April 2017

In This Issue
Equipment & Operators EXPO
Join us at OfficePro 2017
2017 Annual Conference
USDA training
Backflow Prevention Workshop
More classes
EPA delays effective date of new risk management plan rule
President's Budget eliminates USDA infrastructure funding
NRWA Statement on President's Budget
Unknown Cyber Actors Target Water and Sewage Authority Network

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South Carolina Rural Water Association
401 Western Lane, Suite 10-D
Irmo, SC 29063
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To reach the key decision makers in the Rural water market, contact Al Whalen to advertise in any or all of the following advertising platforms:

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Al Whalen,
Marketing Manager 

Equipment & Operators EXPO
The 3rd Annual Equipment & Operators EXPO will be held Thursday, April 20 at the SC State Farmers Market. Come out and enjoy a day of learning (CEU classes), playing (competitions) and networking. Both Exhibitors and Attendees can register online here.

Join us at OfficePro
OfficePro 2017 will be held in Columbia May 10-11. All the information you need to know about the conference can be found on our website here.

2017 Annual Conference 
SAVE THE DATE for our 2017 Annual Conference! September 11-13 at the (recently renovated) Marriott Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach.

The deadline for presentation abstracts for the Conference is May 29. Download a form to complete here.

USDA training

A USDA Rural Development Water & Environmental Program Consultant Training will be held on Tuesday, April 25. Pre-registration is encouraged and can be done by clicking here. There is no charge for this training.  
Backflow Prevention Workshop
SCDHEC is hosting a Backflow Prevention Workshop, Tuesday on April 25 at the Columbia Eau Claire Print Building; registration is $50. View the workshop agenda here and additional information here. Register online here.
More classes
Check out the Training Classes we have coming up in May & June (here)

Reminder: License Renewal Deadline is June 30!

EPA delays effective date of new risk management plan rule until June 19
On March 13, the new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced his decision to reconsider the Obama administration's final rule overhauling the agency's facility accident prevention program (EPA notice). EPA is planning to release a future notice of proposed rulemaking to allow public comment on reconsideration of the rule. The rule requires certain facilities, including many small water utilities, to conduct independent audits, weigh safer technologies, and disclose data to local officials and the public. In 2016, NRWA urged EPA to withdraw the rule because "it expands and increases the regulatory burden on local governments," (NRWA Comments).

President's Budget eliminates
USDA infrastructure funding
On March 16, the President released his "America First" Budget (text). Page 12 includes the proposal for Congress to eliminate the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program:

"The President's 2018 Budget: Eliminates the duplicative Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, a savings of $498 million from the 2017 annualized CR level. Rural communities can be served by private sector financing or other Federal investments in rural water infrastructure, such as the EPA's State Revolving Funds."

NRWA Statement on President's Budget 
After the release of the President's Budget, NRWA released a strong statement regarding the elimination of the USDA drinking water and wastewater infrastructure funding. 

"The President's budget eliminates the USDA water and waste loan and grant program, which has been the lifeline for rural water and small communities across Rural America. Instead, the Administration is placing its confidence with the EPA State Revolving Loan Funds. This demonstrates how blind the Administration is to its rural constituency and the lack of knowledge of what is most effective in funding the majority of the nation's water and wastewater infrastructure." (Read More) 

President's Budget Cuts Fallout: 
  • "EPA is targeted for some of Trump's most brutal cuts," (LA Times)
  • (Congressional) Agriculture leaders slam Trump's USDA budget cut proposal (Reuters)
  • Environmentalists: President's Budget Cuts to USDA Put Rural Water at Risk (NRDC)

"President Trump's first budget outline drew resistance on Thursday from his fellow Republicans in Congress as many balked at proposed deep cuts... foreshadowing an intense battle between Congress and the White House over spending in coming months," (Reuters).

Unknown Cyber Actors Target Water and Sewage Authority Network 

On March 28, 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis has released the attached Intelligence Note titled "Unknown Cyber Actors Target US Water and Sewage Authority Network." According to a FBI source, an unidentified actor or actors targeted a US water and sewage authority's network between November 2016 and January 2017, compromising Sixnet devices connected to the authority's ICS. Four of the seven devices experienced high data usage, costing the organization tens of thousands of dollars on cellular data bills that normally averaged hundreds of dollars.  READ MORE.

Both NRWA and SCRWA have partnered with Bailey Special Risks to provide cyber security insurance to water and wastewater systems. This exclusive program offers Beazley Breach Response, a unique insurance, loss control, and risk mitigation service that notifies and protects the customers of utilities that have suffered a data breach. Learn how to prevent cyberattacks on our website or on the Bailey Special Risks website.