Posts in Water Quality.
WEBINAR: Flood or Drought? A Discussion of the Election’s Potential Legislative Impacts on the Water Sector

President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump could mean big changes for federal treatment of issues affecting water service providers, as well as how such issues are addressed in California, where Governor Newsom will presumably now have an ally in the White House. At both the state and federal levels, legislators are still working to address the impact of COVID-19 on public health and the economy, while pursuing existing policy goals that may have been put on hold due to the challenges created by the pandemic.

To navigate these new changes, please join us on December 3, 2020 ...

Executive Order on Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure

On October 13, 2020, President Trump issued the Executive Order (EO) on Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure. The goal of the EO is to streamline the management of federal water policy and make coordination among agencies managing water infrastructure more efficient. The EO established a Water Subcabinet of agency officials to coordinate water strategy and planning. The composition of the Water Subcabinet is outlined in the EO, and according to a press release from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ...

Happy Water Professionals Appreciation Week!

California’s fourth annual Water Professionals Appreciation Week kicks off on October 3rd, highlighting the important role of water industry professionals and local public water agencies in ensuring safe and reliable water, wastewater and recycled water operations in California. Now more than ever, we appreciate the dedication of our highly trained operators, technicians and other specialists in the water sector.

Water Professionals Appreciation Week was established in 2017 by Senate Concurrent Resolution 80, by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa). Recent labor studies estimate ...

Nossaman is a proud supporter of the American Water Works Association's Water For People Virtual Gala & Auction. The event will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. PT. Virtual doors open at 5:00 p.m. PT. In partnership with Pacific Auction Company, the Water for People California Committees are excited to hold their first Virtual Gala & Auction. You can RSVP for the event here.

The live auction will feature fabulous local getaways, specialty wine, and other great surprises! Attendance is free, though you must register to participate! Breakout afterparty rooms will follow the gala event. There is also a Silent Auction open from September 25 to October 1. Net proceeds of this event benefit Water For People’s mission in promoting the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all. Water for People is a 501(c)(3) organization. For additional information please visit waterforpeople.org

PFAS: Updates on the Regulatory Landscape

Please join me as I moderate “PFAS: Updates on the Regulatory Landscape” on July 29th, from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PT, during the 2020 Summer Virtual Conference, hosted by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).

Participants will come away from this session with important information about...

Posted in Water Quality
Water Board Adopts Final Definition of Microplastics in Drinking Water

This week, on June 16, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) unanimously adopted a definition for microplastics, making California the first state to adopt a definition specifically applied to drinking water (footnotes omitted):

‘Microplastics in Drinking Water’ are defined as solid polymeric materials to which chemical additives or other substances may have been added, which are particles which have at least three dimensions that are greater than 1nm and less than 5,000 micrometers (µm). Polymers that are derived in nature that have not been chemically modified (other than by hydrolysis) are excluded.

The final definition is much the same as the proposed version that was issued in March 2020 for public comment, key differences being that ...

Developments in Regulating PFAS in Water

Recently, I participated in the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) Master Class, PFAS: From Common Use to Concern. My fellow panelists and I discussed “PFAS in Water,” which included a discussion of the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS contaminated waters, as well as the best approaches to regulate, establish and enforce cleanups and safe drinking water standards.  I was privileged to serve on this panel along with Chris Curran, Water Business Line PFAS Lead, AECOM; Rula Deeb, Ph.D., Senior Principal, Geosyntec Consultants; and Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice. Some of the main take-aways from our presentation included ...

UPCOMING WEBINAR: PFAS in Water

Please join me on May 5, 2020, when I will participate in a webinar panel discussion, "PFAS in Water," hosted by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). As the second presentation during the ELI Master Class, PFAS: From Common Use to Concern, our  panel will dive into the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS contaminated waters. We will also tackle the best approaches to regulate, establish and enforce cleanups and safe drinking water standards. Additionally, our group of experienced water sector practitioners will explore the federal and regional regulatory ...

Recent Report Forecasts Economic Hardships for Water Utilities Nationwide

As California businesses remain closed and residents stay at home under shelter-in-place orders, water utilities are at the frontlines ensuring continued access to safe drinking water. Still, it seems that no industry is immune to COVID-19’s economic impacts. A recent analysis prepared for the American Water Works Association and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies estimates that revenue shortfalls for the water industry could result in a $32.7 billion reduction in nation-wide economic activity, with significant impacts on private sector jobs and investment in ...

WEBINAR: Keeping Current on COVID-19 Challenges for the Water Industry

Please join our Water Industry Team on April 16, 2020 for “Keeping Current on COVID-19 Challenges for the Water Industry,” a special presentation as part of our 2020 Water Webinar Series. 

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted business operations in virtually every business sector, and the water industry is no exception. We are mindful of how strenuous it is for our clients to navigate these turbulent times as they continue to provide critical services to our communities and adapt quickly to new emergency orders ...

Keeping Current on COVID-19 Challenges for the Water Industry

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted business operations in virtually every business sector, and the water industry is no exception.  We are mindful of how strenuous it is for our clients to navigate these turbulent times as they continue to provide critical services to our communities and adapt quickly to new emergency orders.

We have received a number of questions and concerns from clients on how the current pandemic affects the water industry, and what to expect going forward. We will be hosting a webinar on April 16, 2020 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. PT to address some of the latest updates on these issues and to help answer questions. Please click here to register.

In the meantime, the following summarizes some of the key issues facing water industry professionals, which we will address also in more detail during the webinar ...

EPA Announces Temporary Policy Suspending Enforcement of Certain Environmental Compliance Obligations During Coronavirus Pandemic

On March 26, 2020, EPA announced a temporary enforcement discretion policy to excuse violations of environmental laws in specified circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic. EPA has stated that as of Friday, April 3, it has not issued any waivers for "essential critical infrastructure" that cannot comply with environmental enforcement during the novel coronavirus pandemic. More information on what could be considered “critical infrastructure” during the pandemic is available here. Nossaman continues to follow developments regarding EPA’s ...

DOJ-ENRD Issues Policy Memorandum Ending Use of SEPs in Environmental Settlements

On March 12, 2020, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ-ENRD”) issued a policy memorandum formally ending the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (“SEPs”) in civil settlement agreements negotiated by DOJ-ENRD. SEPs are an enforcement mechanism that have been used by EPA and DOJ-ENRD to allow settling parties to agree to perform environmentally beneficial projects in exchange for lowered or even waived monetary penalties. Typically, SEPs are ...

Water Board Issues Draft Definition of Microplastics in Drinking Water

The California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) recently issued a draft Definition of Microplastics in Drinking Water and an accompanying staff report. The State Water Board will host a video/teleconference workshop on the draft definition on April 7, 2020 and written comments will be accepted until April 24, 2020. Here is the draft definition ...

March 22 is World Water Day!

World Water Day is an annual United Nations international observance day that highlights the importance of freshwater.  The U.N. chooses a theme for the day each year, and for 2020 the theme is “Water and Climate Change." The goal of World Water Day is to inspire people around the world to learn more about water-related issues and to take action to make a difference. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an additional focus on hand washing and hygiene.  World Water Day is celebrated around the world through political, artistic, and educational events, as well as ...

EPA Report:  Coronavirus & Drinking Water and Wastewater

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released guidance on the coronavirus and the U.S. drinking and wastewater systems.  According to the EPA, “Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.”  The EPA also continues coordinating with federal partners ...

EPA Takes Key Step Toward Regulation of PFAS
On March 10, 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed Preliminary Regulatory Determinations for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water, thereby taking the initial steps to formally regulate two of the most common chemicals in the family of compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. EPA will seek comment on these preliminary determinations until May 11, 2020.
 
This announcement represents EPA’s preliminary determination that PFOA and PFOS meet the statutory criteria for regulation ...
Posted in Water Quality
State Water Board Imposes Stricter Response Levels for PFOA and PFOS

On February 6, 2020, the California State Water Resources Control Board lowered the response levels (RLs) for perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), two of the most common compounds in the family of chemicals known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The new RLs are set at 10 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 40 ppt for PFOS, down from the previous RL of 70 ppt for the combined concentration of the two compounds.

This Board action follows the new regulatory requirements in California for PFAS that became effective on January 1, 2020 ...

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California Water Views provides timely and insightful updates on the water sector in the state. We relay information on how water legislation and policy from the nation’s capital, Sacramento, and around the U.S. affect California’s water utilities, agencies, practitioners, and consumers.  We also write about important events, conferences, legal cases, and other key happenings involving all things water in and around California.

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