Member Pipeline - Clean Water Current - January 5, 2007
January 5, 2007
NACWA Seeks Member Comment on Draft Action Planning Session Report
NACWA released through a Member Update (http://www.nacwa.org/private/membcomm/memupdate/mu07-01.cfm) its report (http://www.nacwa.org/getfile.cfm?fn=2007-01-05apsreport.pdf) on the Association’s December Action Planning Session in Kansas City, Mo., and seeks member review and comment on it. The draft report, which is intended as an internal document for discussion only among members, summarizes many of the comments made at the Session on how to move forward with NACWA’s Strategic Watershed Agenda. While NACWA will maintain a strong focus on its core priority issues from wet weather and funding to security and pretreatment, the report seeks to direct members’ attention to the Association’s advocacy agenda on several key emerging issues confronting the nation’s clean water utilities, including the intersection of clean water and drinking water policy, nonpoint sources, and green infrastructure. NACWA requests that members review the draft and submit comments and suggestions by Jan. 19 to Adam Krantz at email@example.com. These will be incorporated into a final report that will advise discussions of a Strategy Planning Committee workshop at NACWA’s Winter Conference Jan. 30-Feb. 2 in St. Petersburg, Fla., and be the basis for a white paper NACWA will draft to outline the Association’s strategy for moving forward on these issues.
Oral Argument Date Set in Key Effluent Limitation Guidelines Case
The U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco announced it will hear oral arguments Feb. 13 in Our Children’s Earth Foundation (OCEF) v. EPA, in which the activist group is challenging EPA’s Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) program. NACWA intervened in the case in November 2005 and filed a brief (http://www.nacwa.org/getfile.cfm?fn=2005-11-13ocebrf.pdf) asking the appeals court to affirm the lower court’s decision that EPA is implementing the ELG program properly and in a manner consistent with Congress’ intent. The case is important because it will affect EPA’s ability to successfully implement the ELG program as outlined in the Clean Water Act, and NACWA is hopeful the appeals court will uphold the positive ruling made by the trial court. More information on the case may be found on the Association’s Litigation Tracker webpage (http://www.nacwa.org/private/littrack/#childrenef). NACWA will provide an update to members after the oral arguments.
EPA Releases Permit Fee Proposal; NACWA Requests Member Comments
An EPA proposed rule on permit fees was published yesterday in the Federal Register (http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/E6-22549.pdf) and would provide financial incentives to states that fund 75 to 100 percent of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit programs through user fees. Members can view a detailed summary of the rule, as well as its possible implications for the clean water community, in Regulatory Alert 07-01 (http://www.nacwa.org/private/regalerts/regalrts.cfm). In short, the rule proposes that any additional funds above the current fiscal year (FY) 2006 Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 106 grant program will trigger the incentive funds for allocation to states if they pay for all or a significant portion of the costs of their NPDES permit programs through user fees. The exact amount that each qualifying state would receive is based on the percentage of the state’s permitting program that is paid for through user fees.
NACWA has been working with a number of organizations and coalitions in recent weeks to address concerns raised by the new proposal and plans to submit comments to EPA by March 5 deadline. As part of this effort, the Regulatory Alert asks members to review the permit fee proposal and submit comments to Nathan Gardner-Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 16. Additionally, NACWA requests information about how the proposal may affect members.
NACWA Study on WATER9 Model Finds Flaws; Changes Recommended to EPA
NACWA completed a Targeted Action Fund (TAF) study of EPA’s WATER9 model (http://www.nacwa.org/getfile.cfm?fn=2006-05wcsemp_draft.pdf) and submitted comments (http://www.nacwa.org/getfile.cfm?fn=2007-01-04water9.pdf) to EPA indicating concerns that outputs from the model differ significantly from field-measured data. The NACWA study compared WATER9 emissions estimates from wastewater collection systems to field-measured data and to estimates from two other models, TOXCHEM+ and INTERCEPTOR. The model’s usability was also evaluated along with the compound properties and algorithms used by all three models. Through these investigations, NACWA found differences not only with the field-measured data but with the output of the other two models. The WATER9 output was affected by the set-up and execution of the program. Errors are also likely because of inadequate documentation and the use of nomenclature unfamiliar to the wastewater industry. Improved documentation would address these issues and probably result in more consistent output of the WATER9 model. NACWA therefore requested that EPA improve the WATER9 documentation before WATER9 is used as a regulatory tool. More information about the WATER9 model and NACWA’s study is contained in a previously issued Regulatory Alert (http://www.nacwa.org/private/regalerts/ra06-02.cfm).
NACWA Winter Conference Hotel Fills Up; Alternative Locations Named
With the block of rooms for NACWA’s Winter Conference at the Renaissance Vinoy in St. Petersburg, Fla., already sold out, NACWA has assembled a list of nearby hotels that may be able to accommodate additional reservations. The Dec. 20 Special Edition Member Alert (http://www.nacwa.org/private/cwc/20061220se.cfm) provides information on alternate hotels. Since that list was released, another hotel has been added because the alternates are also beginning to fill up. The latest option is the Don Cesar Loews Hotel, 3400 Gulf Blvd. (driving distance), phone (866) 728-2206. If you are currently looking to reserve an overflow room at the Hilton St. Petersburg, please note that there has been a change in procedure for this property. The hotel will not have a block of rooms reserved under NACWA; rather, if you would like to reserve a room at the Hilton, please contact Nirah Forman, NACWA’s Director of Meeting & Conferences, at (202) 833-8418 or email@example.com.