On May 6, 2020, the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) unanimously approved—by identical votes of 21–0—two bipartisan bills that, combined, would invest nearly $20 billion in wastewater infrastructure projects and community drinking water improvements.
After acquiring new information, the EPA has decided not to revise its June 28, 2016, Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Oil and Gas Extraction Point Source Category. That action finalized pretreatment standards for unconventional oil and gas (UOG) facilities based in part on the Agency’s understanding that no such facilities in the country […]
The EPA’s SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors (Guidance) notes that the applicability of the Agency’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations (40 CFR Part 112) to oil/water separators (OWSs) depends on the “intended use of the OWS.” One intended use that exempts an OWS from the SPCC program is wastewater treatment. The exemption means […]
Opposing opinions by three U.S. appeals courts (two issued by the same circuit on the same day) have led to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to address the core Clean Water Act (CWA) question—Is a point source discharging pollutants to navigable water via a groundwater pathway the functional equivalent of a direct discharge […]
Drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects are beginning to receive loans under the federal government’s 2014 Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), and we can expect to see additional lending in the coming year. We describe here the background and composition of WIFIA and which types of proposals appear to be receiving interest from […]
Back in April 2018, ex-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Agency intended to begin rulemaking “to provide certainty surrounding the use of ‘blending’ by wastewater treatment plants.” The EPA has now scheduled three meetings to receive public input on how blending might be permitted to account for infiltration and inflow (I/I) into separate sanitary sewers. […]
The EPA and several departments of the state of New Mexico recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under which the parties will explore the opportunities, benefits, cost, and risks of making further use of wastewater from oil and gas (O&G) operations in the state. O&G wastewater, more commonly called produced water, is defined in […]