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President’s Message February 2023

The PNCWA Board recently gathered in Tigard, Oregon, along with many of our Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs. It was great to see so many faces at our Board and Committee meetings! We had nearly 30 people join in-person, plus ten online. We are grateful to Clean Water Services for hosting us at the Durham Wastewater Treatment Facility. We spent the morning with each committee sharing their goals and objectives for the year. This led to more discussion in break-out groups about forming Communities of Practice that would enhance committee member’s engagement in meetings, activities, and other events.

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PNCWA2023 Conference Update

Submit Your Abstracts by March 8 for PNCWA2023!

 

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Stormwater Learning Hour

February Learning Hour 

Wednesday, February 22, 12 p.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Mountain 

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Stormwater Around the World, Part 1

Introduction 

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WAVE Program: Leading the Future of Water

New Year, New Name. Same Great Program. 

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Stockholm Junior Water Prize - PNCWA Communication and Outreach Committee

Prepared by Catherine Chertudi

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is the world's most prestigious award presented to a high school student for a water-research project. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has coordinated the U.S. competition since its inception in 1997, and partners closely with Member Associations (MAs) to execute the program. 

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The Utility Management Committee is Hitting Refresh!

The Utility Management Committee is relaunching and looking for folks who want to share knowledge and network to learn how your peers at other utilities do what we do.  We envision a collaborative space with monthly lunchtime meetings to discuss topics of interest and plan quarterly events or presentations from speakers about topics that interest our committee.   

What does “Utility Management” mean to you?  If you have interests, ideas, curiosities about how best the Utility Management Committee can help spread knowledge or just want to stay up to date on the Committee’s activities please contact Jessica Rinner at [email protected] or Yarrow Murphy at [email protected].

Racial Social Justice Subcommittee Goals

Last month we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday commemorating the legacy of Dr. King, one of the most influential changemakers in modern history. Dr. King’s influence withstands the test of time and continues to motivate change around the world (the Netherlands, Toronto and Ottawa, Canada and Hiroshima, Japan hold events or days dedicated to MLK). As the National Constitution Center states, “Today, the King holiday serves multiple purposes: It honors the total legacy of King; focuses on the issue of civil rights; highlights the use of nonviolence to promote change; and calls people into public service.” These purposes are integral to PNCWA’s dedication to the water industry. In 2020, PNCWA started the Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee to the Member Services Committee (MSC) to promote diversity and racial and social justice amongst membership.    

The subcommittee is pursuing 5 main goals. The goals and progress to date include: 

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Government Affairs Committee Participate in Water Week & Ask Your Representatives to Support the Water Sector!

Every year, water sector professionals from around the United States gather in Washington, DC and virtually to discuss important issues together and with our Federal lawmakers. Water Week 2023 will take place April 24-28. During this week, we come together to focus on national policy that impacts the water sector and how we can work together to make sure all communities have access to safe, reliable, and affordable clean water.  

The National Water Policy Fly-In is an important part of water week, presented by WEF, NACWA, WateReuse Association, AWWA, the Water Research Foundation and many others. During the fly-in, water sector professionals conduct meetings with lawmakers and/or their staff to discuss water policy positions and priorities for the year. Meetings can be held in person or virtually. A half-day summit is hosted in DC featuring speakers from Federal agencies and Congress and capped off with a networking reception.  

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Government Affairs Committee - MEMBER ALERT: PFAS Legislative & Regulatory Activity Continues to be a High Priority in 2023

The 2023 state legislative sessions are in full swing and PFAS is on the agenda in both Oregon and Washington. At the federal level, the EPA continue to progress along the PFAS Action Plan, publishing validated test methods, categorizing PFAS chemicals within existing regulatory programs, and progressing research to better characterize the presence of PFAS in our natural and built environments.  

PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a large, complex group of manufactured chemicals that are ingredients in various everyday products. Multiple health effects associated with PFAS exposure have been identified and are supported by scientific studies. Wastewater treatment facilities are not manufacturers or users of PFAS, rather they are receivers of these chemicals used by industry and everyday consumers. Legislators, regulators, and clean water agencies must work collaboratively to manage PFAS holistically, with science driving the decision-making.  

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Government Affairs Update

Federal  

  • Research Centers for Stormwater Infrastructure has been funded after WEF and NMSA support. Congress has provided $3M in initial funding for the establishment of three to five Centers of Excellence for Stormwater Infrastructure Technologies (CESITs), a new program authorized in the IIJA of 2021. Read more.  

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PFAS Webinar Review

On January 19, the Sustainability and Biosolids Committee and the Government Affairs Committee hosted a webinar on Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), featuring Ms. Rashi Gupta (Carollo), Dr. Jason Conder (Geosyntec Consultants), and Mr. Frank Dick (City of Vancouver). The webinar addressed multiple topics including updates on the state-of-the-art of PFAS, current management practices, risk assessment, and legislation for PFAS in biosolids. Thank you to all our speakers for providing such important and timely information! If you missed the webinar, you can watch a recording of it here. 

Rashi addressed PFAS fundamentals sources, an update on the PFAS roadmap from the EPA, health advisory levels, current treatment technologies for biosolids, implications of PFAS presence in biosolids management, and recommendations for facilities to adapt to the rapidly changing regulations.  

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WEF Operator Scholarship

Receive up to $5,000 for operator training through WEF! 

WEF provides scholarships to individuals who are seeking water sector operator education, training, or certification to enter the industry or advance their knowledge, skills, abilities or license.  

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Wastewater Certification Test Prep

2019 Membership Survey

The PNCWA Annual Member Survey has been designed to provide feedback to the Board of Directors and Committees on how effective our organization has been at meeting the professional needs of our membership. The information contained in the surveys submitted will be used to determine PNCWA success in meeting it's strategic plan goals, adjust the plan if necessary, and provide feedback to the board and committee chairs to help identify what the organization is doing well as well as proactive suggestions for areas that may need a little more attention or improvement.

 

It only takes a few minutes: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019PNCWAmembership-survey

Wastewater Project Funding Alternatives

Information compiled thanks to John Hendron and Carrie Finan.

There are several state and federal programs that provide financing to eligible entities for planning, designing, and constructing wastewater projects. Whether the goal is to build or repair collection systems or treatment facilities, these important resources can help aid in your project’s success.

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CMMS Survey—Is Your Utility Using CMMS?

If you are responsible for the management of maintenance in your utility, please take this survey

The Utility Management Committee is seeking to understand how Computer Maintenance Managements Systems (CMMS) are utilized by Pacific Northwest utilities. Is your utility using a CMMS system or not? What are the barriers, challenges, and successes? If you are responsible for the management of maintenance in your utility, please take this survey. We want to hear from you!

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Proposed C&Bs Changes 2019

"Dear PNCWA Members,

On Tuesday, September 10th, the PNCWA Board will ask those of you in attendance at the Business Luncheon, which serves as the Association's Annual Meeting, to vote on proposed changes to the PNCWA Constitution. This serves as your 30-day notice, as required by PNCWA's Constitution and Bylaws. The PNCWA Board will also vote on proposed changes to the PNCWA Bylaws, and the Board welcomes your comments on the proposed changes. This also serves as your 30-day notice. Continue

SYP Scholarships to Attend WEFTEC are Available

PNCWA 2019 SYP WEFTEC Scholarship application is online

Eligibility: Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered:
1. Be a Student or Young Professional member of PNCWA at the time of application.
2. Reside and work within WA, OR, or ID.
3. Cannot be a previous recipient of a SYPC WEFTEC Scholarship.
Instructions: Please complete the SurveyMonkey form no later than Aug 9, 2019, at 5:00PM Pacific Time. To ensure an unbiased evaluation process, please do not include any identifying information (your name, the name of your employer, etc.) in your application responses...we will track your application by your WEF member number! Scholarship application is at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SYPC2019WEFTEC.

WEF Water Advocates Needs Your Voice

WE are the experts.

Let’s speak with a loud, united voice. Speak up. Share your knowledge. It is more important now than ever. Inform government decision-makers and the public about the importance of water.

Aging infrastructure, strict requirements, and continued economic pressures have put unprecedented stress on local governments and agencies that provide essential water services. Elected officials are being called upon to make tough choices that will impact water quality and the viability of our communities for generations to come.

We know there is a better path—a path that leads to public appreciation for the value of water, investment in our essential water infrastructure, and a better quality of life for our states and communities.

WEF’s Water Advocates Program is a simple and effective way for you to become more involved with engaging elected officials and the public on important water issues. The Water Advocates Program provides training and engagement to promote grassroots advocacy before elected officials and the public with the goal of creating a network of trained water advocates in every state. Continue.