Join Us for CASA’s First Virtual Annual Conference
CASA’s first ever virtual conference will feature an impressive line-up of speakers and the ability to connect with your peers, all while participating from the comfort of your home or office. You won’t want to miss this event, themed “ Meeting the Moment ,” and set for August 12-13, 2020. Several speakers are already confirmed, including Larry Adams, Chief Investment Officer with Raymond James, who will provide CASA members with an updated economic forecast, as well as Assembly Member Richard Bloom, author of CASA’s wipes legislation.

The conference will also feature the ever popular small-group roundtable sessions, COVID-19 focused panels, and a full suite of committee meetings, all live and interactive! Keep an eye out for registration to open soon and further details on the preliminary program to be released in the coming week. We hope to “see” you in August!
COVID-19 Updates
Updates to CASA COVID-19 Webpage
As new information is released and obtained, CASA continues to update our COVID-19 webpage . Some recent additions include:
Regulatory Update
Relationship Between Innovation and Regulation
Regulation is often seen as a barrier to innovation. Factors related to ‘regulatory relationships’ and the ‘broader regulatory environment’” are frequently cited as hurdles in efforts to innovate. In the wastewater sector, debating the proper role of increased regulatory requirements is nothing new, but does it truly play a role in decelerating innovation? A publication funded by the US EPA and the ReNUWIt Engineering Research Center, takes a look at how innovation and regulation are correlated. Read more about how building the capacity to navigate the regulatory process in creative ways may prove to be a promising approach here.
Clean Water Sector Comments on DTSC’s Vapor Intrusion Guidance
Earlier this spring, the  Department of Toxic Substances and Control issued guidance on vapor intrusion in buildings , along with  supplemental guidance for screening . The Southern California Alliance of Publicly Owned Treatment Works (SCAP) prepared comments explaining how the design and engineering of sewer pipes make it very improbable for vapors to escape and leak into buildings, for which CASA signed-on, along with BACWA and CVCWA. The comments are available  here . If you are interested in these proceedings, please reach out to SCAP’s Executive Director,  Steve Jepsen .
CASA Supports CDC Role in Wastewater Based Epidemiology
On June 2, 2020, CASA  submitted a letter to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) to support CDC serving as the federal coordinating agency for state and local efforts utilizing Wastewater Based Epidemiology (WBE), which entails monitoring influent wastewater and/or primary sludge for the RNA of SARS-CoV-2. CASA shared a fact sheet explaining WBE, how it is being used, and its importance. WBE could be an important tool for tracking community presence of the virus in the coming months and an opportunity for wastewater agencies to expand their role in protecting public health during the pandemic. If you have any questions, please check out our dedicated webpage or contact Greg Kester .
Federal Update
President Calls for Regulatory Streamlining
On Thursday, June 4, 2020, the White House published an Executive Order (EO) on “Accelerating the Nation’s Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities ” to support economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis through further streamlining of regulatory permitting processes for infrastructure projects. The EO directs federal agencies to take “all reasonable measures to speed infrastructure investments” and d other actions that will strengthen the economy and return Americans to work. The EO directs the following federal agency and departmental actions:
Congress Expected to Pass HEROES Act (H.R. 6800)
As Congress continues its efforts to address public health and economic impacts resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, it is anticipated that Congress will pass the HEROES Act ( H.R. 6800 ) by the end of next month. Importantly for the wastewater and drinking water sectors, ratepayer assistance provisions are expected to be included in the final version of the bill. Under H.R. 6800, $1.5 billion in ratepayer assistance grants will be made available to support low-income household needs. The Department of Health and Human Services would provide grants to States for distribution to public drinking water and wastewater utilities to help offset revenue losses due to COVID-19 impacts. CASA will continue to track progress of the HEROES Act as provisions re considered in the Senate, and will continue to advocate for our core concerns as articulated in prior letters and advocacy.
Special Districts COVID-19 Focused Bill Introduced in House
Representative John Garamendi (D-CA) has introduced the Special Districts Provide Essential Services Act ( H.R.7073 ). In a press release , Representative Garamendi explained that special districts provide critical and essential public health services to communities. He stated that Congress must “ensure that all local governments have the support they need to deliver the crucial quality of life services their communities rely on…The Special Districts Provide Essential Services Act will make special districts eligible for future federal assistance Congress provides to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.” The bill defines ‘special district’ as “a political subdivision, formed pursuant to general law or special act of a State, for the purpose of performing one or more governmental or proprietary functions.” HR 7073, which has been referred to the Committee on Oversight and Reform, would provide the following:
USEPA Finalizes Rule Updating Clean Water Act 401 Certification Process
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued a final rule that updates the Clean Water Act’s Section 401 certification process. Under Section 401, states and tribes have the authority to review whether infrastructure projects pose potential adverse water quality impacts to navigable waters within their borders. USEPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler characterized the rule as returning the Section 401 process to its original purpose, “to review potential impacts that discharges from federally permitted projects may have on water resources.” The rule follows the regulatory direction outlined by Executive Order 13868 , “Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth.”
Positive Outlook for Federal Infrastructure Investment
Congress remains on track to consider broad infrastructure investment packages later this year. The House Committee on Transportation unveiled the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act that provides a $495 billion investment in the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure. While the bill focuses on the transportation infrastructure, it contains specific provisions authorizing the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a study of stormwater runoff best practices and continually update best management practices for stormwater runoff. The committee is scheduled to mark up the bill on June 17. Last month the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reported out America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020.
Member News
IEUA Receives $196 Million Loan from US EPA
On May 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced it is awarding the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) a $196 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (WIFIA) loan to assist with the agency’s expansion of its wastewater treatment capacity. The loan will help finance the Regional Water Recycling Plant No. 5 (RP-5) Expansion Project, which will increase treatment capacity and construct a new solids handling facility to continue to protect public health and environment in the growing community. WIFIA is a federal loan program managed by USEPA to support and accelerate water infrastructure projects by providing low-cost, long-term loans.

Representative Pete Aguilar (D-CA) stated that the funding “will help the Inland Empire manage our water resources wisely in order to be better prepared for dry years.” “The RP-5 Expansion Project will expand the treatment capacity of the existing facility to support the continued growth in western San Bernardino County, and will meet all regulatory requirements, utilize energy efficient equipment, and continue to provide recycled water to the service area,” said IEUA Board President Kati Parker. Read more about the loan and infrastructure project from IEUA here .
EBMUD Names New General Manager
Congratulations to Clifford C. Chan who was selected by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Board of Directors as the District’s next general manager, succeeding Alexander R. Coate who served in the role for nearly ten years. Chan, a 23-year employee of EBMUD, served most recently as the water utility’s Director of Operations and Maintenance. Congratulations Clifford! Read more in EBMUD’s Press Release.
A Very BIG Reminder that Wipes Clog Pipes
Drivers headed south on 680 in the East Bay near Martinez, CA, were greeted with a very big reminder during the month of May that Wipes Clog Pipes! The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (Central San), in partnership with a neighboring agency designed and installed a 36-foot-wide billboard urging proper disposal of wipes. Talk about a BIG hit in spreading outreach!
On June 15, 2020, from 9:00am to 10:00am (PT) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a webinar: Sustainable Financial Management Planning for Water Utilities Webinar . The process of accessing funding and financing can be a barrier to investing in water infrastructure, especially for resource-constrained and smaller communities. These water sector investments can be crucial to supporting local jobs and protecting public health in the community. Attend this one-hour webinar to learn about ways coordination between funding agencies is occurring in states across the country and discuss opportunities for state-level agencies to partner with foundations on water infrastructure investments.
CWEA & CASA Webinars
We are excited to share two upcoming webinars hosted in partnership with the California Water Environment Association (CWEA).

Join us on June 16, 2020, from 11:00am to 12:30pm (PT) for a webinar on Wastewater Surveillance from CDC, EPA, and California Perspectives . This webinar will provide a close-up look at wastewater surveillance as a public health tool with speakers from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD).
On June 18, 2020 from 11:00am to 12:45pm (PT) join us for Wipes Webinar 1: Legislative and Public Outreach Efforts . In part one of this two-part wipes webinar series facilitated by Diana Messina with the State Water Board, CASA’s own Jessica Gauger and Jared Voskhul will talk about the history of wipes and why so many are ending up in wastewater. They’ll also discuss our evolving legislative strategies and provide an update on negotiations with manufacturers. You will also hear from two communications professionals, Emily Barnett with Central San and Roni Gehlke, representing Ironhouse Sanitary District, who will talk about successful wipes outreach tactics. Central San has developed multiple successful and award-winning outreach campaigns related to wipes. Learn about the creative ways you can obtain outreach materials. Register today!

Be sure not the miss the second webinar on June 25, 2020 from 11:00am to 12:30pm (PT), Wipes Webinar 2: O&M and Technology Strategies focused on agency success stories and again led by Diana. Learn about outreach, operations and technology tactics agencies are using to prevent wipes and trash from clogging pump stations.
The Bar Association of San Francisco
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm (PT) The Environmental Law Section of The Bar Association of San Francisco presents the webinar: The Supreme Court’s County of Maui Decision – What it Means and What’s Next . Hear from CASA’s Adam Link as the panel of speakers discuss the decision and the factors set forth by the Court, as well as the level of uncertainty created by the Court’s decision. Attorneys can tune into this discussion to learn how states, municipalities, businesses, and even individual landowners can move forward in compliance with this decision and learn what this means for projects in the Bay Area. Pre-registration is required so be sure to register today !
Upcoming Events
August 12-13, 2020
CASA Annual Conference, VIRTUAL