Administration Celebrates 50 Years of the CWA
This week marked the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Biden Administration marked the day in several ways. President Biden issued a Proclamation calling upon all Americans to observe this milestone, recognize the significant contribution the Clean Water Act has made to restoring our Nation’s waters, consider the crucial role clean water plays in each of our lives, and recommit to protecting our shared water resources. On Monday, EPA Administrator Regan and Assistant Administrator Fox hosted a celebration, with stakeholders from across the country, along the banks of the Cuyahoga River to tout the successes of the Act. The Office of Water released a story map on the history and successes of the Act.
USGS Releases New & Improved Water Cycle Diagram
The revised version of USGS’ classic water cycle depiction brings humans into the picture, showing the water cycle as a complex interplay of small, interconnected cycles that people interact with and influence, rather than one big circle.
USGS experts consulted with more than 100 educators and more than 30 hydrologic experts to develop the new diagram. The vast amounts of water data that USGS has collected in recent decades has informed a nuanced perspective of the water cycle, demonstrating how both its human and natural components are interconnected. Where the existing water cycle diagram depicted only the natural aspects of the cycle, the new version depicts how Earth’s water moves and is stored, both naturally and because of human actions.Not only does the new diagram illustrate a more comprehensive view of the water cycle, it draws on principles of information design to focus attention on the water as it moves through the natural and built environment. It shows how multiple ecosystems – including a coastal plain, dry basin, wet basin and agricultural basin – are connected across watersheds and at continental scales.
Lead and Copper Rule Improvements
EPA will host two virtual public meetings to discuss and solicit input on environmental justice considerations related to the development of the proposed Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI). These sessions will provide opportunities for EPA to share information about the upcoming LCRI rulemaking and for individuals to offer input on environmental justice considerations related to the rule. The two public meetings will be identical and will be held in an online-only format on October 25 (1-4 pm EDT) and November 1, 2022 (5-8 pm EDT). Those interested in participating can register here and can choose to sign up to sign up to provide verbal remarks. EPA encourages the public to share thoughts on how to equitably address lead in drinking water issues in their communities. EPA is also accepting written comments via the public docket at http://www.regulations.gov/, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0801 until November 15, 2022. EPA intends to propose the LCRI for public comment in 2023 and take final action by October 16, 2024.
The public meetings on environmental justice are part of several stakeholder engagement activities and consultations that EPA is engaging in prior to proposing the LCRI. EPA is conducting a Tribal Consultation on October 27 and November 9, 2022 (learn more). EPA is also consulting with the agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC), federal and local entities, and a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel as required under the Safe Drinking Water Act and other federal statutes and executive orders.
Open Comment Period for Input on Implementing New Cyber Incident and Ransom Payment Reporting Requirements Associated with the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act (CIRCIA) of 2022
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) and notice of public listening sessions to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to provide ideas and perspectives on the implementation of CIRCIA. In March 2022, President Biden signed into law the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA). The enactment of CIRCIA requires the CISA to develop and implement regulations requiring covered entities to report covered cyber incidents and ransomware payments to CISA. These reports will allow CISA to rapidly deploy resources and render assistance to victims suffering attacks, analyze incoming reporting across sectors to spot trends, and quickly share that information with network defenders to warn other potential victims. To learn more about CIRCIA and for additional details on both the RFI and the upcoming listening sessions, including dates and locations and how to register, visit cisa.gov/CIRCIA. Comments are due on November 14, 2022.
If you have any questions on this process, please feel free to reach out to CIRCIA@cisa.dhs.gov.
Participate in one of the public listening sessions that CISA is hosting across the country: Public listening sessions.
EPA Releases Review Draft of Updated IRIS Assessment for Hexavalent Chromium (Parameter “Chromium VI” or “Cr(VI)”)
On October 20th, EPA announced the availability of the external review draft of the IRIS Toxicological Review of Hexavalent Chromium for a 60-day public comment period as announced in the Federal Register. The deadline for comments is Dec 19, 2022 at docket #EPA-HQ-ORD-2014-0313. View the document and supporting information here. The draft is intended to update the IRIS assessment published in 1998, as part of EPA’s priority actions under TSCA. The review draft maintains the previous cancer slope factor that appeared in a 2010 draft assessment, but was not finalized — 0.5 mg/kg-d — and proposes an overall chronic RfD of 9 × 10−4 mg/kg-d based on several health effects, most notably GI tract toxicity. The assessment maintains the previous finding that Chromium VI is carcinogenic via inhalation and is likely carcinogenic via oral exposure.
EPA has established a SDWA MCL for Chromium VI and recommended both CWA 304(a) aquatic life criteria (1995) and ambient water quality criteria (1980), listed in EPA’s criteria tables. State-specific WQS can be found here after searching “chromium vi”.
Government Accountability Office Declares a Need for CWA Amendments for Nonpoint Sources
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), stated recently that the types of industrial pollution which sparked the creation of the CWA 50 years ago have largely been addressed. However, other challenges, such as nonpoint runoff, remain, and solving these issues may require amendments.
These issues include stormwater runoff that carries pollutants into our waters that will require further actions and emerging threats resulting from climate change that also need to be addressed.
“The key to tackling these threats will require using the tools provided by the Clean Water Act. But more action may be needed to strengthen the Act and help it meet the goals established half a century ago,” GAO says.
GAO also states that while the point source pollution addressed by the CWA is an important issue, the leading cause of water pollution now is nonpoint sources, and that EPA should take stronger action going forward to address them.
EPA Awards $9 Million in P2 Grants to States, Tribes, Universities
This week, EPA announced the selection of 32 recipients across the country that will receive over $9 million in pollution prevention (P2) grants, which help states and Tribes provide businesses with technical assistance to prevent or reduce pollution before it is even created, while also reducing costs. This round of selections are in addition to $12 million in P2 grants that were announced in September as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $100 million appropriation to EPA’s P2 program.
Many proposed projects center on communities with environmental justice concerns and comport with Justice40. Examples include: technical assistance to chemical, metal, and food and beverage manufacturers in overburdened communities between Baton Rouge and New Orleans; using the EPA P2 Environmental Justice (EJ) Facility Mapping Tool to target technical assistance to metal manufacturers and fabricators in disadvantaged communities to reduce pollutants and wastewater discharges in Rhode Island; and, a case study on controlling invasive weeds on the Yurok Tribe’s ancestral lands without using herbicides.
Selected grantees will, if awarded, document and share P2 best practices that they identify and develop through these grants, so that others can replicate these practices and outcomes. Each selected grantee will address at least one of six National Emphasis Areas (NEAs), which were established to focus resources to achieve measurable results and to create opportunities to share information among P2 grantees and businesses affiliated with similar NEAs. Each selected grantee will also develop at least one case study during the grant period on P2 practices that are new or not widely known or adopted, or where detailed information on the P2 practices could benefit other businesses or P2 technical assistance providers.
Funding Resource: Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report on Federally Supported Projects and Programs for Wastewater, Drinking Water, and Water Supply Infrastructure
This report provides background and funding information on water infrastructure projects that are traditionally funded by the federal government. The report also discusses federal funding programs that provide assistance to communities to support these project types and related eligible activities (also see EPA’s website, Federal Funding Programs).
Biden-Harris Administration Announces $20 Million Funding Opportunity for Small Surface and Groundwater Storage Drought Resilience Projects
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure projects over the next five years to advance drought resilience and expand access to clean water for families, farmers, and wildlife. The funding is intended to repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, complete rural water projects, protect aquatic ecosystems, and fulfill Indian Water Rights Settlements, including $100 million for small surface and groundwater storage projects over five years. In fiscal year 2023, $20 million is available for eligible projects.
Sourcewater Collaborative CWA Infographic
The Sourcewater Collaborative released an updated interactive infographic on using the Clean Water Act (CWA) to protect sourcewaters. The infographic highlights CWA tools that can be used to protect sources of drinking water. Stay tuned in the following months as we start Phase 2 of our revamped infographic where we will dig deep into the content of the tool to make it more actionable, relevant, and bolstered with some case examples that showcase the great work that has been done at a local level.
Happy 50th Birthday to the Clean Water Act!
We are so excited to celebrate this important milestone with you. You can keep up with all our anniversary projects here, including the announcement of our Celebrating Clean Water photo contest winners. ACWA is happy to congratulate Joseph, Dale, and Esther on their photos, and thank them for highlighting the critical work of the Clean Water Act.
You can also view our recently launched success stories map. This tool highlights successful projects from across the country and the positive impact on water. Read about the rehabilitation of He’eia stream by introducing local vegetation in Hawaii, the recovery and restoration of Horseshoe Pond in New Hampshire, and the return of the Eastern Hellbender to streams in Indiana.
Quotes from members and proclamations from the states can also be found on our 50th Anniversary page. ACWA thanks all its members for their vital work in protecting our water. Celebrate this important day with us! You can tag us on Twitter @cleanwaterACWA.
Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Proclamations
Governors of various states, as well as the Commissioners of several Interstate Commissions, have issued proclamations to bring attention to the importance of clean water in their states for industry, agriculture, tourism, public and environmental health and quality of life.
The proclamations also recognize and applaud the collaborative efforts of the state-Federal partnership to achieve the goals of the Act.
2022 National Stormwater Roundtable Summary
This week, October 19 – 21, 2022 ACWA facilitated the 2022 National Stormwater Roundtable, which was held in Boston, Massachusetts. This year’s roundtable had 159 participants, of which 66 participated in person and 93 participated virtually. Participants represented 43 states, 1 Interstate, the District of Columbia, 7 EPA Regions, EPA HQs, and several invited presenter organizations. Topics discussed included an overview of the VT, MA and the City of Boston’s municipal stormwater programs, perspective of the National Home Builders Association, Stormwater Testing and Evaluation of Products and Practices (STEPP), the New England Stormwater Retrofit Manual, WEF’s Stormwater Needs Assessment, EPA’s Clean Water Needs Survey, BIL funding, integrated planning, urban areas, new/emerging contaminants, treating stormwater as a resource, advancing stormwater resiliency, StreamStats, Smart Tools Inspection Software, and a discussion of the Texas ePermitting/eReporting system. Presentations from the meeting will be made available next week.
Meetings and Webinars
Registration Open: National Virtual Symposium: Improving Small Municipalities WWTP Compliance
Dates: October 25-27, 2022
Times: Daily 11:00am – 5:00pm eastern
Participants: NPDES Program Authorities and Related Contractors/Grantees
Registration: Meeting Registration – Zoom (zoomgov.com)
Compliance with NPDES permits is imperative for limiting pollution in WWTP discharges, and in turn, for protecting public health and the environment. As part of EPA’s National Compliance Initiative to address NPDES SNC, focus is being given to municipal WWTPs, which are the leading sector contributing to the SNC rate. Small WWTPs (discharging < 1 MGD) can be particularly burdened by aging infrastructure, financial, and workforce challenges. Presenters in this symposium will thus cover eight different topic areas (see below) that detail different tools and approaches regulators can take to help improve compliance with NPDES permitting requirements and reduce SNC at small municipal WWTP facilities. In this context, focus will also be given to environmental justice considerations and solutions.
Symposium Topics to include:
- Technical Assistance and Resources
- WWTP Infrastructure Financial Assistance, Resources and Sustainability
- System Sustainability/Resiliency (including Climate Change)
- The Keys to Sustained Compliance: Workforce and Operation & Maintenance
- Water System Partnerships (including Regionalization)
- WWTP Technology
- Effective Use of Enforcement to Enhance Municipal WWTP Compliance
- Regulatory Support Tools for Achieving Water Quality Standards/Goals
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
2023 National Fish Forum Registration is Now Open
EPA Office of Water will hold a virtual National Forum on Contaminants in Fish (Fish Forum) to bring together interested stakeholders to discuss the many issues related to human health and contaminants in fish.
CONFERENCE REGISTRATION AND ABSTRACT SUBMITTAL DETAILS:
The free virtual conference will be held as follows:
- Week 1: February 28 and March 2, 2023 (12:00 – 5:30 PM Eastern Time)
- Week 2: March 7 and 9, 2023 (12:00 – 5:30 PM Eastern Time)
Some topics likely to be covered include:
- Environmental Justice: Protection of high frequency fish consumers, such as subsistence fishers and fishers in underserved communities
- Community/participatory science: Roles and practices
- Latest science on specific contaminants in fish and their impacts on human health, e.g., PFAS, mercury, PCBs, and cyanotoxins
- Emerging science in developing fish consumption advisories
- Risk communication & public engagement strategies for fish consumption advisories
- Issuing/rescinding fish consumption advisories
- Effectiveness of fish consumption advisories
- Sampling and analysis: Practices and methods
Register for the Fish Forum at: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_h_jw0futQ1GjDim2P51Ubg
If you plan to submit an abstract for consideration, please submit all materials for consideration by Wednesday, November 2, 2022. Your abstract should be no longer than 250 words. You can use this link to submit the abstract https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=e7mQz0a-AEqXAIHOT_G39oVBI5VF5IFFup5NA-B1ecRUMUNMS0QzSTJUN0RRM1NOSjBOVjhKTFhRQy4u
For more information, visit https://www.epa.gov/fish-tech/2023-national-fish-forum
Lessons for Municipal Flood Risk Management from Major Flood Programs
Tuesday, October 25, 2022, 11-12 EST | Register Here | PDH certificates will be available to those who participate in the live webinar.
As a follow up to previous webinars, this In the kNOW Webinar will cover another important element of the climate crisis. In this webinar, we will discuss two major flood programs: the Environment Agency’s Oxford-Cambridge Arc Flood Risk Investment Study (OxCam) in the UK and the California Central Valley Flood Program (CVFPP). Ceri Lewis and Joe Clarke will discuss the OxCam regional flood study, which explores how to make robust and adaptive investment decisions to manage evolving flood risk linked to rapid housing growth and climate change, using tens of thousands of flood simulations across 3 catchments to represent a host of potential future risk scenarios, and to optimize the level and timing of investment across that range of scenarios. Kris Tjernell and Armin Munevar will discuss the work performed for the CVFPP which serves as California’s strategic blueprint to improve flood risk management in the Central Valley under changing conditions. Together, these projects demonstrate the influence climate change can have on decisions we make now – and the importance of building our understanding of how risk may change in the future.
Moderator: Elise Ibendahl, Jacobs, Global Technology Lead, Flood Modeling and Planning
Ceri Lewis, Environment Agency Oxford-Cambridge Arc Team, Programme Manager
Joe Clarke, Jacobs, Associate Director of Hydroinformatics, Water Catchment Management – Bristol
Kris Tjernell, California Department of Water Resources, Deputy Director for Integrated Watershed Management
Armin Munévar, Jacobs, Global Technologist, Climate Resilience, and Integrated Water Resource Management
AAAS EPI Center Webinar on Listing PFAS under CERCLA
Tuesday October 25, 2-3pm EST | Register Here
On August 26, 2022, EPA issued a proposal to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. During this public, virtual event hosted by the AAAS Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (EPI Center), a panel of experts will discuss the recent announcement. The panelists will discuss CERCLA, the significance of listing PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances, and the process the U.S. EPA has outlined for finalizing the rule. This event will include time for a Q & A session.
*The U.S. EPA is encouraging stakeholders and the public to comment on the draft listing. The 60-day public comment period opened on September 6 and will close on November 7, 2022.
• Walter Mugdan, Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region 2
• Jim Woolford, Former Director Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, Retired, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• Linda Birnbaum, Scientist Emeritus and Former Director National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program and Scholar in Residence, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
PFAS in Biosolids – Trends, Technologies, and Links to the Circular Economy
Thursday, October 27 | 3pm–4:30pm ET | No Cost | Register Here
Join the Water Research Foundation as they host the first in a series of webcasts on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) entitled, “PFAS in Biosolids – Trends, Technologies, and Links to the Circular Economy.”
What We Know about PFAS in Biosolids and Its Drivers: Janine Burke-Wells, PhD, Executive Director, North East Biosolids & Residuals Association
National and State Level Regulatory Trends: Lynne Moss, PhD, PE, Residuals and Odor Control Practice Leader, Black and Veatch
Research Gaps and Open Questions around PFAS in Biosolids: Erica McKenzie, PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor, Temple University
Technologies, Trends, and the Sector’s Response: Mohammad Abu Orf, PhD, Vice President, Hazen & Sawyer
Communications, Engagement Initiatives, and How PFAS Links Up with the Circular Economy: Maile Lono Batura, BCES, MNPL, Director of Sustainable Biosolids Programs, Water Environment Federation
Panel Discussion and Q&A: Moderated by Ashwin Dhanasekar, Research Program Manager, The Water Research Foundation
Preparing Critical Infrastructure for Climate Change: Water Utilities Leading the Way
Friday, November 4 at 1:00 p.m. EDT | Register Here | Participants of this live webinar are eligible for 1.5 AICP CM credits.
Critical infrastructure such as highways, power grids, and water utilities are threatened by extreme events associated with climate change, including hurricanes, flooding, drought, and heat waves. Planners, emergency management offices, and public works departments are increasingly concerned that our critical infrastructure is not properly sited or designed to withstand climate change. Join the Maryland Department of Planning and the Smart Growth Network as Jacobs Solutions, Inc. presents the recently completed 5-year Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, Adaptation, and Mitigation Planning (CCVAAMP) project for WSSC Water, one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation with service to more than 2.5 million customers. Baltimore County, Maryland will discuss its Climate Action Plan and Resilience Assessment.
Construction Stormwater Program Coordinator | Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Salt Lake County, UT
Closing Date: November 2, 2022
The Utah Division of Water Quality Construction Stormwater Program Coordinator oversees Utah’s more than 5,000 construction stormwaterr UPDES permits. You will serve as the state’s technical and policy expert on construction stormwater permitting by preparing permits, inspecting construction sites, and providing technical assistance and outreach to stormwater permittees.
For more information, click here.
Water Quality Analyst | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Portland, OR
Closing Date: October 23, 2022
You will provide water quality data analysis, water quality evaluation and assessment, and technical modeling of complex environmental data requiring data cleaning and management, GIS, data visualization, deterministic and probabilistic modeling, and other technical expertise to develop a mercury Total Maximum Daily Loads for the Snake Rivers/Hell’s Canyon area in Eastern Oregon. You will need experience in R and Python computer languages. You will provide expertise and assist senior level positions with project development, model selection, project planning, and monitoring plans to support basin assessment and the development of management plans to address mercury in the Snake River basin. You are responsible for coordinating with the Laboratory, Regions, and other DEQ programs, as well as external stakeholders.
For more information, click here.
Water Quality Monitoring Manager | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Closing Date: November 9, 2022
You will plan, coordinate, and oversee all of DEQ’s water quality monitoring projects and programs including but not limited to toxics monitoring, groundwater, TMDL, harmful algal blooms, and biological monitoring projects in support of the Laboratory Division’s mission and goals.
For more information, click here.
Environmental Analyst – Rule Specialist | NEIEPCC
Location: Augusta, ME
Closing Date: November 13, 2022
NEIWPCC, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (ME DHHS), and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ME CDC) are seeking a full-time Environmental Analyst to determine public water system compliance with the state and federal safe drinking water regulations.
For more information, click here.
College Intern | Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Closing Date: October 24, 2022
Participate in Ohio EPA’s College Intern program by assisting the technical staff with routine duties, which will include one or more of the following activities, and receive training in aspects of office and in-the-field activities involved in the surface water program and receive orientation to all program areas. Prepare reports and correspond with the engineer preparing the plans to obtain additional information. Review plans for conformance with agency design guidelines.
For More Information, click here.
Environmental Specialist II | Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Closing Date: October 24, 2022
Review and evaluate permit-to-install applications, detail plans for all types of solid and infectious waste and C&DD facilities and provide preliminary action to the District Manager and/or Supervisor prior to recommendation for approval or denial. Review and evaluate solid and infectious waste facility compliance with approved plans and make recommendations to the District Manager and/or Supervisor if further action is required.
For More Information click here.
Environmental Specialist II | Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Location: Bowling Green, Ohio
Closing Date: October 17, 2022
Process Site Authorization Applications and prepare letters for Director’s authorization. Perform compliance inspections of wastewater treatment plants with the focus on biosolids. Assist in writing and reviewing biosolids portions of NPDES permits, perform compliance inspections of wastewater treatment plants with the focus on biosolids.
For More Information click here.