HR 2467 - PFAS Action Act
The House Committee on Rules is deliberating a significant piece of legislation, H.R. 2467, the PFAS Action Act.  AWWA is strongly supporting (links below) Amendment 18 which exempts water and wastewater utilities from PFAS liability.  Also included is a joint association letter with 13 signatory agencies opposing H.R. 2467.  There are no Virginia Representatives on the House Committee on Rules but we will keep you informed as this legislation progresses so that if you can contact your representative if you feel it is appropriate to do so.   Also, we have attached a joint water association letter supporting Amendment 38 of H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act.  As written, Section 13201 repeals section 1412(b)(6) of the Safe Drinking Water Act which gives the EPA the ability to ensure that the benefits of new drinking water regulations are balanced so that cost to comply does not far exceed the public health benefits.  This legislation has passed the full House without this amendment and will be discussed in a House-Senate conference committee so there will be additional opportunities to weigh in on this legislation as well.
DEQ Draft 2020 State Water Resources Plan
DEQ’s Draft 2020 State Water Resources Plan is out for public comment through August 13, 2021.  Utility members are encouraged to review the Draft Plan, particularly the basin-specific portion, as it applies to your water source.  If you have any comments or concerns about the Draft Plan as it relates to your utility, you should consider submitting comments to DEQ and also contacting DEQ staff to discuss them and seek corrections.  Public comments on the Draft State Plan can be submitted via email or in writing to Hannah Somers, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Water Supply, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, Virginia 23218. 
Chlorine Product Shortfalls at WW and DW Facilities
EPA continues to receive applications for relief pertaining to the inadequate supply of chlorine products—predominantly sodium hypochlorite, but also gaseous chlorine and calcium hypochlorite—from both water and wastewater systems alike. This is for small and large systems - one serving more than 800K people just reached out. EPA is still very much in data collection mode and is hopeful states are willing to share information regarding what they are hearing on the ground. If your state learns of such a chemical supply issue, please send an email to travers.david@epa.gov, Dyson.Nushat@epa.gov, minton.gabrielle@epa.gov, and kmccauley@acwa-us.org. EPA believes the following information would be most useful:
  • Utility name and type (DW/WW)
  • Facility location
  • Chemical
  • Supplier
  • Estimated time supply will run out
  • Allocation shortfall
Gathering this information will be extremely helpful as EPA works with the chemical sector and others in the federal government to ensure that chemical producers and repackagers assign high priority to water sector facilities under conditions of reduced production capacity.
White House Letter on Ransonware Protection Measures
In recent months, an increased number of ransomware attacks have occurred against U.S. critical infrastructure, including targeted attacks against the water sector. The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency predicts that ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure will continue to increase.
In response to the ransomware threat, Anne Neuberger, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, issued the memo, What We Urge You to Do to Protect Against the Threat of Ransomware, in which she outlines recommended best cybersecurity practices. The Office of Drinking Water urges all waterworks to adopt these basic practices to reduce the risk of a successful ransomware attack.
In addition to the national-level response, the Office of Drinking Water is taking steps to help waterworks in Virginia better protect themselves against cyberattacks. These measures include an effort to add cybersecurity into the sanitary survey, using simple questions to evaluate a waterworks' cyber readiness. The Office is also cataloging free and low-cost resources available to waterworks at the national and state levels. More information on both of these initiatives will be forthcoming as they progress.
If you have questions regarding any of the information contained in this email, please contact Holly Brown, Emergency Services Coordinator for the Office of Drinking Water at holly.brown@vdh.virginia.gov or 804-372-3909.
Holly Brown
Emergency Services Coordinator, Office of Drinking Water
Virginia Department of Health
109 Governor Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 372-3909 (mobile)
EPA Water Laboratory Alliance Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise Toolkit (AP-FSE) Virtual Cohort Information Session
August 19, 2021 | 1:00 - 3:00 pm EST
EPA is offering the opportunity to support organizations in the development and execution of their own exercise using the AP-FSE Toolkit.
During the webinar, we will provide an overview of the Toolkit, as well as steps for conducting an exercise and how EPA plans to provide support to each participating organization.
Drinking water and wastewater utilities, public health and environmental laboratories, and state and local government agencies will be considered for our first cohort.
Space is limited.  Only 6-10 organizations will serve as exercise leads.
Thank you for being a Utility Member in VA AWWA