New Date for State Asset Management 101

EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team has found an appropriate date and time for the rescheduled “Asset Management 101 for States” webinar.  The event will focus on issues and questions that state staff may have about asset management including how to make it effective for smaller systems.
DATE:  September 21, 2011
TIME:  1:30-3:30PM (Eastern)
If you are a state staffer with responsibility for capacity development, operator certification, or DWSRF, this is an event for you!
There is no cost to participate but you must register in advance.  Please go to the following website to register for this event:  https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/529727734.
If you have questions about this event, please contact Sonia Brubaker  brubaker.sonia@epa.gov or Adrienne Harris harris.adrienne@epa.gov at EPA.

NESC Reports New RDUS Loan Rates

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) at West Virginia University has just shared the following article on new Rural Development loan rates…

“Interest rates for Rural Development Utilities Service (RDUS) water and wastewater loans—issued at three different levels: the poverty line rate, the intermediate rate, and the market rate— have been announced.  The rate applied to a particular project depends on community income and the type of project being funded.

To qualify for the poverty line rate, two criteria must be met.  First, the loan must primarily be used for facilities required to meet health and sanitary standards.  Second, the median household income of the area being served must be below 80 percent of the state’s non-metropolitan median income or fall below the federal poverty level. For 2011, the federal poverty level is $22,350 for a family of four.

To qualify for the intermediate rate, the service area’s median household income cannot exceed 100 percent of the state’s non-metropolitan median income.  The market rate is applied to projects that don’t qualify for either the poverty or intermediate rates.  The market rate is based on the average of the Bond Buyer index.

The rates differ between those loans approved on or before May 23 and those approved after May 23, 2011, are:

                        On/Before May 23, 2011                                    After May 23, 2011

Poverty line:             2.50 percent                                                   4.25 percent

Intermediate:             3.375 percent                                                 4.375 percent

Market:                          4.25 percent                                                   4.50 percent

RDUS loans are administered through state Rural Development offices, which can provide specific information concerning RDUS loan requirements and applications procedures.  For the phone number of your state Rural Development office, contact the National Environmental Services Center at (800) 624-8301 or (304) 293-4191.  The list is also available on the Rural Development Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html.

 

Asset Management Webinar for States Postponed

The EPA proposed webinar for states on the subject of Asset Management has been postponed.  It will not take place on either July 13 or July 20.  Please stay tuned for information updates about a new date and time for this event.

ABC, AWWA, and WEF Renew Collaboration MOU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 7, 2011

WEF, ABC and AWWA Renew Commitment to Protecting Water Resources

Memorandum of Understanding Pledges Mutual Support of Organizations’ Initiatives

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Representing a commitment of working together to protect of one of the world’s most precious resources, the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) leadership, the American Water Works Association (AWWA)and Water Environment Federation (WEF) renewed their memorandum of understanding in June.

 “It is with honor we join AWWA and WEF in a renewal of our Memorandum of Understanding,” said Jenny Chambers, ABC President, prior to signing the document.

ABC was established in 1972 with funding from both WEF and AWWA, and over the years has partnered with each organization on numerous efforts. The MOU further defines the partnership, and serves as a document pledging support to each organization’s initiatives.

“AWWA values our relationship with ABC and WEF,” said David LaFrance, AWWA Executive Director. LaFrance says the MOU also solidifies a commitment to common work. “The professional training and certification accomplished through ABC, AWWA, and WEF advances public health protection and the good stewardship of water resources,” he said.

In addition to working together on activities which better the industry, David Flowers, WEF, and Chuck Van Der Kolk, AWWA, serve as representatives for their organizations on ABC’s Board of Directors. Both Flowers and Van Der Kolk were present as the document was signed.

Jeff Eger, WEF Executive Director, says the significance of the MOU cannot be underscored. “Our industry is facing a number of critical issues, and our partnership with ABC and AWWA can serve to help meet those needs.”

Chambers echoes Eger’s thoughts. “We see our long standing relationship with both organizations as critical in serving our member programs.”

About ABC

Established in 1972, the Association of Boards of Certification is dedicated to protecting public health and the environment by advancing the quality and integrity of environmental certification programs through innovative technical support services, effective information exchange, professional and cost-effective examination services, and other progressive services for members. www.abccert.org

About AWWA

AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world. AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the entire water community. Through our collective strength we become better stewards of water for the greatest good of the people and the environment. www.awwa.org

About WEF

Formed in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF and its Member Associations proudly work to achieve our mission of preserving and enhancing the global water environment. www.wef.org

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Iowa Promotes Water/Wastewater Professions

Iowa is certainly stepping out ahead of the crowd!  They have brought water and wastewater to the attention of their Governor!   Governor Terry Brandstad is set to proclaim an official Water and Wastewater Workers of Iowa Week.  Given the flooding challenges that the state has faced recently, this is a well deserved acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of these unsung heroes – on a daily basis as well as during an emergency!  Read below for more details:

Governor’s Proclamation: Wastewater and Water Workers of Iowa Week:  An event is planned for Thursday, July 28th, at 10:00 a.m., at the Ames Wastewater Treatment Plant, where the Governor will sign a proclamation for “Water and Wastewater Workers of Iowa Week.”  The proclamation will read, in part, “Recognizing that the State of Iowa’s wealth of natural resources has been threatened by the degradation of surface and ground waters, the Water and Wastewater workforce of Iowa have dedicated themselves to applying environmental passion and science to enhance
drinking and recreational waters of Iowa.”  For further information, see the Iowa Water Environment Association’s website: http://www.iawea.org/

NRWA Offers Pre-Development Loans for Small Systems

Did you know that in addition to the state DWSRF program and state-directed setaside programs, the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) operates a loan fund (the NRWA Revolving Loan Fund or “RLF”) that provide financing to eligible utilities for pre-development costs associated with proposed water and wastewater projects?  According to their website, “RLF funds can also be used with existing water/wastewater systems and the short term costs incurred for replacement equipment, small scale extension of services or other small capital projects that are not a part of your regular operations and maintenance.”

Applicant systems must be public entities with populations of 10,000 or less or rural areas with no population limits.  Municipalities, counties, special purpose districts, tribes, and corporations not operated for profit, including cooperatives, are all considered to be eligible for the loan program.  Loan amounts are capped at the lesser of $100,000 or 75% of the total project cost and will be made at the lower of the poverty or market interest rate as published by USDA Rural Utilities Service, with a minimum of 3% at the time of closing.

The NRWA Revolving Loan Fund was established under a grant from USDA/RUS.  For more information about the RLF program, please go to http://www.nrwa.org/benefits/revolvingloan.aspx

 

EPA Announces RFA and Supporting Webinars for Research and Demonstration of Innovative Drinking Water Treatment Technologies in Small Systems

EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing to conduct research necessary to identify, develop and demonstrate novel and innovative treatment technologies and approaches for small public drinking water systems. Successful technologies should be robust, sustainable and be able to treat or mitigate groups of contaminants or contaminant precursors in drinking water sources and systems.

EPA is seeking new, or innovative, modifications of existing treatment technologies that can perform significantly better than current technologies. These technologies may include those which are used to retrofit or augment existing treatment trains; treatment practices or technologies aimed at contaminant or contaminant precursor reduction in source waters; and technologies used within the distribution system including point-of-use (POU) devices. Identifying technologies that have the potential to be “game-changing” may involve considering national and international sources as well as considering input from those who have not traditionally participated in environmental conversations, including Minority Academic Institutions (MAIs).

EPA is hosting three webinars to discuss this RFA, the general competition process and submission instructions.  The first was held on June 29.  The two subsequent webinars are scheduled for July 6th and July 13th.  Additional information on the webinars may be found on the NCER Calendar at:  http://www.epa.gov/ncer/dwwebinars/

The RFA submission period closes on August 25, 2011.  For additional information about the program and the process, please go to:  http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2011/2011_star_drinkingwater.html