House Outlines Plans in FY 2022 Budget Report
House Appropriators released a Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Report outlining the FY22 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The legislation funds agencies and programs in the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and other programs. The bill provides a total of $11.34 billion for EPA – an increase of $2.11 billion above the FY21 enacted level and $110.8 million above the President’s budget request. Of this amount, the bill includes:
- $4.17 billion for EPA’s core science and environmental program work, an increase of $681 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. Within these amounts, the bill includes:
- $642.7 million for Geographic Programs which help with restoration of nationally significant bodies of water like the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and Long Island Sound. This is an increase of $100.8 million above the FY 2021 enacted level and $64.4 million above the President’s budget request.
- $61.8 million in funding for scientific and regulatory work on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), needed to establish drinking water and cleanup standards. This funding builds on the $49 million the EPA received in 2021.
- $5.32 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants, an increase of $1.01 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level and $194 million above the President’s budget request.
- Within this amount, the bill includes:
- $3.23 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, $464 million above the enacted level and equal to the President’s budget request. This includes $428.6 million Community Project Funding for over 280 drinking water, wastewater, and storm water management projects across the country.
- $326.6 million for targeted grants for drinking water contaminants and wastewater treatment for lead, nitrates, and other health hazards, an increase of $117.5 million above the enacted level and $7.6 million above the request.
- $248 million for Environmental Justice activities, an increase of $235 million above the FY 2021 level. This includes:
- $148 million in programmatic funds to expand EPA’s ability to incorporate environmental justice considerations into all aspects of its work, and support other federal agencies’ environmental justice efforts.
- $100 million for six new environmental justice grant programs designed to begin implementing environmental justice solutions on the ground in frontline and fenceline communities. A summary of the bill is here. The text of the draft bill is here. In keeping with the Appropriations Committee’s commitment to transparency, information on Community Project Funding in the bill is here.
- Within this amount, the bill includes:
House Passes INVEST ACT, Includes CW/DW SRF Funding
The House of Representatives passed the INVEST Act, which included the text of H.R. 1915, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act as part of Division H of that bill. The vote on final passage was 221-201. The Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act invests $50 billion to address wastewater infrastructure needs throughout the country, including $40 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The legislation also includes a robust authorization for STAG grants. More information on H.R. 1915 can be found here.
EPA Seeks Input on Federal Scientific Integrity Policies by July 28, 2021
EPA is requesting that stakeholders submit ideas and feedback to strengthen scientific integrity policies across the federal government. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OTSP) Scientific Integrity Taskforce has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from the public “to help improve the effectiveness of Federal scientific integrity policies to enhance public trust in science.” The RFI is open through July 28. EPA welcomes your input and encourages all stakeholders, partners, co-regulators and the general public to submit feedback. Links to the RFI and OSTP announcement can be found below. Please share this with anyone who may be interested in submitting a comment.
ACWA 2021-2022 Leadership Elections
The ACWA 2021-2022 Leadership Elections are now open and all “members in good standing” may participate in these elections. The “member in good standing” is the formal or primary ACWA representative for the state/interstate agency that paid dues for the previous fiscal year (FY2021). If you are unsure whether your FY2021 dues are paid, feel free to reach out to Annette Ivey, and we can let you know. Only one vote per state/interstate. Along with the Executive Officers, this year it is the even Regions that are up for election. Please cast your vote no later than July 30, 2021. If you have not received a link to the ballot, please contact Julia Anastasio.
Chlorine Product Shortfalls at WW and DW Facilities
EPA continues to receive applications for relief pertaining to the inadequate supply of chlorine products—predominantly sodium hypochlorite, but also gaseous chlorine and calcium hypochlorite—from both water and wastewater systems alike. This is for small and large systems – one serving more than 800K people just reached out. EPA is still very much in data collection mode and is hopeful states are willing to share information regarding what they are hearing on the ground. If your state learns of such a chemical supply issue, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, Dyson.Nushat@epa.gov, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. EPA believes the following information would be most useful:
- Utility name and type (DW/WW)
- Facility location
- Estimated time supply will run out
- Allocation shortfall
Gathering this information will be extremely helpful as EPA works with the chemical sector and others in the federal government to ensure that chemical producers and repackagers assign high priority to water sector facilities under conditions of reduced production capacity.
Meetings and Webinars
Tools for Getting Chemical Release Data for Your Community
Thursday, July 8, 2021 | 2:00-3:30pm EST
Did you know it’s easier than ever to find out about toxic chemical releases from industrial and federal facilities in and near your community using the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)? You can use the TRI Search and TRI Search Plus tools accessible at the bottom of the TRI homepage.
Join EPA for an overview of the TRI program and a demonstration of these tools. We’ll also show you how a community group in South Carolina used TRI to inform their city’s comprehensive plan and identify areas where people may face increased health risks due to chemical releases.
This webinar will be available in English and Spanish. Este webinar estará disponible en inglés y español.
Environmental Law Institute Summer School Series Underway
This series is free, but please register for the individual sessions so that we can plan accordingly! All events are held 12-2 p.m. Eastern Time. There is no CLE available for this series.
ELI is excited to announce the schedule for this year’s complimentary summer school series, which will be held via webinar:
- July 6, 2021: Basics of the Clean Air Act
- July 13, 2021: Hazardous Waste and Sites
- July 20, 2021: Law & Policy of Products Regulation
- July 27, 2021: Environmental Justice
These popular seminars are taught by experts in their fields and introduce the audience to the major environmental statutes, land use law, and environmental justice. Faculty will also incorporate major regulatory and judicial updates to the laws.
The series offers undergraduates, law students, graduate students, and working professionals new to or looking for a refresher course in environmental law a unique opportunity to learn, hear updates, ask questions, and network. Click here to learn more.
State & Local Listening Sessions: Climate Change and Related Equity Concerns
Multi-Agency Water Reuse Programs: Insights in Interagency Collaboration (Webcast)
July 7, 2021 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
Register here. There is no fee to attend.
Join a panel of experts for a lively discussion of lessons learned through a year-long effort to interview and document the work it takes to bring multi-agency water reuse projects to fruition. Under the National Water Reuse Action Plan, the Action 2.16 team reviewed existing case-studies and literature to select and conduct informational interviews with key water reuse players across the country. The webcast will cover the lessons learned by these practitioners as they worked with Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Trinity River Authority, Pima County, and Monterey One Water. The audience will learn about governance, regulations, economic and financial barriers, technical and operational issues, and leadership. The panel will share the valuable insights and replicable strategies garnered from the work.
Felicia Marcus, Stanford University
- Dr. Robert Raucher, Raucher LLC
- Eric Rosenblum, Water Resource Consultant
- Dave Smith, EPA Region 9
- Shannon Spurlock, Ochotona LLC
Webinar: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Overview & Tribes as Cooperating Agencies
Date & Time: July 21, 2021, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM (PT), 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM (ET)
This webinar will provide an overview of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the foundational federal environmental law enacted in 1969, and will include a presentation on a tribe’s experience serving as a cooperating agency for a NEPA review. This webinar is part of the U.S. EPA Environmental Justice Webinar Series for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples – to build the capacity of tribal governments, indigenous peoples and other environmental justice practitioners, and discuss priority EJ issues of interest to tribes and indigenous peoples. Please note that the webinar is planned to be recorded and is expected to be available on the following EPA website a few weeks after the webinar, available here.
- Stacy D. Myers III, Tribe’s Senior Scientist and Governmental Liaison, Seminole Tribe of Florida
- Julie Roemele, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities (OFA), U.S. EPA
- Jake Widner, NEPA Compliance Division, OFA, U.S. EPA
- Chris Yesmant, NEPA Compliance Division, OFA, U.S. EPA
- Connell Dunning, Environmental Review Branch, Tribal, Intergovernmental & Policy Division, Region 9, U.S. EPA
EPA WEBINAR: Improved Watershed Health through Agricultural-Municipal Partnerships
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Eastern
Register: Webinar Registration – Zoom (zoomgov.com)
EPA Agricultural Municipal Partnerships
Watersheds can benefit when municipal water treatment plants invest in conservation practices on nearby farms. These agricultural-municipal partnerships reflect a commitment to integrated planning across the complete water cycle with a strong emphasis on a highly collaborative and inclusive approach to watershed health improvement. By drawing on an integrated watershed approach, these partnerships unlock additional alternatives to address watershed health stressors and bring a broader array of watershed participants into the mix to craft solutions and take action for watershed health improvement.
You are invited to attend a 75-minute webinar that will discuss three different agricultural-municipal partnerships. You will hear experiences from the City of Boise, Miami Conservancy District, and Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment. This webinar will feature presentations where speakers will share their experiences and reflect on lessons learned. There will also be time for Q+A.
EPA Tools & Resources Webinar: Small Business Innovation Research
July 21, 2021, 3-4 pm ET
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is a federal program that supports the development and commercialization of novel technologies. EPA’s SBIR Program has an annual funding cycle to support projects in areas which include clean and safe water, air and climate, homeland security, land revitalization, sustainable materials management, safer chemicals and risk assessment. This webinar will provide some examples of EPA SBIR “success stories” – existing and developing technologies in areas of potential interest to states and tribes including: PFAS detection/treatment; wildland fire monitoring; harmful algal blooms monitoring; wastewater treatment/nutrient removal; and plastic pollution. Learn more about EPA’s SBIR Program.
Recording Available — Water Security: Key Pathways for Climate Resilience
A webinar panel discussion hosted by US Department of State on June 30th, 2021 titled, “Water Security: Key Pathways for Climate Resilience” is now up on the Department’s webpage.
The program was moderated by Ingrid Timboe, Policy Director at the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA). Panelists include Dr. Soumya Balasubramanya, Senior Researcher at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Dr. Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and Dr. James Dalton, Director of the Global Water Programme at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).