EPA Proposes to Designate PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances Under CERCLA
Today, EPA released a pre-publication copy of proposed rule, Designation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as CERCLA Hazardous Substances (Docket ID EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0341). Once posted to the docket, EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 60 days. You can read the pre-publication version here.
The proposal results in three direct effects: triggering reporting obligations when there is a release of PFOA or PFOS above the reportable quantity (RQ), obligations on the US Government when it transfers certain properties, and an obligation on DOT to list and regulate CERCLA designated hazardous substances as hazardous materials. The proposal establishes a RQ of 1 pound in 24 hours, requiring any facility with knowledge of a release at or above that amount (other than a federally permitted release) to immediately notify the National Response Center (NRC), State or Tribal Emergency Response Commission, and community emergency coordinator (county- or Tribe-level). EPA would evaluate the nature and circumstances of a particular release to determine whether it presents a “substantial danger.” A release report must also be filed within 30 days by the facility.
EPA expects 21 NAICS Code industries may be affected, including Code 221320, wastewater treatment plants. Pages 49-55 of the proposal summarize EPA’s understanding of PFOA/PFOS related to wastewater discharges and surface waters. Additionally, pages 69-83 summarize each state’s actions on PFOA/PFOS to date.
EPA notes that designating PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances will likely increase the pace at which cleanups occur because it will allow the federal government to require responsible private parties to address releases of PFOS and PFOA at sites without other ongoing cleanup activities, and allow the government and private parties to seek to recover cleanup costs from potentially responsible parties assuming relevant statutory criteria are met. While EPA was not required to consider costs of a hazardous designation, an Economic Assessment of the Potential Costs and Other Impacts of the Proposed Rulemaking to Designate Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid as Hazardous Substances will be made available for review in the docket. The rule notes that while responding to a release is discretionary, EPA’s intent is to shift remediation and response costs to private potentially-responsible parties and generally reduce human health effects such as cancer, immunological problems, high cholesterol, and thyroid disorders.
Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Photo Contest
ACWA and EPA Office of Water are excited to invite you to participate in an upcoming activity that highlights the importance of the Clean Water Act as we prepare for its 50th Anniversary!
We are asking for photos of the water bodies that you interact with. Any US citizen or permanent resident living in the US or territories over the age of 13 can submit photos for consideration, excluding current federal employees, interns/fellows/externs, or their partners and/or children. ACWA will accept photo submissions between August 9 and August 31.
The photos will then be posted on ACWA’s website and people can vote on their favorites—the winning photos will be used to promote the CWA anniversary. The top three images will also receive a cash prize! The grand prize winner will receive a $500 Amazon gift card. Second and third place photos will each receive $250 Amazon gift cards. Winners will be announced in early October.
You can find more information and submit your photos here.
If you have questions about the contest, please contact Kara McCauley.
Meetings and Webinars
2022 Water Quality Modeling Workshop
September 19 – September 23
There is still one week left to register for ACWA’s 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.
Please note that this is for state and federal staff only. You may register through Member365 here.
Registration Open – 2022 National Stormwater Roundtable
October 19 – 21, 2022
Purpose: 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.
Attendees: The Stormwater Roundtable is national face to face meeting specifically organized by state and federal regulators for EPA and state program staff representatives. This is a closed meeting. 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
Save the Date – 2023 National NPDES Meeting
February 28 – March 2, 2023
Purpose: This meeting is intended to help support states and EPA to build staff capacity, identify challenges & barriers to NPDES program implementation, highlight opportunities for permitting authority program improvement & enhancement, showcase NPDES program innovations, assist with analysis of training, guidance, tools, and other support material needs, improve administrative efficiencies, clarify roles and responsibilities, build stronger linkages to other programs, modernize permit terms, improve data management, discuss program performance measures, identify program areas where targeted technical assistance would be most beneficial, and attempt to solve some of the most intractable NPDES Program issues.
Attendees: The National NPDES Meeting is a national coregulator event specifically organized by state and federal regulators for EPA and state program staff representatives. Attendees include:
- State and EPA staff involved in managing and overseeing NPDES programs
- State and EPA staff involved with drafting and overseeing NPDES permits
- Partnering state and federal agency staff that provide technical and/or regulatory assistance to the NPDES programs
- Invited guests as appropriate
EPA Webinar – Water System Partnerships: Regionalization Solutions for Drinking Water and Wastewater
Date: Wednesday, August 31,
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
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.
Environmental Engineer 3 (In-Training) | Washington Department of Ecology
Location: Lacey, WA
Closing Date: September 5, 2022
As a licensed professional engineer, you will independently plan and conduct investigations of, and propose solutions to, environmental engineering problems relating to pollutant loading capacity, mathematical modeling of water quality, and effluent dilution. This position is directly related to Ecology’s mission of protecting, preserving, and restoring Washington’s environment.
For more information, click here.
IDPES General Permit Supervisor | Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Boise, ID
Closing Date: September 8, 2022
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is hiring an Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) general permit supervisor for our Surface and Wastewater Division in the State Office in Boise. This position will provide critically needed direction, management, and oversight of IPDES general permit writers. This position will supervise the drafting of IPDES general permits and fact sheets by permit writers, the review and processing notices of intent for permit coverage, and the development and implementation general permitting processes.
For more information, click here.