CONFLUENCE NEWS | APRIL 24, 2020
MID-YEAR CONFERENCE GOING VIRTUAL. After overcoming our initial disappointment regarding the Woodlands Resort’s cancellation of the contract for TWCA’s Mid-Year conference, we are excited about the opportunity to provide a completely virtual conference to our members early this summer. Please keep your calendars blocked for June 17-19! This three-day event will be available at a much lower price point to members ($150), as we are hoping to reach all members and provide an opportunity for greater engagement for a wide range of attendees. 

Speaker sessions will tentatively include discussions related to COVID-19 and our membership, state flood response, a case law update, attorney ethics, and more. Registration and Sponsorship options will be open in early May. For more information, visit our Mid-Year Conference page.
The Latest News & COVID-19 Resources
NAVIGABLE WATERS PROTECTION RULE (WOTUS) FINALIZED EFFECTIVE JUNE 22. After a years-long revision process, EPA published the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which defines which Waters of the United States (WOTUS) are subject to requirements of the Clean Water Act, in the Federal Register on April 21, meaning the finalized rule will be effective in June. See EPA’s announcement here.

RELATED NEWS. The U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in  Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund  this week, holding that the Clean Water Act can apply to discharges that travel through groundwater before reaching navigable waters, but limited the standard previously adopted by the 9th Circuit.
RULING ON PUBLIC COMMENT AT OPEN MEETINGS. The Attorney General issued a ruling this week regarding public comment at an open meeting, providing that a governmental entity can hold one public comment period at the beginning of an open meeting to address all agenda items (rather than having to hold public comments during discussion of each individual agenda item). Regarding whether an entity can limit the total amount of time given to an individual to address all agenda items in their public comments, the ruling held that any cap on the amount of time must be reasonable and based on consideration of a number of factors, including the number of agenda items and their complexity.
FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE GUIDANCE. Bickerstaff, Health, Delgado Acosta offers TWCA members a quick guide to the reimbursement process for federal public assistance funds. Entities may be able to obtain reimbursements for expenses caused by COVID-19, such as increased labor costs, use of an entity’s vehicles or equipment, purchase of supplies, emergency operations center expenses, disinfection/sterilization of public facilities, use of specialized medical equipment, or other costs. See a summary of the reimbursement process here.
Board & Membership News
In Case You Missed It - NTMWD's Tom Kula to Retire. North Texas Municipal Water District Executive Director and General Manager Tom Kula plans to retire from the district at the end of the month. Tom lead NTMWD for six years and currently serves on the TWCA Board of Directors. He previously served for 32 years in the U.S. Army and reached the rank of Brigadier General. View the full announcement here .
Helpful Information
FIND TWCA COMMENTS/LEGAL BRIEFS. Check out our website . All of TWCA’s recent formal comments, amicus briefs, and position papers are on our website under the Policy and Legislation tab.
COVID-19. TWCA has sent multiple updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be sending more frequent updates to ensure important information is getting to you in a timely way. See what we have sent out related to COVID-19 here.
Membership Dues: Don't forget to renew so you can utilize all of your TWCA benefits. Renew here.

Standing Committees: Sign up!
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