TN Governor Issues Clean Water Appreciation Week Proclamation
Governor Bill Lee (TN) issued a proclamation announcing August 1-7, 2022, as “Clean Water Appreciation Week.” The proclamation recognizes the vital role clean water plays in the state’s economy and recognizes the upcoming anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Finally, the proclamation welcomes ACWA and its members to the state for our upcoming 2022 ACWA Annual Meeting.
ICYMI: EPA Releases 2017 National Lakes Assessment Report, National Lakes Assessment: The Third Collaborative Survey of Lakes in the United States
As summertime field work for the 2022 National Lakes Assessment continues, EPA has also released the latest report in the National Aquatic Resource Surveys series. The 2017 Lakes report presents the results of a statistical survey of the condition of our nation’s lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, designed to provide information on the extent of lakes that support healthy biological condition and recreation. The report was released as a comprehensive webpage, available here.
Report in Short: Nutrient pollution remains a widespread stressor with almost half of the nation’s lakes in poor condition for elevated levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Similarly, algal growth, measured as chlorophyll a, was rated poor in 45% of lakes and excess algae associated with hypereutrophic conditions was observed in 24% of lakes; additionally, between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of lakes in good chlorophyll a condition decreased significantly from 46% to 34%. The algal toxin microcystin was detected in 21% of lakes, and 2% of lakes, or approximately 4,400 lakes, exceeded the EPA recreational water quality criterion for microcystin. The physical habitat condition results show a more encouraging picture of condition. Over half of lakes rated good for physical habitat including 65% rated good for shallow water habitat, 51% of lakes had good riparian (lakeshore) vegetation cover and 55% had good habitat complexity conditions. The 2017 National Lakes Assessment has indicated some encouraging results and some areas of improvement.
Interactive Dashboard: EPA developed an interactive dashboard containing regional results and allowing for comparisons between natural lakes and reservoirs. For a subset of lakes, those at least 4 hectares in area, results are available back to 2007 (NLA 2007 included only these larger lakes). Users can also get to the dashboard by following the link at the bottom of each graph in this report. Those links will bring users to a customized page with regional data for each indicator. Users can then navigate to other dashboard views using the “Condition Estimate” dropdown and other dashboard controls.
EPA extends their gratitude to all NLA partners, including states, interstates and Tribes, for working with EPA on planning and identifying ways to improve the survey, conducting field work, conducting lab work, supporting analysis, reviewing reports/other products and so much more.
2022 Spring Regulatory Agenda – ACWA Rules Table Updates
The administration regularly provides Spring and Fall Regulatory Agenda updates where each federal agency shares a status update on current and new regulations, and major policy initiatives. The Spring 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions provides both short and long term actions. ACWA staff review this agenda and then provide updates to our clean water rules table, which breaks down the rules by OW Office and provides a summary, relevant dates, and lead ACWA staff person for these activities. A copy of the table can be found here.
ASDWA Publishes Resource on State SDWA Definitions of Disadvantaged Communities
This week, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators launched its new Environmental Justice webpage. The webpage includes ASDWA’s environmental justice strategy developed by ASDWA’s members and staff as well as a variety of resources related to environmental justice and drinking water.
ASDWA’s EJ webpage includes a table providing text definitions of “disadvantaged community” for each state, along with the link to where that definition can be found (Intended Use Plans, regulations, statute, or policy). Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, states are responsible for defining what constitutes a disadvantaged community. States use these definitions to make determinations and help prioritize the funds for drinking water infrastructure that are distributed to communities and water systems through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs. The passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its requirements for providing funding to these communities has prompted many states to evaluate and redefine what constitutes a disadvantaged community.
Additionally, the table includes links to each state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program and any additional environmental justice resources available. Users can search and filter definitions by terms. For example, searching for “population” will limit definitions to only those that include that qualifier. The table can also be sorted by column and exported, or you can download a formatted version. ASDWA is planning to keep this table as updated as possible as states move to change their definitions.
ACWA Leadership Elections – Vote Today!
The ACWA Leadership Election ballot is open.
Along with the Executive Officers, the odd Regions are up for election this year. Please cast your vote no later than Noon ET on August 1, 2022. All “members in good standing” may participate in these elections, but cast only one vote per state/interstate. 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 (FY20221). If you are unsure whether your FY2022 dues are paid, feel free to reach out to Julia Anastasio or Annette Ivey.
ACWA Survey: EPA Fact Sheets
In January 2022, EPA sought public comment on the 29 fact sheets developed for each of the industries covered by the EPA industrial stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). Example areas in the fact sheets for update included common activities for sector, pollutant sources, associated pollutants, and best management practices. ACWA developed a survey to prepare states for upcoming EPA-held listening sessions. More than one person from the state is welcome to respond no later than Friday, July 29, 2022. This survey questions require a working knowledge of your state’s industrial stormwater program and should take ~10 minutes to complete. States can access the survey here.
ACWA Survey – ICIS-NPDES and Environmental Policies
EPA is planning to modernize the Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS). ACWA is seeking state input to identify environmental policy/guidance/regulation issues that may need to be addressed as part of the ICIS modernization effort. Your input via an ACWA questionnaire is requested by Friday, August 5, 2022. The amount of time this survey takes will depend on the number of policies identified. Multiple responses from a state are encouraged.
The goal of this questionnaire is to identify:
- Environmental policies, guidance, or regulations which have led to challenges or inefficiencies in data management or ICIS-NPDES use, and/or
- Instances in which ICIS implementation has led to significant burden resulting in very little environmental benefit.
A copy of the questionnaire can be found here.
Annual Meeting Lodging
Registration for Annual Meeting lodging with the group discount code will close on July 26th. If you’re joining us in Memphis, make sure to book your room at the Guest House at Graceland as soon as possible! You can register for the meeting through your ACWA member portal, or can reach out to Kara McCauley for registration assistance.
We are looking forward to gathering face to face for the first time in two years! Join us as we celebrate reconnecting with colleagues and kick off the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act. As part of the celebration, the ACWA Board of Directors has decided that there will be no registration fee for the meeting. You can view the current agenda here.
ACWA Comments on Draft Ambient Water Quality Criteria Recommendations for PFOA and PFOS
On June 29th, ACWA submitted comments to EPA regarding the Draft 304(a) Aquatic Life Criteria for PFOA and PFOS. ACWA noted states’ general support for development of these aquatic life criteria and marine/estuarine benchmarks, and EPA’s sense of urgency in preparing and releasing draft criteria for priority PFAS. States determined that the derived values appear consistent with the quantitatively-included aquatic toxicity data EPA utilized. However, due to the drafts not meeting Minimum Data Requirements (MDR) for 304(a) criteria but noting EPA’s expectation that all MDRs will be met in the near future, ACWA found it difficult to determine whether the draft values are protective in the field, and found EPA’s excursions from the 1985 Guidelines For Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria For The Protection Of Aquatic Organisms And Their Uses (“1985 Guidelines”) problematic for many would-be state implementers. In ACWA’s comments, states provided technical advice to increase the scientific defensibility and “implementability” of the draft criteria, related to communications and outreach; consistency of studies’ quantitative inclusion/exclusion in the criteria derivation; the draft criteria’s conformity with the 1985 Guidelines; Bioaccumulation Factors used in the derivation; state and Tribal implementation; and, the provided marine/estuarine benchmarks.
ACWA also provided the following overarching comments:
- Request that EPA re-release the draft criteria for comment if new data are incorporated and/or the criteria change prior to finalization;
- Request that EPA work with states and Tribes in updating the 1985 Guidelines if any update is to occur;
- Request that EPA develop PFAS communication and action planning with state Co-Regulators;
- Request that EPA and the federal family invest in surface water PFAS activities (i.e., toxicity research and management, monitoring, and source control) to close data gaps that delay publication of state and federal water quality criteria and prevent states from fully addressing their unique PFAS challenges;
- Indicated states’ appreciation for the marine/estuarine benchmarks included in the draft criteria, but requested EPA (1) release the benchmarks in separate documentation, and (2) provide greater clarity about what “benchmarks” are in the CWA context;
- Request that EPA revise the criteria prior to finalization or in the future to address PFOA/PFOS precursors, as well as parameters which influence the toxicity and bioavailability of PFOA/PFOS; and,
- Request that EPA build on existing co-regulator cooperative federalism processes to share more about criteria under development with states between a criterion’s Problem Formulation phase and release of the corresponding draft criteria, particularly for priority constituents like PFAS analytes.
The original comment period was extended by 30 days for a total of 60 days, closing on July 2, 2022. You can review ACWA’s letter here.
Meetings and Webinars
2022 Water Quality Modeling Workshop
September 19 – September 23
ACWA and the EPA Water Modeling Workgroup (WMW) will be holding an in-person workshop on Water Quality Modeling in Chicago, IL. This workshop will take place September 20 – September 23, 2021. This year’s workshop will feature two hand-on training opportunities on Qual2K and SWAT, as well as a track designed for managers and other staff who work closely with modelers and contractors.
On September 19, there will be a pre-conference “Modeling 101” training for new staff and anyone who wants a refresher. Please note that there will be limited space in the hands-on training tracks and you will need to register ahead of time to attend.
The 2022 ACWA and EPA Water Quality Modeling Workshop supports implementation of state programs by continuing to build a community of practice among state agency staff who use or want to use water quality modeling in implementation of state 303(d) programs.
This Water Quality Modeling Workshop is a national meeting organized by ACWA, in partnership with USEPA for state program managers and staff involved in water quality modeling, as well as for both Regional and Headquarters-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency managers and staff.
Save the Date – 2022 National Stormwater Roundtable
October 19 – 21, 2022
The 2022 National Stormwater Roundtable supports implementation of federal and state municipal, industrial, and construction stormwater programs nationwide by sharing best management practices, showcasing innovative federal and state programs and initiatives, highlighting new technologies, facilitating discussion on national program enhancements and improvements, identifying state resource needs including tools, training and guidance, and proposing solutions to challenges and barriers faced by the regulators and other stakeholders.
The Stormwater Roundtable is national face to face meeting specifically organized by state and federal regulators for EPA and state program staff representatives. Attendees include:
- State managers, permit writers, inspectors, and compliance staff involved in regulating stormwater
- EPA Headquarter and Regional staff involved in stormwater regulation
- Partnering state and federal agency staff that provide technical and/or regulatory assistance to the stormwater program
- Invited guests
NNCR Training Descriptions
NNCR Basic Training: Quarterly Report– Basic Training Presentation (PPTX) (1.6 MB)
This webinar focuses on the new quarterly National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Noncompliance Report (NNCR), currently available on ECHO Lab (echolab.epa.gov) for EPA and state testing. The training covers what the quarterly NNCR is and why it was developed, background on the NNCR workgroup, violation types and violation details included in the report, information about accessing the quarterly report, and includes a demonstration of the beta-version available in ECHO Lab.
NNCR Advanced Training: DMR Reporting Violations – DMR Reporting Violations Presentation (PPTX) (1.8 MB)
This webinar focuses on the new quarterly National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Noncompliance Report (NNCR), currently available on ECHO Lab (echolab.epa.gov) for EPA and state testing. This training is an advanced training focused on DMR reporting violations. The training covers when DMR reporting violations are generated in ICIS-NPDES, criteria for detecting Category I or II noncompliance, resolution of DMR reporting violations, and a demonstration of how to identify DMR reporting violations and details related to the violations on the quarterly NNCRs.
NNCR Advanced Training: Effluent Exceedance Violations – Effluent Exceedance Violations Presentation (PPTX) (2.2 MB)
This webinar focuses on the new quarterly National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Noncompliance Report (NNCR), currently available on ECHO Lab (echolab.epa.gov) for EPA and state testing. This training is an advanced training focused on effluent exceedance violations. The training covers when effluent exceedance violations are generated in ICIS-NPDES, criteria for detecting Category I or II noncompliance, resolution of effluent exceedance violations, and a demonstration of how to identify effluent exceedance violations and details related to the violations on the quarterly NNCRs.
NNCR Advanced Training: Schedule Violations – Schedule Violations Presentation (PPTX) (1.9 MB)
This webinar focuses on the new quarterly National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Noncompliance Report (NNCR), currently available on ECHO Lab (echolab.epa.gov) for EPA and state testing. This training is an advanced training focused on schedule violations of permit and enforcement action requirements. The training covers when schedule violations are generated in ICIS-NPDES, criteria for detecting Category I or II noncompliance, resolution of schedule violations, and a demonstration of how to identify schedule violations and details related to the violations on the quarterly NNCRs.
NNCR Advanced Training: Other Violations
This webinar focuses on the new quarterly National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Noncompliance Report (NNCR), currently available on ECHO Lab (echolab.epa.gov) for EPA and state testing. This training is an advanced training focused on single event/other violations. The training covers when single event/other violations are generated in ICIS-NPDES, criteria for detecting Category I or II noncompliance, resolution of the violations, and a demonstration of how to identify these violations and details related to the violations on the quarterly NNCRs. Note: the initial version of the NNCR only includes base program and biosolids violations. Other NPDES program violations will be integrated into the NNCR before the eRule phase 2 deadline.
NNCR Basic Training: Annual Report
This webinar focuses on the new annual summary National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Noncompliance Report (NNCR), currently available on ECHO Lab (echolab.epa.gov) for EPA and state testing. The training covers what the annual NNCR is and why it was developed, permit groups and metrics included in the report, information about accessing the annual report, and includes a demonstration of the beta-version available in ECHO Lab.
NNCR Webinar Training Dates
|Open Q&A Session||Tuesday, August 2, 2022||12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern||Teams|
|Quarterly Basic||Thursday, August 18, 2022||2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Effluent Exceedance Violations||Tuesday, August 23, 2022||4:00 – 5:30 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Annual||Wednesday, August 24, 2022||3:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Quarterly Basic||Tuesday, September 13, 2022||4:00 – 5:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Open Q&A Session||Tuesday, September 20, 2022||3:00 -4:00 pm Eastern||Teams|
|Schedule Violations||Wednesday, September 21, 2022||3:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Annual||Tuesday, October 4, 2022||2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Other (SEV) Violations||Thursday, October 13, 2022||2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Open Q&A Session||Friday, October 14, 2022||2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern||Teams|
|Quarterly Basic||Thursday, October 20, 2022||3:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Quarterly Basic||Tuesday, November 8, 2022||3:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|DMR Reporting Violations||Wednesday, November 9, 2022 (updated)||1:00 – 2:00 pm Eastern (updated)||Signup|
|Open Q&A||Wednesday, November 16, 2022||2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern||Teams|
|Annual||Thursday, December 1, 2022||4:00 – 5:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Open Q&A||Tuesday, December, 6, 2022||12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern||Teams|
|Quarterly Basic||Thursday, December 8, 2022||4:00 – 5:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Effluent Exceedance Violations||Wednesday, December 14, 2022||3:00 – 4:30 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Open Q&A||Wednesday, December 11, 2022||2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern||Teams|
|Quarterly Basic||Wednesday, January 18, 2023||3:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Schedule Violations||Thursday, January 19, 2023||2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
|Other (SEV) Violations||Tuesday, January 24, 2023||2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern||Signup|
Environmental Analyst – Stream Monitoring and Assessment | NEIWPCC
Location: Albany, NY
Closing Date: July 18, 2022
The primary goal of Source Water Protection in New York State is to develop and implement source water protection measures for public water systems throughout the state. NEIWPCC and NYSDEC are seeking an organized and detail-oriented Environmental Analyst to assist in the water quality monitoring and assessment of source waters in NYS streams and rivers. This will include assisting in the monitoring and assessment of priority waterbodies, implemented through the DOW SMAS Rotating Integrated Basin Studies (RIBS) program. This position will also support all elements of the work of SMAS programs which includes but is not limited to: biological monitoring of streams and rivers, collection of field observation and water chemistry data, laboratory sample processing, database development, database maintenance, data analysis, and reporting. The work will have a strong emphasis on attention to detail, accuracy, and timeliness.
For more information, click here.
319 Program and TMDL Policy Lead | Washington Department of Ecology
Location: Lacey, WA
Closing Date: Initial Screening on August 2, Open until filled
The Water Quality Program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Nonpoint (319) Program and TMDL Policy Lead (Environmental Planner 4) position. This position is locatedin our Headquarters Office inLacey, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.
Are you interested in working on water quality policy issues? In this position, you will be the lead on the overall management of the federal Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Program and provide policy support of our Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program. You will work with other technical and policy experts to develop strategies to better implement our program and use our authorities under the federal Clean Water Act, as well as Washington’s Water Pollution Control Act to clean up our waters.
For more information, click here.
Municipal Stormwater Grant Project Specialist | Washington Department of Ecology
Location: Shoreline, WA
Closing Date: Initial Screening on July 26th, Open until filled
The Water Quality Program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Municipal Stormwater Grant Project Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4) position. This position is located in our Northwest Regional Office (NWRO) inShoreline, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.
In this role, you will work with a dynamic team to assess and manage stormwater grant and loan projects that will benefit Washington State waters and the environment. You will also work with fellow stormwater staff to assess applicability of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to a range of water quality issues, and learn about emerging water quality concerns. As a part of Ecology’s stormwater grant and loan project management team, we help facilitate the work happening on the ground that impacts local and state water quality goals.
For more information, click here.
Water Quality Financial Assistance Engineer | Washington Department of Ecology
Location: Lacey, WA
Closing Date: Initial Screening on August 4th, Open until filled
The Water Quality Program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Water Quality Financial Assistance Engineer (Environmental Engineer 5) position. This position is located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.
In this role, you will be a key member of the Financial Management Section team, serving as the lead environmental engineer supporting the water quality financial assistance programs, including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan program, helping direct the award of over $250 million in grant and loan funding each year in support of community wastewater infrastructure. You will provide expertise and essential environmental engineering technical assistance to local governments, tribes, stakeholders, and other state agencies to ensure compliance with state and federal statutes, rules, and guidelines used to manage the complex multi-million dollar state and federal grant and loan programs for water pollution control facilities to improve and protect water quality statewide.
Groundwater Monitoring Coordinator | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Closing Date: July 31, 2022
You will plan and conduct water quality and groundwater monitoring projects, including serving as a lead worker for collection and preservation of water samples; coordinating review and modification of ambient groundwater monitoring networks; responding to water quality complaints; analyzing data to identify water quality problems, contaminants of concern, levels, and extent of contamination; writing reports of investigations, as well as portions of the biennial Status Assessment Report (305b) report; and providing technical expertise, training sessions, workshops, and seminars to staff, other agencies, and the public.
For more information, click here.