Member Pipeline - Clean Water Current - January 19, 2007
January 19, 2007
NACWA Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Need for More Federal Funding
NACWA asked Congress to pass new clean water legislation that will “provide greater overall assistance to meet the critical need to repair, replace and properly manage our clean water infrastructure.” In testimony (http://www.nacwa.org/getfile.cfm?fn=2007-01-19soderbergtsty.pdf) before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Jan. 19, Kurt Soderberg, executive director of the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District in Duluth, Minn., a NACWA member agency, said Congress should reauthorize the clean water state revolving fund (SRF) with a combination of loans, loan subsidies, and grants to help close the funding gap estimated at $400-$500 billion.
NACWA also recommended that any legislation include a short-term study to determine the appropriate combination of viable revenue sources to bridge the clean water funding gap. The Association continues to believe a trust fund, similar to what is available for highways and airports, is the best option to put more money on the table. Finally, the testimony recommended Congress include provisions for the creation of a Utility Management Institute and more funding for research and technology development. NACWA’s testimony also encouraged the development of a more integrated approach to water quality management.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), chair of the subcommittee, noted that her top three priorities were ensuring clean water infrastructure funding legislation reaches the floor by Presidents Day, obtaining increased funding for EPA’s combined sewer overflow program, and passing the Water Resources Development Act. Similarly Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chair of the full committee, personally welcomed Soderberg, whose utility resides in his district. Chairman Oberstar restated his intent to have clean water infrastructure funding legislation through the full committee and to President Bush for signature on a fast-track. He also added that he had spoken directly to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Environment & Public Work Committee, and that she intends to move substantially similar clean water funding legislation through that committee on a fast-track as well. NACWA will keep members updated on developments regarding this legislation and will provide them with additional details from the hearing in upcoming updates.
High Court Declines “Daily Loads” Case; NACWA to Help EPA on Technical Guidance
The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Jan. 16 to review the case Friends of the Earth v. EPA, an April 2006 decision by the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that all total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for the Anacostia River must be expressed in daily terms, not in monthly or season averages. As a result of the Supreme Court’s action, the D.C. Circuit ruling will stand, and EPA is directed to develop new TMDLs for the Anacostia River in accordance with the decision by June 2008.
NACWA filed a brief in support of the plaintiff, District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA), a member agency, requesting review, and is disappointed with the Court’s decision to deny the case. However, NACWA is actively engaged with EPA in developing technical guidance to help implement the change on a pollutant-specific basis. EPA released a final memorandum in November 2006 providing guidance on how to deal with the court’s ruling. NACWA provided substantive comments on a July 2006 draft of that guidance indicating it was inadequate. EPA is also developing a “fact sheet” and other technical guidance to help convert non-daily load limits to daily limits and is expected to release drafts for comment soon.
NACWA will keep members informed of developments regarding this important issue and will circulate the draft technical guidance to the membership when it becomes available. More information regarding the daily loads case and NACWA’s involvement can be found at http://www.nacwa.org/private/littrack/#friends.
NACWA Index — Last Chance to Complete Member Surveys!
NACWA members have one more week to complete their 2006 NACWA Index Survey. This Index has been published annually since 1992 to track average annual single-family residential service charge increases as measured against the rate of inflation. NACWA needs your response to ensure that this year’s Index will continue to help the Association accurately represent nationwide trends. January 26 is the last day survey responses can be accepted. Refer to Member Update 06-22 (http://www.nacwa.org/private/membcomm/memupdate/mu06-22.cfm) for more information or complete the survey online at www.cleanwatercentral.org. You may also contact Chris Hornback, NACWA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org for a hard-copy of your agency’s survey form.
NACWA Announces New Online Membership Directory
NACWA announced the launch this week of its new online Membership Directory (http://www.nacwa.org/terms.cfm). The Directory consists of complete up-to-date listings of all NACWA members presented in a reader-friendly, printable format. This will give NACWA members and affiliates another way to access information in addition to the existing individual search mechanism. The Directory will be updated weekly and posted on the NACWA website by noon each Monday. If you note that the information listed is incomplete or needs to be updated, please contact Tim Jones, Member & Internal Services Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Winter Conference in St. Petersburg Promises Exceptional Program, Great Location
Response has been extremely positive for the 2007 Winter Conference, Global Trends Impacting Public Utilities ... The Rising Cost of Clean. We anticipate an exceptional program with invaluable information and provocative perspectives. It’s not too late to register, but we urge you to act soon. Please go to NACWA’s website (http://www.nacwa.org/meetings/07winter/) for information on lodging and registration. We look forward to seeing many of you in St. Petersburg.