CASA Connects June 12, 2017

Please forward this newsletter to anyone who may be interested.                             June 12, 2017

Bills of Interest Still Moving Midway Through the Session

Friday, June 2 was the official halfway point in the 2017 legislative session and the deadline for all bills introduced this year to be passed to the second house. The week preceding the deadline was extremely busy with both houses scrambling to pass the remaining bills, while concurrently attempting to wrap up final budget negotiations by June 15.
A number of controversial bills failed passage in the week leading up to the deadline, including several CASA has been working on. Of particular interest for CASA members is the defeat of AB 1129 (Stone), which we actively opposed before it failed to meet the deadline. The bill would have made several statutory changes to the Coastal Act that could have negative implications for agencies with property protected by structures like seawalls and cliff retaining walls located within the coastal zone. Our opposition arguments had a significant impact, and ultimately the author opted not to take the bill up for a vote during the final week, sending it to the “inactive file” where it will remain for the rest of the year.  [more…]

Annual Conference to Feature Water Board Member Joaquin Esqivel

Water Board Member Joaquin Esquivel will speak during the closing session of CASA’s Annual Conference in San Diego, August 22-24, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. Governor Jerry Brown appointed Mr. Esquivel to a four-year term on the Board this spring.   He previously served in the California Resources Agency and worked for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer for eight and a half years in her Washington D.C. office.
The conference also features panels on operations best practices, regulatory hot topics and public private partnerships. View the preliminary program here and register today.

CASA Members See Infrastructure Dollars

Seven CASA member agencies were among those submitting letters of interest for funding under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).  This new federal loan and guarantee program that aims to accelerate investment water by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. USEPA is now evaluating project eligibility, credit worthiness, engineering feasibility, and alignment with WIFIA’s statutory and regulatory criteria. Through a competitive process, USEPA will select projects that it intends to fund and invite them to continue to the application process this summer. A map of all the requests nationwide is available on USEPA’s website.

Higher Discharge Permit Fees Expected

Water Board staff will propose higher annual fees for wastewater discharge permits in FY 2018.  NPDES fees will increase by approximately 8% and waste discharge fees (for land dischargers) by 6%. Stakeholders were briefed June 8 regarding the fund status, the program changes and cost drivers. Water Board staff noted that fees for NPDES and WDRs for land discharge have not increased over the past two fiscal years. Before taking effect, the fees must be adopted by the State Water Board, which will consider the proposal following adoption of the State budget.

Mixed Bag

  • NACWA’s “Toilets Are Not Trashcans” campaign reached a significant milestone with the publication of the Second Edition of Code of Practice: Communicating Appropriate Disposal Pathways for Nonwoven Wipes to Protect Wastewater Systems by INDA (Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry) and its European counterpart, EDANA. The new code applies to non-flushable wipes, and specifies that baby wipes should never be labeled “flushable,” allowing a clear “Don’t flush baby wipes” message to be delivered to consumers by both the wastewater and wipes industries. This is a significant improvement buts labeling is still voluntary. The wastewater and wipes associations have not agreed on the definition of “flushable.” 

     

  • The State Water Board will hold a second series of public meetings seeking input on program scenarios to provide affordable drinking water to low-income Californians as mandated by recent state legislation. Public workshops are scheduled for June 20 in Riverside, June 27 in Salinas, June 28 in Oakland, July 10 in Sacramento and July 12 in Los Angeles. Please see the notice for times and locations and a link to program scenarios that will be presented. 
  • Do you know a student interested in research? The Composting Council Research & Education Foundation is offering $2,500 scholarships for undergraduate through PhD students conducting research and education in the fields of composting and compost use. The goal of the Young Investigator Scholarship is to help emerging young professionals in the field of compost research and to spark interest in the future of the composting industry.  Read more. 
Now Hiring!
CASA members have numerous opportunities available. Visit our Job Board for details. 

Member News

Welcome to the following new members:
  • Atlas Pumping Service
  • CENTRIAIR
We look forward to meeting these new members at the Annual Conference.

Events

 
2017 Dates
Organization
Event
Location
June 27-29 US Water Alliance  One Water Summit New Orleans
July 23-26
NACWA
St. Louis
July 23-27 IWA  International Conference Long Beach
August 22-24
CASA
San Diego
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