DEA National RX Take Back Day October 28, 2023
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. During #TakeBackDay, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be hosting and participating in Take Back events throughout the country. There are numerous resources, such as downloadable pamphlets and sample social media posts available for use on the DEA website.
Release of Final FAQs: Implementing the 2021 Recommended CWA Section 304(a) Ambient Water Quality Criteria to Address Nutrient Pollution in Lakes and Reservoirs
EPA has released the final document, Frequently Asked Questions: Implementing the 2021 Recommended Clean Water Act Section 304(a) Ambient Water Quality Criteria to Address Nutrient Pollution in Lakes and Reservoirs. This document supports state and tribal adoption and implementation of EPA’s 2021 Recommended Clean Water Act Section 304(a) Ambient Water Quality Criteria to Address Nutrient Pollution in Lakes and Reservoirs (published on August 13, 2021). Consistent with the latest scientific information, the national recommended criteria are intended to protect three designated uses (aquatic life, recreation and drinking water) in lakes and reservoirs from the negative effects of nutrient pollution.
The final FAQs document addresses the adoption of numeric nutrient criteria (i.e., total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chlorophyll a) and implementation of the criteria in waterbody assessment and listing programs, as well as in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permits and drinking water source protection. EPA anticipates that this document will be beneficial to states and authorized tribes.
For more information on the final FAQs document visit EPA’s Ambient Water Quality Criteria to Address Nutrient Pollution in Lakes and Reservoirs webpage.
CAFO Regs Fight – 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Back in August 2023, EPA rejected petitions from environmental groups to further regulate concentrated animal feeding operations. Several environmental NGOs, including the Food and Water Watch and the Center for Biological Diversity, appealed EPA’s rejection of the 2017 petition September 8, 2023. Last week several agriculture industry groups, including the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation, filed a motion to intervene in the petition for review. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to approve this motion. As part of the petition rejection, EPA did confirm intent to launch a study of pollution generated by CAFOs and to form a federal advisory committee to study CAFOs. That process is expected to last 12 to 18 months. There was also a 2022 petition filed by numerous state-level clean water advocacy groups as well as Friends of the Earth, Earthjustice, and the Humane Society which requested that EPA adopt a presumption that large CAFOs using wet manure management systems “always” discharge pollutants, which may end up becoming one of the issues raised in the 9th Circuit case.
Registration for the EPA’s Virtual Water Quality Standards Academy December Session is Now Open
EPA has announced that registration for the December 2023 Virtual Water Quality Standards (WQS) Academy is now OPEN. Registration is free and open to the public. Registration will close on November 10th, or when capacity is reached.
The 6-day virtual WQS Academy session will be held this upcoming Monday December 4th to Friday December 8th, and Monday December 11th. The session will run approximately 11:30am to 4:30pm, Eastern Standard Time, to allow for participation from multiple time zones.
Vessel Incidental Discharge Act – EPA Publishes Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
On October 18, 2023, EPA published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance in the Federal Register. The Supplemental Notice shares new ballast water information that EPA received from the U.S. Coast Guard and discusses additional regulatory options for ballast tanks, hulls and associated niche areas, and graywater systems that EPA is considering in its final rule. On October 26, 2020, EPA had previously published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance, which would establish national standards of performance for incidental discharges under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA).
EPA is soliciting public comments on the Supplemental Notice, which must be received by the agency on or before December 18, 2023. Comments may be submitted to regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0482. Comments must be limited to the scope of the Supplemental Notice. Additionally, EPA will host two virtual public meetings during the public comment period. Dates and times for the virtual meetings have not yet been announced.
House Introduces Clean Water Act of 2023
On October 18, 2023, House Democrats introduced the Clean Water Act of 2023 in Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. Among its provisions, the bill would:
- Replace the CWA’s use of “navigable waters” with the term “protected water resources” to define which waters fall under within the jurisdictional scope of the CWA. “Protected water resources” would include “all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters (and their tributaries), including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent and ephemeral streams), wetlands, and all impoundments of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.”
- Retain the exclusions listed in 40 CFR 120.2(b), but it would authorize the EPA Administrator to modify and/or remove exclusions upon review.
- Add new language to the CWA, defining “wetlands” as “those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.”
A Committee summary of the bill can be found here.
Funding: New Grants for Stormwater Financing
1. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) recently launched the third edition of the EJ4Climate grant program that addresses the theme “Community empowerment strategies to improve resilience to extreme weather events in urban settings”. The deadline to apply is November 9 and applicants can submit proposals up to C$200,000. The call for proposals can be found at http://www.cec.org/wp-content/uploads/2023_ej4climate_call_for_proposals.pdf
Initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2021, the EJ4Climate Grant program is dedicated to empowering underserved and vulnerable communities, and Indigenous communities, across North America to help prepare them for climate-related impacts.
The CEC will be hosting an information session on October 19 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on How to Submit a Strong Proposal for those interested in applying. To register for the online information session https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xxBCO2ikQKWhRAaq3rCfRA#/registration
For more information about the EJ4Climate Grant Program or the information session, please contact our Grant Programs Coordinator at email@example.com or follow us in social media at: EJ4Climate call for submissions: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
2. On September 25, 2023, EPA announced a new Request for Applications (RFA) for the Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Grant Program. Over $20 million in grant funding will be available for eligible organizations interested in building a stronger pool of skilled and diverse workers in the water and wastewater utilities sector – including stormwater and green infrastructure. Learn more https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-water-infrastructure/innovative-water-infrastructure-workforce-development-program
Job training and workforce development are an important part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities. Eligible organizations interested in applying must submit their application to EPA by November 17, 2023. EPA encourages all eligible organizations who have an interest in the following types of projects to apply:
- Project Area 1: Targeted internships apprenticeships for skilled water utility trades.
- Project Area 2: Education programs designed for elementary, secondary, and higher education students.
- Project Area 3: Regional industry and workforce development collaborations to hiring qualified candidates.
- Project Area 4: Leadership development, occupational training, mentoring, or cross-training programs that support career advancement.
- Project Area 5: Education and training programs designed for decentralized (septic) water workers to support public health for communities that rely on private wells for drinking water or septic systems.
- Project Area 6: Training and development for workforce development programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants to benefit disadvantaged communities.
View press release here:
Updating ACWA’s Committee and Workgroup Rosters
In an effort to keep ACWA’s rosters up to date, ACWA Members recently received a request to update their state’s contact list. Please return these updated lists to Lexy Bailey by Tuesday, November 14, 2023. If you would like a list of committees/workgroups that state staff are currently on, please contact Lexy.
Meetings and Webinars
EPA Cyanobacteria Symposium Continues Next Week
Day 3: (Monday, October 23, 2023; 1-5pm EDT):
- Cyanobacteria Monitoring from Space: Current and Future Applications (Blake Schaeffer) – 1h
- Participatory Science: Tools and Lessons Learned (R1/Hilary/UNH) – 1h
- Spotlight on a State Program: WA HAB Program (Lizbeth Seebacher)– 0.5h
Day 4: (Wednesday, October 25, 2023; 1-5pm EDT)
- Water Program Tools CWA Perspective: Recreation and ALU Applications (Mike Paul) – 0.5h
- Water Program Tools SDWA Perspective: Drinking Water Applications (Tom Waters) – 0.5h
- Federal Funding for HAB work: BIL/IRA and beyond (Panel: EPA, NOAA, USDA, ACOE, CDC) – 1.0h
- Spotlight on a State Program: CA HAB Program (coordinators: Carly Nilson and Marisa VanDyke; Speakers: Shannon Murphy, Thomas Hayashi, and Karen Odkins) – 0.5h
CWA 401 Final Rule: EPA Briefing for States
On November 2, 2023, at 1:00 pm ET, ACWA will host a states/interstates-only briefing with EPA officials to discuss the recently finalized Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule. If you are interested in registering please contact Julia Anastasio or Ward Scott for a registration link. Please share any questions or comments regarding the new final rule that can be discussed during the call with Julia Anastasio or Ward Scott.
Environmental Program Manager I or II
Location: Washington, D.C.
Closing Date: 11/1/2023
This position reports to and supports the Executive Director in the development and implementation of the Association’s mission and policies. The ideal candidate has working knowledge of Clean Water Act programs such as NPDES permitting, Water Quality Standards and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development; is versed in water quality topics like nutrient pollution; emerging contaminants and climate change; and has experience with project management.
How to Apply: Qualified applicants should send their cover letter, resumes and a writing/materials sample to:
Attn: Human Resources
Environmental Analyst – Source Water Protection
Location: Albany, NY
Closing Date: 10/22/2023
As a NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst, you will work alongside internal and external partners as well as the public to support the Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2). In this role, you will provide guidance, leadership, and input on the use of the program’s framework and associated resources. You will assist with the management of technical assistance provider contracts and monitor the progress of workplans; develop and update source water protection program guidance and resources; develop and implement new program outreach materials and methods to increase program engagement, assist with DWSP2 coordination within the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation; and prepare technical and programmatic summary reports regarding decisions, recommendations, and findings for working groups, strategy teams, departmental audiences, and stakeholders.
Submit a cover letter, resume, and a brief writing sample (preferably an education and outreach example) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 22, 2023. Please reference #23-NYS-SW-DEC-006 in the email subject line. Accepting applications until the position is filled. A full position description and benefits listing may be viewed at: https://neiwpcc.org/about-us/careers.
Environmental Specialist III / Volunteer Monitoring Specialist
Location: Augusta, Maine
Closing Date: 11/6/2023
This position supports scientific staff in the Division of Environmental Assessment in their collaboration with volunteer water quality monitoring groups. Job tasks include coordinating various aspects of QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Quality Control) efforts, volunteer training, field support, and data management and reporting. The position will also participate in research projects, and develop new outreach and support activities targeted at existing or new volunteer groups in underserved communities. Following training, work is performed under limited supervision within the Division’s strong team and collaborative work environment particularly with the Division’s Marine Unit and Volunteer River Monitoring Program.
Director of the Office of Water
Location: Pierre, SD
Closing Date: 11/2/2023
- manage the staff, administration, and work of the three Water Division programs: Drinking Water, Water Quality, and Water Rights;
- directly supervise the three program administrators and indirectly supervise approximately 50 staff members of the programs to ensure compliance with the state and federal statutes and regulations;
- be an effective member and participant in the leadership team of DANR;
- advise the Secretary’s Office in matters of water in South Dakota, EPA Region 8, and other federal agencies;
- advise the secretary’s office on legislative and budget issues;
- develop legislation as necessary to address water issues and participate in lobbying and testifying as necessary to support the department;
- work with the leadership team develop policies and promote a professional work place.
For more information and to apply, click here.
Total Maximum Daily Load Coordinator
Location: Salt Lake County, UT
Closing Date: 10/29/2023
- Develop, coordinate, lead and write Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Studies, Alternative Restoration Plans or 9-Element Watershed plans to protect and restore water quality specifically for impaired waterbodies.
- Review, analyze, assess, and interpret water quality data (i.e., chemical, physical and biological data) as part of the TMDL, Alternative Restoration Plan or 9-Element Watershed plan process.
- Coordinate and communicate with local, state and federal government agencies, and other stakeholder groups during the development of TMDLs, Alternative Restoration Plans or 9-Element Watershed Plans
- Provide scientific, technical and policy guidance on TMDLs and other related water quality issues.
- Develop project plans for watershed characterization and water quality sampling, as well as data compilation, analysis, and interpretation.
For more information and to apply, visit State of Utah Job Opportunities.
Onsite Wastewater Specialist (Natural Resource Specialist 3 – Environmental Health Specialist)
Location: Bend, OR
Closing Date: 10/30/2023
You will serve as a water pollution control facility onsite specialist (WPCF-Onsite) for the Eastern Region. providing site evaluation, plan review, permitting, inspections and compliance. You will answer technical questions from the public regarding the program’s requirements and the care and maintenance of septic systems, investigate complaints regarding potential septic system violations, some of which can lead to enforcement actions. You will also provide technical assistance and respond to inquiries from other government agencies, policy makers and the general public.
For more information and to apply, visit Oregon Job Opportunities.