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Government Affairs Update - February 2024

Oregon

  • DEQ is asking for public comment on proposed rule amendments for the draft TMDL and Water Quality Management Plan for the Willamette Subbasins to address temperature impairments. DEQ will consider comments received by 4pm on Feb 23, 2024. A public hearing will be held Feb 16, 2024 at 9am. View the rulemaking page for more information.

  

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Government Affairs Update - January 2024

Federal

  • The House Appropriations Committee is proposing to eliminate funding for the Clean Water and Drink Water State Revolving Funds by more than half in the FY24 budget. It’s critical that your Senators and Representative hears from you about the need to maintain federal funding for critical local water infrastructure investments. Use WEF Water Advocates call-to-action to send a message today! 


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Government Affairs Update - December 2023

Federal

  • The House Appropriations Committee is proposing to eliminate funding for the Clean Water and Drink Water State Revolving Funds by more than half in the FY24 budget. It’s critical that your Senators and Representative hears from you about the need to maintain federal funding for critical local water infrastructure investments. Use WEF Water Advocates call-to-action to send a message today!

 

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Government Affairs Update - November 2023

Federal

  • The House Appropriations Committee is proposing to eliminate funding for the Clean Water and Drink Water State Revolving Funds by more than half in the FY24 budget. It’s critical that your Senators and Representative hears from you about the need to maintain federal funding for critical local water infrastructure investments. Use WEF Water Advocates call-to-action to send a message today!

Oregon:

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Government Affairs Update - September 2023

Federal:

The House Appropriations Committee is proposing to eliminate funding for the Clean Water and Drink Water State Revolving Funds by more than half in the FY24 budget. It’s critical that your Senators and Representative hears from you about the need to maintain federal funding for critical local water infrastructure investments. Use WEF Water Advocates call-to-action to send a message today!

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Government Affairs Update

In case you missed it! EPA has taken the following actions on PFAS in the last three months:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its framework for addressing new and new uses of per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The framework outlines EPA’s planned approach when reviewing new PFAS and new uses of PFAS to ensure that, before these chemicals are allowed to enter into commerce, EPA will undertake an extensive evaluation to ensure they pose no harm to human health and the environment. The framework supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to address the impacts of these forever chemicals and advance EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap to confront the human health and environmental risks of PFAS pollution.
  • EPA is seeking input on whether to propose to designate additional PFAS, including HFPO-DA, sometimes called GenX, and compounds that degrade in the environment by processes such as biodegradation, photolysis, and hydrolysis, to form certain PFAS. EPA is also seeking information on whether some PFAS compounds can or should be designated as a group or category. A Federal Register Notice has been published in the Federal Register at docket EPA-HQ-OLEM-2022-0922 and can be viewed on www.regulations.gov. The ANPRM will be open for a 60-day comment period through June 12, 2023.
  • In April 2023, EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) asking the public for input regarding potential future hazardous substance designations of PFAS under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. This request for input and information follows EPA’s September 2022 proposed rule to designate two PFASperfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and their salts and structural isomers as hazardous substances under CERCLA. Learn more about the advance notice.

Government Affairs Update

July 2023

Federal:

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National Water Policy Fly-In Recap

PNCWA Participates in Water Week 2023 by Sending 8 Members to Washington DC

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Government Affairs Committee Update

May 2023

Federal:

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Government Affairs Committee Update

Idaho

  • Updates to Idaho HHWQC for Arsenic:  The updates to Idaho’s human health criteria for arsenic were negotiated under Docket No. 58-0102-1801 and published as a proposed rule under Docket No. 58-0102-2201. The pending rule was adopted by the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality on May 26, 2022, and will be submitted to the Idaho Legislature for review during the 2023 legislative session. The pending rule includes the rule as initially proposed along with revisions in Subsections 210.01.b., Footnote k, and 210.03.e. and is available here. Once the pending rule is approved by the Idaho Legislature, DEQ will submit the rule to EPA for review.

Oregon

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Government Affairs Committee Update

Idaho: 

  • Updates to Idaho HHWQC for Arsenic: The updates to Idaho’s human health criteria for arsenic were negotiated under Docket No. 58-0102-1801 and published as a proposed rule under Docket No. 58-0102-2201. The pending rule was adopted by the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality on May 26, 2022, and will be submitted to the Idaho Legislature for review during the 2023 legislative session. The pending rule includes the rule as initially proposed along with revisions in Subsections 210.01.b., Footnote k, and 210.03.e. and is available here. Once the pending rule is approved by the Idaho Legislature, DEQ will submit the rule to EPA for review.

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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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Government Affairs Update January 2023

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Washington
The Washington Department of Transportation WSDOT has submitted Bill Request #Z-0618.3/23 to restrict the use of Motor Vehicles Funds (MVFs) for utility relocations during highways construction projects. This Bill Request will codify a State Supreme Court Decision from1961. The proposed changes to RCW 47.44.030 will prohibit the use of MVFs to relocate any conflicting facilities occupying any public right of way. This includes state, county, and city rights of way. This Bill Request will also amend RCW 36.55.060 and RCW 35A.47.040 to prohibit a county or city from issuing a franchise to a utility owner that has the effect of requiring WSDOT to pay for facility relocations.

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Government Affairs Update December 2022

gov't updateOregon
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is proposing amendments to its water quality standards to protect aquatic life in Oregon Administrative Rules OAR-340-041-0002 and OAR-340-041-0101 through OAR-340-041-0340. These rules update and clarify Oregon’s Aquatic Life Use Subcategory designations based on newly available data. DEQ will open the public comment period on the proposed rules in mid-November 2022 until January 6, 2023. DEQ will also hold a public hearing on the proposed rulemaking at 3 p.m. Pacific on Dec. 15, 2022 by webinar/teleconference. To receive updates on this rulemaking, sign up at GovDelivery.

PFAS
In case you missed it! The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken the following actions on PFAS in the last three months:

  • September 2022: The EPA is proposing to remove 12 chemicals identified as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the current list of inert ingredients approved for use in pesticide products to better protect human health and the environment. READ MORE.
  • October 2022: The EPA announced $748,180 in research grant funding to three institutions for research to improve understanding of how people are exposed to PFAS in several communities throughout the country. Funding was awarded to Silent Spring Institute (Newton, MA), Duke University (Durham, NC), and Emory University (Atlanta, GA). READ MORE.
  • November 2022: The EPA published the Final Fifth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5), which will serve as the basis for regulatory considerations over the next five years under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The update included substantial expansion of PFAS, an important first step towards identifying additional PFAS that may require regulation under SDWA. READ MORE.
  • The EPA released “A Year of Progress Under EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap,” a report that underscores key actions taken by the agency during the first year of implementing the PFAS Roadmap. “EPA continues to deliver on its promise to confront PFAS and protect the health of people and communities across the nation,” said Radhika Fox, Assistant Administrator for Water and Co-Chair of EPA’s Council on PFAS. “Today’s progress report highlights how much we have accomplished in the first year of implementing the PFAS Roadmap. The report also signals important actions the agency will take in the year to come, including our work to invest $10 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in solutions to protect communities from emerging contaminants like PFAS.” READ MORE.

Government Affairs Update November 2022

gov't updateIdaho WQS and IDPES Rules Update
DEQ held a virtual scoping meeting on October 19, 2022, before initiating a rulemaking for Water Quality Standards and the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program. All agencies are required to perform a critical and comprehensive review of their chapters’ rules to reduce the overall regulatory burden, streamline various provisions, and increase clarity and ease of use.

Fuel Tank Seismic Stability
Oregon DEQ is developing rules to make Oregon fuel storage tanks more seismically resilient. A rules advisory committee was formed and met for the first time in late October 2022 to discuss the new Fuel Tank Seismic Stability program. The program is applicable to facilities that can store more than 2 million gallons of fuel on site, specifically within Lane, Multnomah, and Columbia counties. The work is a result of SB 1567, which passed in 2022. DEQ will be developing the program in coordination with DOGAMI.

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Clean Water SRF & Funding Options Webinar

webinar

Please join the PNCWA Government Affairs Committee for a webinar on everyone’s favorite — clean water funding! Join us at 10 a.m. PST on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. Learn how to join on the day of below.

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Government Affairs Update August 2022

gov't updatePFAS, Biosolids, and Drinking Water
As the waste industry awaits new federal guidance, states are developing regulations and laws on how to manage PFAS in everything from packaging to clothing to biosolids. Learn more.

State governments have adopted new PFAS regulations, increasingly targeting contamination of biosolids and wastewater. Learn more.

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Government Affairs Committee Update July 2022

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Discharge Monitoring Report – Quality Assurance Study Program:
Major and selected minor permittees under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program are required to participate in the annual Discharge Monitoring Report – Quality Assurance (DMR-QA) study program. DMR-QA evaluates the analytical ability of the laboratories that perform self-monitoring analyses required by their NPDES permit.

If you’re required to participate in DMR-QA, you must report results for the analytes listed in your permit, provided that they are also included in the DMR-QA study analyte list. Not all of the analytes listed on your NPDES permit may be included in an individual DMR-QA study, and you may voluntarily report additional study analytes not listed in your permit.

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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.

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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