Preliminary RDA Designations for Stormwater Discharges, LA County
This week EPA published in the Federal Register a decision by Region 9 to provide notice and solicit comments from the public regarding designation of stormwater discharges from certain commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) sites in two watersheds in Los Angeles County, California per regulation under the CWA NPDES program. Under CWA section 402(p)(2)(E) and (6) and EPA’s implementing regulations, EPA is authorized to designate stormwater discharges for regulation under the NPDES permitting program where the discharges would contribute to a water quality standard violation or are significant contributors of pollutants to US waters. Entities potentially impacted include shopping centers, supermarkets, office complexes, hotels, warehouses, manufacturers, cargo and trucking terminals, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. This description of affected activities is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. The action EPA is taking is in response to petitions and a 2018 District Court order, Region 9 is considering the use of its “residual designation authority” (RDA) to add requirements for certain stormwater sources (based on land use categories) that discharge to the two named waterbodies. Both watersheds are impaired due to elevated levels of copper and zinc and Total Maximum Daily Loads have been established to define needed reductions of these pollutants to restore water quality and beneficial uses of the watersheds. Comments should be submitted via email by no later than Monday, December 4, 2023 to R9RPA@epa.gov and include ‘‘Comments on the 2023 Preliminary Designation’’ in the subject line. For more information check out EPA’s website at: RDA Authority to Address Stormwater Quality Region 9 | US EPA.
UIC Class VI Programs Funding for States and Tribes
EPA announced grant allocations for states and Tribes to tap into over $48 million in funding through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to develop and implement Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class VI programs. The $48,250,000, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will be allocated evenly among the 25 interested states and Tribes, with an allotment of $1,930,000 for each program. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Class VI programs ensure that groundwater resources are protected while supporting the permanent sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle the climate crisis.
On December 9, 2022, and January 11, 2023, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan sent letters to governors and Tribal leaders calling for partnership to advance the twin goals of combatting climate change and supporting environmental justice. Additionally, on August 17, 2023, EPA released a Memorandum on Environmental Justice Guidance for Class VI Permitting and Primacy.
As a condition of receiving funding, applicants to the new UIC Class VI grant program must demonstrate how environmental justice and equity considerations will be incorporated into their UIC Class VI primacy programs. Primacy program commitments may include identifying communities with potential environmental justice concerns, enhancing public involvement, developing appropriately scoped environmental justice assessments, enhancing transparency throughout the permitting process, and minimizing adverse effects associated with permitting actions. Through this grant program, EPA is ensuring state UIC Class VI programs follow the Safe Drinking Water Act mandate to protect underground sources of drinking water.
EPA is supporting state, Tribal and territory efforts to obtain primacy – primary responsibility (primacy) for implementing and enforcing their UIC Class VI program – under the Safe Drinking Water Act and to develop UIC Class VI programs that incorporate environmental justice and equity as core principles. Participating states and Tribes can use this one-time funding opportunity to establish and implement UIC Class VI programs. EPA is committed to working closely with each state and Tribe pursuing Class VI primacy to help them create a Class VI program that upholds a high standard of community and environmental stewardship. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring that carbon management projects are designed, built, and operated safely and responsibly, and in a way that reflects the best science and responds to the needs and inputs of local communities.
On January 19, 2023, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan sent letters inviting states, Tribes, and territories to submit letters of intent (LOI) to indicate their interest in the new grant program. 25 states and Tribes submitted LOIs in response and are now eligible for the grant funding: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, MHA Nation, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Navajo Nation, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Each state or Tribe may apply for funding, with 100% of federal funding provided as grants with no state match requirement. Recipients will use funding to cover expenses related to the establishment and operation of a Class VI program.
EPA is also releasing the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class VI Wells Grant Program Implementation document to provide states and Tribes with information on how to apply for and use this funding. The implementation document describes requirements for grantees to implement programs, including specific actions designed to advance environmental justice in overburdened and undeserved communities. These grants will enable states and Tribes to manage the permitting of carbon dioxide geologic sequestration injection wells while protecting the environment, drinking water supplies, public health, and safety. Effectively designed and deployed projects deliver climate benefits, create good-paying jobs, and address cumulative pollution impacts in historically disadvantaged and overburdened communities.
For information on the grant program visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/underground-injection-control-grants#ClassVI_Grants
EPA Announces Draft Nonpoint Source CWA Sec. 319 Grant Guidelines
On Oct. 30, 2023, EPA released a Draft Revision for Public Comment: Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories. This revision incorporates two years of engagement with states, Tribes, territories, and other local community stakeholders that engage in NPS water quality projects and includes new flexibilities and expectations to ensure the equitable delivery of §319 NPS program benefits for communities impacted by NPS water quality challenges. Among other updates and clarifications, the draft guidelines support the use of new science and information to advance climate resilience through NPS solutions.
EPA will be taking comments through December 31, 2023. Comments can be submitted the NPS program §319 grant guidelines update website or emailed to NPSguidelines2023@epa.gov. EPA will also host a webinar on Dec. 5, 2023 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm ET to provide an overview of the guidelines (register here).
EPA Grants TSCA Petition for Three Tribal Nations
EPA is granting a TSCA petition, put forth by Earth Justice on behalf of three tribes, to regulate the tire component 6PPD over its links to fish kills affecting several salmon species. At this time, the agency is only promising to float an initial call for input on a possible rule next year, and mandate reporting on 6PPD uses by 2025
In this petition, the Tribes argued that 6PPD in tires poses unreasonable risks to the environment, including responsibility for “Urban Runoff Mortality Syndrome.” These tribes and some states are urging the EPA to regulate the chemical under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
You may read the petition here.
National Stormwater Day – NMSA
The National Municipal Stormwater Alliance (NMSA) has officially established November 16th as National Stormwater Day in recognition of the day the MS4 program was established (November 16th, 1990). To honor this occasion, NMSA is hosting a free webinar on November 16th and has launched a website dedicated to National Stormwater Day – https://stormwater.day/. This website provides access to media toolkits associated with National Stormwater Day including logos, flyers and short videos associated with National Stormwater Day – all are welcome to use these resources to spread the word!
No Wrap the Week of 11/6
In observance of the holiday, ACWA will not publish a Weekly Wrap the week of November 6th. Look out for our next edition on the week of November 13th.
Meetings and Webinars
NMSA Webinar: National Stormwater Day
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2023
Time: 1:00-2:15pm (Eastern)
Overview: This webinar will bring together stormwater professionals to reflect on the impacts of the MS4 program, consider the current level of awareness of stormwater infrastructure, discuss the status of the national MS4 program today and how this program may change in the future to meet the growing challenge of stormwater management.
– Scott Taylor, Atkins, Chair, NMSA (Moderator)
– Rachel Urban, Water Permits Division, USEPA
– Anna Denecke, Director, Infrastructure Initiatives, American Society of Civil Engineers
– Steve Dye, Legislative Director, Water Environment Federation
– Seth Brown, Ph.D., Executive Director, NMSA
Environmental Analyst 2
Location: Hartford, CT
Closing Date: November 17, 2023
The State of Connecticut, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is hiring an Environmental Analyst 2 (35 hour) for their Industrial Wastewater NPDES Permitting Program in the Water Permitting and Enforcement Division (WPED). The WPED’s Industrial NPDES Permitting Program is in DEEP’s Bureau of Materials Management Compliance Assurance (MMCA).
For more information and to apply, visit State of Connecticut Executive Branch Jobs.
Science Writer – Long Island Sound Study
Location: Stamford, CT
Closing Date: November 11, 2023
As a science writer for NEIWPCC, your work will be heavily geared towards implementing the LISS Communications, Outreach, and Engagement (COE) Plan. You will write articles and feature projects on LISS’s online communications channels, assist with the Living Shoreline Project’s interactive map and webpages, perform website updates, support the development of public engagement content, drafting and coordinating social media content, assist with photography and videography initiatives, and provide scientific, technical, and programmatic communications support on various initiatives. You will participate in occasional site visits, programmatic meetings, conferences, and summits. You will also directly oversee and manage the work of other communications team members and help to shape future communications work for the LISS program.
Submit cover letter, resume, and a brief writing sample by email to email@example.com by November 11, 2023.
Please reference #24-LISS-001 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.
Additional information about LISS can be found at: https://longislandsoundstudy.net/.
Environmental Specialist III / Volunteer Monitoring Specialist
Location: Augusta, Maine
Closing Date: November 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.
Wetlands Program Project Officer
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Closing Date: November 13, 2023
Job ID # 138403
Position # 10113899
The Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) preserves, protects, and improves New Mexico’s surface water quality for present and future generations. To support the SWQB Mission, the Wetlands Team maps, monitors, restores, and develops water quality standards for wetlands in New Mexico. Wetlands Program Project Officers prepare grant proposals for new wetlands projects; develop, oversee, and manage wetland projects and contracts; and track expenditures and complete grant progress reports. Wetlands Program Project Officers also conduct field investigations to collect wetlands data; provide technical assistance for decision-making purposes; write and review technical manuals and water resource reports and articles; coordinate technical advisory committees; and maintain data management systems including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) needs for wetlands mapping projects. Wetlands Project Officers coordinate with other coworkers, agencies, watershed groups, and stakeholders to manage wetlands projects and conduct public outreach.
If you are interested in applying, please visit NM’s Careers site to review the job posting and complete your application!