Highlights from ASDWA’s Member Meeting on March 25-27

ASDWA held a successful Member Meeting on March 25-27 in Old Town Alexandria, with over 150 people in attendance including 61 staff from 42 states. The Meeting kicked off on Monday, March 25th with presentations by ASDWA’s President, Mark Mayer from South Dakota, on states’ priorities, followed by EPA presentations that detailed some of the Agency’s implementation activities on the drinking water mandates in America’s Water Infrastructure Act. A lively discussion followed on what might happen in the new Congress (how does anybody make a good guess?). The afternoon’s presentations and discussions started with lessons learned in getting the lead out and corrosion control in Flint, Detroit, and other cities in the U.S. and Canada. The lead discussions were followed by presentations and discussions on how states are working through the challenges of emerging contaminants and how state environmental associations can partner to make some progress on these challenges. Monday ended with updates on ASDWA’s current efforts to make progress on Legionella, a significant challenge in building plumbing.

Tuesday, March 26th was the State-EPA Roundtable, and started with an Early Bird session on working towards EPA’s new Strategic Breakthrough Measure of reducing non-compliance by 25% by 2022 – another significant challenge. The Early Bird was followed by presentations and discussions by the Directors from the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW) and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance (OECA). States then talked about their challenges in developing complete distribution systems inventories – the starting point for replacing all the lead services lines in a community. EPA presented its latest plan for development and implementation of SDWIS Prime, which is a significant collaborative effort between EPA, states, and ASDWA staff. A working lunch focused on the new states’ resource needs report – trying to get a realistic estimate of the funding gaps across the country between current funding and what’s really needed to run a robust state drinking water program. The afternoon concluded with presentations and discussions on emerging contaminants, workforce and partnerships and water reuse. EPA is facilitating the development of a Water Reuse Action Plan in collaboration with other federal agencies, states, tribes, and water sector stakeholders.

Wednesday, March 27th was the States-Only Roundtable and the use of polling software was successfully used by all in attendance to develop a list of 2019 priorities. These priority issues fed into the ASDWA Board’s discussions the afternoon of March 27th and the morning of March 28th.