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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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President’s Message March 2022

rob lee

I recently came across a quote “Everyone has the gift of time, but few utilize.” Incredibly, we’re already a quarter of the way through 2022. Time truly flies by! Yet when I pause and look around the Association, I am amazed by the countless people giving the gift of their time to help our industry grow and our communities overcome their water challenges.

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Stormwater Learning Hour March 2022

Stormwater Learning Hour

Join the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour on Thursday, March 31 at 1 p.m. PST/2 p.m. MST. Jadene Stensland and Robert Emanuel from Clean Water Services will present on the Butternut Creek Enhancement Project. The project is a comprehensive stream enhancement and stormwater management effort located in an unincorporated community in Washington County, OR. Taking a unique approach of using the urban stream corridor enhancement to managing stormwater runoff from a roadway widening project to deliver mutual benefits of water quality treatment and integrated stormwater management. Connect via Zoom Meeting:

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PNCWA Seeks Leadership Nominations

board

The Board of Directors includes the following positions: President, President-Elect, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Past President, Association Young Professional Representative, two WEF Directors, and four Regional Directors. The PNCWA Nominating Committee is accepting nominations for the positions of Vice President, PNCWA WEF Director, Secretary, and YP Representative.

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Conference Committee Update

Conference Spokane

On behalf of the PNCWA board and the conference planning committee, we want to thank everyone who submitted an abstract for PNCWA 2022. We received over 200 submissions -- setting the stage for a robust technical program!

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Government Affairs Committee Update Mar 2022

gov't updateOregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) accepted the City of Ashland Water Quality Trading Plan as meeting the current intent of the Water Quality Trading Rule and objectives as set forth in OAR 340-039-0025. This project is primarily funded by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Clean Water State Revolving Fund. On September 4, 2018, the Ashland City Council awarded this contract to The Freshwater Trust.

Washington State Legislature removed the municipal fee cap for domestic wastewater utilities (SB 5585). Removing the fee cap will allow the state to increase staffing to reduce/remove the expired permit backlog. 

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Committee Spotlight: Stormwater

What the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Means for the Pacific Northwest Water Industry
By Shannon Kronz, EIT, Civil Engineer, Brown and Caldwell

The United States Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure package (HR 3684) on November 5, 2021. The Infrastructure package allocates $1.2 trillion towards new research, grant programs, and U.S. infrastructure modernization and allocates $55 billion to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure funding.

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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, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Geneva Schlepp here.

GenGeneva Schlepp
Washington State University

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President’s Message February 2022

Rob Lee새해 복 많이 받으세요! In Korean, this phrase means, “Please receive many new year’s blessings.”

Whether you celebrate the start of the new year (per the lunar calendar) or cannot believe we’re already in the second month of the solar calendar, my hope is that each and every person reading this heads into 2022 with many blessings to come.

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Apply to Become a Mentor or Mentee By Feb. 28

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 to challenge and inspire us and to help us stay connected. It’s a great way to grow your career as well as 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 the 2022 program.

For more information, visit our webpage.

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Last Tech Spotlight Before the March 2 Emerging Technologies Webinar

emerging tech webinar

In recent newsletters, the Emerging Technologies Committee has highlighted topics to be covered in the upcoming CEU-eligible webinar, “Advances in Collection to Recovery: Tech Highlights from the 2021 PNCWA Annual Conference.” The final two topics are summarized below, and the committee encourages PNCWA members and non-members alike to grab a lunch or midday coffee and join this innovation-packed webinar at 12 p.m. PST on Wednesday, March 2.

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Stormwater Learning Hour February 2022

Stormwater Learning Hour

Join the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour tomorrow, Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. PST. Matt Knudsen and Stephanie Rosentrater from Marion County Public Works will present on the environmental impacts to County property and right-of-way caused by the 2020 Beachie Creek Fire, which devastated many communities in the Santiam Canyon, destroyed thousands of properties, and severely altered the landscape. 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 Feb 2022

gov't updateOn January 31, 2022, the White House released a comprehensive guidebook on the funding programs in the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the bipartisan infrastructure package.

“This guidebook is another step in our effort to be as transparent as possible, so you know what to apply for, who to contact, and how to get ready to rebuild,” according to Mitch Landrieu, White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator. “After all, most of the building will actually be done by state, Tribal, and local government partners.”

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Water Resource Recovery Facility Spotlight - City of Coeur d’Alene’s Coeur d’Green Composting Facility

Resource Recovery in Action: City of Coeur d’Alene’s Coeur d’GreenTM Composting Facility turns municipal biosolids into nutrient-rich soil amendment.


The City of Coeur d’Alene has been a pioneer in the wastewater treatment industry since 1939, when it’s 10,000 residents passed a bond to build one of the first secondary wastewater treatment plants in the Northwest (for a whopping $140,000!). Then, in 1989, the City again demonstrated its pioneering efforts in resource recovery with the construction of a composting facility that converts biosolids from the City’s wastewater treatment facility into a high-quality soil amendment using the aerated static pile composting method. The Class A Exceptional Quality product has been affectionately coined Coeur d’GreenTM compost and is unrestricted for horticultural uses. Since 1989, the composting facility has gone through many upgrades to improve operations and the quality of the end product, including covered wood chip storage, added bays for aerated curing, and upgraded conveying, mixing, and screening equipment. Figure 1 below is a schematic of the current composting process.

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