D.C. Forum to Feature POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman
Daniel Lippman, White House and Washington Reporter with POLITICO, is among the strong lineup of speakers who will address the CASA Washington D.C. Policy Forum February 24 - 26. Mr. Lippman has co-authored POLITICO’s Playbook and continues to write in both the “Great Weekend Reads” and “Social Data” sections of POLITICO’s New York Playbook. Mr. Lippman has previously worked for CBS News, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, and E&E publishing where he covered climate change, environmental and energy news. Be sure to attend the conference luncheon on Monday to hear from Mr. Lippman!

It’s not too late to register  today to join your colleagues in the nation’s capitol to help strengthen our advocacy and meet with your Congressional Representatives. Check out the  preliminary program for more information.
CASA Agencies Shine at NACWA National Environmental Achievement Awards
Congratulations to CASA members Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Santa Rosa Water, Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, and our very own Bobbi Larson who garnered National Environmental Achievement Awards during the 2020 NACWA Winter Conference in Atlanta, GA. The award program recognizes individuals and NACWA’s member agencies that have outstanding contributions to environmental protection and the clean water community. Congrats again to all of you, these recognitions are well deserved!
Partnering for Impact
The Nevada Water Innovation Institution in collaboration with California Water Environment Association (CWEA), Nevada Water Environment Association (NWEA), and CASA will host the Partnering for Impact 2020 Water Forum on March 31, 2020, at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino Resort in Reno, NV. You do not want to miss this event which will feature over 100 leaders from the water sector discussing the importance of partnership and themes of Visionary Leadership to Accelerate Results, Driving Innovation with Advances in Research and Technology, and Achieving Goals through Innovative Partnerships. Find the link to register and learn more here : 2020 Water Forum.
Regulatory Updates
State Water Board Adopts Lower Response Levels for PFOA and PFOS
Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water announced the lowering of response levels for two Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). The updated response levels are 10 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and 40 ppt for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) based on a running four-quarter average. These response levels supersede those adopted in August of 2019. The current notification levels remain unchanged.

Consistent with Assembly Bill 756, which took effect earlier this year, a series of reporting and notification requirements apply to detections of PFAS in drinking water, and exceedances of the adopted response level will require water systems to either take a water source out of use, treat the water delivered, or provide public notification. This was an anticipated next step in the process of further regulating PFAS in California’s drinking water sources, with the development of a public health goal (PHG) and anticipated action on maximum contaminant levels likely forthcoming. CASA continues to track these developments and is working with agencies and stakeholders to analyze the science underlying these notification and response levels as well as the potential impacts to wastewater agencies.

Do not hesitate to reach out to CASA staff for additional PFAS related information. PFAS biosolids questions should be directed to  Greg Kester , and water-related PFAS questions should be directed to  Jared Voskuhl .
Federal Legislative Update
House Passes San Francisco Bay Restoration Legislation
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by voice vote, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Act ( H.R. 1132 ), sponsored by Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA). The bill aims to improve water quality and protect San Francisco Bay coastal communities from the effects of sea level rise by authorizing $25 million for each of the fiscal years 2020-2024 in USEPA grants. The bill now goes to the Senate for committee consideration.
USEPA Continues to Seek Information on Nutrient Removal through Secondary Treatment
On October 22, 2019, USEPA launched a survey to collect basic information on levels and types of treatment in place and wastewater characteristics at the more than 18,000 Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) nationwide.

This is the first phase of the National Study of Nutrient Removal and Secondary Technologies. The study’s goal is to document nutrient reductions obtained from “optimizing” operations and maintenance practices, rather than implementing advanced and often costly treatment options. According to USEPA a number of POTWs have demonstrated significant nutrient reductions using this method, and this study will assist with an evaluation of whether these site-specific case studies are nationally applicable.

USEPA currently has survey responses from 49 of 50 states representing a variety of types and sizes of POTWs, but additional responses would help better define the full population of wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. and their treatment characteristics. To complete the electronic survey, you can register online here: POTW Nutrient Survey  
Member News
Larkfield Sewer Project Rises from the Ashes of Tubbs Fire
The 2017 Tubbs Fire destroyed thousands of homes in Sonoma County, including the entire neighborhood of Larkfield Estates, located just north of the city of Santa Rosa. When residents began the rebuilding process, they approached Sonoma Water about the possibility of extending sewer service to the neighborhood, which previously had served entirely by septic systems.

Sonoma Water, which operates the Airport/Larkfield/Wikiup Sanitation Zone (ALWSZ), held a series of community meetings to gauge interest in the sewer project and to explore the feasibility of extending the existing sewer collection system into the impacted Larkfield Estates neighborhood. While some property owners were interested in staying with their existing septic systems, approximately half of the residents chose to participate in the project.
Water Affordability Study
The Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) partnered with the University of California Riverside’s School of Public Policy on an academic study that found EMWD’s water and sewer costs to be a fraction of the federal government’s water affordability threshold. “We are proud of our longstanding efforts to keep water and sewer rates affordable while still maintaining the level of services our customers expect from us,” said EMWD Board President Ron Sullivan. Read more about the water affordability study here: EMWD, UCR Study
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