Regan Nomination Moves Out of Committee
The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee approved President Biden’s nominee, Michael Regan, to be the next EPA Administrator. The committee bipartisan vote was 14-6. A full Senate vote has not yet been scheduled, but Regan is expected win Senate confirmation.
EPA Updates EJSCREEN, Community EJ Mapping Tool
EPA released an update of EJSCREEN, the Agency’s publicly available award-winning environmental justice screening and mapping tool. EJSCREEN uses high resolution maps and a methodology for combining datasets to identify environmental burdens on vulnerable populations.
This update is an important refresh of the environmental and demographic data contained in EJSCREEN and enhances the tool by adding new and improved functionality. An exciting new feature of the update is the addition of climate change indicators. Users can now add flood and sea level rise data for the first time. EPA will continue to expand the climate change indicators in upcoming updates. EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) data is also now an available map layer.
Along with the update, EPA is using a variety of methods to support community use of EJSCREEN. Funding has been made available to support states who have questions about using EJSCREEN data or are interested in building out a localized version of the EJSCREEN tool. Also, EPA will hold multiple trainings on EJSCREEN throughout 2021 to demonstrate its uses and to gain feedback on potential new applications for the tool.
EPA PFBS Toxicity Assessment Rescinded Pending Agency Review for Scientific Integrity Violations; PFOA/PFOS CERLCA ANPRM Under Review
Consistent with the Biden-Harris Administration’s January 27th, 2021 Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-based Policymaking, EPA career staff have made an initial determination that the PFBS Toxicity Assessment documents released on January 19th, 2021, violates EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy. EPA’s press release indicates that the documents “were compromised by political interference as well as infringement of authorship and the scientific independence of the authors’ conclusions,” and have been removed from EPA’s PFAS website for the duration of the scientific integrity review.
Additionally, consistent with the Administration’s Regulatory Freeze Pending Review Memorandum, the January 14th, 2021 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Addressing PFOA and PFOS in the Environment: Potential Future Regulation Pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act has not yet been published to the Federal Register as it undergoes review.
WEF Biosolids Advocate Announced
Maile Lono-Batura has been selected to be the new Director of Sustainable Biosolids Programs for the Water Environment Federation (WEF). This new position will serve as WEF’s lead for all biosolids activities, acting as a central coordinator on national biosolids issues for the organization’s members, in concert with WEF’s Member Associations and regional biosolids organizations. WEF’s President Lynn Broaddus notes “[b]iosolids are a vital part of resource recovery and circular economy, and beneficial for communities in many ways. WEF is increasing our investment in biosolids programs and is thrilled to add Maile’s expertise and experience to our team.” On a related front, WEF recently released a new tool kit designed to help communicate the facts and science surrounding biosolids to those less familiar. More information about this toolkit can be found here.
2021 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting Registration is Live!
Registration for the 2021 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting has opened! To register, please log into your Member365 Portal and click the Event tab in your navigation menu.
Upon your registration, you will be provided with links to sign up for the first and second days of virtual sessions. Please do not share these links with anyone, as these are closed sessions for states, interstates, and EPA staff only. If you have a colleague who would like to attend, please direct them to contact Rosie Kay who will create their Member365 account (if necessary), or to log in and register through this event.
No Weekly Wrap Week of 2/15/2021
Due to the long holiday weekend, ACWA will not be producing a Weekly Wrap next week.
Meetings and Webinars
EPA Water Modeling Workgroup: Introduction to BASINS Webinar
Date: February 18, 2021 | 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Click here
This webinar will provide an overview of the use and functionality of the EPA Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Non-point Sources (BASINS) geographical information and data management software. BASINS is public domain GIS tool that was developed to assemble spatial and temporal data which can be used for watershed assessment or watershed/water quality modeling applications. BASINS itself is not a model but a series of tools and utility plugins that allows for the gathering and analysis of geospatial and temporal data from several data sources. BASINS also has several watershed and water quality model plugin tools that aid the user in applying the model.
You must register in advance to participate in this free Webcast.
EPA Public Information Webinar: 2021 Multi-Sector General Permit
Date: February 18, 2021 | 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Click here
EPA signed and issued the 2021 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for industrial stormwater discharges on January 15, 2021. The 2021 MSGP will become effective on March 1, 2021 and will replace the 2015 MSGP. For more information, see EPA’s 2021 MSGP.
EPA will host a public informational webinar on Thursday, February 18, 2021, from 1:00 PM EST – 3:00 PM EST on the new 2021 MSGP. This webcast will cover industrial stormwater program basics, discuss the structure and requirements of the new permit, including how to renew coverage or get coverage for the first time, and highlight new provisions and changes from the 2015 MSGP. EPA will take questions from the public during the webcast. Existing and new permittees, industry consultants, and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend. This webinar will be recorded and posted on EPA’s industrial stormwater website for future viewing.
EPA Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Program Webinar: Fit-for-Purpose Water Updates and Life Cycle Comparisons of Non-Potable Water Reuse Scenarios
Date: February 24, 2021 | 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Click Here
Onsite non-potable water reuse is a transformative approach that collects locally available water sources, such as wastewater, graywater, stormwater, and rainwater, for decentralized treatment and use in low-exposure applications, such as irrigation and toilet flushing, reducing stress on both potable water supplies and municipal wastewater collection systems. However, care must be taken to manage microbial risks and to avoid burden-shifting with respect to environmental and economic impacts.
This webinar will present updated fit-for-purpose risk assessments and life cycle comparisons of non-potable reuse scenarios comprising different water sources collection scales and onsite end uses, with recent developments including new water quality datasets for rainwater and onsite graywater/wastewater; exposure sensitivity analyses examining model applicability to additional end uses; and integrated assessment of building-scale reuse options. In addition, presenters will share a new EPA tool, NEWR (Non-potable Environmental and Economic Water Reuse Calculator), which is an explicit web-based tool for zip code-based available water quantity estimation and life cycle evaluation of reuse configuration options.
- Jay L. Garland, Ph.D. Jay is a senior scientist with EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response (CESER). His current efforts focus on advancing innovative approaches to water infrastructure, including mitigating risks associated with antimicrobial resistance in the water cycle. Jay received his Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Virginia.
- Michael Jahne, Ph.D. Michael is an environmental engineer with EPA/ORD/ CESER, where he specializes in quantitative microbial risk assessment. Michael developed pathogen log-reduction targets that have been used to provide risk-based treatment guidance for onsite non-potable water systems. He holds a Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering from Clarkson University.
- Cissy Ma, Ph.D., P.E. Cissy is a research engineer with EPA/ORD/CESER. Her primary research focuses on applying new sustainability metrics to evaluate environmental impacts, cost, and sustainability in different environmental systems. Cissy holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota.
EPA’s Integrated Planning Virtual Roundtable March 2, 2021
Rescheduled Date: March 2, 2021 | 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Click here (only if you have not registered previously)
If you registered for the event (using Zoom) originally scheduled on January 13, 2021 EPA already has your registration information. You do NOT need to register again. If you are already registered, you should have received a new MS Teams meeting invitation. Your calendar will include a new invitation for March 2, 2020. The agenda for the roundtable includes the following:
- Update from EPA
- State experiences with incorporating a municipality’s integrated stormwater and wastewater plan in NPDES permits:
- Shelly Shores-Miller from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Michael Abbott from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources
- Adam Eller from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
- Small-group breakout sessions to answer questions and discuss ideas for making it easier to review and incorporate integrated plan elements in NPDES permits or other Clean Water Act obligations
If you have not received an updated invitation, please contact Robyn DeYoung (Deyoung.Robyn@nullepa.gov).