FRWA eNews
September 13 , 2019
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Florida Rural Water Association
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Tallahassee FL 32309
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FRWA Receives NRWA
Outstanding Achievement in Member Services Award
The Florida Rural Water Association received the 2019 National Rural Water Association's Outstanding Achievement in Member Services during the annual Tribute to Excellence awards ceremony, held on September 10th at the WaterPro Conference in Nashville Tennessee.  FRWA was selected from Rural Water Associations nationwide for this annual award.

The award recognized FRWA for the variety of services we offer our over 2,000 members.  These services enable FRWA to have a 97% retention rate. Services that include onsite technical assistance and over 580 pieces worth $2.75 million dollars in assistance equipment.  New services that have been added in the last year include development and deployment of the ReV plan, construction of a new classroom, new programs including a postition for vulnerability assessments, and a SRF project liaison to protect systems from unexpected costs, and more engineers. FRWA has also developed videos to keep our members informed on the services we offer and emergency response.

We would like to thank you, our members for your support and service ideas throughout the years.  It is through your membership dues and support that we can continue to offer these services.
NRWA President's Award Presented to
Alicia Keeter
South Walton Utilities

Alicia Keeter, South Walton Utilities pictured above with Kent Watson (left), NRWA President, and Matt Holmes (right) NRWA Deputy CEO,  was awarded the President's Award at the annual Tribute to Excellence awards ceremony, held on September 10th at the WaterPro Conference in Nashville Tennessee.

This award was given to Alicia for her efforts in assisting water and wastewater systems in the wake of Hurricane Michael as an incident commander.  Thank you to Alicia and South Walton Utilities for providing water utility leadership.
USDA to Provide $150 Million
to Help Rural Communities Affected by Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2019 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce Lammers today announced that USDA is making $150 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters.

"As the one-year approaches of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael that destroyed multiple areas throughout the State of Florida, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long term. The USDA/Rural Development is committed to aid all individuals whose lives have been affected. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives," Philip L. Leary, Florida State Director said. "Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA stands with the Nation's rural communities in their long-term recovery following natural disasters."   more
National News
EPA, U.S. Army Repeal 2015 Rule Defining "Waters of the United States" Ending Regulatory Patchwork At an event in Washington, D.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Department of the Army Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James announced that the agencies are repealing a 2015 rule that impermissibly expanded the definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act.  more

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on EPA WOTUS Announcement U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today praised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for taking another step to fulfill President Trump's pledge to repeal and replace the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.  more

POTWs' Legal Uncertainty Drives Fear Over PFAS Superfund Designation  As Congress weighs defense authorization legislation that would designate perfluorinated chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund law, wastewater utilities are opposing the language, fearing it would impose significant liability due to the presence of the chemicals in the biosolids they generate.   more

Industry Battle Brews Over Calls For Narrow PFAS Liability Waivers  Chemical manufacturers and other industrial waste generators are signaling they plan to fight efforts by water utilities, airport operators and other groups that are seeking narrow, sector-specific waivers from cleanup liability should policymakers list per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as "hazardous substances" under the Superfund law.  more
State News
Budget set, PSJ commissioners seek grant funding | The Star  While conducting the first hearing on the upcoming budget, Port St. Joe commissioners also sought alternative funding on several fronts. more

St. Pete Beach plans fee increases for wastewater, reclaimed water | Tampa Bay Times The city plans a 7 percent increase in its wastewater service fee and a 20 percent increase in reclaimed water user fees.  more

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability The Florida Division of Emergency Management (the Division) is pleased to announce the availability of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds as a result of the recent

Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Michael (FEMA 4399-DR-FL) The Florida Division of Emergency Management (the Division) is pleased to announce the
availability of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds as a result of the recent Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Michael (FEMA 4399-DR-FL). more

Funding Septic to Sewer Conversion Projects Join representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the St. Johns Water Management District to learn about available septic to sewer funding.  more

Gov. Ron DeSantis announces recurring funding to Everglades restoration, increase in DEP fines | Naples Daily News Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he is going to ask the state Legislature to provide yearly funding for Everglades restoration and increase Department of Environmental Protection fines for wastewater violations. more

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants tougher fines for sewage spills. Is it because of St. Petersburg? | Tampa Bay Times The governor says corporate and municipal polluters should pay more for their environmental crimes. more

Brevard anxious as Congress weighs fire foam chemical risks | Florida Today As Congress mulls what to do about a group of cancer-causing chemicals most associated with fire-fighting foams, local activists wait and worry. more 

Boil water advisory issued after water main break on Beach Boulevard | News4 Jax A boil water advisory was issued Wednesday night by JEA after a water main break that occurred earlier in the day on Beach Boulevard at Suni Pines Drive. more

Court ruling on use of Amendment 1 revenues means 'reliable' funding for EAA reservoir | TCPalm A court ruling on the use of Amendment 1 money seen as a defeat for environmentalists is good news for the reservoir being built to curb harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. more

'Flushable' wipes aren't flushable, and they're causing thousands of dollars in damage | ABC Action News Pinellas County leaders are sounding the alarm over a problem costing all us of hundreds of thousands of dollars - "flushable" wipes. more

Court backs lawmakers in conservation fight | Florida Politics In a blow to environmental groups, an appeals court Monday overturned a circuit judge's ruling that said state lawmakers improperly diverted money that flowed from a 2014 constitutional amendment designed to boost land and water conservation.  more

How Well Did South Florida Respond To Hurricane Dorian? | WLRN  Hurricane Dorian spared South Florida from the worst of the winds, rain and storm surge. There were no mass evacuations. Power outages were few. But there was plenty of anxiety.  more

Utility Rate Increase For Tampa Residents In The Pipeline | WUSF Tampa City Council members voted Thursday night in favor of the city's largest infrastructure project yet: a $2.9 billion overhaul of the city's aging water and sewer systems. more   
This Week in Water History
Drinking Water Security

September 11, 2001:  The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, D.C. catapulted drinking water securityto the forefront. In 2002, the U.S. Congress enacted the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act. With respect to water supplies, this legislation amended the Safe Drinking Water Act and specified actions that community water systems and the EPA must take to improve the security of the nation's drinking-water infrastructure. Vulnerability Assessments were conducted at hundreds of drinking water installations across the U.S.

For more articles on what went on this week in water history, click here
Florida Rural Water Association | |
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309