The April 2014 CASA Connects

  • by BPC Staff
  • on April 30, 2014
 casa ccc

In the News

Senator Fran Pavley Presented CASA With a Resolution Recognizing the First State Event


CASA Executive Director Bobbi Participation in a Public Policy Institute of California Forum on Paying for Water


CASA Agencies Producing Recycled Water to Aid Drought Relief



Job Board

For a complete view of all CASA news, visit CASA Current News.


CASA Upcoming Events

May 2, 2014

CASA Attorneys Committee Spring Meeting, Costa Mesa, CA

August 20-22, 2014

59th Annual Conference, Marriott Monterey,

Monterey, CA

January 21-23, 2015

Winter Conference,
Hilton Palm Springs, CA


For a complete list of all upcoming CASA and industry events, visit the CASA calendar of events.


Public Funding Opportunities for California Bioenergy Projects

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
12:30 – 1:30 pm ET (9:30 – 10:30 am PT)

The Bioenergy Association of California (BAC) and the American Biogas Council (ABC) have come together to bring you another great webinar about biogas business in California. 
Learn more!


2014 CASA Awards Program Open for Applications

Each year, CASA recognizes extraordinary efforts undertaken by our members. The application process for the 2014 CASA Achievement Awards is now open with a deadline for submittal is Friday, July 27, 2014. The awards program offers statewide recognition for outstanding projects and programs. It is an excellent opportunity for agencies and associates to highlight efforts undertaken as they move to be a “Utility of the Future.” The 2014 winners will be announced and celebrated at CASA’s annual conference in August.  


Updated Biosolids Fact Sheet Available

CASA has released the 2014 CASA Biosolids Fact Sheet, which has been updated to reflect biosolids management practices utilized in 2013. An update to the Spanish language version is underway. We will let members know when that is available as well. These fact sheets are available on the CASA website. 


CASA Education Foundation Scholarship


The CASA Education Foundation will be issuing two $5,000 scholarships in 2014! The scholarship criteria and application are now available and scholarship application packets can be received until May 16, 2014. Learn more





Inaugural Public Policy Forum a Great Success!

CASA continued to strengthen its advocacy in Sacramento by hosting its first annual Public Policy Forum this week. Over 70 CASA members traveled to the State Capitol to hear presentations from key legislative and regulatory decision-makers as well as participate in a packed afternoon of legislative visits. Assembly Member Roger Dickinson kicked off the forum, highlighting both water issues and how local leaders can engage. An inspirational presentation on advocacy by former Senate consultant Peter Detwiler followed. Detwiler shared that while today participants will engage in some one-on-one with legislators , local government officials “need to do a whole lot more when you go home later this week. Each month your agency should have at least one ‘touch’ with each legislator who represents your district or city.” 

Read more.



Governor’s Drought Proclamation Provides CEQA Exemption

The sweeping emergency drought proclamation signed by Governor Jerry Brown last Friday is intended to expedite a variety of government functions to help water agencies find new supplies and to stress the importance of using water wisely. Among the many directives in the proclamation, the State Water Resources Control Board “will adopt statewide general waste discharge requirements to facilitate the use of treated wastewater that meets standards set by the Department of Public Health, in order to reduce demand on potable water supplies.” The development of the new general permit, along with many others such as water transfers and habitat restoration projects, is exempt from CEQA.


Proposed New General Permit for Recycled Water Aimed at Facilitating Reuse

The State Water Board has released proposed new general waste discharge requirements (WDR) for recycled water use that are intended to expedite nonpotable projects. CASA will be preparing comments on the new draft WDR in partnership with WateReuse California and the Association of California Water Agencies. The Water Board adopted a general permit for irrigation uses in 2009 pursuant to state legislation, but the permit is viewed as overly onerous by recycled water providers and has not been widely used. An initial review suggests that the proposed WDR may better serve the goal of streamlining projects and embodies the view that recycled water projects are generally beneficial and should be encouraged. Read More.


Statewide Drug-Take Back Legislation Scaled Back

Senate Bill (SB) 1014 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson was amended significantly on April 21, 2014 due to a lack of support for the original bill language among members of the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. The original language would have created the nation’s first statewide drug take-back program for prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on a 5-1 vote in late March. As amended, the bill would codify voluntary guidelines for entities wishing to operate pharmaceutical take-back programs. Read more.


Policy Committees Hear Hundreds of Bills in Advance of Legislative Deadlines

Over the last several weeks the Senate and Assembly have been steadily hearing bills in policy committees in advance of the May 2, 2014 policy committee deadline for passing all bills with a fiscal impact on the State’s General Fund. Following “Spring break” in mid-April, it’s crunch time at the Capitol for the final two weeks before the deadline. During these busy two weeks, policy committee hearings often go into the evening hours, and amendments and agenda changes are seemingly never ending. Concurrently, budget subcommittees are meeting daily to debate and vote on issues in the Governor’s proposed 2014-15 Budget.

Read more.


CASA Supports CARB’s Re-Adoption of LCFS

CASA submitted a letter to Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) expressing strong support for the re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). CASA’s comments recognized the efforts extended by CARB in developing draft low carbon fuel standards for the conversion of biomethane produced at wastewater treatment plants. CASA’s letter urged CARB to finalize those protocols, but also include in them the added benefit derived from the land application of the treated digestate (biosolids). CASA also requested CARB provide long term certainty for the value of low carbon fuel credits through a price floor and support for a Green Credit Reserve (AB 2390, Muratsuchi), which will enable public agencies, and private partners where appropriate, to finance projects to produce low carbon fuels.


Proposed CASA Bylaws Revisions Reflect New Direction

This week, CASA member agencies received an important mailing from CASA regarding proposed changes to the association bylaws. Over the past two years, CASA has made a number of organizational changes to implement its strategic plan. In the course of pursuing these initiatives, the Executive Board identified the need to modernize and update the bylaws to ensure CASA is compliant with applicable California law. The bylaws have been revised in accordance with the advice of general counsel, Jill S. England, and the Executive Board has approved the new bylaws. Now we need the members’ approval for the new bylaws to become effective. Read more.


CASA To Comment on Proposed Rule to Define Waters of the United States

After months of federal agency review, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) formally published a proposed rule to clarify precisely which waters are subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. According to the federal agencies, the rule is being issued in light of recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court. CASA will be submitting comments on the rule, with input for the Attorneys Committee and Federal Legislative Committee. Read more.


USEPA Issues Buy American Guidance and Waivers

Under the Fiscal Year 2014 USEPA spending bill, Congress mandated that if State Revolving Fund (SRF) assistance is provided to a project, all iron, steel and precast re-enforced concrete be American made (produced). At the same time, Congress exempted manufactured products from the mandate such as pumps and treatment technologies. Congress did provide three criteria to allow for waivers from the mandate. These are: 1) sufficient availability of product, 2) compliance would increase overall cost of project by more than 25 percent of projected costs, or 3) mandate not in the public interest. In order to secure a waiver, a state must petition USEPA for the waiver. Read more.


House and Senate Nearing Finalization of Water Resources Development Bill

A handful of issues remain to be reconciled by the House and Senate conference committee on the renewal of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) (S. 601/H.R. 3080). As part of the anticipated agreement, the conferees will approve a limited Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) along with a renewal of the SRF program. As part of this agreement, it appears that the conferees will adopt the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations policy rider that requires any project funded with SRF assistance (and presumably WIFIA) to use American iron and steel products but exempt manufactured goods from the mandate. A final vote in the Senate is projected to occur in early May with the House taking up the agreement shortly after Senate approval.