House Debate Starts on Need for Boosted Clean Water Funding
“Funding for U.S. water infrastructure—specifically for wastewater-treatment facilities—is gaining more attention in the House as advocates push for increased federal investment. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), backs major facility funding, noting at a Feb 23 hearing, “I’m going to push for a very ambitious number and then we’re going to find ways to pay for it.” Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), who chairs the committee’s water resources and environment subcommittee, said at the hearing that she plans to introduce legislation soon to reauthorize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) program, the main federal funding resource for wastewater treatment projects.” Read the full article here.


One Water Approach Is Focus of ASCE Infrastructure Panel
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to announce new grants worth about $60 million for sewer overflow and stormwater reuse municipal projects, said EPA water group official Radhika Fox during an American Society of Civil Engineers panel discussion following the release of its infrastructure report card March 3. “It’s a drop in the bucket relative to the need of what we have as far as the stormwater challenge,” said Fox, acting assistant administrator at the agency’s Office of Water, “but it is, I think, a step in the right direction.” The challenges of water management were set against a backdrop of ASCE infrastructure grades that included a D+ for wastewater and a C- for drinking water. In a first, the ASCE looked at stormwater on its own. “Unfortunately, its inaugural grade was a D,” said moderator Greg DiLoreto, former ASCE president.” Read the full article here.


USEPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee and Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Intergovernmental Relations invites nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to its Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) and Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS). LGAC and SCAS members and qualified nominees hold elected or appointed positions with local, tribal, state, and territorial governments…. members will provide advice and recommendations on a broad range of issues related to our shared goals of promoting and protecting public health and the environment. These issues may include advancing environmental justice; ensuring access to clean air and water; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; bolstering resilience to the impacts of climate change; and limiting exposure to dangerous chemicals and pesticides. To be considered for 2021 appointments, nominations should be submitted by April 16, 2021.”


Assessing and Managing SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health Risk to Workers Handling Residuals and Biosolids
CASA’s Greg Kester in partnership with other associations and universities, published an article in the Science of the Total Environment, Assessing and Managing SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health Risk to Workers Handling Residuals and Biosolids. “Current wastewater worker guidance from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations and states that no additional specific protections against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infections, are recommended for employees involved in wastewater management operations with residuals, sludge, and biosolids at water resource recovery facilities…” Read the full article here.