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President's Message May 2022

Rob LeeI’m writing this as I look out of my office window at the relentless rain we’re experiencing this spring (at least west of the Cascades). Yet I cannot help but marvel at what spring brings us: a reminder of new life. Flowers start to bud, trees bloom, birds return and sing to us in the mornings. And those relentless rains? They’re a reminder of the essential industry that we’re all in — protecting the critical waterways that are the backbone of our lives here in the Pacific Northwest.

I’m giddy with excitement for this new season. Our board met in person this past month as a mid-year check-in about the health and direction of PNCWA, and I’d love to share a few things with you all:

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PNCWA2022 Conference Update

spokane

Things are heating up in our conference planning committee corner, and we’re excited to share some updates with you.

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Stormwater Learning Hour May 2022

Join the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour on Tuesday, May 24 at 12 p.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Mountain. Eric Cox with Brown and Caldwell will be joined by technical experts from Activated Wetlands to discuss Biological Treatment for Emerging Stormwater Contaminants. Connect via Zoom here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88313483166
Meeting ID: 883 1348 3166
Passcode: Stormwater

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Scholarship Application Deadline Extended Until June 21

scholarships

The time is now for applications to 2022 PNCWA Scholarships. The application cycle is open until June 21, 2022. Share this link with students, professors, young professionals, and colleagues that are studying or work in the water environment field.

Committee Spotlight: Stormwater

stormwater

Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Does it need to be green?
By Kari Nichols, PE, Mead & Hunt

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RS&J Subcommittee Newsletter - May 2022

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee May newsletter contains links to resources on Asian Americans Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month. The goal of the newsletter is to highlight diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and collect multimedia resources and book recommendations to advance learning and awareness of history, perspective, and action for environmental, racial, economic, and social justice.

The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e., essays, books, podcasts, etc.); membership organization RSJ/DEI programming (i.e., agencies, consulting firms); projects with RSJ elements; and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick at [email protected] with your ideas and suggestions.

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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