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President’s Message February 2023

The PNCWA Board recently gathered in Tigard, Oregon, along with many of our Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs. It was great to see so many faces at our Board and Committee meetings! We had nearly 30 people join in-person, plus ten online. We are grateful to Clean Water Services for hosting us at the Durham Wastewater Treatment Facility. We spent the morning with each committee sharing their goals and objectives for the year. This led to more discussion in break-out groups about forming Communities of Practice that would enhance committee member’s engagement in meetings, activities, and other events.

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PNCWA2023 Conference Update

Submit Your Abstracts by March 8 for PNCWA2023!

 

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Stormwater Learning Hour

February Learning Hour 

Wednesday, February 22, 12 p.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Mountain 

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Stormwater Around the World, Part 1

Introduction 

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WAVE Program: Leading the Future of Water

New Year, New Name. Same Great Program. 

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Stockholm Junior Water Prize - PNCWA Communication and Outreach Committee

Prepared by Catherine Chertudi

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is the world's most prestigious award presented to a high school student for a water-research project. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has coordinated the U.S. competition since its inception in 1997, and partners closely with Member Associations (MAs) to execute the program. 

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The Utility Management Committee is Hitting Refresh!

The Utility Management Committee is relaunching and looking for folks who want to share knowledge and network to learn how your peers at other utilities do what we do.  We envision a collaborative space with monthly lunchtime meetings to discuss topics of interest and plan quarterly events or presentations from speakers about topics that interest our committee.   

What does “Utility Management” mean to you?  If you have interests, ideas, curiosities about how best the Utility Management Committee can help spread knowledge or just want to stay up to date on the Committee’s activities please contact Jessica Rinner at [email protected] or Yarrow Murphy at [email protected].

Racial Social Justice Subcommittee Goals

Last month we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday commemorating the legacy of Dr. King, one of the most influential changemakers in modern history. Dr. King’s influence withstands the test of time and continues to motivate change around the world (the Netherlands, Toronto and Ottawa, Canada and Hiroshima, Japan hold events or days dedicated to MLK). As the National Constitution Center states, “Today, the King holiday serves multiple purposes: It honors the total legacy of King; focuses on the issue of civil rights; highlights the use of nonviolence to promote change; and calls people into public service.” These purposes are integral to PNCWA’s dedication to the water industry. In 2020, PNCWA started the Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee to the Member Services Committee (MSC) to promote diversity and racial and social justice amongst membership.    

The subcommittee is pursuing 5 main goals. The goals and progress to date include: 

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Government Affairs Committee Participate in Water Week & Ask Your Representatives to Support the Water Sector!

Every year, water sector professionals from around the United States gather in Washington, DC and virtually to discuss important issues together and with our Federal lawmakers. Water Week 2023 will take place April 24-28. During this week, we come together to focus on national policy that impacts the water sector and how we can work together to make sure all communities have access to safe, reliable, and affordable clean water.  

The National Water Policy Fly-In is an important part of water week, presented by WEF, NACWA, WateReuse Association, AWWA, the Water Research Foundation and many others. During the fly-in, water sector professionals conduct meetings with lawmakers and/or their staff to discuss water policy positions and priorities for the year. Meetings can be held in person or virtually. A half-day summit is hosted in DC featuring speakers from Federal agencies and Congress and capped off with a networking reception.  

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Government Affairs Committee - MEMBER ALERT: PFAS Legislative & Regulatory Activity Continues to be a High Priority in 2023

The 2023 state legislative sessions are in full swing and PFAS is on the agenda in both Oregon and Washington. At the federal level, the EPA continue to progress along the PFAS Action Plan, publishing validated test methods, categorizing PFAS chemicals within existing regulatory programs, and progressing research to better characterize the presence of PFAS in our natural and built environments.  

PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a large, complex group of manufactured chemicals that are ingredients in various everyday products. Multiple health effects associated with PFAS exposure have been identified and are supported by scientific studies. Wastewater treatment facilities are not manufacturers or users of PFAS, rather they are receivers of these chemicals used by industry and everyday consumers. Legislators, regulators, and clean water agencies must work collaboratively to manage PFAS holistically, with science driving the decision-making.  

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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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PFAS Webinar Review

On January 19, the Sustainability and Biosolids Committee and the Government Affairs Committee hosted a webinar on Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), featuring Ms. Rashi Gupta (Carollo), Dr. Jason Conder (Geosyntec Consultants), and Mr. Frank Dick (City of Vancouver). The webinar addressed multiple topics including updates on the state-of-the-art of PFAS, current management practices, risk assessment, and legislation for PFAS in biosolids. Thank you to all our speakers for providing such important and timely information! If you missed the webinar, you can watch a recording of it here. 

Rashi addressed PFAS fundamentals sources, an update on the PFAS roadmap from the EPA, health advisory levels, current treatment technologies for biosolids, implications of PFAS presence in biosolids management, and recommendations for facilities to adapt to the rapidly changing regulations.  

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WEF Operator Scholarship

Receive up to $5,000 for operator training through WEF! 

WEF provides scholarships to individuals who are seeking water sector operator education, training, or certification to enter the industry or advance their knowledge, skills, abilities or license.  

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Wastewater Certification Test Prep

President's Message January 2023

lara kammereckHappy New Year!

I am excited about the many events we have planned in 2023, all to support our mission to be the premier association in the northwest dedicated to educating and connecting members to promote a healthy water environment in our region. Be sure to keep an eye on our digests for upcoming events!

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PFAS Webinar—Jan 19

The State of the Science, Regulations, and Approaches for PFAS in Wastewater
PFAS in wastewater and biosolids is a highly discussed and quickly evolving topic, and it can be difficult to keep up with new regulations and studies on its impact. The Sustainability, Resource Recovery, and Biosolids Committee and the Government Affairs Committee are hosting a joint webinar on January 19 from 1 - 3 p.m. PST about PFAS. We are excited to have Jason Condor (Geosyntec Consultants), Frank Dick (City of Vancouver), and Rashi Gupta and Cameron Clark (Carollo) present about potential upcoming wastewater and biosolids regulations related to PFAS, recent studies on the impact of PFAS and their correlation to regulations, and the latest science for evaluating risks associated with PFAS in biosolids. This webinar will provide 0.2 CEUs, pending approval.

The webinar is free to attend and open to everyone, but you must register to attend. Click this link to register now. We hope to see you there!

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Stormwater Learning Hour Jan. & Feb. 2023

Stormwater Learning Hour

Join the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour on Wednesday, January 25, 12 p.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Mountain. John Cook from Vigor will present on the Harbor Island restoration project, which will provide critical habitats for many species, including threatened and endangered salmon at the Harbor Island site on the Lower Duwamish River. Connect via Zoom here:

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Mentorship Program Now Accepting Applications

mentor program

The 2023 PNCWA mentorship program is open for applications! This program will pair mentors with protégés and provide a framework for regular mentorship meetings over a six-month period. Pairings are made based on results to this application survey. Meet someone new outside of your organization, field, or sector and grow in ways you may not have considered!

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Call for Content: WEF/IWA Innovations in Process Engineering Conference 2023

innovations

June 6 - 9, 2023 @ Hyatt Regency in Portland, OR

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Communications and Outreach Committee Update

On October 27, 2022, the Communications and Outreach Committee held its annual communications camp in Tigard, Oregon. The camp is a one-day specialty conference focused on communications skills. This year’s event was a big success, with 19 people in attendance and a mix of virtual and in-person presenters.

Presentations included these:

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