LIVE Interactive Features at CASA’s Virtual Annual Conference
It can’t all be fun and games… but some of it should be! Join us during CASA’s first virtual Annual Conference on August 12-13, 2020 for a variety of live content, prerecorded presentations, and interactive features including lunchtime trivia and virtual roundtables. That’s right, the ever-popular roundtable sessions are back! Check out the array of topics on the preliminary program  and keep an eye out for the virtual sign-up sheets, coming soon!

Also, be sure to join us during lunch on Wednesday for a fun round of water themed trivia hosted by Pour House Trivia. Challenge your peers to a friendly game! Though we will not be able to network in person this year, we hope these alternatives provide a unique and valuable way to connect with your peers during this time.

Check out our preliminary program to see the other great speakers, panels, and presentations available during CASA’s 2020 Annual Conference and register today . Just a reminder, registration closes on August 7 , which is less than three weeks away!
COVID-19 Update
CASA Partners with State Water Board on COVID-19 Survey
The State Water Resources Control Board has released a survey related to the effects felt by local agencies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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:
Regulatory Update
CASA to Comment on Revised Toxicity Provisions
On July 7, the State Water Board released the revised toxicity provisions and updated staff report. The proposed toxicity provisions will establish numeric water quality objectives for both acute and chronic toxicity, and a program of implementation for dischargers to surface waters. CASA has been actively engaged in the development of the toxicity provisions, a process that has taken many years. State Water Board staff will host a workshop on July 29 to review the revisions, and formal comments are due August 24. Later this month, the State Water Board staff will release a response to comments, which they indicated will only address the draft provisions released over the last couple of years and exclude matters related to the test of significant toxicity (TST). CASA will be submitting written comments on the revised toxicity provisions. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to  Adam Link . A summary of the changes is available  here , and the materials for the next draft of the regulations are  here .
Water Board Orders PFAS Monitoring for Wastewater Plants
On July 13, the State Water Board released an  Investigative Order of PFAS in California  for wastewater treatment plants. The order requires wastewater plants with designed permitted flows above 1 million gallons per day to collect quarterly composite samples of influent, effluent, and biosolids for analysis of 31 different PFAS compounds. The monitoring is to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020. Copies of the order, issued pursuant to Water Code section 13267, were mailed by to affected entities by certified mail last week. Members of the Water Board’s investigative team presented to CASA’s regulatory workgroup on July 16 and took questions from our members about the order. The presentation is available  here . A second presentation about the development of detection methods for nonpotable matrices is available  here . Please reach out to  Jared Voskuhl  with questions or for further information.
Federal Update
House Committee Advances WRDA 2020
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure introduced the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA) (H.R. 7575). The bipartisan bill authorizes studies and construction of water resources development projects in consultation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), including the construction of all 34 pending USACE Chief's Reports since 2018, 35 feasibility studies for water resources development projects, and expedites the completion of 41 feasibility studies currently under review at USACE. This year’s WRDA includes a heightened focus on addressing and prioritizing the water resources needs of economically disadvantaged communities. 
Trump Administration Unveils NEPA Update
The Administration has finalized its update of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) permitting process, streamlining its review and scope in an effort to speed up the permitting process for infrastructure projects. Upon its unveiling , the Administration stated the updated NEPA will help the country’s economy to rebound following the devastating impacts from the recent COVID-19 crisis. Critics of the NEPA update have pledged to challenge the changes in court.
2021 Energy-Water Development Bill Advances
The House Committee on Appropriations reported out the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill on a partisan vote of 30-21. The Energy-Water Development bill funds the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers (USACE) and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (USBR) water infrastructure programs. Ahead of the markup, the committee released its report on the spending bill , detailing specific programmatic funding allocations. The bill now heads to the House floor for debate and a vote. House leadership has yet to announce when the bill will be brought to the floor, but they have stated their desire to finish FY2021 appropriations by the end of July. Below is a selected summary of the funding allocations for key water infrastructure assistance programs.
Member News
Regional San Rebrands its Large Recycled Water Project
Congratulations to Regional San, which just completed a rebranding effort on a project now known as “Harvest Water”. “With our new branding in place, Regional San is well positioned to deliver simple, meaningful and credible messaging to local farmers and our program stakeholders,” says Nicole Coleman, Public Affairs Manager. “The new brand better supports our team’s efforts to secure landowner agreements and construct the distribution system needed to deliver our high-quality recycled water.” Read more about the rebranding efforts in this press release and learn more about the Harvest Water Program here
IEUA Launches New Digital Education Program
The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) recently launched a new digital education program booklet titled “Wally’s Water Conservation Camp” . This booklet is an at-home activity guide geared to teach both children and adults about water resources, sustainability and environmental stewardship. "We are excited to have developed this innovative program for students and families to learn about water awareness and the importance of sustaining our planet's natural resources," stated IEUA General Manager Shivaji Deshmukh. "Being able to teach these lessons through a virtual platform, while reducing screen time and encouraging movement, outdoor exploration and hands-on activities, is especially important during this time, and Wally's Water Conservation Camp is a great resource to continue educating our future generations." Read more in the press release .
In Case You Missed It
PPIC Interview: How Permitting Slows Ecosystem Recovery and Climate Resilience Projects
California’s complex permitting process can slow efforts to restore ecosystems at a time when healthy natural systems are needed more than ever. The Public Policy Institute of California spoke with Letitia Grenier of the San Francisco Estuary Institute about how to improve the process. Check out the full article here .
CalMatters: Affordability Must be a Priority as California Charts a Course for Economic Recovery
As California recovers from the economic downturn, officials should be careful to avoid making the cost-of-living and affordability problem worse for residents. Take a look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both customers and utilities in this article by CalMatters with Guest Commentary by Danielle Blacet-Hyden and Patrick Welch from the California Municipal Utilities Association.
California Grants Portal 
The California State Library, in partnership with the State Water Resources Control Board and other state funding agencies, has launched the  California Grants Portal . is the portal is designed to be a one-stop shop to find all state grant and loan opportunities provided on a first-come or competitive basis. Visit the California Grants Portal at  to find funding opportunities for your community.
CWEA & CASA Webinar
Be sure to join us tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22, 2020, from 11:00am to 12:30pm (PT) for a joint webinar with the California Water Environment Association (CWEA), Overcoming O&M Challenges to Maintain Essential Services . This fourth CWEA-CASA webinar will feature six top utility executives from the San Francisco PUC, Regional San in Sacramento and the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD). They will share their plans for dealing with unique O&M challenges while also preparing for new emergencies as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
NACWA Webinar Series
Join the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) on July 28 at 11:00am PT for part three of the webinar series titled “ Partnerships to Reduce the Impacts from COVID-19 on the Water Sector ”. This webinar will feature a panel of private sector thought leaders shaping the water sector and will be moderated by a NACWA public utility executive with the goal of hearing how the consulting/engineering companies, manufacturing and investment firms and rating agencies have been impacted by and are offering innovative services in response to the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. Register today!
Upcoming Events
August 12-13, 2020