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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What Are Your End of Year Giving Plans?

Scholarships fundraising

As the end of the year approaches, now is a fantastic time to support the PNCWA Scholarship Program! Donations are tax deductible, and you would be supporting a great program.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Nov 2020

Want to stay updated on regulatory changes in the PNW but don't have time to track all the different agencies? You don't have to! The PNCWA Government Affairs Committee stays on top of issues and gives monthly updates in the PNCWA digest. Not signed up for the digest? We've got you covered. Sign up here. Here's the update for Sept 2020.

Washington State released a draft Chemical Action Plan for PFAS, click here.

The EPA released a draft Affordability Guidance document. Here is the notice.

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Meet Our InFLOW 2020-2021 Participants

Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water, or InFLOW, is a program that began through the Water Environment Federation (WEF) in 2018 and aims to enhance diversity and inclusion in the water workforce. We offer scholarship opportunities to engage underrepresented professionals in WEF programs, solidify their interest in working in the water sector, and increase the probability of long-term success in water.

PNCWA launched its own InFLOW program at the annual conference in 2019. When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee wondered what that meant for its program, the core of which was gathering participants at conferences and events to build community. The 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. Program chair, Brittany Downing, kicks things off in this month’s digest.

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President's Message Oct 2020

Flashback to PNCWA 2009: I was a grad student at Washington State (Go Cougs!) and attended my first PNCWA Conference in Boise. I was there to present my graduate research on phosphorus removal using biogenic iron oxides (a terrifying endeavor, but that’s a different story). Nutrient removal and management is as important as ever and continues to drive utility upgrades and operational challenges that many Pacific Northwest cities are facing. Because nutrients is such an important topic, PNCWA is hosting the Nutrients Summit on October 28 to provide members with high quality continuing education. I recommend you join us to connect with members and learn from leading experts.

While I am optimistic that we are going to have an outstanding year, I also want to share with you that it will not be easy. As a non-profit, volunteer board, we are working to provide education, stay connected to you, and build a resilient organization. Our members, supporting organizations, and commitment and enthusiasm to improve the world around us is what will make us successful this year and beyond. A huge thank you to our Summit Series sponsors who are supporting a new endeavor and incredible way for us to learn and connect. Because sponsors are as important now as pre-COVID, we are creating as much value as possible. If you have any input on how we can better serve you, please let me know.

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Brave Blue World Coming to Netflix

We are thrilled to announce that the Brave Blue World documentary that paints an optimistic picture of how humanity is adopting new technologies and innovations for a sustainable water future is coming to Netflix on October 21. WEF is a production partner for the film, which will now be available to an audience of 193 million worldwide Netflix subscribers and subtitled in 29 languages. The release is timed to coincide with Imagine A Day Without Water when attention is on the challenges and solutions for water.

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Leadership Corner Oct 2020

Leadership Committee member, Ana Arango, received this link of quotes from a friend and felt compelled to share with the group. This link contains some really interesting leadership quotes from renowned women leaders. She hopes that they provide inspiration for your next adventures.

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