CASA Connects March 7, 2017

Please forward this newsletter to anyone who may be interested.                             March 7, 2017

Water Infrastructure Takes Center Stage at CASA 2017 DC Policy Forum

CASA members gathered in the nation’s capital last week to engage with members of congress and their staff on priority issues including citizen suits, regulatory reform and infrastructure funding. Support for infrastructure funding and financing was a consistent theme, from panelists, public and private sector stakeholders and the President himself, whose first joint address to congress took place during the CASA event. After hearing from a full line up of speakers including Congressman Tom McClintock, congressional staff, Politico, Bloomberg Government and a range of infrastructure experts, CASA members headed to Capitol Hill to meet with their congressional representatives. A Tuesday evening joint reception with ACWA offered an opportunity to network with colleagues and invited guests. [more…]

USEPA Administrator Supports More Funding for Water Projects

Recently confirmed USEPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will seek additional funding for water projects as part of the President’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure program. In an interview with E & E News following the joint address to Congress, Pruitt said USEPA’s state revolving loan and grant programs are prime candidates for inclusion in the infrastructure bill. “One of the things I’m emphasizing with the White House is that we shouldn’t just talk about infrastructure from a roads and bridges perspective, we need to be thinking about water infrastructure,” the article quoted Pruitt as saying. [more…]

Executive Order Rolls Back Clean Water Rule

On February 28, President Trump issued an executive order to roll back the 2015 clean water rule (commonly referred to as the “waters of the United States or WOTUS rule). The rule was enmeshed in controversy and has been challenged in multiple courts by oil and gas developers, farmers, pesticide and fertilizer makers, and golf course owners, which claimed the regulation infringes on property owners’ rights and is bad for the economy. The litigation has stayed the rule, which has never actually been implemented.

The executive order puts the legal case on hold and directs USEPA to initiate the lengthy legal process of rescinding and rewriting the rule. Prior to adoption of the rule, CASA  [more…]

Looking for Funding?  Letters of Interest Due April 10 for WIFIA Funding

USEPA is soliciting letters of interest for funding under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which provides long-term, low-cost credit assistance in the form of direct loans and loan guarantees to water projects. The program was funded at $17 million in December 2016. WIFIA can fund a variety of projects including water recycling, desalination, aquifer recharge, and alternative water supply. Letters of interest are due April 10, 2017. Read more.

CASA Seeks to Collaborate with CalRecycle on Reporting Rule

CASA submitted comments late last month on proposed regulations that expand the information recycling and composting operations and facilities are required to submit to CalRecycle.  The regulations implement AB 901 (Chapter 746, Statutes of 2015). Our letter expressed support for CalRecycle’s goal to better understand the flow of solid waste within California and acknowledges its importance in meeting state objectives and mandates. With regard to the specific provisions, CASA finds the current draft regulation to be confusing and not applicable to the wastewater sector’s management of biosolids or renewable energy. We plan to meet with CalRecycle to explain in greater detail our concerns and explore possible solutions.

Member News

  • Orange County Sanitation District reports that despite peak flows of up to 596 million gallons per day during recent storms, it did not have to use its emergency outfall, thanks to the groundwater replenishment system. As events started to unfold in late January, OCSD staff worked tirelessly to ensure that its facilities could handle the unprecedented flows and that the GWRS would continue to run at its normal 100 mgd flow rate. This alleviated concerns that flows would exceed the discharge capacity of the main outfall line and force the use of the one-mile emergency outfall, which would have resulted in beach closures.

Mixed Bag

  • USEPA will host a webcast on a new tool “Model My Watershed” on Thursday, March 9 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. “Model My Watershed” is an online watershed modeling application that allows users to learn how land use and soil together determine whether rainfall infiltrates into the soil, runs off into streams, or is evaporated and transpired by plants. This web tool is intended to provide an easy-to-use professional-grade modeling package to inform land-use decisions, support conservation practices, and enhance watershed education. The webcast will provide an overview and a demonstration of the application and will highlight how the tool is being used by several states for their total maximum daily load, non-point source, and municipal stormwater programs. Read more.
  • The complex challenges that the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act aims to resolve don’t lend themselves to quick fixes. With the deadline for the first major step-forming “groundwater sustainability agencies” in affected basins-coming up in June, the Public Policy Institute of California asked Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, about progress to date. Read the interview.
 
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Events

 
2017 Dates
Organization
Event
Location
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
Public Policy Forum
Sacramento
April 25-28 CWEA Palm Springs