This week the House and Senate Appropriations Committees moved forward with the FY2016 appropriations bills that fund the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs. The bills included steep cuts to both programs that will have severe negative impacts upon funding available for infrastructure investments next year. WEF calls upon members to urge their Members of Congress to fund the CWSRF and DWSRF at full funding levels of $1.45 billion and $1.186 billion, respectively.

Call or email your Member of Congress today by visiting www.House.gov and www.Senate.gov to look up their contact info with your Zip Code. It’s fast, easy, and critically important.

WEF urges you to convey the following message when you contact your Member of Congress:

[Read more]

Government Fleet Magazine announced the Leading Fleets for 2015 at the Honors Celebration at Government Fleet Conference and Expo in Denver, Colorado. The awards program recognizes operations that are performing at a high level, particularly in fleet leadership, competitiveness and efficiency, planning for the future, and overcoming challenges. The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) was awarded the Leading Fleets No.1 Mid-Size Fleet Award and ranks No. 10 in overall public fleets in the nation.

OCSD Leading Fleets No.1 Mid-Size Fleet Award ranking No. 10 in overall public fleets in the nation

Nicholas J. Arhontes, P.E. Director of Facilities Support Services Department and Acting Manager of OCSD’s Fleet Services division said, “We are honored to be recognized with these awards. The award process has helped identify our fleet’s strengths and opportunities for improvement.”

A total of 73 public fleets from across the country competed in this second annual award and it was OCSD’s first application. The applications were judged by a panel of peers consisting of top fleet directors and managers. Out of the 50 leading fleets that were selected as the best in the industry, the award ranks the top 20 and the number 1 fleets in three size categories: small fleet (499 or fewer assets), mid-size fleet (500-999 assets), and large fleet (1,000 or more assets).

“As a public service provider responsible for collection, treatment, and recycling of wastewater, our fleet supports various internal customers with unique challenges. We work closely with our customers to stay in alignment with our agency’s mission and general manager’s annual work plan. We couldn’t do what we do without our dedicated fleet team,” stated Arhontes.

OCSD’s fleet includes 180 highway vehicles, 147 off-highway vehicles and equipment, 184 electric carts and 127 bicycles. Operations are carried out by nine full-time employees from the main shop located onsite at the Fountain Valley facility and a small satellite shop at the Huntington Beach facility.

2015 American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting – The water-energy nexus: data, impacts and opportunities — call for abstracts.

Water and energy are undeniably interconnected – water is withdrawn and consumed in energy production and energy is required to extract, treat and distribute water and treat wastewater. These interdependencies are complicated by changes in climate, socioeconomics and technology. Meanwhile, energy and water systems are often developed, managed and regulated independently. Thus, a holistic understanding of water-energy interactions, synergies and tradeoffs is direly needed to effectively manage and devise sustainable water-energy policies. This session provides an open forum for discussions of the data, trends, impacts and opportunities of the water-energy nexus. We welcome interdisciplinary studies, including: a) water use for energy production; b) energy consumption for water use; c) broad impacts of water use for energy (e.g., drought, wastewater and thermal pollution); d) consequences of energy consumption for water use (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions, limiting economic growth); e) potential opportunities for sustainable use (e.g., renewable energy, advanced water and energy efficiency); and f) related policies, management and legislation.

The following scientists have been invited to speak at the event:

Peter Glieck (Pacific Institute)
Vincent C. Tidwell (Sandia National Laboratory)
Charles J. Vörösmarty (The City University of New York)
Michael E. Webber (The University of Texas at Austin)

Session ID#: 8425 (https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm15/preliminaryview.cgi/Session8425)
Session Title: The water-energy nexus: data, impacts and opportunities
The abstract submission deadline is 5 August 2015, 11:59 P.M. EDT, (submission link:http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2015/abstract-submissions/)
Session Location: San Francisco, CA

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is pleased to announce a new national municipal stormwater and green infrastructure awards program.  Developed through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the program aims to recognize high-performing regulated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) and inspire them to exceed requirements through innovative and cost-effective approaches.

This is a great opportunity for MS4s to participate and compare your community with what is going on in the industry today relevant to innovation in stormwater management.  All participants will receive a certificate indicating their position as either gold, silver, or bronze level within the industry.

The call for Applications for Phase II is now open and Phase I will follow shortly!

Please visit www.wef.org/MS4Awards/ for more details.  All submissions will be reviewed by the steering committee and three winners for each Phase I and Phase II categories [selected for program management, innovation, and overall winner with the highest combined score] will be announced and celebrated at the Stormwater Congress during WEFTEC this September.

During this especially busy time of the year, we would like you to help spread the word about this Awards Program.

Application deadline for Phase II and Phase I are August 19 and August 26 respectively.

TIP: The application must be completed in one sitting.  We encourage you to prepare responses in advance and have posted a pdf of the application on the website for your convenience.

Please contact WEF staff at MS4Awards@wef.org if you have any questions or are interested to learn more and participate.

By Claudio Ternieden, Kristina Twigg, and Seth Brown

On May 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) finalized the Clean Water Rule (http://www2.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule), which EPA and the USACE believe, ensures that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined and predictably determined, making permitting less costly, easier, and faster for businesses and industry,

The rule, published in the Federal Register on June 29, is expected to become effective August 28, depending on the outcome of some lawsuits filed by a number of states seeking to stop the rule from going into effect. The rule is grounded in law and the latest science, according to an EPA fact sheet (http://www2.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule/documents-related-clean-water-rule#Fact), and it received substantial  public input from more than 400 stakeholder meetings and more than 1 million public comments. EPA and USACE also maintain that the rule creates no new permitting requirements for agriculture and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions, including dredged or fill requirements.

Stormwater controls not affected

[Read more]