Committee Negotiating Revisions to Lead and Copper Rule Wraps-up Deliberations: NRWA’s representative on the EPA committee negotiating revisions to the LCR, John Sasur, attended the last in-person meeting of the Lead and Copper Rule revisions working group on June 24-25 in Washington. See John's excellent summary of the work group's deliberations and the consequences for our membership (Sasur 6/2015).
NRWA on WOTUS: Should NRWA join many of the states in suing EPA in federal court over the agency’s recently finalized Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS)? NRWA Board Member George Hanson (MD) commented, "Based on the position that NRWA has taken on this matter, it may be a good opportunity to express that position by authoring an Amicus Brief for the Plaintiff states and use that venue to go on record supporting our members and their end users... This is an excellent opportunity to advocate against the cost and affordability of regulation as well as project the real concerns over the threat to small and medium water and wastewater utilities that will have substantial permitting and other regulatory burdens placed upon them in the course of performing their mission. "The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the final Clean Water Rule in the Federal Register on June 29 (EPA). Based on the official publication date, the rule will be in full effect on August 28, 2015. However, with official publication also comes the ability to file legal challenges. Lawsuits filed in several federal courts already count 27 states among the plaintiffs challenging the Clean Water Rule under numerous statutes as an overreach of federal authority.
Plano, Texas Felled Their Large Water Tower and Posted it to YouTube (YouTube).
EPA Offers Technical Assistance to Communities Developing Action Plans that Use Local Foods to Drive Neighborhood Revitalization (EPA Application).
June Rainfall Sends Near-record Phosphorus Levels into Lake Erie: The high phosphorus level raises the prospect of another huge toxic algae bloom this summer in Lake Erie. Farmers are said to be responsible for spreading manure on their fields prior to planting corn and soybeans (more).
PBS on Well Drilling and California Drought: More and deeper wells - and less groundwater (PBS)
EPA National Water Program Releases 2015 Workplan: The Workplan lays out the actions that the EPA National Water Program plans to take in 2015 to implement the "EPA National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change" (2012 Strategy). The 2012 Strategy describes long-term goals for the management of sustainable water resources in light of climate change. It is intended to be a roadmap to guide program planning and inform decision-makers during the Agency's planning and budgeting process. The 2015 Workplan builds on work conducted in 2012-2014 and is structured around five long-term programmatic areas: water infrastructure; watersheds and wetlands; coastal and ocean waters; water quality; and working with Tribes (EPA).
EPA Promotes Using CWSRF Loan Funds for Clean Energy: From EPA Newsletter: The Crisfield (MD) wastewater treatment plant now has a 300-foot wind turbine thanks to a $3.6 million Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan from the state. It's estimated that wind power will provide up to $200,000 in savings per year, with excess power to be sold back to the utility supplier. With MDE providing an additional $3.1 million in principal forgiveness, Crisfield's investment in clean energy will pay for itself quickly and provide long-term environmental and economic benefits.
White House Issues Veto Threat Against EPA Spending Bill (The White House).
Washington State Trains Inmates for Wastewater Jobs: "Wastewater treatment is my way out of crime. This is my savior," said a participant who is serving a four-year sentence for burglary (more).
EPA Toughens Standards for Underground Storage Tanks: The EPA has finalized updated rules for underground storage tanks, the first major regulatory changes in more than 25 years. The final rule will require stronger tanks that are less likely to leak and the use of secondary containment systems for new and replaced tanks and piping (more).
Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria in our Waterways: Recent work from scientists highlights an emerging threat — the persistence of antibiotics and the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our waterways. Antibiotics get through wastewater systems that were never designed to cope with them and could be fostering drug resistance, increasing the likelihood that swimmers will contract a drug-resistant infection (more).
"American States Water Company Purchases Rural Water Company" (more).
Major World Aquifers Losing Alarming Amounts of Water: New satellite data shows the Earth’s largest underground aquifers are losing water at troubling rates. A NASA study finds 21 of the world’s 37 largest aquifers have provided more water than has been replaced, putting them at a sustainability tipping point. Researchers say the water reserves have been depleted by human activity including agriculture, population growth and mining
Good Press for Good Work: "Johnson City's drinking water exceeds federal standards" (more).
Kentucky Primacy Says, "Kentucky’s Drinking Water Continues Excellence in Quality, Reliability, Annual Report Shows": Data from Kentucky’s 446 public water systems shows they consistently produce excellent quality water and are nearly always in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water requirements" (more).
National Rural Water Association