FY 22 Omnibus Poised for Passage Before Deadline
The Senate adopted a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill on Thursday setting the stage for the House to act on Friday. The bill includes nearly $773 billion for federal health care, environment, labor, education, and economic programs, an approximate 9% increase. An additional $58.7 billion is provided to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The spending bill also includes an approximate boost of $10.1 billion to EPA, bringing its total appropriation to $576 million to increase support for enforcement and compliance, as well as clean air, water, and toxic chemical programs, after years of flat funding.
Congressional Earmarks Paid for by State Revolving Loan Funds
While the Omnibus Budget appears to provide level funding for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs), the budget actually uses the SRF capitalization grants to pay for earmarks at much higher levels than in the recent past. This means the 2023 budget effectively cuts annual federal funding for the SRFs by 47% compared to pre-BIL funding levels. Using SRF funds to pay for earmarks reduces available loan funding for borrowers that have done the work to get on the SRF Project Priority List, including medium and large utilities that rely on annual programmatic funding to keep their capital improvement plans on track and on budget. Less funding for loans also means less funding for principal forgiveness and grants, which could lead to project delays, especially for small, disadvantaged and underserved communities that cannot afford to pay for projects without additional financial assistance.
Data found above and the chart below provided by CIFA*.
|Clean Water SRF||2021 Budget||2022 Budget||2023 Budget|
|Allotment for States||$1,638,826,000||$1,195,186,949||$775,752,358|
|Drinking Water SRF|
|Allotment for States||$1,126,088,000||$728,321,956||$516,845,101|
|Estimated Allotment for States||$2,764,914,000||$1,923,508,905||$1,292,597,459|
*The Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities is a national not-for-profit organization that represents the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, the nation’s premier programs for funding water infrastructure that protects public health and the environment.
EPA Releases Final PFBA Health Assessment
EPA has finalized the IRIS Toxicological Review of Perfluorobutanoic Acid (PFBA) and Related Salts. This assessment addresses potential cancer and noncancer human health effects from exposure to perfluorobutanoic acid and related salts. EPA’s program and regional offices may use this assessment to inform decisions to protect human health. The health assessment sets a reference dose (RfD) of 0.001 milligram per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg-day) as the amount a person could ingest daily over a lifetime without expecting harm.
EPA Requests Nominations for SACC Review of Draft Documents Related to Cumulative Risk Assessment Under TSCA
EPA is calling for nominations of ad hoc expert reviewers to assist the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) with peer review of two draft documents related to cumulative risk assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
EPA plans to release the following documents for public comment in late February 2023, and they will be reviewed by the SACC at a public virtual meeting on May 8-11, 2023.
- Draft Proposed Principles of Cumulative Risk Assessment Under the Toxic Substances Control Act: This document will describe the fundamental principles of cumulative risk assessment of chemicals and how they may be applied within the regulatory requirements of TSCA to ensure TSCA risk evaluations are based on the best available science and are protective of human health.
- Draft Proposed Approach for Cumulative Risk Assessment of High-Priority Phthalates and a Manufacturer Requested Phthalate Under the Toxic Substance Control Act: This document will describe EPA’s proposed approach for evaluating a subset of high-priority and manufacturer-requested phthalates for cumulative risk to human health under TSCA based on the principles of cumulative risk assessment described in EPA’s draft principles document referenced above.
Nominations must be submitted on or before Jan. 20, 2023. Individuals nominated for this SACC peer review, should have expertise in one or more of the following areas: chemical mixtures risk assessment (especially with experience using dose additive component-based mixtures approaches, including relative potency factors); mode of action (MOA); phthalate toxicology; male reproductive toxicology; exposure assessment (occupational, consumer, and general population exposure); biomonitoring data; and biostatistics. Nominees should be scientists who have sufficient professional qualifications, including training and experience, to be capable of providing expert comments on the scientific issues for this review.
Video Series – Process Control Technical Assistance for Small Mechanical WWTPs
Four videos have been developed to demonstrate the use of process control tools to help small wastewater treatment systems either return to compliance or maintain compliance. In these videos, Jon van Dommelen from Ohio EPA walks through each treatment unit, identifies tools and equipment that can help operators diagnose operational problems, and demonstrates how to use the tools in a troubleshooting exercise. These technical assistance videos were developed to support small mechanical WWTP operators across the country and are part of EPA’s Significant-Noncompliance (SNC) National Compliance Initiative (NCI), which strives to improve surface water quality by assuring that all NPDES permittees are complying with their permits.
• Part 1: Introduction – provides an introduction and overview of the training material.
• Part 2: Wastewater Treatment Plant Walkthrough – provides background and an overview of WWTP process units such as the equalization basin, aeration tank, clarifier, and more.
• Part 3: Tools and Equipment – focuses on the tools and equipment used to diagnose and troubleshoot WWTP operation issues.
• Part 4: Troubleshooting – focuses on sampling, measurement, and analysis techniques that can be used to trouble-shoot WWTP issues.
This video series is geared toward plant owners and operators of smaller systems with flow of less than 1 mil-lion gallons per day (<1MGD). Others include: WWTP owners and operators, design engineers, municipal leaders, NPDES technical assistance providers, permit writers, compliance staff from state, local, tribal, and federal governments.
About the Presenter: Jon VanDommelen has worked for the Ohio EPA for over 25 years. He works in the Compliance Assistance Unit troubleshooting noncompliance at wastewater treatment plants ranging from 1,500 gallon per day package plants up to 15 million gallon per day municipal systems. In addition, Jon has trained operators of WWTPs in process control of activated sludge, microbiology, biological nutrient removal, among other topics related to wastewater treatment.
Clean Water Podcast Releases New Episode on Water Quality Monitoring
Episode 3 of The Clean Water Pod is now live – just in time for holiday travels! In this episode we dive into water quality monitoring with Monty Porter, Oklahoma Water Resource Board, and Kellie Merrell, VT DEC.
2022 ACWA Member Survey
This year 114 participants representing 45 member organizations completed the 2022 ACWA Member Survey. Congratulations to the State of Montana for having 16 of their staff fill out the survey. As winners of this year’s competition, we will be sending them a $500 gift card to enjoy lunch on ACWA. Congrats Montana!! A short summary of some of the results can be found below.
- 93.1% Find Topic Specific Workshops Useful/Very Useful
- 92.9% Find Conference Calls/Webinars Useful/Very Useful
- 79.7% Find the Weekly Wrap Useful/Very Useful
- 79.5% Find Letters to EPA Useful/Very Usefu
- 50.5% Find the Website Useful/Very Useful, 19.5% Never Used
- 33.6% Find the Annual Report Useful/Very Useful
- 20.8% Find EPA Budget Chart Useful/Very Useful, 47.8% Unaware
- 20.0% Find EPA Rules Chart Useful/Very Useful, 49.1% Unaware
The complete results from the survey can be found here:
ACWA and MSA Meeting January 19th: Revising the Federal Water Quality Standards Regulations to Protect Tribal Reserved Rights
ACWA and MSA will meet on January 19th at 1pm EST to discuss the Proposed Water Quality Standards Regulatory Revisions to Protect Tribal Reserved Rights. Please see meeting information sent on December 20th or contact Jake Adler.
2023 National NPDES Permitting Meeting
February 28 – March 2, 2023
This is a closed meeting intended to support state and EPA 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.
Updated information about this meeting can be found here. A draft agenda has been posted.
2023 Water Reuse Regulator Summit
March 5, 2023
This Summit will be the third reuse-focused closed workshop in a series co-hosted by ACWA, ASDWA, ASTHO, ECOS, and GWPC. It is intended to support state staff working on water reuse/recycling, resilience, and integrated water resources management.
Updated information about this meeting will be distributed in early 2023. Please contact Jake Adler directly with any questions.
Lodging Available: ACWA Mid-Year Meeting on March 15th & 16th, 2023 in Alexandria, VA
Please see the Mid-Year Meeting webpage here. Lodging information is now available and rooms can be reserved.
Meetings and Webinars
ACWA Legal Affairs Committee Schedule for 2023
The ACWA Legal Affairs Committee call schedule for 2023 is below. If you are interested in registering for any of these calls, please contact Julia Anastasio. Feel free to share the schedule with your colleagues in the Attorney General’s office or whichever department handles legal issues for your program and if you have any topics or cases that you would like the committee to consider for presentations next year, please send them to Julia Anastasio.
- March 23, 2023, 02:00 PM ET
- June 15, 2023, 02:00 PM ET
- September 21, 2023, 2:00 PM ET
- December 7, 2023, 2:00 PM ET
NPDES Permit Writer / Natural Resource Specialist 3 — Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Portland, Oregon
Apply by: 1/5/2023
This position is in the Department’s Northwest Region, which provides the following services: compliance inspection of regulated entities; enforcement of permit requirements and administrative rules; issuance of air, water, and solid waste permits; investigation of complaints; issuance of subsurface permits in counties; response to spills or other incidents with environmental impacts; direct contact and liaison with other governmental entities, industries, and the public; and technical assistance to regulated entities and the public. This position will develop National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permits for major or minor sources that originate in any part of Oregon. The position will develop strategies for compliance with water quality standards or discharges to water-quality limited water bodies.
Learn more and apply here.
Permit Data and Compliance Professional / Environment Specialist 3 — Washington Department of Ecology
Location: Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA.Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station. This position will be eligible for up to a 90% tele-work schedule.
Apply by: December 26th. This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of December 27, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before December 26, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.
The Water Quality program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Permit Data and Compliance Professional (Environmental Specialist 3) position.
This position is an outstanding opportunity to use your project management skills to make tangible improvements to water quality in Washington. Our Permit Data and Compliance Professional works alongside of our team of water quality engineers and scientists to help issue and manage individual permits for municipal wastewater treatment and reclaimed water facilities throughout our southwestern region. You’ll provide administrative support for individual municipal permit issuance, compliance and quality assurance reviews of municipal permit data, technical assistance to permit holders, and enforcement administration. This position also provides specialized expertise and technical assistance to staff, permittees, and the public on our Permit and Reporting Information System (PARIS) database, Public PARIS database, and WebPortal reporting sites. You’ll also handle regulatory oversight of facilities covered under the Water Treatment Plant general permit, including permit data quality assurance reviews, periodic compliance inspections, and permit administration.
Learn more and apply here.
Staff Attorney (Program Manager) — NEIWPCC
Location: Lowell, MA
Apply by: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
NEIWPCC is seeking collaborative, thoughtful and dedicated candidates for a full-time Staff Attorney (Program Manager) position within our established interstate water organization. This position would provide legal expertise on policy matters of significant importance, as well as independent advice and recommendations on a wide range of topics for senior management within the agency. This position requires knowledge and expertise in environmental law, experience writing and interpreting state and federal contracts, as well as the ability to provide expert and independent legal advice in both oral and written formats.
A full position description may be viewed here.