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President's Message January 2023

lara kammereckHappy New Year!

I am excited about the many events we have planned in 2023, all to support our mission to be the premier association in the northwest dedicated to educating and connecting members to promote a healthy water environment in our region. Be sure to keep an eye on our digests for upcoming events!

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PFAS Webinar—Jan 19

The State of the Science, Regulations, and Approaches for PFAS in Wastewater
PFAS in wastewater and biosolids is a highly discussed and quickly evolving topic, and it can be difficult to keep up with new regulations and studies on its impact. The Sustainability, Resource Recovery, and Biosolids Committee and the Government Affairs Committee are hosting a joint webinar on January 19 from 1 - 3 p.m. PST about PFAS. We are excited to have Jason Condor (Geosyntec Consultants), Frank Dick (City of Vancouver), and Rashi Gupta and Cameron Clark (Carollo) present about potential upcoming wastewater and biosolids regulations related to PFAS, recent studies on the impact of PFAS and their correlation to regulations, and the latest science for evaluating risks associated with PFAS in biosolids. This webinar will provide 0.2 CEUs, pending approval.

The webinar is free to attend and open to everyone, but you must register to attend. Click this link to register now. We hope to see you there!

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Stormwater Learning Hour Jan. & Feb. 2023

Stormwater Learning Hour

Join the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour on Wednesday, January 25, 12 p.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Mountain. John Cook from Vigor will present on the Harbor Island restoration project, which will provide critical habitats for many species, including threatened and endangered salmon at the Harbor Island site on the Lower Duwamish River. Connect via Zoom here:

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Mentorship Program Now Accepting Applications

mentor program

The 2023 PNCWA mentorship program is open for applications! This program will pair mentors with protégés and provide a framework for regular mentorship meetings over a six-month period. Pairings are made based on results to this application survey. Meet someone new outside of your organization, field, or sector and grow in ways you may not have considered!

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Call for Content: WEF/IWA Innovations in Process Engineering Conference 2023

innovations

June 6 - 9, 2023 @ Hyatt Regency in Portland, OR

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Communications and Outreach Committee Update

On October 27, 2022, the Communications and Outreach Committee held its annual communications camp in Tigard, Oregon. The camp is a one-day specialty conference focused on communications skills. This year’s event was a big success, with 19 people in attendance and a mix of virtual and in-person presenters.

Presentations included these:

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Government Affairs Update January 2023

gov't update

Washington
The Washington Department of Transportation WSDOT has submitted Bill Request #Z-0618.3/23 to restrict the use of Motor Vehicles Funds (MVFs) for utility relocations during highways construction projects. This Bill Request will codify a State Supreme Court Decision from1961. The proposed changes to RCW 47.44.030 will prohibit the use of MVFs to relocate any conflicting facilities occupying any public right of way. This includes state, county, and city rights of way. This Bill Request will also amend RCW 36.55.060 and RCW 35A.47.040 to prohibit a county or city from issuing a franchise to a utility owner that has the effect of requiring WSDOT to pay for facility relocations.

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President's Message December 2022

lara kammereck

As we reach the end of 2022, I am grateful for our tri-state association returning to in-person activities where members reconnected. Committee participation has significantly increased, more than 900 attended the annual conference in Spokane, and region and section workshops were once again full. I am hopeful we will continue this strong engagement in 2023.

I recently attended the Oregon Operators Conference at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg, Oregon. The event, in partnership with the PNCWA Oregon Region, Umpqua Basin Operators Section (UBOS), American Water Works Association Pacific Northwest Section, and Umpqua Community College, provides operators the opportunity to earn CEUs through technical presentations, facility tours, workshops, and a tradeshow. Seeing so many water and wastewater professionals gathered to network, engage, and exchange ideas was inspiring. I particularly enjoyed the hands-on demonstrations of products and services in our field.

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Government Affairs Update December 2022

gov't updateOregon
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is proposing amendments to its water quality standards to protect aquatic life in Oregon Administrative Rules OAR-340-041-0002 and OAR-340-041-0101 through OAR-340-041-0340. These rules update and clarify Oregon’s Aquatic Life Use Subcategory designations based on newly available data. DEQ will open the public comment period on the proposed rules in mid-November 2022 until January 6, 2023. DEQ will also hold a public hearing on the proposed rulemaking at 3 p.m. Pacific on Dec. 15, 2022 by webinar/teleconference. To receive updates on this rulemaking, sign up at GovDelivery.

PFAS
In case you missed it! The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken the following actions on PFAS in the last three months:

  • September 2022: The EPA is proposing to remove 12 chemicals identified as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the current list of inert ingredients approved for use in pesticide products to better protect human health and the environment. READ MORE.
  • October 2022: The EPA announced $748,180 in research grant funding to three institutions for research to improve understanding of how people are exposed to PFAS in several communities throughout the country. Funding was awarded to Silent Spring Institute (Newton, MA), Duke University (Durham, NC), and Emory University (Atlanta, GA). READ MORE.
  • November 2022: The EPA published the Final Fifth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5), which will serve as the basis for regulatory considerations over the next five years under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The update included substantial expansion of PFAS, an important first step towards identifying additional PFAS that may require regulation under SDWA. READ MORE.
  • 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.

President's Message November 2022

lara kammereckAutumn in the Pacific Northwest is a gorgeous season where leaves turn golden, the rain returns, and the weather cools. It’s also the time of year when the PNCWA board starts budget planning for 2023. We like to start the new calendar year with an approved budget that provides a roadmap of the activities for the coming year and the celebration of our annual conference in September.

We have begun reaching out to our committee chairs to finalize their goals, objectives, and work plans for 2023, including budget requests due by mid-November. The PNCWA board will review these requests, ensure they align with the Association’s strategic plan, and use them to create our budget framework. If you have any questions, please contact Marie Schmidt, our new Managing Director, at [email protected]. We appreciate the extra effort to keep our budget timeline on track and set our committees up for success in the coming year.

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Apply Now for Adopt-A-School Funding

Do you know educators or students who are working toward water science and career-connected education goals? The Adopt-A-School program was established to support stormwater and wastewater education, involvement, and restoration activities by K-12th grade students in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The average project funding level is $500 per application, and funding supports field learning activities, lab equipment, native plants, and more. If you’re a teacher, school, or school district, you can apply!

PNCWA is now accepting applications through January 14, 2023. Learn more and apply at pncwa.org/adopt-a-school-program.

Government Affairs Update November 2022

gov't updateIdaho WQS and IDPES Rules Update
DEQ held a virtual scoping meeting on October 19, 2022, before initiating a rulemaking for Water Quality Standards and the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program. All agencies are required to perform a critical and comprehensive review of their chapters’ rules to reduce the overall regulatory burden, streamline various provisions, and increase clarity and ease of use.

Fuel Tank Seismic Stability
Oregon DEQ is developing rules to make Oregon fuel storage tanks more seismically resilient. A rules advisory committee was formed and met for the first time in late October 2022 to discuss the new Fuel Tank Seismic Stability program. The program is applicable to facilities that can store more than 2 million gallons of fuel on site, specifically within Lane, Multnomah, and Columbia counties. The work is a result of SB 1567, which passed in 2022. DEQ will be developing the program in coordination with DOGAMI.

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Resource Recovery Facility Spotlight - Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission’s (MWMC) Renewable Natural Gas Project

resource recovery

The Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission’s (MWMC) Renewable Natural Gas Project was recently selected as the recipient of the 2022 Excellence in Resource Recovery Award. This award is presented to agencies that demonstrate outstanding performance in moving the concept of resource recovery forward in the Pacific Northwest region.

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Committee Spotlight: Resource Recovery, Sustainability, and Biosolids

Saltese Flats Wetland Restoration

saltese flats

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Heed the Call to Join the Stormwater Committee

Hello everyone, and welcome to the PNCWA Stormwater Committee!

stormwater clean up

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Know a Student or Young Professional? Get Them Involved

The Student and Young Professional Committee is excited to introduce our new leadership team and share our goals for the future of our committee. Based out of Portland, Riley Murnane is serving as our new chair. Riley has lived in Oregon for the last seven years and currently works for Hazen and Sawyer. Our vice chair, Cody Sprague, is from Boise and currently works at Mountain Waterworks as an engineer. Hannah Thomascall is the new S&YP board liaison and an engineer at Spokane County.

riley murnane  cody sprague  hannah thomascall 
Riley Murnane Cody Sprague Hannah Thomascall

 

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Submit Your Application for the 2023 InFLOW Program

InFLOW logo

In 2019, the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) launched a program called InFLOW (Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water): an initiative that strives to identify promising students and young professionals from underrepresented minority groups who are interested in careers in the water industry. PNCWA is continuing in its mission to change the face of the water industry and help build a more diverse and inclusive world.

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President's Message September 2022

lara kammereckIt’s with great honor, gratitude, and excitement that I write my first message to you as president of PNCWA’s board of directors. As I accept this torch from Rob Lee, I’m reminded of the values and objectives that drew me to this community and the gratifying time I’ve spent in its service, all of which underscore the significance of my new responsibilities to you.

I joined PNCWA fifteen years ago. My time with the association has been marked by learning experiences and meaningful relationships formed through various committees and special initiatives, and, in 2018, I joined the board as secretary. Throughout these years, I’ve also served as a senior project manager in the Seattle area for Carollo Engineers, a role that has put me face-to-face with the challenges and opportunities PNCWA explores through collaboration, innovation, and exchange as well as the influence of our contributions toward providing clean water and securing healthy watersheds.

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PNCWA2022 By the Numbers

spokane

What a fantastic turnout at PNCWA 2022! We exceeded our attendance and sponsorship goals, brought back the Ops Challenge, toured treatment plants, learned about some of the latest technologies and innovations, and networked with water experts, all along the shores of the beautiful Spokane River. We would like to sincerely thank our sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, conference planners, and attendees for making the conference an overwhelming success!

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Clean Water SRF & Funding Options Webinar

webinar

Please join the PNCWA Government Affairs Committee for a webinar on everyone’s favorite — clean water funding! Join us at 10 a.m. PST on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. Learn how to join on the day of below.

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