webinar on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time. During this webinar, EPA will provide an overview about the data in ECHO and guide users through how to use ECHO to answer environmental enforcement and compliance questions. The focus of this webinar 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 and other features 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?
- How do I find visual depictions of data that track both facility and regulatory agency performance?
Federal/State/Partners Workshop: Standards to Support an Enduring Capability in Wastewater Surveillance for Public Health
All are welcome to attend a workshop co-hosted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), entitled “Standards to Support an Enduring Capability in Wastewater Surveillance for Public Health.”
This virtual workshop will take place over three days:
- Monday June 14, 2021, 10 AM to 3 PM (ET)
- Tuesday June 15, 2021, 10 AM to 3 PM (ET)
- Friday June 18, 2021, 10 AM to 3 PM (ET)
The workshop will bring together experts from academia, federal and local government, industry, and supporting trade and standards organizations with metrology experts to identify and prioritize barriers and potential standards to overcome those barriers and help support a robust, comparable wastewater surveillance capability across the nation.
More information about this free workshop, including registration and poster submission information, is available online:
Questions about the workshop can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPA’s Scientific Integrity Biennial Stakeholder and Partner Meeting
Tuesday June 15, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.
This meeting is an opportunity for you to hear about EPA’s scientific integrity efforts and to comment on, or ask questions about, scientific integrity at the Agency.
To attend the meeting, please register here.
Please note, the meeting will be open to the first 1,000 attendees to join. This meeting is open to all stakeholders and partners
EPA Tools & Resources Webinar: Community Exposure for COVID-19
June 16, 2021 at 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
EPA researchers have been working on a variety of projects to learn more about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to help states, tribes and communities make sound public health decisions. This webinar will discuss research that sheds light on community exposure of SARS-CoV-2, including virus detection in wastewater, standardized methods for quantifying the virus in wastewater, development of salivary antibody assays, and transmission of the virus through airborne particles.
Environmental Engineer II – North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Bismarck, ND
Closing Date: June 9, 2021
This position is assigned to the North Dakota Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program and will be working with livestock producers to ensure their animal feeding operations (AFOs) are maintained and in compliance with state and federal regulations to prevent pollution by properly managing manure and runoff. The main emphasis of the program is to review and approve design plans of manure handling and runoff control systems for AFOs; assist in technical evaluations of facilities, systems, operations or equipment to determine compliance with water quality protection laws, regulations and policies; require manure management compliance; conduct record reviews, facility inspections, compliance sampling and investigate complaints and water quality concerns; hold public meetings and issuance of permits.
For more information, click here.
Environmental Unit Chief – Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Location: Jefferson City, MO
Closing Date: June 10, 2021
The Department’s Water Protection Program protects Missouri’s water resources. The Compliance and Enforcement Section develops pathways for violators to return to compliance with Missouri’s Clean Water Law and assesses penalties for those violations. Our work is vital to preserving water quality in Missouri. Cases encompass a wide range of water pollution issues, allowing team members to continually gain knowledge and experience. As a team member, you will assist the regulated community with meeting statutory obligations and manage water pollution cases. As a supervisor, you will provide guidance to case managers, lead or contribute to projects, and serve on program wide committees. You will be protecting waters of the State, for the benefit and enjoyment of all Missouri’s citizens and visitors. If you enjoy working on a strong team in a fast-paced, challenging atmosphere, you will enjoy working with our team. If you really want to make a difference, join the Department’s team and you will go home at night knowing you are working to make the world a better place.
For more information, click here.