CASA Virtual Annual Conference
Don’t Miss out! The Annual Conference Registration Deadline is this Friday, August 7 
Be sure to register by the end of this week for our first ever VIRTUAL Annual Conference! We are proud to offer attendees the same excellent speakers and panel presentations you have come to expect from an in-person CASA conference, all while participating from the comfort of your home or office.

Hear from preeminent speakers on topics that are timely and relevant for your agency. Larry Adam, Chief Investment Officer with Raymond James, will provide CASA members with an up to the minute look at how the economy and market have changed as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cassandra Pye will delve into the science of implicit bias, relevant bias interventions, and related topics around leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion. Renowned political strategist Bruce Mehlman will explore the political implications of the pandemic and what to expect in the coming months pre and post-election.

Looking for more networking opportunities and technical topics? Using our new online learning platform and the webinar functionality you have all come to know and love these last few months, we are offering the ever popular roundtable sessions, committee meetings, a networking breakfast, and a lunchtime water trivia event!

Check out our preliminary program to see the other great speakers, panels, and presentations available during CASA’s 2020 Annual Conference and register today. Don’t forget, registration closes this Friday, August 7!
COVID-19 Update
Deadline Extended on State Water Board COVID-19 Survey
The State Water Board has extended the deadline to this Friday, August 7 to participate in their survey of COVID impacts on wastewater agencies. CASA worked collaboratively with the Water Board to develop this survey, which focuses on the financial impacts to local wastewater agencies. The survey responses will also help us to get a grasp on recent agency efforts and adaptations, including workforce adjustments, operational changes, and activities related to wastewater based epidemiology and virus tracking. This survey is key to understanding the impact of the pandemic on local agencies, so please respond to the survey promptly. We look forward to sharing the results once it is complete.
CASA COVID-19 Webpage Updates
As new information is released and obtained, CASA continues to update our COVID-19 webpage. Some recent additions include:

The State Water Board is reminding agencies that due to the cancellation of Wastewater Operator Certification Examinations earlier this year, the State Water Board is now accepting emergency requests for Operator Certification Exams. Please see further information below and be sure to note that prioritization may be based on treatment plant need before an individual seeking certification.
The Virus Detectives: Tracking COVID-19 in Bay Area Wastewater
Many California wastewater agencies have begun testing influent wastewater for the COVID-19 virus as a means of understanding community outbreak and positioning along the curve. Taking advantage of Wastewater Based Epidemiology (WBE), testing for incidences of the COVID-19 in sewage, experts can determine whether the virus has been shed in the agency’s community, and if so, whether it is increasing or decreasing. The Public Policy Institute of California spoke with Eileen White, director of wastewater at the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD), about the agency’s role in tracking the spread of the virus. Read more about EBMUD’s monitoring of COVID-19 here.
Regulatory Update
Multi-State Research Committee Response to USEPA OIG Report on Biosolids Regulations
CASA helped execute a scientific review of the report released in November 2018 by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at EPA on the federal regulations governing the land application of biosolids. The biosolids scientific research community took exception to much of the report, in particular numerous conclusions and broad statements about risk and available data that were not based on any scientific evidence. The researchers who prepared the review reexamined the findings of the report with full consideration of the extensive scientific information and data available and rebut much of the November 2018 report. The rebuttal has been sent to the OIG with an offer to further discuss the findings and a request that the rebuttal be posted on the OIG website along with EPA’s response. Author’s included Greg Kester with CASA, Dr. Nick Basta with Ohio State University, Dr. Ian Pepper with the University of Arizona, Dr. Linda Lee with Purdue University, and Dr. Alyssa Zearley with Ohio State University.

The report has strong concurrence and support from the following Associations: National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), CASA, North East Biosolids and Residuals Association (NEBRA), North West Biosolids (NW Biosolids), and Virginia Biosolids Council (VBC). Please contact Greg Kester with any questions or comments.
State Legislative Update
Legislature Unveils New Stimulus Plan
The Legislature has returned after another extended recess prompted by Coronavirus concerns, and has until August 31 to close out all remaining legislative business. Last week, a bi-cameral group of legislators unveiled details of a $100 billion stimulus plan and indicated they will work to pass the plan by the final deadline later this month. No legislative language has been released, but an outline indicates the stimulus will be derived by a variety of accounting tactics such as securitizing existing revenue streams, including future Cap and Trade revenues, a new tax voucher program, accelerating existing unused bond proceeds, and borrowing from the Federal government. Among many of the stimulus priorities is investment in a green economy, including in water recycling and clean water infrastructure, as well as in investments to fight climate change and sea level rise.
Governor’s Water Resilience Portfolio Finalized
The Newsom Administration released the final version of the Water Resilience Portfolio last week after nearly a year of development and feedback. The portfolio outlines the Governor’s comprehensive vision for California’s water systems in the 21st century. There were several changes from the draft version released earlier this year, and notably the prior reference to additional resource program bond funding has been removed (presumably due to the changing economy post-COVID). The portfolio now relies on Federal assistance as the main source of new revenue for water infrastructure programs.
Federal Update
House Passes WRDA 2020, Conference with Senate Pending
The House passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 (H.R. 7575) by voice vote. Upon the bill's passage, the Trump Administration issued a statement supporting many of the bill's provisions but expressing concerns over certain U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inland waterways and levees infrastructure provisions within the bill. The Administration stated that it "remains committed to working with Congress to improve [the] legislation." The House is now waiting for the Senate to debate and pass its America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) 2020 (S. 3591) to begin conference committee negotiations to reach a final compromise bill. S. 3591 was reported out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, on a bipartisan basis in May, and currently awaits debate and a vote on the Senate floor. 
House Passes First 2021 Funding Bills Including Interior-Environment
Along party-line votes, the House passed ten of the total twelve fiscal year (FY) 2021 spending bills. This includes appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (H.R. 7608) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (H.R. 7617). H.R. 7608 funds USEPA at $9.38 billion, which is an increase of $318 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. A summary of the appropriations for the Agency can be reviewed here. When considering H.R. 7608, the House adopted an amendment offered by Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) that addresses the Interior-Environment bill’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program funding rescission language contained in the spending bill that would use unobligated WIFIA funds from fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019 to support the program in FY2021.
Senate Unveils COVID-19 Relief Package
Senate Republicans have unveiled their much-anticipated coronavirus relief legislative proposal. The Senate proposal would deliver nearly $1 trillion in COVID-19 assistance, and provide federal agencies with $306 billion in supplemental appropriations to respond to impacts from the public health crisis. The package is the Senate's counter proposal to House Democrats' $3 trillion aid package, the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800), which passed the chamber last month.
Member News
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District Supports Wastewater Epidemiology Research
Check out this article To Determine Coronavirus Prevalence, Researchers are Turning to Wastewater Data featuring the great work of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District and other wastewater agencies across the nation. With the current spread of the new Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), identifying new ways to protect public health is of vital concern and finding new ways to track the disease is imperative. The wastewater sector is answering the call. The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District is among several CASA agencies sending samples to Stanford University and the University of Arizona to check for the presence coronavirus in their communities.
SFPUC Virtual Explorations
Join the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission as their experts guide participants on virtual explorations of the water, power, and sewer system that serves San Francisco and Bay Area in eight one-hour sessions! Tomorrow they will be exploring San Fransisco’s Water System and next Wednesday’s session is Wastewater 101! You won’t want to miss this chance to explore SFPUC from wherever you are, register and learn more here.
In Case You Missed It
PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Environment
The PPIC Statewide Survey takes a look at the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. See how Californians’ views on the environment change over time and how policy could be impacted by their opinions.
2018 Wastewater User Charge Survey Report
The State Water Resources Control Board has conducted its biennial survey of sewer rates and connection (capacity) fees. A total of 917 questionnaires were distributed to various wastewater agencies, and 622 questionnaires were completed and returned for use in the survey. The survey was conducted from November 12, 2018 to March 15, 2019.
CWEA Webinar
On Thursday, August 6, 2020, from 11:00am to 1:00pm (PT) the California Water Environment Association (CWEA) is hosting a webinar: Sewer System Exfiltration – Understanding the Basics. Join speaker panelists Dr. George Tchobanoglous and Stephen Jepsen as they discuss how system construction, materials used, and changing conditions lead to potential exfiltration and describe why exfiltration is a system-specific issue based on conditions unique to individual systems. Be sure to register today!
Upcoming Events
August 12-13, 2020