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Make Your Voice Heard!

US Capitol

WEF’s Water Advocates program empowers you to share your knowledge and expertise to inform government decision-makers about the importance of water. Two letter campaigns to congress are in progress now, and your support will increase awareness of these needs:

  • Increase Water Appropriations in FY 2022
  • Always Include Water in Infrastructure Packages

Committee Spotlight: Stormwater

Wildfires, Safety, and Water Quality: After the Smoke Clears
By Allison Lukens, EI, Mead & Hunt, Inc.

If you live in the Western part of the United States, chances are you were impacted by the historic wildfire season in 2020. A total of 10.27 million acres and nearly 59,000 fires burned last year, contributing to the largest annual wildfire acreage burned in the U.S. since 1960. Although it’s difficult to predict the precise time, location, and magnitude of wildfires, we need to accept that they are a possibility and do whatever we can to prepare for them. 

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Summit Series Wrap-Up

The PNCWA Summit Series went out with a bang! Over the course of the six summits, PNCWA has delivered on its mission to provide professional development opportunities to its members, while raising much-needed funds. Most importantly, we have continued to stay connected through these challenging and uncertain times.
Summit Series

We have so many people to thank for the success of the Summit Series. We want to start by thanking our sponsors and you, the members of PNCWA, for your trust and support this year.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Feb 2021

gov't updateThe December FY2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act included $638M for low-income water and wastewater ratepayer assistance. NACWA and other wastewater industry groups are working with the Dept. of Health and Humans Services on how to implement this program.

Member Spotlight: Brittany Downing

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in a new section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee chair Brittany Park. For our first spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Brittany Downing of City of Portland. Take it away, Brittany.
Brittany Downing

Where did you go to school?
I graduated from OSU in 2017 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. While in school, I joined the engineering sorority, Phi Sigma Rho, and I am actively involved on the board of our chapter’s Alumni Association as the Events Chair. I also continue to support the collegiate members as an Alumnae Advisor.

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Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month, we’ll highlight our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Liz Thorley here.

Liz Thorley & HusbandLiz Thorley
Project Engineer at Keller Associates
B.S. Environmental Engineering from Oregon State University, 2018

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RSJ Subcommittee Launches Newsletter

Black History Month
The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee has launched the first issue of their newsletter. The Subcommittee newsletter highlights diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and collects multimedia resources and book recommendations to advance learning and awareness of history, perspective, and action for environmental, racial, economic, and social justice. Check out the first issue.

The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e. essays, books, podcast etc); membership organization RSJ / DEI program (i.e. agencies, consulting firms); projects with RSJ elements; and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick with your input.

Racial & Social Justice Subcommittee Update

RSJ Subcommittee

PNCWA members participated in the Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) subcommittee’s first virtual social hour on December 22. This was an engagement for people to interact socially while discussing topics of racial, cultural, and gender diversity in our workplaces and communities — a safe space for discussion which also allows us to get out of our comfort zones. The RSJ group intends to host these social hours about once a month on the Teams platform, with a suggested essay or article reading or podcast listen (beforehand). Join us for our next social hour, set for Tuesday, January 19 at 5 p.m. Contact Frank DickRob Lee, or Shelby Smith for the invite!

Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month we’ll be highlighting our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Amanda Howard here.

Amanda HowardAmanda Howard
Student at Washington State University
Mechanical Engineering, May 2021

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2020 WCOS Wastewater Treatment Operator of the Year

Craig BudrowCraig Budrow is a WTP Operator III for the City of Salem’s Willow Lake Pollution Control Facility and holds an Oregon DEQ Wastewater Certification Grade IV.

Craig was nominated by the Plant Supervisory staff with supporting comments such as:

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Women of Water/Energy Recognition

Women Group

The Women of Water Summit is coming up next month, and the aquafficiency team is excited to hear from so many of our industry leaders! Of course, because we’re all about energy efficiency, we wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge and highlight some of the women who have done so much to help move the needle in wastewater facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Our sponsorship is in honor of the women listed below, whose knowledge, hard work, and support of making wastewater treatment more energy efficient have saved millions of kilowatt-hours (not to mention dollars!) over the years. In alphabetical order (because you can’t rank superstars), they are:

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Government Affairs Committee Jan Update

gov't updateIdaho DEQ is conducting a negotiated rulemaking for an Arsenic Water Quality Standard. Comments on the draft rule are due January 15th. 

The Washington State Department of Ecology will hold an informational meeting on EPA’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Temperature in the Columbia and Lower Snake Rivers on January 28, 2021. EPA published the temperature TMDL in May 2020 and held a 90-day public comment period this past summer. Ecology is responsible for writing Washington’s implementation plan for this TMDL. We would like to meet with interested stakeholders and tribes to introduce the Ecology team who will be working on implementation, give an update on what happened in 2020, and share what we are planning for early stages of implementation in 2021. This meeting is a preliminary, informational meeting. We plan to engage more formally with stakeholders and tribes when EPA reissues an updated TMDL.
Date: January 28, 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Registration: Please register at this link to attend via Webex.
Project webpage for future updates:

Washington Department of Ecology DRAFT PFAS Chemical Action Plan (CAP) - Ecology has extended the public comment period from January 4 to January 22. The draft CAP addresses source control, treatment, and other controls for ongoing and legacy contamination in ground, groundwater, and surface waters. Draft PFAS Chemical Action Plan - Washington State Department of Ecology.

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Students & Young Professionals Mentor Program

mentor program

The PNCWA Mentorship Program application is now open! This one-year program pairs seasoned clean water professionals with students and young professionals for a series of conversations and learning opportunities that challenge us, inspire us, and help us stay connected. It’s a great way to grow your career and your PNCWA network. If you’re an experienced professional interested in guiding the industry’s future leaders, or a student or young professional seeking advice from someone who has faced the same career questions, consider participating in 2021.

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Emerging Technologies Survey

Please complete this three-question survey to help the Emerging Technologies Committee identify programming topics for 2021. The committee aims to help PNCWA members identify and share novel technologies and industry practices  by promoting communications and learning opportunities through webinars, Digest articles, and conference programming. Please share your interests so we can focus on the issues most important to you.

Jeff Brown Receives Oregon Region Award

After months of rescheduling because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Mayor of the City of Pendleton, the Public Works Director, and the Oregon Region surprised Jeff Brown with the Oregon Region’s Excellence in Service Award. This is awarded to honor those who have given truly outstanding service in one or more of the following aspects of the water quality industry; providing leadership in the Section, Region, or Member Association, delivering conference teaching and operator training, including the development of training courses that advance the knowledge of water quality operators.

Jeff has served in the following leadership capacities:

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Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month we’ll be highlighting our participants and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program.

kyle-ledda-lewarenKyle Ledda-Lewaren
Student @ Oregon State University
Mechanical Engineering, June 2022

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Meet the Racial & Social Justice Subcommittee

Be the change... Ghandi

The Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Member Services Committee, which was established to ensure the growth of PNCWA by promoting and retaining membership and identifying opportunities to improve member services. Among its goals is to increase the diversity of PNCWA to make the membership more representative of the community at large.

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Water Resource Recovery Facility Spotlight – City of Gresham

City of Gresham Resource Recovery

The City of Gresham was recently awarded the 2020 PNCWA Excellence in Resource Recovery Award, which recognizes programs (nutrient, energy, water, or carbon recovery) that demonstrate outstanding performance in moving the concept of resource recovery forward in the Pacific Northwest region.

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2020 Award Winners

The Awards Committee highlights the achievements and dedication of the people in this industry. Each year, the committee relies on your nominations, and when the awards are given, we need your help in getting the word out to local media and stakeholders. These award recipients have done great work, which should be recognized outside of our association, especially since the benefits extend to everyone.

Click here to learn more about the 2020 award winners.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Dec 2020

You may have seen in the press recently that the U.S. House and Senate agreed upon a 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill. Unfortunately, this agreed-upon version dropped all the wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater provisions, as they couldn’t make the bill neutral with these provisions. It is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers only bill.

There were several workforce, stormwater, and resilience provisions in the House and Senate versions of the bill, as well as Clean Water SRF and Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) reauthorization. Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee staff said that in 2021, they plan to pick up where they left off and try to negotiate agreements on stand-alone Clean Water (wastewater & stormwater) and Drinking Water bills. Sen. Schumer's (D-NY) office re-affirmed that approach yesterday. They will either try to pass those bills early in 2021 or roll them into a major infrastructure package.

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