Federal Legislative Update
Senate Begins Debate on Fiscal Year 2020 Spending
The Senate defied the odds this week, voting 92-2 to begin debate on a package of spending bills that includes USEPA’s budget. The action increases the likelihood that the agency will have a final budget by the end of the year. Upon Senate passage, the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations will convene to reconcile differences between the two bills’ spending priorities. 

For CASA, the key discussion will center on infrastructure program funding. The House approved $1.8 billion for the Clean Water SRF, while the Senate approved $1.3 billion. The low interest loan program WIFIA is likely to secure at least $60 million with an expectation that it will support $6 billion in new water infrastructure spending in FY 2020. Despite the differences in spending levels, it appears that the strong support for water infrastructure spending will result in a final agreement that will maintain a strong federal commitment to supporting local agencies’ funding needs. It is anticipated that once the Senate approves the USEPA spending package, it will turn its attention to a second "minibus" that should contain funding for water recycling and other water conservation programs funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
House Committee Readies SRF Reauthorization
After extended discussions among Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure staff and stakeholders on the parameters of a bill to renew the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program, the Committee is poised to markup H.R. 1497 the week of October 28. While the final outlines remain to be published, it appears the Committee is prepared to authorize $14 billion over five years to fund the SRF, provide $1 billion over five years for the CSO/SSO grants program, and establish statutory set-aside spending, including authorizing up to 75% federal grants assistance to address CSO and stormwater needs in disadvantaged communities, supporting workforce development, and making green infrastructure assistance a core element of the overall water quality program. 
Congressional Negotiations on PFAS Continue
House and Senate conferees to the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides direction on how the defense budget is to be spent, continued to attempt to bridge the gulf between the House effort to designate PFAS as a hazardous substance under CERCLA and the Senate’s priority to direct USEPA to determine if the chemicals should be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Designation of PFAS chemicals as hazardous could potentially expose CASA agencies to unwarranted liabilities simply because they “received” PFAS contaminated waters or because biosolids might contain de minimis amounts of the chemical. CASA sent the California congressional delegation a statement opposing efforts to designate the chemical as hazardous. 
CASA Seeking Communications Analyst
CASA recently initiated the recruitment process for a new Communications Analyst to support our strategic communications program. This position will be working directly with CASA staff to develop and deliver newsletter content, social media, strategic communications, and program support. More information about the new position, including a job description and requirements, is available  here . Cover letters and resumes are due to  HR@casaweb.org  no later than November 6.
WateReuse Funding Survey - Time Sensitive
California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has announced that the Assembly will pursue a water and wildfire prevention bond in the 2020 legislative session. WateReuse California (WRCA) is working on a strategy that includes significant funding for water recycling projects. In order to best position reuse in these ongoing discussions, WRCA needs to have a better estimate of the total funding needs for reuse over the next 5 to 10 years. Please help us by filling out this survey by November 4.
A Day Without Water Was a Success
Every year, hundreds of organizations, companies, and agencies work together to support the Value of Water Campaign, Imagine a Day Without Water on October 23. During this time, we asked everyone to consider what their day would be like if they didn’t have access to clean water. One of the most essential parts of Imagine a Day Without Water is showing support for water infrastructure investment. Thank you to all who participated in spreading the message and for everyone who shared their water story! 
Watch This: Field Study Proves 'Flushable' Wipes Don't Disperse
To educate consumers about the damage “flushable” wipes can cause to their pipes, Central San officials released a video revealing new field study results. In conjunction with CASA’s multi-agency wipes dispersibility project, the agency tested 13 products to see how they would fare running through and active system sewer main. Central San’s results demonstrated that the wipes that contained synthetic materials remained largely intact at the end of the test. To check out the video go  here .
We encourage members to share the video and spread the message on social media using the hashtag #wipesclogpipes.
Member News
EPA Announces Projects Selected for 2019 WIFIA Loans
The U.S. EPA has invited 38 new projects from 18 different states to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans. The selected projects will apply for a total of $6 billion of WIFIA loans that will help finance over $12 billion in water infrastructure investment, creating almost 200,000 jobs.

The WIFIA loans will help communities, including several CASA member agencies, to implement projects that address national water priorities.
National Take Back Initiative Wraps Up
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was a success! On October 26 facilities throughout the state opened their doors to receive unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications . The service was free and anonymous. Thank you to all who participated in providing safe and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, including the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, a proud supporter.

For information on year round drug disposal locations, please visit here . To learn more about safely disposing of prescription medication, please visit www.nodrugsdownthedrain.org or www.ieua.org .
Water District is Awarded Largest Grant in Their History
The Eastern Municipal Water District was recently awarded a $36.3 million grant to improve local Groundwater from the State Water Resources Control Board. The grant is a significant step toward the advancement of EMWD’s proposed Perris North Groundwater Program, which is a long-term solution to improve groundwater quality in the North Perris Groundwater Basin.

The grant award covers up to 50 percent of the estimated $72 million program to remove and contain nitrates, perchlorates, volatile organic compounds and total dissolved solids from groundwater in the basin. “We thank the State Water Resources Control Board for their support and shared vision toward a sustainable solution,” said EMWD Board President Ron Sullivan. 
Integrated Wastewater and Stormwater Planning Webinar
The Water Research Foundation is presenting a free webinar discussing the findings of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s three-year research project, "User’s Guide for Integrated Planning for Wastewater and Stormwater." The research was part of the publication of the Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework, adopted by amendment to the Clean Water Act in 2019. Representatives of regulatory agencies, utilities and municipalities interested in learning about integrated plans are encouraged to attend on Tuesday, October 29 from 2- 3:30 p.m. To register for the free webinar, click here .
California Water Boards Present Clean Water State Revolving Fund Workshop
The State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Financial Assistance is hosting a Clean Water State Revolving Fund Workshop focused on "Completing a Successful CWSRF Application". The workshop on November 13 will present an overview of all the components needed for a successful application. Staff will be on hand to discuss environmental, financial, technical application expectations and other questions. This workshop will not be webcast. RSVPs are required. For more information, contact Brian Cary at 916-449-5624.
Nov. 20-22, 2019
Jan. 21-23, 2020