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ASDWA Releases Cost of State Transactions Study for Proposed PFAS Regulation

ASDWA recently finished development of its PFAS CoSTS (PCoSTS) model, an adaptation of the Cost of State Transactions Study (CoSTS) developed for the Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCRR). PCoSTS estimates the additional burden for primacy agencies associated with the recent proposed PFAS regulation.

PCoSTS estimates the primacy agency staff time required for the first year of rule implementation, which includes one-time activities such as regulatory start-up and review and approval of water system treatment plans, will be 1,039,750 hours. At the state and local hourly government employee rate of $57.60 based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the first year of implementation will cost primacy agencies $59,889,624.

PCoSTS also estimates the primacy agency staff time that will be required in subsequent years for annual regulatory activities, such as reporting, compliance, and technical assistance. Following the first year of implementation, ASDWA estimates the proposed rule will require 325,850 hours of staff time at a cost of $18,768,960 annually. Combining the cost of the first year of implementation with four subsequent years of annual rule requirements (for a total of 2,343,150 staff hours), ASDWA’s model estimates that the proposed NPDWR will increase primacy agency staff hours by roughly 469,000 hours annually in its first five years of implementation, translating to an annual cost of approximately $27 million.

May 25, 2023

Federal/State Colorado River Agreement will Address Water Shortages through 2026

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and seven states (California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico) have agreed on an approach to address historically low water levels in the Colorado River Basin from severe drought conditions and climate change. The river basin provides drinking water to 40 million people, generates power for millions of homes and businesses, and irrigates approximately 5.5 million acres of farmland. The agreement includes commitments by three states in the lower river basin to temporarily use less water through 2026 and a commitment by the federal government to pay approximately $1.2 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funding to irrigation districts, cities, and tribes to reduce water usage. The Biden Administration gave states until May 30 to commit to water usage reductions and negotiated with them to reach an agreement. The states have also agreed to reduce additional water usage necessary to sustain adequate water levels in the river into the future. For more information, read the DOI press release.

ASDWA Submits FY24 Senate Appropriations Testimony

On Wednesday, May 24, ASDWA submitted FY24 appropriations testimony (below) to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, & Related Agencies for EPA funding. ASDWA recommended that all Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) be funded without cutting funding for the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) capitalization grants. SRF capitalization grant reductions are negatively impacting drinking water programs. ASDWA recommended funding the SRFs to the full authorization of $3 billion each.

ASDWA also recommended an immediate increase of $85 million for the Public Water Supply Supervision (PWSS) Program, over and above the funding gap identified in the ASDWA’s 2020 Resource Needs Report. The $85 million in immediate additional funding is from the 2024 convergence of the deadlines for the initial lead service line inventories under the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR), the final Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI), the final regulation for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), the final Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Rule Revisions, and the inclusion of cybersecurity in sanitary surveys.

FY2024_Senate Appropriations Testimony Final 05242023

May 24, 2023

June 14 SWC Webinar on NRCS Watershed Programs to Protect Drinking Water

On June 14, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm (eastern time), the Source Water Collaborative’s (SWC) Conservation Programs and Forested Lands Subgroup is hosting a webinar to share information about two current opportunities to advance source water protection through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). These two separate NRCS programs each provide opportunities for state drinking water programs to work your state NRCS office to help direct conservation program financial and technical assistance to producers in watersheds important to protecting drinking water sources. NWQI has an added benefit in its ability to provide funding for both planning and implementation.

  1. Nominating Watersheds for the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI): The NRCS anticipates releasing the FY2024 NWQI Bulletin to nominate watersheds in advance of the webinar date. Through NWQI, NRCS prioritizes funding for producers to implement practices in the selected watersheds to protect water quality and quantity, including surface and ground water drinking water sources. For more information, visit the NRCS NWQI website.
  2. Refining and Updating NRCS Priority Source Water Protection Areas: On May 5, 2023, NRCS issued its new Bulletin on “Refining Source Water Protection Local Priorities for FY 2024.”  For more information, please see the May 15 SWC Highlightand NRCS’s Source Water Protection website.

 Webinar Agenda: The webinar agenda will include presentations and an opportunity to ask questions as well as share successes and challenges.

  • Moderator
    • Sylvia Malm, Ground Water Protection Council
  • Speakers:
    • John Bullough, NWQI and MRBI Coordinator, NRCS
    • Claire Tachella, EQIP Program Manager, NRCS-Oregon
    • Maureen Pepper, State Water Quality Specialist, NRCS-Idaho


ASDWA Comments and EPA Proposed Rules for Power Plant Discharges and Residuals

On May 24, ASDWA submitted comments on EPA’s proposed power plant discharge rule, “Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards: Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category.” The comments support EPA’s action under the Clean Water Act that establishes a zero-discharge limitation for all pollutants in bottom ash (BA) transport water and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater. This limitation will effectively restrict discharges of bromide and other harmful chemicals such as selenium, mercury, arsenic, nickel, chloride, and iodide, nutrient pollution, and total dissolved solids from entering our nation’s waterways and drinking water sources. For legacy wastewater, ASDWA’s comments recommend that the final rule transfer the proposed zero-discharge limitations for FGD wastewater and largely support more stringent limitations for all legacy wastewater contained in surface impoundments used for coal ash disposal sites. ASDWA comments also recommend that the final rule require permitting authorities to carefully consider all contaminants in legacy wastewater, along with the proximity and vulnerability of both surface and groundwater sources of drinking water, as part of the coordinated implementation process with the Coal Combustion Residuals Disposal Rule under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). For more information, visit Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-9025 at and read ASDWA’s comments here.

On May 18, EPA proposed another rule under RCRA, “Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) From Electric Utilities; Legacy CCR Surface Impoundments.” This proposed rule would require owners and operators of legacy CCR surface impoundments to comply with all existing requirements applicable to inactive CCR surface impoundments at active facilities, except for the location restrictions and liner design criteria. As part of this action, EPA is also proposing to establish groundwater monitoring, corrective action, closure, and post closure care requirements for all sites where CCR was disposed of or managed on land outside of regulated units at CCR facilities. This is intended to address legacy CCR surface impoundment and CCR management units that are not currently regulated at the federal level and pose risks to groundwater and drinking water. For more information, visit the EPA website and read the Federal Register Notice.

EPA Proposes Amendments to Regulations for Reviewing New Chemicals Under TSCA

On May 16, EPA announced the release of the pre-publication of a new proposed rule to amend the new chemicals procedural regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These amendments are intended to align the regulatory text for new chemical review with the amendments to TSCA contained in the 2016 Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, enacted on June 22, 2016. EPA intends the proposal to improve the efficiency of EPA’s review processes. The proposal includes “amendments that would reduce the need to redo all or part of the risk assessment by improving information initially submitted in new chemicals notices, which should also help reduce the length of time that new chemicals notices are under review.”

The Agency’s proposal also eliminates eligibility for exemptions from the full safety review process for new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals. Once published in the federal register, the public will have 60 days to provide comments.

May 19, 2023

EPA Announces Recipients of $25.7 Million Grant Funding for Technical Assistance to Help Rural Communities Access Clean Water

On May 18, EPA announced the recipients of $25.7 million in grant funding for water technical assistance providers. This funding is intended to support efforts to help small and rural communities supply safe drinking water and protective wastewater treatment.

Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) is anticipated to receive:

  • $14 million to provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, including improving financial and managerial capacity.
  • $1 million to work with small publicly owned wastewater and on-site/decentralized wastewater systems to improve water quality.
  • $2.7 million to work with private well owners to help improve water quality.

National Rural Water Association (NRWA) is anticipated to receive:

  • $8 million to provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, including improving financial and managerial capacity.

RCAP and NRWA will offer technical assistance to small public water systems that will include circuit-rider and multi-state regional technical assistance programs, training and site visits, and training or technical assistance to diagnose and troubleshoot system operational and compliance-related problems and identify solutions.

EPA Publishes New WIFIA Resources

EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program has published new resources that highlight the program’s successes in implementing critical water infrastructure projects:

Additionally, EPA has adjusted the WIFIA application process to select borrowers on an ongoing basis. The Agency has stated that this change will “[help] borrowers plan their projects on their own timeline and accelerate investments in critical local water infrastructure.” Since making the change, the program has selected 30 new projects to apply for WIFIA loans. The Agency expects more to come over the remainder of the year. More information on the most recent project selections is on the WIFIA website.


This week, ASDWA published its 2022 Year in Review. Our latest Year in Review highlights our 2022 activities on regulatory initiatives, like the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions and Lead and Copper Rule Improvements, while preparing for ongoing Bipartisan Infrastructure Law activities and future regulatory efforts for PFAS.

Our Year in Review can be accessed at the link above or by scrolling to the bottom of the ASDWA homepage.

May 12, 2023

NRCS Bulletin on Refining FY24 Source Water Protection Local Priorities

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has released its new national bulletin on “Refining Source Water Protection Local Priorities for FY 2024.” The purpose of the bulletin is to provide an opportunity for NRCS State Conservationists to work with partners (including state source water protection programs) to update the high priority source water protection (SWP) areas in each state. This bulletin is issued each year to refine the areas and continue to implement the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill that requires NRCS to dedicate at least 10 percent of its conservation program funds for source water protection.

State source water protection programs are encouraged to contact and continue working with your NRCS State Conservationists office and State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) and/or the source water protection subgroup of the STAC (if there is one in your state), to provide input on revising the high priority areas for FY24. This allows NRCS to provide increased payment rates and assistance to incentivize landowners to implement practices in these areas that protect drinking water quality and quantity. The due date for this process to be completed is September 30, 2023.

For more information, visit the NRCS Source Water Protection website to see the national map of FY23 high priority source water protection areas and read the NRCS bulletin here.

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