EPA Releases Preliminary Data for 2021 Toxics Release Inventory Reporting
This week, EPA published 2021 preliminary Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. The 2021 preliminary data are for substances included on the TRI list of chemicals, reported by facilities in certain industry sectors, including federal facilities, that manufactured, processed, or otherwise used the TRI-listed chemicals above certain quantities during 2021. The data include quantities of such chemicals that were released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. The data also include the pollution prevention activities initiated by individual facilities during 2021. Access the 2021 TRI Preliminary Data here.
The dataset contains raw data and does not include any summary or trend analysis. While the preliminary data have not yet been through the complete TRI data quality process, the TRI reporting software facilities used to submit these data (TRI-MEweb) includes many automated quality checks that help prevent common mistakes. EPA is now conducting additional quality checks on the preliminary data, looking at suspected reporting errors and following up with facilities in what are known as EPA’s “National Analysis data quality calls.” The 2021 preliminary data will be updated periodically to reflect revisions to previously submitted data and late submissions.
The public can use the preliminary data to identify facilities that reported to TRI (for example, to locate facilities in a given ZIP code) and learn which chemicals those facilities manage and in what quantities. EPA plans to publish the complete TRI dataset in October 2022, which will reflect late submissions, as well as any changes that result from EPA’s National Analysis data quality calls. This dataset will then be used to develop the 2021 TRI National Analysis. EPA expects to publish the 2021 TRI National Analysis in early 2023. For details about the TRI data quality process, see the TRI Data Quality webpage.
You can explore the preliminary data by going to EPA’s Envirofacts website and searching for a specific location, industry sector or facility. You can also download the data files for your own use.
PFAS-Related Information from the 2021 Preliminary Data
This is the second year that TRI data include reporting on per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) added to the TRI by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). At this time, EPA has received 92 PFAS reporting forms on 46 discrete PFAS from 45 facilities. The preliminary data indicate facilities managed over 1,338,690 pounds of production-related waste of PFAS during 2021.
Following last year’s preliminary data release, EPA reviewed the PFAS data submitted and the types of facilities that reported and that did not report for PFAS. EPA conducted outreach to facilities that had filed Chemical Data Reporting rule reports for the TRI-listed PFAS but had not filed TRI reports for the same PFAS. All facilities contacted claimed that concentrations of PFAS were below the TRI 1% de minimis level that is currently in place for PFAS as their reason for not submitting TRI reports for the PFAS. The de minimis exemption allows facilities that report to TRI to disregard certain minimal concentrations of chemicals in mixtures or trade name products.
EPA plans to propose a rulemaking this fall that would, among other changes, remove the eligibility of the de minimis exemption for PFAS. If finalized, this proposal would also make unavailable the de minimis exemption with regard to providing supplier notifications to downstream facilities for PFAS and certain other TRI chemicals.
National Academies Releases Guidance on PFAS Exposure, Testing, and Clinical Follow-Up
This week, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a PFAS exposure guidance report. It recommends that CDC update its guidance to advise clinicians to offer PFAS blood testing to patients who are likely to have a history of elevated exposure, such as those with occupational exposures or those who live in areas known to be contaminated. If testing reveals PFAS levels associated with an increased risk of adverse effects, patients should receive regular screenings and monitoring for those and other health impacts. The report recommends that the CDC, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and public health departments support clinicians in communities where PFAS contamination has been identified by creating educational materials on PFAS exposure, potential health effects, the limitations of testing, and the benefits and harms of testing. You can access the report here.
A recording of a public webinar summarizing the report will be available here within the next week.
Environmental Groups Letter to EPA on CAFOs
In a July 19, 2022 letter to Administrator Regan, 218 environmental organizations urged EPA to exercise statutory authorities to “protect communities from the harmful impacts of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), also known as factory farms.” The letter notes that vertical and horizontal aggregation of animal production supply chains have led to massive growth in CAFOs. And that these “heavily polluting” operations produce immense quantities of air and water pollution that “destroy the quality of life” for surrounding communities, many which are “disproportionately low wealth and/or communities of color.” The letter goes on to say that animal agriculture facilities can be a leading cause of water and air pollution and are a “major contributor to greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions.” These environmental groups “urge EPA to end the regulatory exceptionalism and hold accountable the industrial livestock agribusinesses profiting from the exploitation of environmental justice communities.” A copy of the letter can be found here.
ACWA’s FY2022 Annual Report is Now Available
The Association’s FY2022 Annual Report has just been released! Please click here to read more about our activities, accomplishments, and more from the past year.
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
Website: 2022 National Stormwater Roundtable – Boston, Massachusetts
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.
Meetings and Webinars
EPA Webinar – Water System Partnerships: Regionalization Solutions for Drinking Water and Wastewater
Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm eastern
Registration: Webinar Registration – Zoom (zoomgov.com)
EPA’s Office of Compliance invites you to a free webinar on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, as part of EPA’s ongoing Technical Assistance Webinar Series: Improving CWA-NPDES Permit Compliance at Small Wastewater Treatment Systems.
See the attached detailed announcement for our next scheduled webinar on August 31 (1:00-2:30pm ET) titled, Water System Partnerships: Regionalization Solutions for Drinking Water and Wastewater, featuring Sarah Buck from Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and Carla Hagerman from US EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management in Washington, DC. See the attached detailed announcement for a more detailed description and/or CLICK HERE to register.
Water system partnerships are an effective cross-program tool for increasing technical, managerial, and financial (TMF) capacity. This webinar will provide an introduction to TMF capacity, the broad spectrum of water system partnerships, and how partnerships can improve TMF Capacity and increase compliance. Wastewater case studies will be discussed to illustrate the use of partnerships in this sector.
*Please note that registration for this event will be capped at 1,000 attendees. The first 1,000 people to log on will be admitted to the webinar. If you are unable to view the webinar live due to capacity restrictions, the webinar will be recorded and archived on our website.
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|
EPA Meets the World Webinar: PFAS Research
August 4th, 2022 | Noon EST | Access using Microsoft Teams Live Link
In this webinar, experts from EPA or associated with Water Research Foundation PFAS projects will share the latest work and understanding of PFAS. Topics will include:
- PFAS Destruction: Overview on EPA-ORD’s Recent Activities | DR. TOM SPETH
- Targeted and non-targeted methods for PFAS analysis | DR. JEAN VAN BUREN
- WRF PFAS Research Update | MARY MESSEC SMITH
- Understanding Pyrolysis for PFAS Removal | DR. DERYA DURSUN
- WRF Project 5111 – Studying the Fate of PFAS through Sewage Sludge Incinerators | LLOYD WINCELL
Wastewater Engineer | State of Iowa – Department of Natural Resources
Location: Des Moines, IA
Closing Date: August 12, 2022
The Department of Natural Resources is looking for an Engineer with knowledge of wastewater collection and treatment systems including industrial wastewater systems. This 40-hour work week position is within the Wastewater Engineering Section of the Water Quality Bureau, and provides technical assistance to the wastewater industry through construction plan and permit review, antidegradation alternatives analysis review and facility planning review and approval to meet state/federal regulations.
For more information, click here.
Small Community Wastewater Assistance Engineer | Washington Department of Ecology
Location: Lacey or Shoreline, WA
Closing Date: August 3, 2022
As a senior environmental engineer supporting small and financially disadvantaged communities in western Washington, you will plan, conduct investigations of, and propose solutions to wastewater engineering problems that require research and application of engineering techniques and principles, as well as compliance with regulatory standards. In this dynamic and rewarding position, you will provide technical assistance and guidance to small communities throughout western Washington that face significant challenges to meeting their wastewater facility needs. You will help communities meet the requirements to qualify for financial assistance from Water Quality Combined funding program that includes the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program and several state grant programs.
For more information, click here.
Adaptive Management Program Scientist | Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Helena, MT
Closing Date: August 10, 2022
This position’s main focus is to develop and review Adaptive Management Plans through DEQ’s Adaptive Management Program (AMP). The AMP Scientist will review, verify, and approve Adaptive Management Plans, which include implementation of water quality monitoring and watershed improvement activities for pollutant load reductions. The AMP Scientist position supports DEQ’s mission to assure that water quality is maintained & improved so that state waters can support all their beneficial uses.
For more information, click here.
Deputy Administrator, Water Quality | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Portland, OR
Closing Date: August 16, 2022
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has a full-time opportunity available for a Deputy Administrator, Water Quality (Natural Resource Protection and Sustainability Manager 3). We are seeking an individual with leadership, guidance, consultation, and support services experience in all areas of water quality. This position is based out of DEQ’s Headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
For more information, click here.