Water Online's EPA Update: May 14, 2009
Welcome to Water Online's review of the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, resources, and activities related to the water, wastewater, and stormwater industries. EPA offices and programs covered in this installment are listed below. Click on an office or program name to go directly to that section of the article.
- Office of Water (OW)
- Ocean Survey Vessel Bold 2008 Annual Report
- EPA Budget Aims To Create Jobs, Protect Human Health, And The Environment
- New Water Quality Standards Academy "Human Health Module" Online
- EPA To Help Lead ‘New Era' Of Partnership, Accountability In Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts Thanks To President Obama's Executive Order
- Landmark U.S. Geological Survey Study Demonstrates How Methylmercury, Known To Contaminate Seafood, Originates In The Ocean
- EPA Promotes American Wetlands Month, 2009: Learn! Explore! Take Action!
- Office of Research and Development (ORD)
- Upcoming Presentations by EPA's Exposure Researchers
- Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program
- ETV Verified Technologies
- Vendor Solicitations
- Upcoming Conferences and Meetings
- Other EPA News
- Testimony Of U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson On EPA's 2010 Budget Proposal
- Former Oklahoma Water Treatment Supervisor Pleads Guilty For Falsifying Drinking Water Safety Reports
- EPA Announces Recovery Act Funds For Water Projects In Arizona, Nevada, And Texas
Office of Water (OW)
Ocean Survey Vessel Bold 2008 Annual Report
EPA released the Ocean Survey Vessel Bold 2008 Annual Report on April 27, 2009. In 2008, the OSV Bold supported over 35 scientific surveys throughout a wide variety of geographic areas of the U.S., including the Taiya Inlet in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys, and the Pacific Coast. The annual report highlights the Bold's scientific survey capabilities, survey accomplishments, and the unique role the vessel plays in supporting EPA's monitoring and assessment programs that address requirements of federal statutes such as the Clean Water Act and the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act. The data gathered through Bold survey activities is essential in helping EPA make regulatory and policy decisions to control pollution sources.
For more information about EPA's OSV Bold and to download the report, please visit http://www.epa.gov/bold/
EPA Budget Aims To Create Jobs, Protect Human Health, And The Environment
On May 7, Administrator Lisa P. Jackson released EPA's fiscal year 2010 budget blueprint. This $10.5 billion budget takes significant
strides to ensure that our air, land, and water are safe and clean.
"EPA's new budget reflects the President's commitment to growing a clean energy economy while protecting human health and the environment,"
said Administrator Jackson. "These investments demonstrate that it is possible to work towards both a green economy and a green environment
by positioning EPA to lead the way in green jobs, in innovation and technology, and in action on global climate change."
Budget Highlights for Water:
Maintaining and Improving Clean Water Infrastructure: To maintain and improve outdated water infrastructure and keep our wastewater and
drinking water clean and safe, EPA has budgeted $3.9 billion. The funding will support efforts around the country to build and renovate
an estimated 1,000 clean water and 700 drinking water infrastructure projects, support green infrastructure and create thousands of
technical and construction jobs. Funding will also be available to help communities repair and upgrade the aging network of drinking
water and wastewater pipes that are overwhelmed and breaking down.
Restoring the Great Lakes:
The budget includes a $475 million multi-agency Great Lakes Initiative to protect and clean up the largest fresh water lakes in the
world through restoration efforts, invasive species control, non-point source pollution mitigation and critical habitats protection.
The budget also includes funding for crucial efforts to protect, maintain, and restore the Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia River, Puget
Sound, San Francisco Bay, Lake Champlain and other large waterbodies.
Strengthening Partnerships: Administrator Jackson emphasized that states, localities and tribes are the front line in many
environmental programs, as they implement major portions of almost all EPA programs. The budget includes $636,317 for
categorical grants to states and tribes for water programs.
More information on the FY 2010 budget: http://www.epa.gov/budget/
More information on EPA's recovery act funding: http://www.epa.gov/recovery
New Water Quality Standards Academy "Human Health Module" Online
The Water Quality Standards Academy Online (WQSA Online) has posted its first Basic Course Supplemental Topics Module, Human Health Ambient Water Quality Criteria. The new online module introduces concepts used in the development of human health ambient water quality criteria (AWQC), as well as the methods for deriving these criteria. Similar to the Key Concepts modules, the Supplemental Topics Modules present text-based information across a sequence of pages that include links to further information and resources and then a brief quiz at the end. Because these modules are supplemental, they are not associated with the Certificate of Completion earned by completing the Key Concepts modules. To access the module, please go to http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/standards/academy/supp/health/. For more information on WQSA Online, contact Bryan "Ibrahim" Goodwin at 202-566-0762. For further information on the Water Quality Standards Academy, please go to http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/standards/academy.html.
EPA To Help Lead ‘New Era' of Partnership, Accountability In Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts Thanks
To President Obama's Executive Order
President Barack Obama signed an executive order creating a Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay to be chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency. The executive order calls for EPA and six other federal agencies to coordinate and expand federal tools and resources to help speed cleanup of the nation's largest estuary.
At a meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Council at Mount Vernon, Virginia, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson presented the executive order, which creates the Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay. The committee will be chaired by EPA and will manage new plans by a team of seven federal agencies to strengthen and bring accountability to efforts to protect and restore the bay. More information on the Chesapeake Bay Program: http://www.epa.gov/Region3/chesapeake/
Landmark U.S. Geological Survey Study Demonstrates How Methylmercury, Known To Contaminate Seafood, Originates In The Ocean
A new landmark study published today documents for the first time the process in which increased mercury emissions from human sources across the globe, and in particular from Asia, make their way into the North Pacific Ocean and as a result contaminate tuna and other seafood. Because much of the mercury that enters the North Pacific comes from the atmosphere, scientists have predicted an additional 50 percent increase in mercury in the Pacific by 2050 if mercury emission rates continue as projected.
"This unprecedented USGS study is critically important to the health and safety of the American people and our wildlife because it helps us understand the relationship between atmospheric emissions of mercury and concentrations of mercury in marine fish," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "We have always known that mercury can pose a risk, now we need to reduce the mercury emissions so that we can reduce the ocean mercury levels."
The paper, "Mercury sources, distribution and bioavailability in the North Pacific Ocean--Insights from data and models and information on other USGS mercury research," is available at:
EPA Promotes American Wetlands Month, 2009: Learn! Explore! Take Action!
Throughout the month of May, EPA and its wetland partners across the country are celebrating the vital importance of wetlands to our nation's ecological, economic, and social health. EPA and a host of other public and private partners are planning a number of events as part of this year's celebration. In particular, 2009 marks the 20th Anniversary of the National Wetlands Awards program (143 champions of wetlands conservation honored since 1989). On May 12, the Environmental Law Institute, EPA, and other federal partners will, once again, honor a diverse group of individuals for their extraordinary commitment to conserving wetlands at an award ceremony on Capitol Hill (http://www.nationalwetlandsawards.org). Other highlights include EPA's Science Notebook focus on wetlands that will highlight the diversity of wetlands and wetland research being undertaken by EPA across the country using assorted multi-media tools such as blogs, podcasts, interviews, and photo diaries (http://www.epa.gov/sciencenotebook) and a National Webcast "Wetlands–Re-connecting Youth with Nature" on May 28th" that will explore the unique role wetlands can play in connecting young people with nature (http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/wacademy/webcasts). EPA regional activities planned for the month of May include educational displays, discussions, presentations, special feature articles, wetland walks and celebrations, and an array of other outreach and communication events. Information on national, regional, and local activities planned for May will be updated and posted throughout the month on EPA's American Wetlands Month website: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/awm. Feel free to contact Kathleen Kutschenreuter at (202) 566-1383, or Gregg Serenbetz at (202) 566-1253 for more information.
For more information on the EPA Office of Water, visit www.epa.gov/ow.
Office of Research and Development (ORD)
Upcoming Presentations by EPA's Exposure Researchers
For March 2009 - June 2009, ordered by date. View the schedule at www.epa.gov/nerl/presentations.html.
For more information on the EPA Office of Research and Development, visit www.epa.gov/ord.
Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program
ETV Verified Technologies
The ETV Program has verified the performance of 406 innovative environmental technologies that can be used to monitor, prevent, control, and clean up pollution. For a full list of ETV verifications, visit www.epa.gov/etv/verifiedtechnologies.html.
ETV centers issue periodic solicitations for vendors and collaborators interested in verification. For a list of active ETV vendor solicitations, please visit www.epa.gov/etv/vendorswanted.html, or contact the appropriate ETV center (see www.epa.gov/etv/contacts.html).
Upcoming Conferences and Meetings
- The World Environmental and Water Resources Congress will be held in Kansas City, MO, from May 17-21, 2009. The central theme of this year's Congress is the great rivers of the world and the engineering challenges of balancing environmental and development issues while achieving a sustainable future. The Congress will provide attendees with an opportunity to share insights from research and practical experience in the field to generate best practices related to river system management, environmental issues, watershed management and restoration, hydraulic structures, and others. The ETV Program will exhibit with the EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory. For more information, visit http://content.asce.org/conferences/ewri2009/.
- The American Water Works Association (AWWA) Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE09) will be held in San Diego, CA, from June 14-18, 2009. ACE09 will feature the latest, innovative developments in technologies, processes, and products to improve water quality worldwide. The event will include in-depth and interactive workshops, a professional development program, local facility tours, networking opportunities, and an exposition showcasing more than 500 water quality solution providers. The ETV Program will exhibit with the EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory. For more information, visit www.awwa.org/ace09.
- StormCon 2009 will be held in Anaheim, CA, from August 16-20, 2009. This conference serves stormwater and environmental services professionals and will include technical sessions, non-technical sessions and case studies presented by municipal professionals, engineering consultants, contractors, researchers, and others on the frontlines of implementing stormwater programs, best management practices (BMPs), sediment and erosion control techniques, low-impact development approaches, research and testing of BMPs, and water quality monitoring programs. The event will include an exhibit hall featuring over 150 vendors with stormwater technologies. The ETV Program will exhibit with the EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory. For more information, visit www.stormcon.com.
For more information on the ETV, visit www.epa.gov/etv.
Other EPA News
Testimony Of U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson On EPA's 2010 Budget Proposal
On May 13, 2009, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson testified before a hearing of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee on EPA's 2010 budget proposal. The $10.5 billion proposal takes significant steps to protect human health and the environment while improving accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility at a time when every dollar counts. Read the full testimony (as prepared for delivery) here.
Former Oklahoma Water Treatment Supervisor Pleads Guilty For Falsifying Drinking Water Safety Reports
Christopher Neil Gauntt, the former supervisor of the Fort Gibson Water Treatment Plant in Fort Gibson, Okla., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Muskogee, Okla., to falsifying a monthly operating report that certified the safety of drinking water from the facility, the Justice Department announced.
Gauntt pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging him with a felony count of making a false statement. He admitted that on or about June 12, 2008, he submitted a monthly operating report containing false data for drinking water that is provided to residents of Fort Gibson as well as residents of Muskogee Rural Water Districts 4 and 7, Cherokee Water drinking water systems, and the water systems for Corral Creek Subdivision and Ozark Water Inc.
As a result of the felony conviction, Gauntt could be sentenced up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000. Read the full release here.
EPA Announces $82 Million In Recovery Act Funds For Water Projects In Arizona
To Boost Economy, Create Jobs And Protect Public Health
In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water and wastewater infrastructure and protect human health and the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $82 million to the State of Arizona. This new infusion of money provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will help the state and local governments finance many of the overdue improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state. Read the full release here.