Government Affairs Update


  • Research Centers for Stormwater Infrastructure has been funded after WEF and NMSA support. Congress has provided $3M in initial funding for the establishment of three to five Centers of Excellence for Stormwater Infrastructure Technologies (CESITs), a new program authorized in the IIJA of 2021. Read more.  

  • EPA has published its 9th biennial report reviewing the federal sewage sludge standards at 40 CFR Part 503, covering the reporting period of 2020-2021. The CWA requires that EPA review these regulations at least every two years to identify additional pollutants that may occur in biosolids. The data gleaned from the biennial review process may be used to assess risk from chemicals found in biosolids and to set regulations for those pollutants if sufficient scientific evidence shows they could harm, or present a risk to, human health or the environment. Read more.  

  • In late December 2022 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a final rule establishing a durable definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to reduce uncertainty from changing regulatory definitions, protect people’s health, and support economic opportunity. The final rule restores essential water protections that were in place prior to 2015 under the Clean Water Act for traditional navigable waters, the territorial seas, interstate waters, as well as upstream water resources that significantly affect those waters. As a result, this action will strengthen fundamental protections for waters that are sources of drinking water while supporting agriculture, local economies, and downstream communities. Read more.  


  • No update  


  • OR House Agriculture, Land Use, and Water Committee Bill (introduced as a Committee bill on January 19th) to Fund a PFAS Biosolids Fate and Transport Study by an Oregon State University research team (which will involve OR ACWA, ACWA members, and DEQ). This bill was developed as a pro-active approach the OR legislature can take to building PFAS science and data in Oregon on which to build future policy decisions, as opposed to a reactive or pre-emptive land application restriction approach that is being taken in some other states. The state general fund appropriation request of $500,000 would need to be augmented by some local funding contributions and in-kind participation from wastewater utilities across Oregon. (The estimated total cost of the planned 2-year study is about $540,000.) The study would characterize targeted PFAS compounds in: 

  • Biosolids from representative wastewater treatment facilities 

  • Soils from locations at distinct ecoregions – Coastal; Willamette Valley; Columbia Plateau; High Desert; Southern Oregon 

  • Crop plants / uptake – wheat; grass/alfalfa; timber; cattle feed 

Study authors are looking to match class B biosolids with agricultural sites around the state that will be representative of the different regions and crops. 


  • Washington (state) PFAS Biosolids Senate Bill 5245 was introduced to the 2023 legislative session with 4 Republican sponsors concerned about PFAS and biosolids land application as well notifications to adjacent property owners. The concept bill was crafted in mid-2022 by one of the sponsors, and since then wastewater industry representatives took the opportunity to advise on it, particularly shaping the bill from its original language of a de facto ban on biosolids land application to its current form which highlights: 

  • Acknowledges EPA to conduct their Risk Assessment for Biosolids and rely on EPA’s outcomes before setting concentration limits of PFAS in biosolids 

  • Requires “written notice” to adjacent property owners where biosolids land application is taking place 

  • Requires a manifest or paperwork for transporters of biosolids 

  • Requires an online mapping tool to enhance transparency 

A coalition of larger municipal Washington wastewater agencies are evaluating and monitoring the bill. It is unclear, if the bill will get passed out of committee before the February 17 deadline. A hearing in front of the WA Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee is scheduled for Friday, February 3.


  • In case you missed it! EPA has taken the following actions on PFAS in the last three months: 

  • The EPA released “A Year of Progress Under EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap” a report that underscores key actions taken by the agency during the first year of implementing the PFAS Roadmap. “EPA continues to deliver on its promise to confront PFAS and protect the health of people and communities across the nation,” said Radhika Fox, Assistant Administrator for Water and Co-Chair of EPA’s Council on PFAS. “Today’s progress report highlights how much we have accomplished in the first year of implementing the PFAS Roadmap. The report also signals important actions the agency will take in the year to come, including our work to invest $10 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in solutions to protect communities from emerging contaminants like PFAS.” READ MORE. 

  • The USEPA has issued a guidance memo to states for dealing with PFAS in NPDES permits through monitoring and control requirements.  

  • For POTWs (and their industrial users): 

  • Require quarterly testing of influent, effluent and biosolids; use draft Method 1633.  

  • Update industrial user (IU) inventories to include all IUs that are in industry categories “expected or suspected of PFAS discharges” as listed in the memo. 

  • Require IUs to do quarterly PFAS monitoring. 

  • Develop best management practices (BMPs) or local limits for IUs “where authority exists.”  

  • Where legal authority for controls on IUs doesn’t exist, POTWs should encourage PFAS pollution prevention, product substitution and good housekeeping practices at IUs. 

  • Take actions to address PFAS in biosolids, including using draft Method 1633 to test biosolids for PFAS, taking actions to reduce PFAS discharges from IUs, and regular monitoring of biosolids to validate PFAS reductions. 

  • For industrial direct dischargers: 

  • Require quarterly testing for PFAS for certain categories (including airports, landfills, paper facilities, metal finishing/electroplating operations, and organic chemicals and plastics plants), using draft Method 1633.  

  • Permit applications that do not include PFAS information may not be complete, and States should consider requiring additional PFAS information if necessary before issuing the permits.  

  • “Certain industrial processes may generate PFAS-contaminated solid waste or air emissions not covered by NPDES permitting and permitting agencies should coordinate with appropriate state authorities on proper containment and disposal to avoid cross-media contamination. EPA’s draft analytical method 1633 may be appropriate to assess the amount and types of PFAS for some of these wastestreams.” 

  • Permits should include PFAS BMP requirements “when the practices are “reasonably necessary to achieve effluent limitations and standards or to carry out the purposes and intent of the CWA.”  Those BMP provisions can include product substitution requirements. 

  • Permits for stormwater discharges should include BMPs to address aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) issues, including prohibiting the use of AFFFs other than for actual firefighting, eliminating PFOS and PFOA -containing AFFFs, and requiring immediate clean-up in all situations where AFFFs have been used. 

  • Permits may need to include site-specific technology-based PFAS effluent limits (for industries without PFAS effluent guidelines), and must include water quality-based PFAS effluent limits as needed to ensure compliance with water quality standards (including narrative criteria).  (This was not stated in the earlier memo.) 

  • For both industrials and POTWs, EPA recommends that State permitting agencies notify downstream public water systems regarding draft NPDES permits with PFAS conditions. 

Share this post:

Comments on "Government Affairs Update"

Comments 0-0 of 0

Please login to comment