Communications Expert Cassandra Walker Pye to Speak at CASA’s Virtual Annual Conference
We are excited to announce that Cassandra Walker Pye will present at our first virtual Annual Conference “Meeting the Moment,” set for August 12-13, 2020. Cassandra is the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Lucas Public Affairs, and for 35 years she has enjoyed a successful career in communications, government, politics, and advocacy for corporate interests in global, national, state, and local arenas. She served as deputy chief of staff to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and is a former political director and corporate affairs vice president for the California Chamber of Commerce. Cassandra’s presentation, “ Leading Consciously: An Implicit Bias Primer”,  will   cover the science of implicit bias, relevant bias interventions, and related topics around leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion. The presentation will also include ways that attendees can apply what they’ve learned to their work.  

Check out our preliminary program  to see the other great speakers, panels, and presentations available during CASA’s 2020 Annual Conference and register today!
CASA is Voting Electronically in 2020!
As you know, in order to prioritize the health and safety of our members, CASA has converted its traditional August Annual Conference to a virtual event. Our annual business meeting has traditionally been part of the in-person meeting each year, where the membership elects new directors to the CASA Board and approves the annual member dues resolution. Due to this shift to a virtual format, the CASA Board has decided to have the members vote on these actions exclusively by written (electronic) ballot. Materials were distributed to the agency designated representatives and general managers last week (so keep an eye out for them!). Official ballots are due back no later than July 31, 2020. 
In addition, CASA will hold its official “annual meeting” virtually on August 13, 2020, as part of the luncheon program during the Virtual Annual Conference. At the meeting, we will report the results of the electronic balloting. If you have any questions about this process please contact CASA Executive Director Adam Link .
COVID-19 Update
NACWA Releases Paper for Clean Water Utilities Considering Epidemiological Surveillance of Wastewater
NACWA has released a new document that outlines various key considerations from agencies across the country already engaged in wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) surveillance for COVID-19. This document is a compilation of ideas and “lessons learned,” and serves as a resource for clean water utilities that are considering implementing WBE studies in the future. Read more about the document outlined here and check out CASA’s webpage dedicated to WBE for additional research and recent activities.  
State Legislative Update
Wipes Support Ltrs
Wipes Legislation Moves Forward! CASA Member Agencies Encouraged to Send Support Letters
CASA’s sponsored legislation on wet wipe labeling,  AB 1672 ,  was amended Wednesday, July 1, 2020, and will likely be heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on July 21 st . Letters of support are due to the committee as soon as possible and should be submitted via the legislative advocacy portal at  this link . Please feel free to use this  template letter  as the basis of your agency’s support letter. The letter can be customized to reflect your agency’s experience with wipes over the years, and we encourage you to highlight issues with wipes such as problems with systems and equipment, overflows, and importantly, costs to your agency for additional maintenance and capital improvements. We also encourage you to attach any outreach materials your agency has used with your customers. Lastly, if your agency has experienced COVID related wipes impacts to our system, this is critical information to share with the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and your local Senator, and we strongly encourage you to include it in your letter.  
The recent amendments to the bill are the result of several months of negotiations between CASA, the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC), the Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA), the Household and Consumer Product Association (HCPA) and several of the large manufacturers. The amendments represent a consensus agreement and require the “Do Not Flush” symbol and warning notice to appear on all non-flushable wipes products such as diaper wipes, baby wipes, and cosmetic wipes. Additionally, the bill requires the manufacturers of these products to execute mandatory education and outreach campaigns explaining the labeling requirements to consumers, which will also be coupled with a wastewater collection study to evaluate consumer behavior.  
We are requesting that agencies send letters of support as soon as possible and copy CASA on their letters. For questions about the bill or how to submit a position letter, please contact  Jessica Gauger
Research Connects Wipes with Microplastic Pollution
Recent research published in the international journal Water Research conclusively connects wet wipes with microplastic pollution. The research was conducted in Ireland by the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway (NUI) and finds that not only are wipes clogging pipes, but they are also contributing to the ocean plastic crisis. “50% of the wipes labeled ‘flushable’ in the study were shown to contain plastics.” These microplastics are known to carry, and can act as vectors for, bacteria and viruses, providing yet another reason why proper labeling of non-woven products is essential in protecting both public health and the environment. Read more here .
Federal Update
House Passes Major Infrastructure Bill (H.R. 2)
On a partisan vote of 233 – 188, the House passed the Moving Forward Act, H.R. 2 on July 1. H.R. 2 is an expansive investment package , delivering a total of $1.5 trillion in federal funding to support diverse infrastructure sectors across the U.S., including the wastewater sector. A brief overview of the investment provisions for water infrastructure include the following:

  • Authorizes the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund at $40 billion to over five years;
  • Authorizes the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund at $25 billion to support activities removing drinking water contaminants, including PFAS;
  • Increases tax-exempt bond financing opportunities for water infrastructure projects through exempting bonds funding these projects from state allocation caps for Private Activity Bonds.
  • Authorizes $400 million for each of fiscal years 2021-2025 for USEPA’s sewer overflow and stormwater municipal grants program.
  • Establishes a new grants program to support community water systems affected by drinking water contaminants pay for capital costs associated with implementing eligible treatment technologies, including PFAS removal.
House Select Committee Releases Climate Change Policy Recommendations and Strategies Report
The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has released its policy recommendations and strategies report for how Congress and federal agencies can best respond to the environmental, public health, and economic impacts related to climate change. The Climate Crisis Action Plan  is intended to be a roadmap for Congress to address current and future adverse impacts from climate change and help revamp national and local economies, with a focus on clean energy, environmental justice, and resiliency.
Member News
Salary Survey Results Now Available!
Results are in on the 2020 CASA Salary and Benefits Survey. The survey provides valuable information for our members and is very helpful when conducting a salary classification and review. If you’re interested in the 2020 salary and benefits survey results, please contact Debbie Welch . A big thank you to Monterey One Water for graciously volunteering to coordinate and produce the survey report.
CWEA & CASA Webinar
Be sure to hold the date and join us on 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 . Keep an eye out for more details to come.
NEBRA PFAS & Biosolids/Residuals Nationwide Update
On Friday, July 10, 2020, at 9:00am(PT), the North East Biosolids & Residuals Association(NEBRA) is hosting a webinar PFAS & Biosolids/Residuals Nationwide Update . There is no charge for CASA members. After following the link above, click on the NEBRA link in the second sentence which will take you to an email addressed to . Simply put in “RSVP July 10 – CASA Member” in the subject line and you will then receive an email providing you registration information. Please contact Greg Kester if you have any questions or comments.
NACWA Webinar Series
Join the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) on July 16 and again on July 28 at 11:00am PT for parts two and three of a three-part webinar series titled “ Partnerships to Reduce the Impacts from COVID-19 on the Water Sector ”. These webinars will each 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