Volume 08|August 2020
Ohio Water Resources Center Newsletter
From Our Directors
An anonymous peer review process for both research manuscripts and grant applications is an often undervalued cornerstone of the scientific process. The Ohio WRC relies on reviewers to evaluate proposals in the annual RFP process of the Water Resources Research Institutes 104b and 104g programs. The success of the peer review process depends on the willingness of qualified reviewers to share their time and expertise. This week we are convening a national panel of experts via Zoom to evaluate 70 proposals submitted to the 104g program.

Evaluation by peer reviewers is an important input in our decision to recommend funding or declination of a proposal. Moreover, it helps us make wise investments in water resources research. The success of the peer review process depends on the willingness of qualified reviewers to share their time and expertise generously. For our 104b program, we solicit these reviews from respected water resources expertise from across the state. Their experience and up-to-date knowledge enable them to judge the merits of proposals as well as provide constructive feedback to proposers that strengthen their projects.

There are many benefits to participating in the review of grant applications. By participating, reviewers gain insight into the review process of the particular funding agency. For example, a reviewer may learn about the expectations of the funder which may be helpful in submitting proposals in future funding cycles. Some reviewers report that they are exposed to new ideas during the process that can help them later to formulate research hypotheses. Additionally, reading other researchers’ proposals may be helpful in learning first-hand aspects of a weaker and/or stronger proposal which lead to improvement in proposal writing skills. 

The Ohio WRC invites qualified reviewers to assist with external peer reviews of proposals submitted to USGS 104(b) and 104(g) programs. We limit the number of requests that we make to any individual, recognizing the many demands on one’s time. We welcome you to learn more about our Center, our review process, and opportunities to be a part of our review process.
 
If you are interested in or want to get the experience being a reviewer, or want to recommend a colleague, please drop us an email at OhioWRC@osu.edu. On behalf of Ohio WRC and the USGS 104 program, we thank you for your help.
Spotlight
Development of Ohio Low-Pressure Membrane Filtration Design Criteria
Ohio EPA uses the Ten State Standards (TSS) Recommended Standards for Water Works to grant Plan Approval for capital improvement projects for public water systems (PWSs). In addition to TSS, a series of guidelines were created over 20+ years to allow Plan Approval for emerging technologies, or those which are not addressed in the TSS Recommended Standards. These guidelines typically require a bench-, pilot-, or full-scale demonstration study for Plan Approval. This method of approval creates a barrier to installation of emerging technologies that is greater for small systems than for comparable large systems due to the increased relative costs of equipment rental, shipment, PWS labor, design professional labor and analytical labor for the demonstration study. With design criteria, Plan Approval for these technologies would no longer require a demonstration study but will instead allow Plan Approval according to the same process used for TSS conventional technologies. The differences in these requirements are shown in Figure 1.

The Ohio Water Resources Center at The Ohio State University formed a partnership with Ohio EPA and the Ohio AWWA Technology Committee to create a framework for developing design criteria for emerging technologies that would allow them to be adopted for use by Ohio EPA as a supplement to TSS. With this framework, we developed design criteria for Low-Pressure Membrane (LPM) filtration, an established treatment technology with over 280 U.S. installations. These design criteria are currently being reviewed by Ohio EPA for adoption. Once adopted, they will allow a PWS to gain Ohio EPA Plan Approval for surface water LPM filtration without the currently required pilot-scale demonstration study.
Figure 1: Comparison of requirements for Ohio EPA Plan Approval of emerging technologies with a demonstration study and conventional technologies with Ten State Standards design criteria
If you have any questions, feel free to email OhioWRC@osu.edu.
From Our USGS Partner
Integrated Water Science Basin Selection Kicks Off New Era of Water-Resource Assessments
The USGS has identified 36 major river basins—2 in each of 18 regions of the conterminous U.S.—as finalists for intensive study by new USGS Water Resources Mission Area programs. From the finalists, 10 will be selected to be an Integrated Water Science (IWS) Basin. The 36 basins selected as finalists were the highest ranked among 163 basins considered, based on a numerical ranking approach that considered three major criteria: natural hydrologic setting, anthropogenic stresses, and water-resource “importance.” The 36 basins represent the range in natural hydrologic settings for the conterminous U.S. and, within each region, are basins with high levels of water-resource stresses.

The next step in IWS Basin selection will be to obtain stakeholder input from within the USGS and from other Federal agencies, State and local environmental management agencies, and non-governmental organizations with interests in water resources. Ten IWS Basins are planned for intensive monitored by the Next Generation Water Observing Systems Program and are anticipated to be the focus of regional assessment and modeling by the Integrated Water Availability Assessments, Integrated Water Prediction, and other Water Resources Mission Area programs. Final selection of IWS Basins will be made by Water Resources Mission Area management.
News Updates
Have a news article you'd like us to feature in our Newsletter? Email us at OhioWRC@osu.edu!
Opportunities
Ohio EPA Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program
WRRSP Nominations for funding in Program Year 2021 or 2022 will be accepted August 1 – 28, 2020. The WRRSP Unit is implementing a new pre-nomination procedure that will include a requirement for implementers to submit a Pre-Nomination Site Review Request Form. WRRSP staff will conduct a desktop review of the site based on the form. Upon completion of our desktop review, we will coordinate a conference call or video conference to discuss the project.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Conservation Partners Request for Proposals
The Conservation Partners Program provides vital grant funding to support organizations that provide staff and technical assistance to private landowners in order to maximize the benefits of Farm Bill programs on working lands. Approximately $500,000 in competitive grant funding is expected to be available through this funding opportunity. Proposals are due by August 11, 2020. Visit here for details.
NOAA-OAR-CPO-2021-2006389: Climate Program Office FY2021
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is focused on providing the essential and highest quality environmental information vital to our Nation’s safety, prosperity and resilience. Toward this goal, the agency conducts and supports weather and climate research, oceanic and atmospheric observations, modeling, information management, assessments, interdisciplinary decision-support research, outreach, education, and partnership development. Please submit your LOI/Pre-App before August 17, 2020. For more details, visit the website.
ROSES 2020: New (Early Career) Investigator Program in Earth Science
The New (Early Career) Investigator Program (NIP) in Earth science is designed to support outstanding scientific research and career development of scientists and engineers at the early stage of their professional careers. The program welcomes innovative research initiatives and seeks to cultivate diverse scientific leadership in Earth system science. The Earth Science Division (ESD) places particular emphasis on the investigators' ability to promote and increase the use of space-based remote sensing through the proposed research. Proposals with objectives connected to needs identified in most recent Decadal Survey Thriving on our Changing Planet: A Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space are welcomed. Notices of Intent are requested by August 18, 2020 and proposals are due by September 15, 2020. More information here.
WMAO Student Scholarship
The scholarship offers opportunities to student members and the relatives of members of the Water Management Association of Ohio (WMAO). The deadline of application has been extended to September 1, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Award amount is $1000. More information on eligibility criteria.
EPA-R5-GL2020-FMSP: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Request for Applications
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative ("GLRI" or "Initiative") builds on the prior efforts of federal, state, and local agencies; Indian tribes; businesses; public interest groups; interested citizens; and others to develop a collaborative and comprehensive approach to restoring the Great Lakes. This RFA is expected to result in the award of one cooperative agreement (hereafter collectively referred to as "grants") to help implement the GLRI. Submission deadline: September 21, 2020.
Stockholm Water Prize
The Stockholm Water Prize honors individuals, organizations and institutions whose work contributes to the conservation and protection of water resources, and to the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. All who have made extraordinary water-related achievements are eligible. Call for nominations for the 2021 Stockholm Water Prize will be open March 24 until September 30, 2020. More information.
To find more resources offered by Ohio WRC, please visit: https://wrc.osu.edu/resources
Policy Update
NOAA's National Ocean Service: Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast
NOAA has issued a new Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) forecast analysis for blooms of the cyanobacteria Microcystis. Forecast analysis includes bloom position information, satellite imagery analysis, and the potential for vertical mixing & transport throughout the bloom's season (July - October). Click here for more information.
“Ohio River Basin” Amendment to the House Infrastructure Bill
An amendment was proposed by Congressman Lamb (PA) for the House of Representative infrastructure bill (H.R. 2) that is entitled: “Subtitle E: Ohio River Basin.” The amendment states, “In this subtitle, the term ''Ohio River Basin’’ means the Ohio River Basin as identified in the Corps of Engineers’ study titled ‘‘Ohio River Basin-Formulating Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation Strategies through Regional Collaboration with the ORB Alliance’’ (May 2017)." This is believed to be the first mention of the Ohio River Basin Alliance in proposed federal legislation. There is much in this amendment that is supportive of the Ohio River Basin-wide strategy, we do encourage you to let your legislators know your position. 
Ohio EPA 2021 Drinking Water Assistance Fund PMP Finalized
Ohio EPA is pleased to announce the Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) 2021 Program Management Plan (PMP) is now finalized. The DWAF provides financial and technical assistance to projects that improve the quality of Ohio's drinking water. Click here for more details.
Ohio EPA Early Stakeholder Outreach: Water Quality Standards Program Variances Rule
This rulemaking includes one rule in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-1 which covers variances from water quality standards for point sources. Click the Web link for the complete fact sheet describing this notice. Comments are due by 5:00 PM, August 31, 2020 to dsw_rulecomments@epa.ohio.gov.
Ohio EPA Public Notice: Proposed Rulemaking Governing Laboratory Certification Rules
The purpose of this rule making is to include the following changes: Allowing laboratories to obtain either Ohio EPA laboratory certification, certification by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) by accepting NELAP certification, or other acceptable certifying authorities; Updating the Ohio EPA Laboratory Manual for the Microbiological Analyses of Public Drinking Water and the Ohio EPA Laboratory Manual for the Chemical Analyses of Public Drinking Water, both of which are incorporated by reference in the rules; Updating recordkeeping and reporting requirements; Clarifying language; Correcting minor spelling and grammatical errors and outdated references in manuals and rules. Ohio EPA will be holding a virtual public hearing on the rules on September 2, 2020 at 10:30 am. Written comments can be emailed to Emma Brown, DDAGW at the ddagw_rulecomments@epa.ohio.gov before the public hearing. The virtual hearing may be accessed here
Ohio EPA Multi-Watershed Bacteria TMDL Project Draft Loading Analysis Plan (2020)
Ohio EPA is addressing recreation impairment in multiple watersheds throughout the state via a single Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report for bacteria. The Agency is releasing the loading analysis plan (LAP) for the multi-watershed bacteria TMDL project for review and comment and will accept feedback on any aspect of the plan. A loading analysis plan is the third step in the TMDL development process and lists actions to be taken by the Agency for sampling sites found to be impaired for a beneficial use designation. Comments are due by 5:00 p.m. on September 2, 2020, to EPATMDL@epa.ohio.gov. More information.
Ohio EPA Public Notice: Proposed Rulemaking Governing Primary Drinking Water Standard Rule
This rule establishes organic chemical monitoring requirements. The purpose of this rule making is to set forth in rule a triggered approach to diagnosing the best treatment options for consecutive systems who have elevated Disinfection byproduct (DBP) levels. Ohio EPA will be holding a virtual public hearing on the rules on September 3rd at 10:30 am. All comments received at the virtual hearing or via email by close of business on September 3rd will be considered by Ohio EPA prior to final action on this rulemaking proposal. See details here.
Upcoming Events
OSWA Workshop - MS4 Boot Camp Training
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 • 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Kalahari Indoor Waterpark, 7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, OH
This training will provide all the information and tools your Community needs to manage a successful MS4 program compliant with the latest Ohio stormwater general permit. Ohio EPA will provide insight on the NPDES program and existing successful MS4 communities will share their perspectives on the “must know” and “what’s new” program elements. The session will culminate with a panel question and answer session, where you may ask all your program questions and receive program-experienced answers. Click here to register.
TCWP Webinar Series & 2020 OH Stormwater Conference
The 2020 OH Stormwater Conference, typically held in May of every year has been moved to August 26-28, 2020 due to COVID-19. The conference will provide updates on environmental issues, new technologies, regulatory information and pollution prevention. If you have questions or need more information, please email Kate Chapel at kchapel@tinkerscreekwatershed.org. Register here.
Ohio Sea Grant Webinar - Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science Conference
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 • 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
State of the Science Virtual Conference has been moved online this year. Research and outreach leaders will highlight current scientific knowledge related to algal blooms, present findings from recent studies and identify important areas of uncertainty. The conference is free to attend, but registration is required to receive log-in information for the WebEx event. Registration closes September 1, 2020. Click here to register.
Ohio Rivers 2020 Symposium
Friday, September 11, 2020 • 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
ODOT Central Auditorium, 1980 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH
Presented by ODNR Division of Natural Areas & Preserves Scenic Rivers Program, Ohio Scenic Rivers Association and the Water Management Association of Ohio, this event brings together people who share an interest in Ohio’s rivers. Watershed professionals, naturalists, community members and all others who would like to learn and connect with other river advocates should attend. For more registration info, click here.
Ohio EPA’s Virtual Compliance Assistance Conference 2020
September 21- October 8, 2020
There’s no need to travel – sit back, relax and enjoy a front row seat while we bring the experts to you. Although our methods may have changed, Ohio EPA remains committed to assisting businesses, communities and environmental professionals with their environmental compliance needs. Our FREE 2020 Virtual Compliance Assistance Conference will provide daily interactive sessions focused on compliance with air, waste, and water regulations, strategically and conveniently spaced over three consecutive weeks. More information.
OAWWA Virtual Education Summit
The Ohio Section AWWA is pleased to announce the Virtual Education Summit on Sept. 28 - Oct. 2, 2020. During this education-focused week, join us for live webinars to earn contact hours and expand your knowledge on topics relevant to the drinking water industry. More information.
2020 ORBCRE Symposium & ORBA Summit
You’re invited to the 36th Ohio River Consortium for Research and Education Symposium & 10th Ohio River Basin Alliance Summit September 30 - October 2, 2020. To be hosted by the University of Louisville. For further information, to submit an abstract, or to register, visit here. Online registration closes September 1, 2020.
49th Annual WMAO Conference and Symposium
November 2-5, 2020 Columbus, Ohio
The 49th WMAO Conference will be held remotely this year due to Covid-19. Sessions will extend throughout four consecutive days during the week of November 2nd. Abstracts are sought for 20-minute oral presentations or as a poster. More information.
WEF Conference - Residuals and Biosolids Conference 2021
May 11-14, 2021 Columbus, Ohio
Save the date for the 2021 Residuals and Biosolids Conference and plan to experience a robust program highlighting continued advances in the wastewater residuals and biosolids sector. Potential speakers are invited to submit an abstract for podium presentation, workshop, virtual presentation, or exhibitor mobile session. Click here for details.
Have an event you'd like us to feature in our Newsletter? Email us at OhioWRC@osu.edu!
Email: OhioWRC@osu.edu
Phone: 614-292-2807
Website: https://wrc.osu.edu/
Address: 311 Hitchcock Hall
2070 Neil Avenue 
Columbus, OH 43210