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President’s Message June 2022

Rob LeePacific Northwest, summer is upon us! After one of the wettest springs on record, I’m excited for what summer brings — time off with family and loved ones, baseball games, barbecues, and longer days. Summer also brings one of the busiest times in our industry, with construction projects humming along and the consistent need for planning and design improvements and upgrades to our vital infrastructure.

PNCWA is an organization founded on volunteers from within — folks who live and breathe the issues facing our wastewater industry on a daily basis. Each and every board member, committee chair, section leader, and volunteer represents not only us, but you and all of our membership. And that ensures that the education, programming, networking, and advocacy coming from PNCWA meets those challenges we all face head-on.

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PNCWA2022 Registration Now Open

Register Now

Register Now!

If it’s been awhile since you’ve stopped by our annual conference site, make sure you do soon! Thanks to our Planning Committee and volunteers, we have several updates to share.

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Run for Water 2022

Run for Water

Please join us for a beautiful 5k run/walk along the Spokane riverfront and help us turn the tide of the world’s water crisis by supporting Water For People. Water For People has already helped millions of people across 9 countries gain access to clean water, sanitation solutions, and hygiene education, and they continue to empower local communities and governments to invest in long-term water and sanitation solutions for lasting change. Click here to register. 

After the run, local food trucks will provide lunch for all participants from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

  • Event: 5k run/walk
  • Date: Sunday, September 11
  • Start Time: 11 a.m.
  • Starting/Ending Location: Forestry Shelter in Riverfront Park (run/walk will be a 5k loop)
  • Entry Fee: $35

Government Affairs Committee Update June 2022

gov't updateWashington State Legislature gave Ecology’s Water Quality Program one-time funding in the 2022 legislative session to investigate and recommend an alternative for a nutrient trading structure. Ecology will manage the contracting process and is currently recruiting and selecting a consulting firm to do this work.

Proviso language: $350,000 of the general fund — state appropriation for fiscal year 2023 is provided solely for the department to recommend one or more draft structures for nutrient credit trading that could be used to efficiently and quickly achieve nutrient discharge reductions for point source dischargers covered under the Puget Sound nutrient general permit. By June 30, 2023, the department must submit a report to the appropriate committees of the legislature consistent with RCW 43.01.036 that summarizes the draft structure or structures and describes a tribal consultation and a stakeholder engagement process to solicit feedback on the draft structure or structures and any necessary statutory changes and funding.

Stormwater Committee News and Happenings

stormwater

Summer vacation is on for the Stormwater learning hour. We’ll resume after summer break, so watch for future announcements of events to come.

Plan to join fellow stormwater professionals in a river cleanup event on September 11, 2022 at the PNCWA annual conference. It will be a full day of fun in Spokane, with Water For People kicking off the day with a fun run, lunch in the park, and working with the Riverkeeper to clean up the Spokane River. Look for the signup as part of fall conference registration!

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Sustainability Facility Spotlight - Puyallup Water Pollution Control Plant

Puyallup

The Puyallup Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) is an MLE activated sludge treatment plant with an average flow of 5 MGD. In the winter, the peak wet weather flow jumps up to 20 MGD. The WPCP discharges into the Puyallup River, which is a salmon bearing stream and has important historical and economic concern to the local Puyallup Tribal Nation. Because of these concerns, the WPCP has a very strict copper limit, and nutrient removal has been the goal for 20 years.

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Meet the 2022 InFLOW Participants

InFLOW is a PNCWA initiative that strives to identify promising students and young professionals from underrepresented groups who are interested in careers in the water industry. They participate in a year-long virtual program that culminates in the in-person annual conference. Each month, we highlight our participants, like Madison Whitlow-Hewett, as they share why they’re excited about this year’s program.

Madison-Whitlow-HewettMadison Whitlow-Hewett
Clean Water Services
Westhaven Community Services District

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President's Message May 2022

Rob LeeI’m writing this as I look out of my office window at the relentless rain we’re experiencing this spring (at least west of the Cascades). Yet I cannot help but marvel at what spring brings us: a reminder of new life. Flowers start to bud, trees bloom, birds return and sing to us in the mornings. And those relentless rains? They’re a reminder of the essential industry that we’re all in — protecting the critical waterways that are the backbone of our lives here in the Pacific Northwest.

I’m giddy with excitement for this new season. Our board met in person this past month as a mid-year check-in about the health and direction of PNCWA, and I’d love to share a few things with you all:

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PNCWA2022 Conference Update

spokane

Things are heating up in our conference planning committee corner, and we’re excited to share some updates with you.

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Stormwater Learning Hour May 2022

Join the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour on Tuesday, May 24 at 12 p.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Mountain. Eric Cox with Brown and Caldwell will be joined by technical experts from Activated Wetlands to discuss Biological Treatment for Emerging Stormwater Contaminants. Connect via Zoom here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88313483166
Meeting ID: 883 1348 3166
Passcode: Stormwater

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Scholarship Application Deadline Extended Until June 21

scholarships

The time is now for applications to 2022 PNCWA Scholarships. The application cycle is open until June 21, 2022. Share this link with students, professors, young professionals, and colleagues that are studying or work in the water environment field.

Committee Spotlight: Stormwater

stormwater

Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Does it need to be green?
By Kari Nichols, PE, Mead & Hunt

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RS&J Subcommittee Newsletter - May 2022

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee May newsletter contains links to resources on Asian Americans Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month. The goal of the newsletter is to highlight diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and collect multimedia resources and book recommendations to advance learning and awareness of history, perspective, and action for environmental, racial, economic, and social justice.

The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e., essays, books, podcasts, etc.); membership organization RSJ/DEI programming (i.e., agencies, consulting firms); projects with RSJ elements; and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick at [email protected] with your ideas and suggestions.

Government Affairs Committee Update May 2022

gov't update2022 National Water Week Fly-In
The 2022 National Water Week Fly-In was attended by two PNCWA representatives from Oregon who had great informative and inspirational meetings with their legislators. More details to come next month.

Water Affordability
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), along with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and American Water Works Association (AWWA), filed comments in opposition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed 2022 Financial Capability Assessment Guidance and asked that the proposal not be finalized. NACWA opposes the guidance for multiple reasons, including that it is inconsistent with the Biden Administration's professed focus on environmental justice concerns. WEF, NACWA, and AWWA provided comments and recommendations and released a joint statement of their opposition.

The Proposed 2022 Clean Water Act (CWA) Financial Capability Assessment (FCA) Guidance outlines strategies for communities to support affordable utility rates and investments in water infrastructure. These investments will support CWA implementation.



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Meet the 2022 InFLOW Participants

InFLOW is a PNCWA initiative that strives to identify promising students and young professionals from underrepresented groups who are interested in careers in the water industry. They participate in a year-long virtual program that culminates in the in-person annual conference. Each month, we highlight our participants, like Edgar Sanchez Fausto, as they share why they’re excited about this year’s program.

edgar sanchez faustoEdgar Sanchez Fausto
Clean Water Services

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President's Message April 2022

Rob LeeOne of the greatest measures of an organization’s relevance is the answer to the question, “What would happen if we didn’t exist?” I’ve asked this of myself and of our board several times this past year — yet we keep coming back to the same answer. With the changes of the past couple of years, our industry here in the Pacific Northwest still has a critical need for collaboration, information sharing, networking, and continuing growth and education. And the inspiration and community that develops from such endeavors are always so important.

To that end, we’re excited about the progress we’re making in implementing the strategic initiatives we identified last year. I’m pleased to report these:

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Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications

scholarships

We are pleased to announce that 2022 PNCWA Scholarship Applications are now being accepted. The application cycle is open until June 1, 2022. Share this link with students, professors, young professionals, and colleagues that are studying or work in the water environment field.

Stormwater Learning Hour April 2022

Join the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour on Wednesday, April 27 at 12 p.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Mountain. Scott Kindred of Kindred Hydro will present Flexible Infiltration Test Methods for Evaluating Infiltration Feasibility, which summarizes new approaches to infiltration testing and design that may be incorporated into the Washington State Stormwater Manual. Connect via Zoom here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88313483166
Meeting ID: 883 1348 3166
Passcode: Stormwater

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Government Affairs Committee Update Apr 2022

gov't updateThe EPA has published proposed rules for human health water quality criteria in Washington. There is a 60-day comment period which runs until May 31, 2022. Federal Human Health Criteria for Washington State Waters | US EPA


Water Week Returns to In-Person Attendance:
After two years of meeting virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Water Week 2022 will return to an in-person format this year in Washington, D.C. with a full slate of meetings and events.

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Meet the 2022 InFLOW Participants

InFLOW is a PNCWA initiative that strives to identify promising students and young professionals from underrepresented groups who are interested in careers in the water industry. They participate in a year-long virtual program that culminates with attending the annual conference in person. Each month, we’ll highlight our participants, like Asa Reyes-Chavez, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program.

Asa Reyes-ChavezAsa Reyes-Chavez
Parametrix, Inc.

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