Check Out the New RSS Feed

ASDWA is pleased to announce that we have added a new RSS feed as part of our CapCertConnections blog page.  Check it out in the lower right portion of this page – just below the “sign me up” button!

SmallWaterSupply.org shares the most relevant news and useful resources for small systems in one centralized, easy-to-use location.  The site couples regular, timely blog posts with up-to-date databases containing thousands of documents and training events.  Click on any of the listed topics to learn more about small system resources, tools, and topics of interest.

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Workplace Security Awareness Training

[Editor’s Note:  Like the training posted earlier today, this course was originally designed with water security staff in mind.  However, ASDWA believes that this can be useful for operator training and as a managerial capacity development tool.]

The Department of Homeland Security announces the availability of IS-906, Workplace Security Awareness, a no-cost training course developed by the Office of Infrastructure Protection Sector-Specific Agency Executive Management Office.  You can access this training on the FEMA Emergency Management Institute web site at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS906.asp.

The online training provides guidance on how to improve security in the workplace.  The course is self-paced and takes about an hour to complete.  This comprehensive cross-sector training is appropriate for a broad audience regardless of knowledge and skill level.  The course promotes workplace security practices applicable across all 18 critical infrastructure sectors.  The training uses innovative multimedia scenarios and modules to illustrate potential security threats such as:

*¨ Access & Security Control

*¨ Criminal & Suspicious Activities

*¨ Workplace Violence

*¨ Cyber Threats

The course also features interactive knowledge reviews, employee tools, and additional resources.  Upon completion of Workplace Security Awareness, employees will be able to:

+  Identify potential risks to workplace security

+  Describe measures for improving workplace security

+  Determine the actions to take in response to a security situation

A certificate is given to participants who complete the entire course.

New Training Course Available: Active Shooter, What You Can Do

[Editor’s Note:  Although this information was originally shared with state drinking water security coordinators, ASDWA also believes that this no cost training would also have value both as a capacity development managerial tool and as good operator training.  Please consider sharing this opportunity with your water systems.]

DHS announces the availability of a new Independent Study Course titled:  Active Shooter, What You Can Do (IS-907),a no-cost training course developed to provide the public with guidance on how to prepare for and respond to active shooter crisis situations.  An active shooter is defined in the course as an individual “engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.”

This new online training is available through FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) athttp://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS907.asp  The training is targeted to reach a broad range of individuals, including managers and employees, so they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation.

The Active Shooter course was developed by the Office of Infrastructure Protection through a collaborative process that included representatives from the Commercial Facilities Sector and FEMA EMI.  Development also included consultation with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

The course is self-paced and takes about 45 minutes to complete. Upon completion, employees and managers will be able to:

  • Describe the actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and responding law enforcement officials.
  • Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
  • Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.
  • Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.

A certificate from FEMA EMI is awarded to participants who complete the course and pass a short final exam.

This is the second in a series of critical infrastructure cross-sector training courses; DHS announced the availability of IS-906, Workplace Security Awareness, in early March.  Access IS-906 on the FEMA EMI Web site:http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS906.asp.  For more information about Office of Infrastructure Protection training courses, contact:  IP_Education@hq.dhs.gov.  For more information on DHS critical infrastructure protection and resilience programs visit: www.dhs.gov/criticalinfrastructure.

EPA Seeks Applicants for Environmental Justice Green Jobs Development Pilot Projects

To support underserved populations, the EPA Region 6 office in Dallas is accepting applications for a $100,000 grant for projects that promote Green Job Training and Green Job Placement.  An eligible applicant MUST BE:

+  an incorporated non-profit organization;

+ a Native American tribal government (Federally recognized); or

+ Intertribal Consortium or Consortia.

In addition, an eligible applicant must be located within the same state, territory, commonwealth, or tribe that the proposed project will be located and able to demonstrate that it has worked directly with the affected community.

An underserved population, for the purposes of this Request for Application, is a community, including minority, low-income, or indigenous populations or communities, that is disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks and has a local environmental and public health issue that is identified in the proposal.  Projects must be performed in one of the following Region 6 states:  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and/or Texas.

Environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process.  Environmental justice issues often involve multiple sources of contamination, like pollution from several industrial facilities within one neighborhood, environmental hazards at the workplace or home, or contamination resulting from the consumption of fish or other subsistence foods.

Applications must be postmarked by May 10, 2011.  For more information, including eligibility requirements, purposes, goals, and general procedures, please visit:

http://www.epa.gov/region6/6dra/oejta/ej/ej_pdfs/green_jobs_rfa.pdf.

Work for Water Website

If you haven’t already done so, please take a couple of minutes and visit the Work for Water website http://www.workforwater.org/.  Developed by the American Water Works Association and Water Environment Federation, this site is packed with resources to find jobs or prepare for rewarding careers in protecting public health and the environment.  This is a great resource where students and job seekers can explore green careers, and utilities will find a clearinghouse of resources for recruiting in the wonderful world of water.  The site contains excellent information that ranges from how to write a good resume to who has scholarships to how much, generally, different water positions can pay.  Whether the job seeker is in high school, a second career individual, or a senior engineer or microbiologist, this website has something of interest.

Washington DOH New Capacity Development Outline

[Editor’s Note:  Loralei Walker, the Washington DOH Capacity Development Coordinator, invited ASDWA to share her state’s latest effort to describe the process and benefits of good capacity development.  Her reference to the Managerial Capacity Workgroup means one of the 3 workgroups created by EPA as a result of the Joint National Capacity Development-Operator Certification Workshop in 2010.]  

Hot off the press, here is our revised Capacity publication reflecting our new approach. I thought this might be helpful to share.  At our last Managerial Capacity Workgroup meeting, we talked about making the TMF guidance from EPA more current by emphasizing  planning and asset management. We havent used the term asset management here, but did make some revisions to reflect TMF capacity as we see it today. 

Here’s the link: 331-283_water_system_capacity_4-15-11

WILL YOUR UTILITY BE PREPARED WHEN YOUR LICENSED OPERATOR RETIRES? — NEW JERSEY’S LICENSED OPERATOR INTERNSHIP PROGRAM 2011 – 2012

New Jersey’s Joe duRocher, that state’s Operator Certification Coordinator, prepared the article below to be published earlier this year in the NJAWWA Pipeline.  Joe has agreed to share it with all of you as well.  ASDWA hopes that you will find it not only interesting, but also useful as you work to help overcome drinking water workforce issues.

Licensed operators are responsible for the operation, maintenance, and effectiveness of a public water system. The NJDEP believes that licensed operators are vital to protecting public health and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our public water systems. An aging workforce, an insufficient number of replacement operators entering the field, and a greater need for qualified personnel due to increasingly sophisticated and technology- driven treatment processes have all contributed to the likelihood that utilities will face a dangerous operator shortage in the near future. The AWWA and other professional associations estimate that nearly half of water utility workers could retire in the next ten years. Budgetary shortfalls amidst a harsh economic climate have only further hindered systems’ ability to recruit, hire, train, and retain qualified persons to serve as operators. In New Jersey, we are beginning to witness the departure of many talented individuals and quite often there is no one readily available to fill those vacancies. In response to a potential workforce shortage, the AWWA New Jersey Section has initiated steps to promote the water sector as a career choice and to attract young people to the profession.

The NJDEP believes there is a critical need for utilities to employ adequate succession planning measures to ensure the transfer of operators’ knowledge and expertise to the next generation so that there is no potential interruption in public health protection for the citizens of New Jersey. Therefore, by means of a USEPA grant, NJDEP has developed an internship program in an effort to recruit operators for New Jersey’s public water systems. The program requires the assistance of water utilities to serve as host agencies to train and provide a work environment for individuals to serve in one-year internship positions so that they may obtain the experience needed to become New Jersey licensed Water Treatment (T) and/or Water Distribution (W) operators. The program would serve to defray personnel costs incurred by participating utilities.

 

NJDEP is awaiting final USEPA approval to launch this program. We hope to be able to reimburse water systems for personnel costs up to $35,000 per position. The goal is to provide for as many as sixty positions, for a period of one year from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent. As part of their internship, applicants will be required to take and pass an introductory or advanced water course at an approved New Jersey educational institution. Individuals who successfully complete the training course and one year of employment will qualify to take a State examination for a T and/or W license. For utilities to serve as host agencies, preference will be given to 1) those systems that require a full-time operator, 2) systems that can demonstrate need for an intern position in order to achieve adequate succession planning, 3) more complex treatment systems with an increased level of sophistication, as indicated by their license classification, 4) publicly owned water systems, and 5) systems with a training program in place for operators. NJDEP also reserves the right to deny participation to those systems that are in significant noncompliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

More information regarding this program will be available shortly. We are pleased to be able to make this opportunity available and we welcome your interest to participate in this program. If you represent a utility that is interested in serving as a host agency, please contact me at (609) 292-5550 or by email at joseph.durocher@dep.state.nj.us .

Joseph duRocher is a Principal Environmental Specialist with NJDEP’s Bureau of Safe Drinking Water Technical Assistance.

 

AWWA Posts Online Sampling Videos

AWWA has published no cost, online links to new water sampling videos.   The AWWA TEC-funded special project produced four short videos covering critical water sampling procedures.  They include an overview of proper procedures to collect water samples and sampling techniques specifically related to coliform, lead and copper, and organic contaminants. The videos are intended to help utility staff meet federal drinking water regulations.

They can be viewed online as well as downloaded at no charge.  To download the videos to an mp4 device, follow the instructions at the end of the video gallery.