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Clean Water Current - September 5


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September 5, 2014

NACWA, Water Sector Groups Discuss Waters of the U.S. Rulemaking

NACWA met Wednesday with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and other water sector groups to discuss EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rulemaking and areas of agreement that might comprise a joint, water sector letter on the rule. EPA is accepting comments on the rule until October 20, and the water groups have been working to solicit input from their respective members since the proposed rule was published in April. NACWA has largely stayed out of the debate on the rulemaking, as most of its members are already discharging to jurisdictional waters, focusing instead on preserving the existing waste treatment exemption. The Association is developing comments on the rule and will seek clarification on a number of issues. NACWA developed a fact sheet pdf button outlining some of the areas where additional clarification will be needed and welcomes additional feedback from the membership. Send any comments or feedback to Brenna Mannion at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . NACWA will work with its key committees to finalize its comments and provide input to the joint water sector letter.

In related developments, the House Rules Committee this week announced plans to move forward with consideration of H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act pdf button. This legislation would prohibit EPA and the U.S. Corps of Engineers from “developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing” the proposed rule and related guidance. With this announcement, it is likely that the full House will vote on the bill during its September work period. There are no similar plans in the Senate.

With New SRF Provisions in Place, Attention Turns to Allocation Formula

NACWA along with the other members of the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) met this week to discuss EPA’s implementation of the new Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) provisions passed in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) earlier this year.  The new provisions, which will extend the CWSRF loan repayment period to 30 years, enable economically distressed communities to receive more affordable financing, and incentivize investments for projects related to energy efficiency, water efficiency, reuse, and sustainable infrastructure practices, are slated to go into effect on October 1.  Attention now turns to the SRF allotment formula.  Following discussions with EPA last month on the Agency’s interpretive guidance on the WRRDA CWSRF provisions, NACWA is scheduling meetings with the State administrators and other key groups to determine how strongly key groups feel about the need for a new allotment formula and the best way to conduct a more accurate and robust clean water needs survey to educate that process should it proceed.  This survey serves as the basis for EPA’s allotment formula so it is critical that participation in the survey by the States is high.  NACWA will update its members as these meetings occur and the WRRDA provisions are enacted.

Dr. Oz Takes on Flushable Wipes on September 9, Features NACWA

A segment on The Dr. Oz Show focusing on flushable wipes will air next Tuesday, September 9.  The segment will feature Dr. Oz’s visit to a treatment plant of NACWA member agency the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to learn more about the problems wipes cause for wastewater utilities.  The segment also includes Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, as an in-studio guest on the show.  Local air times may be found on The Dr. Oz Show website.  We invite Member Agencies to use this airing as an opportunity to engage in social media to raise the awareness of the wipes issue and NACWA’s Toilets Are Not Trash Cans! campaign.

NACWA & National Milk Producers Join Forces to Improve Water Quality

Next Tuesday, NACWA and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote increased cooperation and communication between the two organizations in their efforts to make watershed-level water quality improvements.  This MOU will mark an important milestone in efforts to strengthen ties between urban and rural sectors on conservation activities to improve local water quality and the environment.  Read more about this event on The Water Voice or subscribe today and never miss a post!

Utility of the Future Web Seminar Series Kicks Off Next Week – Register Today!

Join us right from your desk for three web seminars (September 9, 16, and 23, all from 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET) that will highlight how utilities are providing leadership through innovative approaches and new technologies – and, as a result, changing the clean water paradigm.  Next Tuesday’s Web Seminar, Resource Recovery — From Waste Stream to Goldmine, will focus on utilities as resource-rich enterprises that can help solve national and global challenges in way that was never considered by the Clean Water Act or other environmental statutes. Utility leaders are also generating cost savings and new revenue streams through innovative resource recovery activities.  This web seminar will explore this evolution in both perception and practice.  Registration for all three Seminars is $600 or you can register for individual seminars at a reduced rate.  Register today!

Nominations Open for NACWA National Environmental Achievement Awards

Nominations opened this week for the Association’s National Environmental Achievement Awards (Individual & Agency).  This year, NACWA is excited to launch an enhanced and expanded award program that offers Member Agency recognition for social media campaigns, as well as the initiatives and attributes of the Water Resources Utility of the Future.  This awards program is the perfect opportunity for Member Agencies to showcase the innovative projects and initiatives in which they are engaged – and recognize local, state, or national public officials that have made a significant impact on their agency, the environment or the local community.  Applications are due Monday, October 20, 2014.  Nomination forms and guidelines can be found in Member Update 14-09 or on NACWA’s website.  Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Director, Membership Development, for additional information.

Law Seminar Registration Open – Join us in Florida!

Registration is now available for NACWA’s 2014 National Clean Water Law Seminar. Scheduled for November 19 – 21 in sunny St. Pete Beach, Florida, the Seminar is the only one of its kind focused exclusively on key legal and regulatory issues impacting the municipal clean water community. The Seminar promises to deliver timely and informative information covering the hottest issues in clean water law including, integrated planning; funding and financing; stormwater; wet weather and enforcement developments; legal considerations related to green infrastructure; and, a review of the most important Clean Water Act cases of the past year. This year’s program will also include new features, such as introductory primer sessions on the Clean Air Act and on biosolids regulations, along with a regulatory hot topics discussion featuring top EPA and state regulatory officials.

As in past years, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits, including ethics credits, will be available. Additional details on the Seminar, including hotel and registration information and a draft agenda, are available on NACWA’s website. Make your plans today!

Add Your Voice - Join the Thunderclap for Water Works!

Next week, water leaders will be in Washington, DC, for a series of events co-hosted by members of The Value of Water Coalition, including NACWA, along with the American Society of Civil Engineers; the Bipartisan Policy Center; Building America’s Future; the National Association of Counties; the National League of Cities; and, the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  The goal of these events is to raise both the federal and nationwide awareness of how investment in our nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure puts people to work, spurs economic development, and builds a stronger America.  To add your voice to this effort, join the Thunderclap (a tool that lets a message be heard when you and your contacts say it together through social media, primarily through Twitter and Facebook).  The goal is to have #WaterWorks be a trending topic on the web.  Join this important effort through the Thunderclap today!




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