The National Biosolids Partnership (NBP), in conjunction with WEF, is hosting a no charge webcast on July 25 from 2:00 – 3:45 pm EDT – Compliance and Testing Requirements to Meet the Sewage Sludge Incineration (SSI) MACT Standards – Part 2 to provide a detailed overview of compliance requirements and testing methods to meet the sewage sludge incineration (SSI) maximum achievable control technology ( MACT) standards requirements that were promulgated in the March 21, 2011 Federal Register. This July 25 webcast is a follow up to an earlier April 21, 2011 NBP webcast and is designed to help SSI operators, consultants, and equipment vendors better understand and clarify the compliance requirements to meet the May 21, 2016 deadline. Amy Hambrick from EPA’s Office of Air & Radiation in Research Triangle Park will be addressing an overview of the compliance requirements and timelines for implementing this rulemaking. The two other speakers will discuss testing, compliance, and next steps.  Click Here to Register. For more information, click here. There will be 1.75 Professional Development Hours (PDH)  offered. Individuals interested in submitting questions for EPA in advance can send them to Sam Hadeed, at shadeed@wef.org.

According to the 22nd Annual Beachwater Quality ReportTesting the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches released on June 27 by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), America’s beaches saw the third-highest number of closing and advisory days in more than two decades in 2011 and indicated that the nation’s seashores are being impacted by stormwater runoff and wastewater pollution, The report analyzes government data on beachwater testing results from 2011 at more than 3,000 beach testing locations nationwide. The report examines the pollution impacts at America’s beaches and calls for a timely, concerted effort to avert future beachwater pollution. The report provides a 5-star rating guide to 200 of the nation’s popular beaches, evaluating them for water quality and best practices for testing and public notification. The report also awards a dozen beaches with a 5-star rating, as well as highlights the top 15 “Repeat Offenders,” which repeatedly exhibit chronically high bacteria counts.

EPA has released a series of six fact sheets on incorporating green infrastructure measures into National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System wet weather programs. The series builds upon existing EPA authority, guidance and agreements to describe how EPA and state permitting and enforcement professionals can work with permittees to include green infrastructure measures as part of control programs. The six fact sheets and four supplements address stormwater permits, total maximum daily loads, combined sewer overflow long-term control plans, and enforcement actions.

After several short extensions, EPA has released official dates for the National Stormwater Rulemaking: June 10, 2013 for release of the proposed rule and December 10, 2014 for release of the final rule.  These dates are a result of negotiations between EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), which was a legally required action consistent with the letter of agreement signed between these two groups that established initial rulemaking milestone dates.  It is expected that EPA will continue work to gather information as well as analyze costs and benefits on the rule through the summer and into the fall before assembling a draft proposed rule likely to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget in early 2013.  

You may recall that CWEA signed onto a letter to congress to block a a blanket travel ban. We’re happy to report that the association voice was heard and two ill-advised  bills are stalled. Read the full story below.

As a result of recent news reports of scandals involving General Services Administration (GSA) overspending and excesses at a 2010 employee training conference they hosted in Las Vegas, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate recently passed legislative language placing severe restrictions on federal agency spending on conferences and restrictions on federal employee attendance at conferences.  The legislative language that passed the House and Senate was identical, but was included in two different bills, Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (H.R. 2146), in the House, and 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789), in the Senate.  The provision was added shortly before the bills were passed in late April, which left little time for the public and associations, like WEF, ASAE or CWEA, to express disapproval.  As a result, there has been an outcry against the provisions from professional and trade associations that work closely with federal agencies because, if the provisions are made into law, it would severely hamper the abilities of federal employees to participate in conferences where they can have dialogue with the regulated community and learn about the challenges and successes of regulatory programs and initiatives. [Read more]