Congress Passes Short Term CR to Fund Government Through Mid-March
The Senate approved a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through March 11, 2022. The CR maintains existing funding levels while Congress continues negotiations on a funding package for the remainder of the fiscal year.
CEQ Publishes Draft Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released a beta version of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST). The CEJST is a critical component of the President’s environmental justice commitments in Executive Order 14008, including the Justice40 Initiative, a commitment to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The beta version of the tool, on which the public is being asked to provide feedback over the coming 60 days, will help agencies identify disadvantaged communities to ensure that everyone is receiving the benefits intended from Federal programs. To facilitate feedback on the beta version of the CEJST, CEQ today issued a Request for Information in the Federal Register soliciting feedback on the tool. The public can also provide feedback directly on the CEJST website, which is an open source platform that provides the public with full transparency on the methodology and datasets being used. Once CEQ has received and reviewed feedback on the beta version of the CEJST and updated it as deemed necessary, Federal agencies will use the tool to help identify disadvantaged communities to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal climate, clean energy, and other key programs are reaching disadvantaged communities, as identified by the CEJST.
Relatedly, the Environmental Protection Agency is today also releasing an update to its EJSCREEN tool, which is widely used by Federal and state agencies for a broad array of screening, outreach, and analytical purposes. EJSCREEN and CEJST complement each other – the former provides a tool to screen for potential disproportionate environmental burdens and harms at the community level, while the latter defines and maps disadvantaged communities for the purpose of informing how Federal agencies guide the benefits of certain programs, including through the Justice40 Initiative.
EPA Proposes 2022 CWA Financial Capability Assessment Guidance
EPA has issued its Proposed 2022 Clean Water Act (CWA) Financial Capability Assessment (FCA) Guidance for public comment. The proposed guidance outlines strategies for communities to support affordable utility rates while planning investments in water infrastructure that are essential for CWA implementation. Previous versions of the proposed FCA Guidance released in September 2020 and January 2021 are no longer being considered.
The FCA Guidance is used by municipalities when devising plans to reduce discharges from Combined Sewer Systems. During that process, municipalities and EPA negotiate schedules with specific timeframes for implementation. The Proposed 2022 FCA Guidance describes the financial information and formulas EPA intends to use to assess the financial resources a community has available to implement control measures and timeframes associated with implementation.
The 2022 Proposal keeps 15 years as the outer recommended boundary for “medium” impact communities but changes the benchmark for “high” impact communities to 20 years, or up to 25 years for communities that demonstrate unusually high impacts. EPA is seeking comment on the appropriateness of these timeline boundaries, in addition to two alternative recommended approaches for assessing a community’s financial capability to be used in CWA schedule development. The first alternative is the existing 1997 FCA methodology with expanded consideration of lowest quintile income and poverty in the service area. The second alternative is the development of a dynamic financial and rate model that looks at the impacts of rate increases over time on utility customers. Additionally, EPA recommends the application of the methodologies from Alternative 1 of the Proposed 2022 FCA to the consideration of economic impacts to public entities when making decisions on WQS variances and antidegradation reviews. In appropriate cases, these methodologies also inform decisions about revisions to designated uses, subject to additional analyses. One of EPA’s objectives in proposing the two approaches in the 2022 Proposal is to capture the variability of income distribution from community to community, i.e. improving upon Median Household Income as an indicator.
Once finalized, EPA intends for the Proposed 2022 FCA to replace the 1997 Guidance for Financial Capability Assessment and Schedule Development to evaluate a community’s capability to fund CWA control measures in both the permitting and enforcement context. The 2022 FCA will also supplement the public sector sections of the 1995 Interim Economic Guidance for Water Quality Standards (WQS) to assist states and authorized tribes in assessing the degree of economic and social impact of potential WQS decisions. The Proposed 2022 FCA does not revise the recommended methodology in the private sector sections of the 1995 guidance.
The guidance document is not legally binding and is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. EPA is accepting public comment until 60-days after publication in the Federal Register. A pre-publication of the 2022 FCA is available until the official version is announced in the Federal Register.
$1 Billion for Great Lakes
This week EPA announced that the agency will “use the bulk of the $1 billion investment in the Great Lakes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to clean up and restore severely degraded sites, known as “Areas of Concern” or AOCs.” These funds will help accelerate improvement of “significant environmental, economic, health, and recreational benefits for communities throughout the Great Lakes region.” White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu said, “With this investment, President Biden is delivering major environmental, public health, and economic wins for the Great Lakes region. Building a better America requires us to confront legacy pollution and clean up the environment – ensuring our kids drink clean water and creating good-paying jobs in the process. We know that cleaning up these waterways and improving the health of the Great Lakes will also create great economic opportunities for communities across the eight-state region and beyond.”
EPA projects BIL funding and annual Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding enable the region to complete 22 of the 25 AOCs by 2030. In the coming months, EPA will release more detailed information on implementation of the BIL funding for the Great Lakes. EPA will also continue to focus on other key issues such as addressing harmful algal blooms, nutrient reduction activities, protecting against invasive species, and monitoring the health of the Great Lakes. For a copy of the EPA announcement please click here. To see the full list of Areas of Concerns and anticipated work completion and original, pre BIL, delisting dates please see here.
EPA to Hold Science Advisory Board Public Meetings on Cumulative Impact Assessment
The EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) will hold a public meeting to consult with EPA regarding how EPA can: (a) use cumulative impact assessment to inform decisions to protect human health and the environment; and (b) conduct research to improve scientific knowledge of cumulative impacts. This meeting will also include a review of a draft of EPA’s report entitled “Cumulative Impacts: Research Context and Recommendations”. The public, virtual meeting will be held on March 2, 2022 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm ET and is open to the public. EPA invites state, tribal, local and non-governmental organizations, communities, and other interested stakeholders to participate and provide written or oral public comments for the SAB and EPA on cumulative impacts. To ensure comments are considered by the SAB through the advisory process, please submit written comments or a request to provide oral comments to Dr. Thomas Armitage, Designated Federal Officer (DFO) via email at email@example.com by February 23, 2022.
New Forest Service Publication Examines Biological Responses to Stream Nutrients across the United States
A new report published by the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station synthesizes studies of the biological responses to stream nutrients from 17 long-term research sites across the country. Each chapter is coauthored by experts from the regulatory community who evaluated how the existing science from each study can be used by regulatory agencies and identified future research that could be conducted to fill important regulatory knowledge gaps.
The report reviews current science findings and datasets from 17 experimental forests and ranges with intensive, long-term stream studies. The network includes watersheds that are largely undisturbed, providing baseline data on headwater stream conditions that can help inform the development of water quality criteria.
- The report synthesizes science findings from experimental forests in California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- The biological responses of streams to nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, are synthesized for each of the 17 featured sites.
- The report also synthesizes information about the effects of climate change, atmospheric deposition, and management activities on forest streams.
Access the Publication: Ryan, Douglas F., ed. 2021. Biological responses to stream nutrients: a synthesis of science from experimental forests and ranges. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-981. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 522 p.
EPA Publishes River Basin Export Reduction Optimization Support Tool
To help water quality managers reduce nutrient pollution, EPA researchers developed the River Basin Export Reduction Optimization Support Tool (RBEROST), a regional online tool currently available for the Upper Connecticut River Basin that provides low-cost solutions to meet nutrient load targets. The tool uses data on management practice efficiencies, costs, and baseline nutrient loadings to create an optimization model that helps users meet total nitrogen and total phosphorus loading targets in watersheds at the lowest financial cost.
RBEROST offers various types of best management practices for reducing pollution from agricultural row crop land, urban land, wastewater treatment plants, and riparian buffers, and the tool considers the best ways to combine these best management practices across a region. RBEROST considers best management practices including conservation tillage, contour farming, and sedimentation ponds, among others, for reducing nutrient runoff from agricultural row crop land. For reducing pollution from urban land, RBEROST measures best management practices like bioretention basins and infiltration trenches. RBEROST also measures how two types of riparian buffers – grassed buffers and forested buffers – help reduce pollution run-off from impervious surfaces. These buffers help filter pollutants from runoff and remove excess nutrients from groundwaters. Additionally, RBEROST uses information on how well low-cost retrofit upgrades made at wastewater treatment plants on the Upper Connecticut River reduce nutrient pollution.
While data for RBEROST currently only applies to waterbodies in the Upper Connecticut River Basin, the model structure is applicable to the whole northeast. The project team is also working to expand data availability to the entire northeast region and other geographic areas. To expand geographic coverage of underlying datasets, EPA scientists have been collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to pilot RBEROST in the Puget Sound area. Additionally, the scientists plan to pilot the tool in the Mississippi River Basin, and hope that RBEROST will eventually work for the entire United States.
RBEROST is publicly available in EPA’s GitHub online repository. While anyone can use RBEROST, users must have R and RStudio software installed to access the data and code files. Once those are installed, RBEROST will install RShiny through its setup segment, which will allow users to customize management practices and loading targets. RBEROST is also compatible with USGS’ Northeast Regional SPARROW model, which is used to estimate major sources and environmental factors that affect the supply, transport, and fate of contaminants in streams.
Learn more here.
Low Income Household Water Assistance Program
The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides funds to States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and Federally and state-recognized Indian Tribes and tribal organizations to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. There is over $1 billion currently allocated for implementation of the program. Training and technical assistance, guidance updates, and grant recipient profiles can all be found here.
EPA researchers recently published a study titled “Understanding Microbial Loads in Wastewater Treatment Works as Source Water for Water Reuse.” The objectives of this study were to assess microbial quality of reclaimed water and to investigate treatability of microorganisms during different treatment processes. Overall, this study will assist municipalities considering the use of wastewater effluent as another source of drinking water by providing important data on the prevalence, occurrence, and reduction of waterborne pathogens in wastewater. More importantly, the results from this study will aid in building a richer microbial occurrence database that can be used towards evaluating reuse guidelines and disinfection practices for water reuse practices.
EPA researchers, in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health, local universities, and other stakeholders, worked on a project to evaluate samples from stormwater collection systems that could potentially be harvested for landscaping and agricultural irrigation near Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Minneapolis. This research project provided relevant information on the extent of physical, chemical, and microbial contamination of reuse waters and suitability of stormwater reuse for direct irrigation. The results of this research will help partners make informed decisions about stormwater reuse projects and will also fill data gaps related to stormwater water quality and reuse practices. This project has also provided information for communities to address financial challenges related to the costs to construct, operate, and maintain stormwater infrastructure.
Reminder: National Academies of Sciences Call for Nominations: Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; Water Science and Technology Board; Geographical Sciences Committee; Committee on Earth Resources
*Nominations Due HERE by February 21, 2022*
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are looking for new members for the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, the Water Science and Technology Board, the Geographical Sciences Committee, and the Committee on Earth Resources. These boards and committees span a broad set of disciplines in the Earth and water sciences. Nominations from all fields are welcome, although nominees with expertise in geodesy, soil science, environmental justice, governance and conflict resolution, water infrastructure, ecohydrology, minerals mining and engineering, and mining reclamation are particularly encouraged.
Volunteer experts generally serve a 3-year term. National Academies staff identify potential committee members based on their expertise and professional experience, while also balancing different perspectives and viewpoints and ensuring diversity in all dimensions. The National Academies values diversity and strives for a culture of inclusion in all of our work and activities.
EPA Reopens Comment Period for Draft Revised Risk Determination for HBCD
This week, EPA announced its intention to reopen the public comment period for the draft revision to the risk determination for the cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster (HBCD) pursuant to section 6(b) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
HBCD is primarily used as an additive in building insulation, solder paste, recycled plastics, and automobile replacement parts. When final, the revised risk determination will better align with EPA’s human health and environmental protection objectives under the amended TSCA. The current comment period will close today, February 14. On February 17, EPA will publish a Federal Register Notice to reopen the comment period for 15 days. Comments can be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0237 by March 3, 2022.
The draft revised risk determination finds that HBCD, as a whole-chemical substance, presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment when evaluated under its conditions of use. EPA is proposing to use the whole-chemical risk determination approach for HBCD due to:
- Benchmark exceedances for multiple conditions of use for both human health and the environment;
- The fact that HBCD is a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substance; and
- Irreversible health effects associated with HBCD exposures.
The majority of HBCD’s conditions of use drive the unreasonable risk determination. EPA believes that a whole-chemical approach better aligns with TSCA’s objective of protecting human health and the environment for this chemical substance. The draft revised risk determination proposes to supersede the initial risk determination and previously issued orders under TSCA section 6(i) for any conditions of use for which no unreasonable risks were found.
The draft revised risk determination also does not reflect an assumption that workers always appropriately wear personal protective equipment (PPE). EPA plans to consider information on use of PPE, or other ways industry protects its workers, as potential way(s) to address unreasonable risk during the risk management process. By removing the assumption of PPE in the HBCD risk determination, the same six conditions of use would continue to drive the proposed unreasonable risk determination. However, the impact of removing the assumption of PPE use would cause the unreasonable risks for four of the six conditions of use that were driven by risks to the environment to also be driven by health risks to workers. EPA will use feedback received from the public comment process to inform the final revised risk determination.
PNAS Article: Wilkinson et al., “Pharmaceutical pollution of the world’s rivers”
“Significance: Despite growing evidence of the deleterious effects on ecological and human health, little is known regarding the global occurrence of pharmaceuticals in rivers. Studies assessing their occurrence are available for 75 of 196 countries, with most research conducted in North America and Western Europe. This leaves large geographical regions relatively unstudied. Here, we present the findings of a global reconnaissance of pharmaceutical pollution in rivers. The study monitored 1,052 sampling sites along 258 rivers in 104 countries of all continents, thus representing the pharmaceutical fingerprint of 471.4 million people. We show that the presence of these contaminants in surface water poses a threat to environmental and/or human health in more than a quarter of the studied locations globally.
“Abstract: Environmental exposure to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) can have negative effects on the health of ecosystems and humans. While numerous studies have monitored APIs in rivers, these employ different analytical methods, measure different APIs, and have ignored many of the countries of the world. This makes it difficult to quantify the scale of the problem from a global perspective. Furthermore, comparison of the existing data, generated for different studies/regions/continents, is challenging due to the vast differences between the analytical methodologies employed. Here, we present a global-scale study of API pollution in 258 of the world’s rivers, representing the environmental influence of 471.4 million people across 137 geographic regions. Samples were obtained from 1,052 locations in 104 countries (representing all continents and 36 countries not previously studied for API contamination) and analyzed for 61 APIs. Highest cumulative API concentrations were observed in sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and South America. The most contaminated sites were in low- to middle-income countries and were associated with areas with poor wastewater and waste management infrastructure and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The most frequently detected APIs were carbamazepine, metformin, and caffeine (a compound also arising from lifestyle use), which were detected at over half of the sites monitored. Concentrations of at least one API at 25.7% of the sampling sites were greater than concentrations considered safe for aquatic organisms, or which are of concern in terms of selection for antimicrobial resistance. Therefore, pharmaceutical pollution poses a global threat to environmental and human health, as well as to delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
Access the study here.
2022 ACWA Mid-Year Meeting
Registration has opened for ACWA’s Mid Year Meeting, March 16-17! To register, please log into your Member365 portal and click the Event tab in your navigation menu. If you are EPA staff or have a colleague who would like to attend, please direct them to contact Kara McCauley, who will register them for the event.
2022 Nutrients Permitting Workshop: April 12 – April 14
This workshop is part of a series of meetings focused on nutrients permitting through a grant between EPA, ACWA, and WEF. The workshop series is intended to help support states and EPA to further identify challenges & barriers to nutrient permitting program implementation, highlight opportunities for program improvement & enhancement, showcase innovations, assist with analysis of training, guidance, tools, and other support material needs, improve administrative efficiencies, clarify roles and responsibilities, promote program streamlining, build stronger linkages to WQS & TMDLs, modernize permit terms and data management, revise program performance measures, identify program areas where targeted technical assistance would be most beneficial, and attempt to solve some of the most intractable nutrients issues.
This is the seventh workshop in a series of eight. This workshop will focus on drafting policy recommendations based on a variety of topics covered throughout the previous six workshops in this series. We are anticipating that this will be a discussion-heavy workshop. Attendees will be expected to participate and share their ideas throughout the workshop.
This workshop will be held at the Hotel Phillips in Kansas City, MO. There is a room block available for attendees.
You can view the agenda here.
ACWA Legal Affairs Committee Quarterly Call
The ACWA Legal Affairs Committee will hold its next call on March 10, 2022, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM ET. If you are interested in registering for the call, please contact Julia Anastasio.
Meetings and Webinars
Modeling Workgroup Webinar
Date: February 22, 2022
Time: 2:00-3:30 PM EST
This webinar will be a lightning round of eight speakers with about eight minutes each of the various chapters of the recently developed TMDL Modeling Manual of Practice (MOP) as presented for last spring’s ASCE, EWRI, TMDL Modeling Task Committee 2021 Congress. Following the presentations, the Committee will be doing a live panel discussion with audience Q & A.
Reminder: Assessing the Toxicity of PFAS Chemicals to Aquatic Organisms on Wednesday, February 23
Date: February 23, 2022
Time: 2 – 3:30 PM EST
Among the many questions surrounding PFAS are their potential effects on aquatic communities. While much of the initial research effort has focused on ecological effects of PFOS and PFOA, there is a much wider range of PFAS that can occur in the environment―both as a result of more recently developed compounds and the breakdown products of other PFAS. Effective management of PFAS in aquatic systems requires understanding of the potential effects of a more complete range of PFAS chemicals.
EPA is working to explore the relationships between PFAS toxicity and chemical structure for several aquatic species to help identify and predict the toxicity of PFAS and PFAS mixtures of greatest ecological concern in support of the development of water quality guidelines. This involves measuring the toxicity of PFAS with varying structural features, determining variation in sensitivity across species, and grouping PFAS chemicals by their inferred toxic modes of action (MoA). This webinar will discuss initial findings that sublethal toxicity is strongly related to fluorinated chain length as well as the structure of the non-fluorinated “head” group, and that differences in toxicity of certain PFAS across structures suggest that multiple PFAS MoAs likely exist.
For future viewing, a closed-captioned recording of this webinar will be made available on EPA’s YouTube site.
White House EJ Advisory Council Virtual Public Meeting on 2.24.2022
Date: February 24, 2022
Time: 3 – 7 PM EST
Members of the public who wish to participate during the public comment period must pre-register by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, February 21, 2022.
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), EPA published notice that the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) will hold a virtual public meeting on Thursday, February 24, 2022, from approximately 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Eastern Time. A public comment period relevant to the scorecard will be considered by the WHEJAC during the meeting. Due to unforeseen administrative circumstances, EPA is announcing this meeting with less than 15 calendar days public notice.
The meeting is open to the public. Members of the public are encouraged to provide comments relevant to the scorecard that is being developed by the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council (IAC) to assess the progress of federal agencies’ in addressing current and historic environmental injustice.
About the Meeting: Discussion will focus on the performance scorecard that is being developed by the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council to assess the progress of federal agencies’ in addressing current and historic environmental injustice. Executive Order 14008, Section 220 (d) tasks the IAC to develop clear performance metrics to ensure accountability, in consultation with the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
The Charter of the WHEJAC states that the advisory committee will provide independent advice and recommendations to the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and to the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council. The WHEJAC will provide advice and recommendations about broad cross-cutting issues, related but not limited to, issues of environmental justice and pollution reduction, energy, climate change mitigation and resiliency, environmental health, and racial inequity. The WHEJAC’s efforts will include a broad range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement, and economic issues related to environmental justice.
Further Information Contact: Karen L. Martin, WHEJAC Designated Federal Officer, U.S. EPA; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone: (202) 564-0203. Additional information about the WHEJAC is available at here.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Climate Conversations: Biodiversity
Date: February 24, 2022
Time: 3 – 4 PM EST
Join us for a conversation about climate change, biodiversity loss, and approaches to address both crises.
Biodiversity loss and climate change are intertwined challenges, but there are opportunities for action that address both, such as nature-based solutions that protect or help restore biodiversity and that lessen future climate change. Shyla Raghav (Conservation International) will moderate a conversation with Kamal Bawa (University of Massachusetts Boston, retired) and Victoria Reyes-García (ICREA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) that explores the benefits, difficulties, and global equity dimensions of addressing these challenges in tandem. The webinar will include discussion of the new National Academies resource, Biodiversity at Risk: Today’s Choices Matter.
Public Meetings on Environmental Justice Considerations Related to Drinking Water Regulation for PFAS
Date: March 2 and April 5, 2022
EPA invites the public to participate in two identical virtual public meetings related to environmental justice and the development of the proposed Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) on March 2, 2022 (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, eastern time) and April 5, 2022 (5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, eastern time). Registration is required.
The sessions will be an opportunity for EPA to share information and for communities to offer input on environmental justice considerations related to the development of the proposed PFAS NPDWR. We encourage the public to share thoughts on addressing PFAS drinking water contamination issues in their communities.
When registering, you will also have an opportunity to sign up to provide brief verbal comments during a meeting. Translations and disability access support can be requested during meeting registration as well.
Additionally, EPA is accepting written public comments submitted to the public docket. You can submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No, EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114 at here. More information is available here.
EPA Climate Resilience Training Workshop for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative is providing a series of five, free webinars for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater (water sector) utility owners and operators, as well as other water sector stakeholders in Alaska. This webinar training series titled “Building Resilience and Adapting to Climate Change Impacts for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities” begins with an Introductory webinar concentrating on the impacts of climate change in Alaska, the identification of adaptation options, and a utility climate change risk assessment case study. The following four webinars focus on conducting a climate change risk assessment using EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT), developing resilience and adaptation projects, and identifying financing programs to pay for infrastructure projects.
CREAT is a web-based risk assessment application for water sector utilities to assess and address current and potential future climate change impacts. This free training will help utilities incorporate climate change considerations into their decision-making, identify adaptation projects to build long-term resilience, and learn about federal and local resources for financing utility resilience projects. To learn more about CREAT success stories visit our Case Study and Information Exchange Map and to view other trainings visit the CRWU Training Center.
|Introductory Webinar on Climate Impacts||Wednesday, March 2, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Alaska Time
|CREAT training Session 1||Tuesday, April 5, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Alaska Time
|CREAT training Session 2||Thursday, April 7, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Alaska Time
|CREAT training Session 3||Tuesday, April 12, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Alaska Time
|CREAT training Session 4||Tuesday, April 26, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Alaska Time
You can register for the free Introductory webinar here.
You can register for the free CREAT training sessions here.
Developing the Digital Water Workforce of the Future
Date: March 8, 2022
Time: 2-3 PM EST
The water system operating environment is evolving to incorporate various technology advancements. There is a growing need to attract, train, and retain water protection specialists with a high degree of technological competence – and the ability to make data driven decisions based on up-to-date and accurate information using technology. Meeting this need will require creative and inclusive workforce approaches to ensure the utility’s workforce is an integral part of the utility’s technology development and deployment strategy. This will help staff be comfortable and fully able to understand and implement new technologies– i.e., “bought in”.
This webinar is part of an ongoing webinar series hosted by EPA, in partnership with leading water sector organizations around the country. More information on this webinar series can be found here.
Flood Resilience and Adaptation Planning in the U.S.: Challenges and Opportunities
Time: 3 – 4:30 PM EST
The frequency and severity of flood-inducing storms is projected to rise over the next several decades, placing a premium on the need to adapt now and better prepare communities for current and future impacts of climate change.
The State Resilience Partnership, a network of organizations committed to support state planning and implementation efforts—convened by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Flood Coalition—conducted first-of-its-kind research on resilience and adaptation planning in the U.S. Please join us for a conversation with our research partner, the Urban Institute, and state Chief Resilience Officers to discuss how state governments across the country are rising to the challenge with long-range adaptation plans and integrated resilience efforts across sectors.
Keynote Speaker: White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory will discuss resilience and adaptation initiatives of the Biden-Harris Administration and opportunities for state and federal partnerships in the Administration’s ‘whole-of-government’ approach to climate adaptation and resilience.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
- Laura Lightbody, director, flood-prepared communities, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Unveiling of State Flood Resilience and Adaptation Planning: Challenges and Opportunities
- Eric Burnstein, Research Associate, The Urban Institute
- Mathew Sanders, senior manager, flood-prepared communities, The Pew Charitable Trusts
- Mathew Sanders, senior manager, flood-prepared communities, The Pew Charitable Trusts (moderator)
- Amanda Martin, Chief Resilience Officer, North Carolina
- Ben Duncan, Chief Resilience Officer, South Carolina
- Dave Rosenblatt, former Chief Resilience Officer, New Jersey
- Brenda Mallory, White House, Council on Environmental Quality
EFAB Pollution Prevention Finance Forum Webinar
Date: March 9, 2021
Time: 12 – 1:30 PM EST
EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) is holding a public webinar on March 9 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Eastern, the first in a series of webinars as part of a Pollution Prevention (P2) Finance Forum to support EFAB’s Pollution Prevention Workgroup and its charge. Due to interest from the full Board, this webinar is being opened to the public. EFAB’s P2 Finance Forum intends to explore opportunities and challenges in financing sustainability, with an initial focus on advancing opportunities for small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses. The Forum seeks to shine new light on the challenges businesses may face when trying to finance adoption and integration of P2 technologies and practices and explores emerging strategies to solve the finance challenge.
Workshop 1: Financial Structures
What financing structures will help reduce barriers and risk and create economies of scale for P2 financing?
This workshop is designed to provide a strong foundation for the EFAB’s Forum on financing small manufacturer P2 projects. The workshop will define the common types of P2 projects relevant to small businesses and manufacturers, characterize the barriers and risks facing businesses and lenders for P2 projects, and explore financing mechanisms and structures that are well-suited to overcome these barriers and risks to enhance financing for P2 projects. Specific workshop objectives include:
- provide a strong foundation for the Forum by defining what is meant by P2, providing some brief examples of the types of projects that can benefit from external financial assistance (e.g., loans, insurance, bundling), and characterizing the potential demand from small and medium-sized businesses and manufacturers for P2 project financing;
- learn from financial sector experts about the types of barriers and risks that are inherent in providing financing to small and medium-sized businesses for purchasing capital equipment and undertaking process improvement projects (i.e., the types of projects relevant to P2); and,
- learn from financial sector experts about the types of financial mechanisms and financing structures (e.g., loan structures [terms, interest rates], tax incentives, insurance, bundling) that have proven successful in addressing common barriers and risks.
Registration is required in advance for all members of the public who wish to participate. The webinar is open to the public, but no oral public comments will be accepted during the briefing. Written statements for the webinar should be received by March 4 so that the information can be made available to the EFAB for its consideration. Written statements should be sent via email to email@example.com.
For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, or to request accommodations for a disability, please register for the webinar and list any special requirements or accommodations needed on the registration form at least 10 business days prior to the meeting to allow as much time as possible to process your request.
For more information, please visit our EFAB website.
Mixtures Modeling Methods: Applications for Assessing Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Date: March 16, 2022
Time: 1-4 PM EST
Registration: EPA PCBs Mixture Webinar (Links to EventBrite) | The registration deadline is March 14, 2022
Agenda: Click here and see downloads tab
EPA is currently updating its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This assessment addresses selected noncancer human health effects that might result from exposure to these chemicals. PCBs are a class of synthetic compounds characterized by a biphenyl structure with chlorine substitutions at up to 10 positions. There are 209 well-defined PCBs known as “congeners” based on the various combinations of the numbers and positions of the chlorine substitutions on the biphenyl molecule. PCB congeners vary both structurally and in their toxicity in humans and animals. PCBs were synthesized as mixtures of congeners, and the composition of commercially produced PCB mixtures can vary substantially from mixtures humans are currently exposed to in the environment. Most health effect studies of PCBs in animals have been conducted using commercial mixtures, and there are no data to represent many environmental mixtures of concern for human health risk assessment. Therefore, methods for translating experimental data from tested to untested mixtures would be useful, including methods for addressing PCB mixtures with varying proportions of congeners that act via different biological pathways. For these reasons, EPA is evaluating approaches for assessing chemical mixtures for use in the assessment.
To that end, EPA is developing the Mixtures Similarity Tool (MiST). MiST is a Microsoft Excel® based tool, which automates the process of evaluating the degree to which chemical mixtures are similar in their ability to cause health effects and whether they are “sufficiently similar” for risk assessment applications. MiST identifies PCB mixtures with well-characterized dose-response information (i.e., reference mixtures) that are “sufficiently similar” to a specific candidate mixture that may not have dose-response information. Dose-response data for a sufficiently similar reference mixture could be used to assess toxicity for the candidate mixture.
EPA Tools & Resources Webinar: Advances in Environmental Monitoring – Water Sensors
Date: March 16, 2022
Time: 3 – 4 PM EST
Register for the webinar: Advances in Environmental Monitoring – Water Sensors!
Sensors are playing an increasingly important role in the monitoring of water quality. EPA’s Office of Research and Development has several efforts aimed at the development and use of sensors—an easily accessible summary of many of these efforts can be found on ORD’s Water Sensors Toolbox webpage. While many of these efforts are research focused, some of these projects are directly relevant to states and territories. One such effort is the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) application, which provides satellite data to monitor and quantify cyanobacterial biomass for over 2,000 of the largest lakes and reservoirs across the United States. A second significant effort is the development of case studies to evaluate the potential for using sensors to monitor source water quality with regard to nutrients, algae, and disinfectant byproducts and provide data to water utilities for help with decision making. Preliminary results from ongoing studies in North Carolina and Ohio will be described.
Biologist II (Position 1941) | Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Location: Augusta, ME
Closing Date: March 17, 2022
The Maine DEP Biological Monitoring Program is seeking candidates with demonstrated expertise in aquatic entomology and freshwater stream ecology to join a dedicated team of biologists. This position conducts biological monitoring and ecological assessments of inland streams and rivers statewide, focusing on macroinvertebrates and algal communities, to determine attainment of Maine’s aquatic life criteria, identify sources and causes of impairment, and to fulfil requirements under the federal Clean Water Act. The position is responsible for all aspects of field sampling including planning, budgeting, organizing/overseeing field crews, equipment maintenance, etc. The position is responsible for processing, managing, analyzing, and interpreting biological, physical, chemical, and spatial data, including quality assurance procedures, and generating reports. The position works as part of a team to develop new assessment methods and criteria, designs and conducts relevant biological research as assigned, writes and reviews technical reports and journal articles, and presents findings at public forums and professional meetings.
For more information, click here.
Environmental Specialist III (Position 1445) | Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Location: Augusta, ME
Closing Date: March 7, 2022
This Environmental Specialist III position will develop, coordinate, lead and write Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDLs), TMDL alternatives and other plans for water quality-impaired streams and other waterbodies. This work involves collecting water quality and watershed data; analyzing data to determine water quality stressors, nonpoint pollution sources and management strategies; preparing TMDLs and other plans using available information; and coordinating meetings with stakeholders and other partners. In addition to the TMDL role, the position will coordinate development and implementation of DEP’s ‘Vision for Assessment, Restoration and Protection of Maine’s Water Resources’. The position is in the Division of Environmental Assessment’s Watershed Management Unit and would work closely with the Watershed Unit team and other units in the Division towards common goals.
For more information, click here.
Environmental Analyst – Training Specialist | NEIWPCC
Location: Lowell, MA
Closing Date: March 18, 2022
NEIWPCC is seeking a full-time Environmental Analyst to support our training program in the Division of Wastewater and Onsite Programs. In this position, you will become an essential component in NEIWPCC’s training program, including assisting with existing virtual and in-person courses, and collaborating on development of new online self-paced training. The successful candidate will help coordinate the regular training schedule, host courses, and support trainers with technical and logistical needs; identify and solicit new instructors for emerging topics and technologies; maintain and continuously improve the library of course materials; monitor training effectiveness and feedback; and recommend improvements. The incumbent will also assist the Division Director and Program Manager with development and implementation of new self-paced wastewater curriculum, helping to establish goals, standards, and guidelines for learning content; identify gaps in existing training that can be closed by self-paced offerings; collaborate with subject matter experts and stakeholders to create courses on the Learning Management System; and roll out the new training platform to wastewater operators throughout the northeast and beyond.
For more information, click here.
Environmental Analyst – Non-point Source | NEIWPCC
Location: Lowell, MA
Closing Date: March 2, 2022
NEIWPCC is seeking a passionate full-time Environmental Analyst to join our expert, resourceful, collaborative team. The incumbent will manage all activities related to non-point source pollution both at a regional and national level, including complete coordination of an engaged workgroup of state and federal staff as well as full planning and implementation of an annual regional conference and a biennial national conference. This position will also oversee NEIWPCC staff working in satellite, state, or program partner offices within NEIWPCC’s jurisdiction. Most duties will be performed in an office setting, but some day and overnight travel will be necessary especially for the successful implementation of conferences.
For more information, click here.