CASA Connects Newsletter for February 20, 2017

Please forward this newsletter to anyone who may be interested.                             February 20, 2017

CASA Board of Directors Welcomes Newest Member

Jasmin Hall, Director at Inland Empire Utilities Agency, is the newest member of the CASA Board of Directors.  Ms. Hall was appointed February 13 to fill a vacancy that resulting from the resignation of Director E.J. Shalaby.
“I appreciate the honor to serve with some of the best leaders in the industry,” Ms. Hall said regarding her appointment. “I look forward to supporting CASA’s mission and goals assisting our member agencies.”
Ms. Hall has served on the IEUA board since October 2013. She is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) Commission, and serves on the Orange County Sanitation District/SAWPA Joint Policy [more…]

Traci Minamide is CASA’s Newest Officer

The Board elected Director Traci Minamide, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation, to serve as Secretary Treasurer.  She joins President Jeff Moorhouse and Vice President Paul Bushee in leading the association this year.

Hundreds of Bills Introduced In Sacramento

Friday, February 17 was the final deadline for bills to be introduced for the 2017 Legislative Session.  CASA staff are now hard at work combing through the hundreds of bills introduced to flag legislation of interest to the wastewater community.  In a few weeks, the State Legislative Committee will meet to discuss the most pressing issues and establish CASA’s position on the relevant bills.
The bill introduction deadline is a critical milestone in the legislative session.  Now that all of the legislation has been introduced for the year, the pace will quicken as bills start being referred to policy committees over the next month and a half.  [more…]

Mark Your Calendar for the Sacramento Public Policy Forum-April 19th

The CASA and WateReuse California joint Public Policy Forum is right around the corner.  The one-day program will be held April 19th in Sacramento.  Participants will begin the day with a morning session at the Sutter Club featuring prominent speakers followed by a policy briefing from CASA and WateReuse legislative advocates. After lunch, it’s off to the State Capitol for pre-arranged meetings between agency representatives and their local legislators.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to advocate for your agency and help influence policymaking at a critical point in the legislative session.
Registration for the public policy forum is now open and more information can be found on the CASA website.  April is a busy month in Sacramento and hotel space is filling up fast.  If you will be arriving Tuesday night and need a hotel room we recommend booking one as soon as possible.  We hope to see you in Sacramento in April!

Biosolids Will be Considered Organics for 75% Diversion Mandate

In a February 14 workshop on reducing short-lived climate pollutants, CalRecycle explained that biosolids and sludges are explicitly included in the proposed definition of organics to be diverted from landfills under recent legislation. SB 1383 calls for a 50% diversion of organics from landfills by 2020 and a 75% diversion rate by 2025 from 2014 levels, in an effort to reduce methane emissions from landfills. This first workshop was a high level introduction of concepts, definitions, and alternatives to be considered as CalRecycle works to draft regulations to achieve the requirements.

CASA’s Greg Kester expressed appreciation for CalRecycle’s commitment to collaborate, and stressed the need for alternatives if biosolids are included in an organics diversion requirement, particularly the barriers posed by restrictive local ordinances. CASA also emphasized several areas that should be considered during the process including infrastructure for co-digestion. CASA member Silicon Valley [more…]

CASA Files Amicus Brief in Proposition 218 “Exhaustion of Remedies” Case

On February 8, CASA filed an amicus curiae brief in the case of Plantier v. Ramona Municipal Water District. The case focuses on an important procedural issue: whether persons challenging a local agency’s adopted sewer rate structure in a class action must “exhaust their administrative remedies” under Proposition 218 by filing a protest before the local agency. The League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties (CSAC) joined CASA in filing the brief.
The trial court held that at least one ratepayer is required to submit a Proposition 218 protest which explains the basis for the protest as a prerequisite to filing a class action lawsuit against that agency challenging the underlying rate structure. CASA joined the amicus urging the appellate court to uphold the trial court ruling, which would provide CASA members with clarity concerning Proposition 218’s protest provisions and affirm an important procedural safeguard associated with Proposition 218.

Member News

  • Congratulations to the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, which garnered three National Environmental Achievement Awards during the 2017 NACWA Winter Conference in Tampa, FL. The city received the Research and Technology Award for the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant AWPF Expansion Project, the Public Information and Education Award for its Guide to Green Chemistry (also a CASA 2016 Award of Excellence winner), and the Operations & Environmental Performance Award for its Avalon Green Alley Network.
  • Congratulations to Angela Lowrey, Public Information Manager at Delta Diablo who was honored as the 2016 Community Engagement & Outreach Person of the Year by CWEA  in recognition of her community engagement work at the local, regional and state national levels over the past three years. 

Mixed Bag

  • Dr. Charles Gerba has published the final report on his research on the survivability of Ebola virus surrogates in patient infected wastewater, with and without disinfection.  Many CASA members provided support for the research report, which acknowledges some contamination exists even after disinfection, but concludes that disinfection with peracetic acid or quaternary ammonium will provide effective protection for hospital and wastewater personnel 
  • The State Water Resources Control Board has announced the launch of its “Human Right to Water Portal”, a new website for the public to find information related to efforts to assure that every Californian has access to safe, clean and affordable drinking water. With data on more than 3,000 community, schools and day care public water systems in California, the website lets users look up their water system and see whether it complies with federal drinking water standards.

     

  • Toilets are not trashcans! NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Cynthia Finley talks flushable wipes with Water Efficiency News.  Read the profile
  • The 2017 California Financing Coordinating Committee (CFCC) is pleased to invite you to attend one of six free upcoming funding fairs. The CFCC consists of seven funding members, five state and two federal. The funding fairs provide opportunities to learn more about available grant, loan and bond financing options for infrastructure projects.
Now Hiring!
CASA members have numerous opportunities available. Visit our Job Board for details. 

Events

2017 Dates
Organization
Event
Location
Feb. 27 – March 1 CASA Washington, D.C.
March 19-21 WateReuse CA Annual Conference San Diego
March 19-25 Water Week Water Week Washington, D.C.
March 27-28 Bioenergy Association of CA  Member Meeting & Lobby Day Sacramento
April 19 CASA/WateReuse Sacramento
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