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Government Affairs Committee Update Jun 2021

gov't update

In Washington state, on May 17, 2021 Governor Inslee signed into law the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act (E2SSB5141) which will require state agencies including Department of Ecology to formally adopt environmental justice principles into their planning, budgeting, funding and regulatory processes. One example may be the attached Environmental Justice excerpt from the DRAFT WA General Biosolids Permit’s fact sheet.

The WA State Department of Ecology will release the draft Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit for public comment on June 16, 2021. See Ecology’s website for more information on the draft, its supporting documents, and July’s workshops and hearings. The comment period will close on August 2, 2021. Washington’s 2021-2023 capital budget (passed in April 2021) includes a $9 million proviso to help support optimization and planning requirements proposed in the draft permit. Ecology expects to release funding guidelines later this summer.

Oregon has a new aluminum standard effective April 19, 2021, more information here.

Oregon’s Wipes Labeling Bill Becomes Law. Oregon becomes the second state to require ‘Do Not Flush’ labeling. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed HB 2344 into law on June 8, making Oregon the nation’s second state to require “Do Not Flush” labeling on disposable wipes. The state of Washington enacted a similar requirement in 2020.

Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Union Troops arrived in Galveston, TX and ordered that all persons held as slaves were free and had absolute equality of their personal rights. This day has been celebrated by the Black communities for many years but has gained additional recognition recently due to increased attention on racial injustices.

The State of Washington recently announced it will make June 19 a legal state holiday for education, remembrance, and action. and All three states represented within PNCWA now officially recognize this holiday. As an industry that is focused on improving public health for all the communities we serve, we can use this time to practice active allyship by learning more about Juneteenth and working to support a just, equitable, and anti-racist society.

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PNCWA2021 Conference Update - May

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Spring has sprung in Boise, Idaho and, with it, growing excitement for PNCWA’s Annual Conference.

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Stormwater Learning Hour, June 17

Stormwater Learning Hour

Please join the Stormwater Committee for an informal learning hour on Thursday, June 17 at 12 PM PDT. Nitin Joshi, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs Manager at City of Salem, will present on the Pringle Creek Demolition and Stream Restoration project, which brought daylight to a stretch of Pringle Creek near its confluence with the Willamette River in Salem, Oregon near Riverfront Park. Since the 1980s, Salem has been working to reclaim its waterfront from a century of industrial use and to convert it to public open space and economic redevelopment. Nitin will discuss how the City tackled the technical and regulatory challenges associated with this project, which won an Award of Merit in 2020 from the Engineering News Record. Sign up now for this lunch-hour presentation with time for interaction and questions (no CEUs offered at this time).

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Water Resource Recovery Facility Spotlight – City of Sequim Water Reclamation Facility

Sequim WRF Waterfall

The City of Sequim Reclaimed Water Facility is a pioneer in the field of resource recovery with programs for both production of Reclaimed Water and Beneficial use of Biosolids. The plant, which is located on the North Olympic Peninsula, was originally constructed in 1966 as a conventional Secondary wastewater treatment plant with an outfall into the Strait of Juan De Fuca. In 1997, the treatment plant was upgraded to produce 100% of flow to Class “A” Reclaimed Water, and the Outfall was extended 1,900 feet into the Straits of Juan de Fuca. The plant was further expanded in 2010 to have a maximum month design flow of 1.67 MGD. As currently constructed, the plant consists of mechanical fine screening, influent flow measurement, grit removal, equalization basin (for daily and storm flows), aeration basins configured to perform biological nitrogen and biochemical oxygen demand removal, and secondary clarifiers. The secondary treated effluent is then coagulated and filtered either by anthracite coal media filters or a cloth media disk filter prior to UV disinfection.

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RSJ Subcommittee Newsletter - May 2021

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee spring newsletter contains links to podcasts and readings which focus on the recent awareness and attention on actions and biases toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, as well as the exposure of environmental justice issues at water utilities following the deep freeze in the southern U.S. The 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.

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

WEFMAX Hosted by PNCWA

On May 6, PNCWA hosted the Water Environment Federation Member Association Exchange (WEFMAX). WEFMAX serves as a symposium for WEF Member Associations from across North America to gather and share successes and lessons learned on how to best serve their members. Originally planned as an in-person gathering in Boise, this year’s WEFMAX events were hosted virtually.

More than 60 WEF members were in attendance. PNCWA President Haley Falconer provided opening remarks, along with WEF Vice President Ifetayo Venner (Florida Water Environment Association) and the WEF House of Delegates Speaker Nikita Lingenfelder (Nevada Water Environment Association). After opening remarks, PNCWA President-Elect Rob Lee and PNCWA WEF Delegate Casey Gish co-moderated three member association presentations. Haley kicked this off with a seminar on the PNCWA Summit Series and was followed by talks from the Rocky Mountain WEA and North Carolina AWWA-WEA on Operator Training Initiatives and Member Engagement, respectively.

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Member Spotlight: Brittany Burch

Brittany Burch

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in our newest section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee chair Brittany Park. For our next spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Brittany Burch. Take it away, Brittany.

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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 highlight our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Erin Lamb here.

Erin LambErin Lamb
Student at Portland State University
Civil Engineering, May 2022

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PNCWA Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications

We are pleased to announce that 2021 PNCWA Scholarship Applications are now being accepted. The application cycle is open until June 30, 2021. Submit an application online.

Scholarships Offered:
Daniel Keil Service for Water Legacy Scholarship
Environmental Stewardship Scholarship
Lucas Eibel Memorial Scholarship
The Education for Operators Scholarship
Pat Brown Memorial Scholarship




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PNCWA Seeks Leadership Nominations

Nominations are open for PNCWA Vice President and Treasurer-elect. PNCWA members may nominate qualified WEF members for both positions. Nominees must be WEF members in good standing and must have signified willingness to serve. WEF members may self-nominate.

The PNCWA Constitution & Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures Manual and Strategic Plan can be viewed at Governance and Records.

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Member Spotlight: Miaomiao Zhang

Miaomiao Zhang

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in our newest section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee chair Brittany Park. For our next spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Miaomiao Zhang. Take it away, Miaomiao.

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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 highlight our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Mary Martin here.

Mary MartinWhy are you excited to participate in the InFLOW Program?
I am looking forward to sharing resources with young engineers and helping each other build our professional skills.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Apr 2021

The latest COVID relief bill appropriated $350 billion in new Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, allowing for uses which specifically include making necessary investments in water and sewer infrastructure unrelated to COVID-19. (Section 9901)

Updated PNCWA Mission Statement

The PNCWA Board has worked together this year to review and update the organization’s mission statement. We want our mission statement to reflect who we are today and where we want to head in the future. This is a statement that will act as an anchor for members, committees, and supporting organizations.

The mission of the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) is to be the premier association in the Northwest dedicated to educating and connecting members to promote a healthy water environment in our region.

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Member Spotlight: Frank Dick

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in a new section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee chair Brittany Park. For this month’s spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Frank Dick of the City of Vancouver. Take it away, Frank.

Member Spotlight

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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 highlight our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Lesley Martinez here.

Lesley MartinezLesley Martinez
Civil Engineer I at Tetra Tech
B.S. Civil Engineering from University of Portland, May 2020

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Make Your Voice Heard!

US Capitol

WEF’s Water Advocates program empowers you to share your knowledge and expertise to inform government decision-makers about the importance of water. Two letter campaigns to congress are in progress now, and your support will increase awareness of these needs:

  • Increase Water Appropriations in FY 2022
  • Always Include Water in Infrastructure Packages

Committee Spotlight: Stormwater

Wildfires, Safety, and Water Quality: After the Smoke Clears
By Allison Lukens, EI, Mead & Hunt, Inc.

If you live in the Western part of the United States, chances are you were impacted by the historic wildfire season in 2020. A total of 10.27 million acres and nearly 59,000 fires burned last year, contributing to the largest annual wildfire acreage burned in the U.S. since 1960. Although it’s difficult to predict the precise time, location, and magnitude of wildfires, we need to accept that they are a possibility and do whatever we can to prepare for them. 
forest


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Summit Series Wrap-Up

The PNCWA Summit Series went out with a bang! Over the course of the six summits, PNCWA has delivered on its mission to provide professional development opportunities to its members, while raising much-needed funds. Most importantly, we have continued to stay connected through these challenging and uncertain times.
Summit Series

We have so many people to thank for the success of the Summit Series. We want to start by thanking our sponsors and you, the members of PNCWA, for your trust and support this year.

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