Tag: wastewater

Congressional Lack of Funding Continues to Jeopardize EPA Operations

The EPA has been underfunded for years, and this year is no different. Although the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress provided money for the EPA to fund wastewater and clean water programs and conduct hazardous waste cleanups, Congress missed the mark in its 2022 omnibus appropriations bill to fund the EPA’s infrastructure. The “EPA […]

Wastewater Tanks

Water Infrastructure: WIFIA and the Challenges Facing Aging Systems

The EPA announced $6.5 billion in new funding for water infrastructure projects on April 27, 2021. $5.5 billion is being made available in this round of funding under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, with another $1 billion in funding for the state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program.

Sewage treatment plant

Two Big Water Bills Approved by Senate Committee

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.

EPA Affirms ‘Zero Discharge’ Rule for Unconventional O&G Facilities

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 […]

Wastewater treatment, water infrastructure

SPCC and Oil/Water Separators (OWSs) at Wastewater Treatment Facilities

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 […]

CWA Discharge Dispute Headed to Supreme Court

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 […]

WIFIA Update: Four Projects, $1 Billion

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 […]

Wastewater Tanks

EPA Looking for Input on Potential POTW Diversion Rule

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. […]

States Take the Lead in Finding Uses for Produced Water

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 […]