Volume 09|September 2020
Ohio Water Resources Center Newsletter
From Our Directors
The Ohio Water Resources Center (Ohio WRC) is happy to introduce two new members to our team - MacKenzie Hull and Molly Durst.

MacKenzie Hull is an MSc student in the Environmental Science Graduate Program (ESGP) at the Ohio State University. MacKenzie’s research interests include building efficiency and sustainability, renewable energy, natural resource management, and environmental policy. He will be responsible for creating the Center's newsletters, managing the Center's social media platform and performing other administrative tasks. 

Molly Durst is the Student Communication Assistant at the Ohio WRC. She is an undergraduate student with a background in graphic and web design who is currently studying New Media Communications. She will be responsible for creating written content for report summaries and for the Ohio WRC website, producing content for Ohio WRC social media, and other creative tasks. 

With the help of these amazing students, we are excited to continue to roll out initiatives identified in our strategic plan.
State Works with U.S. EPA and Ohio WRC to Test Wastewater Treatment Plants for SARS-CoV-2 RNA Fragments
The Ohio WRC is coordinating with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Ohio EPA, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati on a wastewater study to monitor trends and changes of COVID-19 in communities. The study includes sampling from several of Ohio’s municipal sewage and wastewater treatment systems to determine the presence of coronavirus ribonucleic acid (RNA) fragments.

Sampling is currently being conducted in partnership with a number of wastewater utilities in some of Ohio’s largest and medium-sized municipal areas. It is anticipated that additional municipalities, including small community systems, will participate in the research. While the project is being led by the Ohio WRC, analysis of the samples involves other researchers at OSU as well as those at Ohio academic institutions, including the University of Toledo, University of Akron, Kent State University, and Bowling Green State University.

Virus RNA fragments are present in the feces of those who are both symptomatic and asymptomatic for COVID-19. Through this research initiative, data from samples gathered in sewage collection systems’ raw wastewater may provide an early warning of disease occurrence in a community. Emerging science at both the national and international level suggests that the virus in infected individuals can be detected in wastewater about 3 to 7 days before there are increases in clinical cases and/or hospitalizations. This research may unlock important tools for public health officials to better estimate viral loads as a leading indicator of disease occurrence in a community, to help understand disease trends, and to inform or assess the effectiveness of community interventions to limit the spread of disease. Additional information about the research will be posted on Ohio’s COVID-19 dashboard and the Ohio WRC website.
If you have any questions, feel free to email OhioWRC@osu.edu.
From Our USGS Partner
USGS Measures Gulf Beach Erosion from Marco and Laura to Improve Prediction of Storm Effects and Community Preparedness
As Tropical Storm Marco was heading to a predicted landfall along the central Gulf Coast, USGS scientists predicted that 33% of the barrier islands and beaches across the region would see some storm-caused erosion, with effects concentrated in Louisiana. Across the four-state region from Alabama through Southeast Texas, USGS scientists were in the field Sunday, Aug. 23 setting out special instruments called storm-tide sensors that will measure Marco’s storm surge. Those instruments remained in place to record the effects of Hurricane Laura as it struck the same general area a few days later. The USGS has been closely monitoring this unusual situation, with two storms on track for landfall in the same area within days of each other. Taken together, the USGS teams’ work can help inform evacuation planning, provide information that will help document the storms’ effects for emergency managers and others, and improve future erosions and storm surge forecasting.
Figure: This Coastal Change Storm Hazard Team map is current as of 2 p.m. EDT, August 23, 2020 and shows forecast beach erosion at the base of the dunes (the strip of colored bars closest to the coast), overwash (middle strip) and inundation (outer strip) from Hurricane Marco Note: The model accounts for sandy beaches and barrier islands and does not include marshes, forested or sea walled shorelines. (Public domain.)
News Updates
Via Water World, August 24, 2020

Via The Associated Press, August 19, 2020

Via Press Publications Inc., August 17, 2020

Via WEF News, August 13, 2020

Via Fremont News Messenger, August 10, 2020

Via Press Publications Inc., August 10, 2020

Via InsideClimate News, August 9, 2020

Via JD Supra, August 6, 2020
Have a news article you'd like us to feature in our Newsletter? Email us at OhioWRC@osu.edu!
EPA and Partners Launch Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and partners are launching the Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge. The challenge asks solvers to submit detailed plans for a non-thermal way of destroying PFAS in concentrated film forming foam (AFFF), while creating the least amount of potentially harmful byproducts. An informational webinar will be held on September 16 at 2:00 pm ET. Webinar attendees will receive an overview of the challenge and have the opportunity to ask questions. The challenge closes on November 23, 2020. Learn more about the challenge.
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. RFA 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 open until September 30, 2020. More information.
WRF Announces the Release of RFPs for 12 Research Projects
The Water Research Foundation (WRF) has released Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for 12 new projects funded through WRF’s Research Priority Program. This strategic program enables WRF to address broadly relevant subscriber issues, challenges, and opportunities with targeted research that lasts three to five years. RFP deadlines are Thursday, October 15, 2020 and Thursday, October 29, 2020. More information.
USDA to Invest Up to $360 Million in Partner-Driven Conservation
USDA is now accepting proposals for RCPP through the RCPP portal. Proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 4, 2020. For more information, view the Application for Program Funding on grants.gov.
To find more resources offered by Ohio WRC, please visit: https://wrc.osu.edu/resources
Policy Update
Ohio EPA Notification of Public Hearing on Proposed Rules - Beneficial Use Designation Rules (OAC 3745-1-11, -12, -19, -23)
A public hearing regarding proposed amendments to four Water Quality Standards rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-1 has been scheduled for September 24, 2020. Ohio EPA will be holding a virtual public hearing on the rules at 10:30 a.m. on September 24, 2020. The virtual hearing may be accessed here. The meeting will be held exclusively online.
Ohio EPA Early Stakeholder Outreach- WQS Beneficial Use Designation Rules 2020 (OAC 3745-1)
This rulemaking includes four water quality standards program beneficial use designation rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-1 for the following watersheds: Hocking River, Little Beaver Creek, Little Miami River, and Chagrin River drainage basins. Beneficial use designations are the water quality goals for lakes, rivers, steams and other water bodies. Designations include such uses as aquatic life habitats (warmwater, coldwater, etc.), recreation (bathing waters, primary contact, secondary contact) and water supplies (public, agricultural, industrial). The early stakeholder outreach phase is an opportunity to shape the direction of rules before staff begin drafting rule language. By sharing your comments early in the process, Ohio EPA can consider different concepts and ensure our rule development takes into account the effects the rules will have. Comments are due by 5:00 PM, September 17, 2020 to dsw_rulecomments@epa.ohio.gov. Click here for more information.
Upcoming Events
Ohio EPA’s Virtual Compliance Assistance Conference 2020
Monday, September 21- Thursday, 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.
49th Annual WMAO Conference and Symposium
November 2-5, 2020
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.
Ohio 2020 Virtual Rivers Symposium
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM 
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.
WEF Conference - Residuals and Biosolids Conference 2021
May 11-14, 2021 • Greater Columbus Convention Center, 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