COVID-19 and the Wastewater Community
In an effort to help the wastewater community understand and manage the implications associated with COVID-19, the California Water Environment Association (CWEA) has created a highlight on its E-Bulletin webpage to address Coronavirus Safety for Wastewater Professionals with special coverage updates. The page includes resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and other helpful links. In addition, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has developed a password-protected page on their website addressing COVID-19/Coronavirus Utility Response, which contains documents provided by clean water agency leaders such as Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plans, Emergency Response Plans (ERPs), outreach to staff, media messaging, HR policies on telework and leave considerations, and other relevant information. Our thanks to CWEA and NACWA for sharing excellent resources to put the outbreak of COVID-19 into perspective for the wastewater sector.

CASA is also working to help agencies cope in these difficult times. Our workgroups are discussing various ways agencies are preparing to address any difficulties that might arise and maintain continuity of service, and we will distribute information through our newsletter and through our LISTSERVs as we continue to gather more information. CASA has also converted several upcoming meetings to conference calls and we are observing all recommendations related to social distancing and non-essential travel.

As always, and especially in times like these, a big thank you to all wastewater professionals who continue to work around the clock to protect public health and the environment. CASA is proud to advocate on behalf of the wastewater sector and the people vital to ensuring a clean and sustainable environment for California.
State Legislative Updates
Legislature Passes Emergency Spending Bill, Adjourns Until April 13
On Monday, March 16, 2020, the Senate and Assembly convened and passed a major emergency spending authorization to provide resources for the Governor to respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The authorization of up to $1.1 billion was passed unanimously with bipartisan support and will allow the state to rapidly expand hospital capacity and provide emergency relief for schools. The Legislature also adopted amended rules to allow them to participate in remote public meetings if needed. 
Governor’s Executive Order Waives Brown Act Rules for Local Government
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an  Executive Order  relating to actions to curb the spread of COVID-19. One of the actions in the order waives some open meeting law requirements to allow local and state legislative bodies to hold public meetings via teleconferencing and to make public meetings accessible telephonically or otherwise electronically to all members of the public during the period while state or local officials are imposing or recommending measures to promote social distancing. 
All provisions in both the Bagley-Keene Act governing state agencies and the Brown Act expressly or impliedly requiring the physical presence of members, the clerk or other personnel of the body, or of the public, as a condition of participation in or quorum for a public meeting are waived. In particular, otherwise applicable requirements as follows:
CASA Positions on 2020 Bills
The State Legislative Committee met on Friday, March 13, 2020, to deliberate and take positions on all of the legislation of interest in the 2020 Session.  The bill positions list is now available! Please contact Jessica Gauger ( )  with inquiries on pending legislation.
Federal Legislative Updates
A Push for Infrastructure Funding
Members of the House Bipartisan Working Group have drafted a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), urging the House to adopt a federal infrastructure package that “streamlines regulations and authorizes new investments directly to affected communities.” The letter, which has yet to be officially sent to Pelosi and McCarthy, cites the American Society of Civil Engineers’ D+ grading of the state of the nation’s infrastructure as evidence to the critical need to invest in the nation’s failing infrastructure, and identifies water and wastewater infrastructure among the infrastructure systems in need. The draft letter outlines the following, as the nation’s most urgent infrastructure needs:
Federal Response to COVID-19
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to propose a $750 billion aid package on this week in an effort to combat the COVID-19 crisis. The yet to be released package is expected to provide medical and health care assistance to states, and financial assistance to citizens to spur economic activity.

In a separate ongoing matter, the Senate is expected to begin debate, as early as Tuesday, on the second COVID-19 emergency-spending bill, H.R. 6021, that contains several similar provisions, such as:
House Committee Leadership Urges Water Utilities to Suspend Shutoffs
On March 10, a  press release  i ssued by the Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) urged water utilities across the country to avoid shutting off water service in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak:

“Today we are asking water utility companies across the country to stop shutting off water service to residents and families for nonpayment. Now is no time to compromise Americans’ access to safe, clean water – particularly when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising Americans to be diligent about washing their hands. Access to clean water is a basic human right at all times, but any action that restricts families’ access to water during the current coronavirus outbreak would be reckless in the extreme. This is a matter of protecting public health, and we call on utilities to recognize and respect that reality.”
Member News
Connect Beyond CASA Connects: Join CASA’s LISTSERVs!
Is there a topic of interest particularly near and dear to your heart? Maybe biosolids? Collection systems? Legislative advocacy? Along with this newsletter, CASA offers several other ways to connect and share on these topics and more. With a number of LISTSERVs available to our members for updates on Biosolids, Communications, Collection Systems, Federal Advocacy, Regulatory Issues, State Advocacy, and Air Quality, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy, there really is something for everyone! These group email lists are interactive and the most immediate way to get up to date information about what’s going on in the world of clean water advocacy.

Members can subscribe employees to any (or all) of these LISTSERVs. If you are interested, please send Cheryl MacKelvie your email at and identify the list you would like to subscribe to . We are proud to be your source for wastewater legislative, regulatory, and industry news! Below please find a brief description of each LISTSERV:
Participation Request: CASA Agency Salary Survey
CASA would like to encourage your agency’s participation in the periodic CASA Agency Salary and Benefits Survey. The survey provides valuable information for our members. The more responses we receive, the more accurate the statistical summary we can create. If your agency participated previously, your data is important for those agencies that use benchmarks. For those of you who have not participated in recent surveys, or have never participated, you will find this information very helpful when conducting a salary classification and review. Monterey One Water has again graciously volunteered to coordinate and produce the survey report.

For inquiries about the survey, please contact Deborah Welch at .
Thank you for your participation in the development of this important member resource.
Call for Award of Excellence Nominations!
CASA seeks to recognize members who provide essential public services and go above and beyond to protect public health and the environment. Member agencies and associates are invited to submit an Award of Excellence application by May 1, 2020. Categories include Excellence in Innovation & Resiliency, Public Outreach/Education, Organizational Excellence, and Outstanding Capital Project. More information about the award criteria and categories is available on the website .

Award recipients will be honored in August at the CASA Annual Conference in Squaw Creek. 
CASA Education Foundation Scholarship Applications
The CASA Education Foundation helps ensure clean water for Californians by awarding scholarships to promising students on a path to serving the environmental community. Does your local college or university know about CASA’s financial aid to students interested in a career in water? The Foundation is accepting scholarship applications through April 26, 2020. For information on how to apply, who is eligible and the scholarship guidelines, visit the website .
Upcoming Events
May 19-20, 2020
Aug. 12-14, 2020
CASA Annual Conference - Squaw Creek
Postponed to Oct. 27 – 30, 2020