NEWSROOM

Welcome to ASDWA’s Newsroom. Below you’ll find all of ASDWA’s published content in a single feed. You can use the filters provided in the sidebar to narrow down content by category [SDWIS Prime, Source Water, etc]. All of this content is also available in our daily and weekly newsletters, the ASDWA Update. Read on to learn more about subscribing to the ASDWA Update

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WRF Publishes Water Utility Partnerships: Resource Guide and Toolbox

November 15, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

The Water Research Foundation recently published its Water Utility Partnerships: Resource Guide and Toolbox. This Guide assists professionals in the water sector identify utility partnerships or collaborative opportunities between multiple utilities. The Guide covers issues with evaluating potential utility collaboration by providing a framework that utilities can use during the decision process of  developing a partnership. The framework takes water professionals through a step process in three phases to successfully utilize a partnership: research, evaluation, and finalization.

This Resource Guide gives tips for engaging multiple team members, such as decision makers, utility managers and staff, local elected officials, and community leaders to create a successful partnership. Additional resources and white papers exploring utility partnerships can also be found in this Guide. Click here for more information.


The Water Laboratory Alliance Celebrates 10 Years of Water Sector Preparedness

November 15, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines, Security     

This week EPA hosted its 6th Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) Security Summit. The Summit this year celebrated 10 years of collaboration and water sector preparedness. This year’s Summit was held in Region 4 in Atlanta and brought in drinking water utilities, state and local laboratories, and the emergency response, public information and first responder communities from across the country.

The first day of the Summit gave hands-on training through a table top exercise focused around responding to a contamination event during a natural disaster. Participants used EPA tools, such as the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT), to aid in response.

The second day of the Summit gave participants a chance to hear from a panel of State Laboratories on contaminants of emerging concern, hurricanes, and general lessons learned to enhance preparedness. PFAS and HABs were frequently mentioned as some of the biggest contaminant concerns for the Region 4 states on the panel. The key takeaway message of the Summit and panel was the importance of networking and communication prior to a contamination event or natural disaster to improve preparedness.


EPA Hosts Water Sector Joint Meeting

November 14, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines, Security     

On Thursday, 11/14, EPA hosted a meeting a water sector joint meeting that was attended by representatives of federal agencies, water and wastewater systems, and water and wastewater associations. The morning’s discussions focused on water security preparedness, covering the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the appropriate Emergency Support Functions (ESFs). The afternoon’s discussions focused on a variety of topics, including cybersecurity and EPA’s implementation of the new Risk and Resiliency Assessment and Emergency Response Plan (ERP) requirements from America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA).


Proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions Published in Federal Register

November 13, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

The proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) were published in today’s (11/13) Federal Register. Comments are due to EPA by January 13, 2020, and can be submitted at regulations.gov. ASDWA encourages primacy agencies (and other stakeholders) to submit their own comments to EPA, in addition to ASDWA’s comments. ASDWA, and possibly some other drinking water stakeholders, are planning to request a 30-day extension to the comment period due the complexity of the proposed revisions and potential impacts to primacy agencies from implementing the LCRR in the future.

Also in today’s (11/13) Federal Register is a notice of a meeting of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) on December 4-5 at EPA in Washington, D.C. The NDWAC will be briefed on EPA’s drinking water program for fiscal year 2020 and will consult on the proposed perchlorate rule and the proposed LCRR.


WRF Webcast on Optimizing Land Conservation and Water Supply Benefits

November 11, 2019      Source Water     

On Tuesday, November 26th, from 3:00 – 4:30 pm (eastern time), the Water Research Foundation (WRF) will host a webcast with the Catawba Water Management Group, consisting of 18 public water utilities and an energy provider in North Carolina and South Carolina. Webcast presenters will share ways to cost effectively mitigate potential changes in water quality caused by population growth and climate change through targeted land conservation efforts and discuss WRF’s new report, Quantifying the Potential Benefit of Land Conservation on Water Supply to Optimize Return on Investments. REGISTER HERE.


ASDWA Submits Comments to EPA on Freshwater HABs and Hypoxia Events of National Significance

November 11, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines, Source Water     

ASDWA submitted comments to the EPA Docket on its “Notice of Intent to Develop a Policy on the Determination of a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Hypoxia as an Event of National Significance in Freshwater Systems.” EPA requested these comments in accordance with the 2017 Amendments to the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act (HABHRCA). The HABHRCA authorizes (but has not yet appropriated) $20,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 for Inter-agency Task Force actions to address both freshwater HABs and marine and coastal water hypoxia events with EPA and NOAA. EPA is taking the lead and requested comment for addressing freshwater HAB events and NOAA is taking the lead and requested comment for addressing marine and coastal water HAB or hypoxia events – of national significance. Freshwater events of national significance are to be determined by the EPA Administrator and can be requested by a state Governor. Once determined, the EPA Administrator would be authorized to make “sums available to the affected state or local government” for the purposes of assessing and mitigating the detrimental environmental, economic, subsistence use, and public health effects. Read ASDWA’s comments that offer recommendations to EPA for assessing these impacts and for making determinations of events.


Connecticut PFAS Task Force Submits Final Action Plan to Governor

November 8, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

On November 4th, the Connecticut PFAS Task Force submitted its Final Action Plan to Governor Ned Lamont. The Governor established the PFAS Task Force in July 2019, which is led by the Department of Public Health and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and includes representatives from many other state agencies. The PFAS Task Force’s Final Action Plan includes input from stakeholders and provides recommendations to address PFAS compounds throughout the state. The recommendations include:

  • Minimize Connecticut residents’ PFAS exposure by testing drinking water for PFAS and considering other exposure pathways;
  • Establish a Safe Drinking Water Advisory Council to make recommendations for developing PFAS drinking water regulations;
  • Minimize future releases of PFAS to the environment from firefighting foam and other significant sources;
  • Identify, assess, and clean up historical releases of PFAS to the environment;
  • Enhance education, outreach, and communication on PFAS; and
  • Develop potential legislation to establish an AFFF take-back program, ban firefighting training with AFFF, require bottled water testing, and require manufacturers to disclose PFAS content.

For more information, read the Governor’s press release and Final Action Plan.


New Videos Highlight Connections Between Forestry and Source Water Protection

November 7, 2019      Source Water     

The Texas A&M Forest Service, with support from US Forest Service and the Southeastern Partnership for Forests and Water, has produced seven short videos to educate a wide audience (including water utilities, forestry and land conservation professionals, and the public) about the important connection between forests and drinking water. The videos also highlight the critical work utilities and forest landowners do to ensure safe, reliable drinking water and healthy forest landscapes.

State drinking water programs may want to consider sharing these videos: with their water utilities and on websites; through social media and television; during presentations at conferences, webinars, and trainings; and at schools to recruit forestry and drinking professionals. View the seven videos here.


NASEM Reviews Recent Monograph on Fluoride Exposure

November 6, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines     

Today, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) held a peer review of a recently prepared draft monograph by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, entitled “Systematic Review of Fluoride Exposure and Neurodevelopmental and Cognitive Health Effects.” The monograph extends a previous 2016 review by adding human epidemiological studies and including new animal evidence to identify hazard conclusions associated with fluoride and neurodevelopmental effects.

The draft monograph found that fluoride can be presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans. The study does note that these findings were based on higher levels of fluoride exposure, and when assessing studies with exposure levels similar to those found in drinking water in the United States (0.03 to 1.5 ppm), cognitive neurodevelopment effects are inconsistent. The finalization date of the draft monograph is not yet clear. For more information on this draft monograph or the peer review click here.


New AWWA and FEMA Water Resource Typing Guidance

November 5, 2019      Drinking Water Headlines, Security     

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have released the new Water Sector Resource Typing Guidance, finalizing 26 resource typing teams. This guidance replaces the 2008 AWWA Water/Wastewater Mutual Aid and Resource Typing Manual, and will be integrated into FEMA’s Resource Typing Library Tool. The guidance facilitates the development of resource types for water utility personnel, teams and equipment, and assists utilities with preparation of their risk and resilience assessments and emergency response plan updates for America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) through resource typing.


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