FRWA eNews
January 9, 2020
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Increased Security Threat
Recent Iran-U.S. tensions have the potential for retaliatory aggression against the U.S. and its global interests. Iran has exercised increasingly sophisticated capabilities to suppress social and political perspectives deemed dangerous to its regime and to target regional and international adversaries. Iran and its proxies and sympathizers have a history of leveraging cyber and physical tactics to pursue national interests, both regionally and here in the United States.

As the nation's risk advisor, the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) would like to share 
CISA Insights - Increased  Geopolitical Tensions and Threats document  directly with you to ensure you have the latest information. As appropriate, we will provide additional information and resources should our understanding of the risk change.


Focus on Change is one our most popular events featuring the latest in updates on state regulations.  The events are held thoughout the state so there are locations close to you.  If you would like to go ahead and reserve your spot now, click on the links below.

For a complete agenda, click here.  For more complete information, click here.
National News
PFAS Action Tops House Agenda in the New Year 
The House is expected to vote Thursday on HR 535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019. The House Rules Committee met yesterday to discuss the Floor debate requirements and considered over 40 amendments to the legislation.   more
House of Representatives to Vote on PFAS Water Legislation this Week HR 535 a bill that would require EPA to promulgate PFAS drinking water standards, is scheduled to be the first major legislation that the House will take up in 2020 (House Majority Leader). more

US Srike on Iranian Leader Sparks Fears of Major Cyber attack in US  Americans should be on heightened alert for cyber attacks after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two military bases in Iraq where US troops are stationed late Tuesday. more

Presidential Candidate Sanders Says He'll Enact National Drinking Water Standards for PFAS  Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that he would enact federal drinking water standards for a group of toxic chemicals that have caused widespread contamination in New Hampshire and other states. more

PBS and NPR Notice that President Trump is Focusing More on Environmental Issues  For years, Washington has seen a bipartisan push to change laws, regulations and incentives to make household appliances and goods more energy efficient. more
State News
Spill angers residents: People voice sewage concerns at meeting | Suwannee Democrat  Spill angers residents: People voice sewage concerns at meeting | Suwannee Democrat.  more

Bill On Sewage Spills Is Latest On Water Quality This Legislative Session | WMFE
State Sen. Joe Gruters and Rep. Randy Fine have introduced legislation that would increase fines on local government over sewage spills in Florida waterways.  more

Why do some water-related projects take so long? | Sanibel-Captiva Islander 
Not long after the 2018 outbreaks of blue-green algae and red tide subsided, newly-elected Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order that promised rapid improvement in the quality and quantity of Florida's water. more

Destin considers hiding power lines underground | Destin Log Destin ponders cost of placing utility lines underground  more

Joe Gruters, Randy Fine want 50% increases in fines for sewage spills | Florida Politics  A pair of lawmakers from opposite coasts again filed legislation raising fines on sewage spills, including from government-run utilities. But this year, state Sen. Joe Gruters and Rep. Randy Fine enjoy public support from Gov. Ron DeSantis.  more

A 3-decade-long water dispute heads to the Supreme Court | WITF  For three decades, Georgia and Florida have been battling over how to share a precious resource: water. more

City moves one step closer to water, sewer overhaul | Panama City News Herald  The city voted in October last year to assess its systems in order to develop reports that will be used to pursue governmental funding for the projects. more

Public Meetings to Discuss Valdosta Sewage Spill Jan. 8 | Valdosta Today  Citizens of the Valdosta community and members of the 12-county Florida Task Force will have an opportunity to discuss with city officials Valdosta's latest, and record-breaking, raw sewage spill which took place on December 3.  more

Strapped cities looking to sell sewer systems | Sentinel As cities across the U.S. struggle under the weight of ballooning pension costs, some are putting their public water and sewer systems on the auction block to come up with cash.  more

Santa Rosa, Gulf Breeze, Holley-Navarre Water System at 
impasse over future of wastewater disposal | Pensacola News Journal  With Santa Rosa County teetering on the brink of a treated wastewater disposal crisis as the county's population continues to surge..more 
This Week in Water History
MCHM Chemical Spill in West Virginia

Middle Tank was the source of the spill.

January 9, 2014: MCHM Chemical Spill in West Virginia. "Charleston, WV; January 9, 2014. 7:46AM. You're trying to get your children up, fix breakfast and get them ready for school. You stick your head out the door to see how cold it is, and a wave of something smelling like black licorice hits you. The Elk River below you seems fine, but that odor is rolling off the surface. None of the radio news stations are saying anything. Wait. You know where your water comes from-the Elk River. Is the drinking water safe? You call the water department to find out what's going on.

Sounding the Alarm: Do Not Use!

So began the day for 300,000 people in Charleston, West Virginia and in the surrounding nine counties. A tweet from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at 2:36 PM on January 9 previewed the 5:45 pm press conference where a Do Not Use order was issued by West Virginia American Water (WVAW) for all of the water in their service area. (A Do Not Use order is the most serious warning that can be given for drinking water. It means that tap water can only be used for flushing toilets and fighting fires.) At the press conference, the governor declared a state of emergency for the affected area.   more
For more articles on what went on this week in water history, click here
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