EPA water news briefs for Oct. 1

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released several news items announcing publications, policies, and activities of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water.

Oct 1st, 2003

Oct. 1, 2003 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released several news items announcing publications, policies, and activities of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water.

Public Given More Time to Comment on Meat & Poultry

EPA is extending the deadline for public comment on new information related to the proposed effluent limitations guideline for the meat and poultry processing industry to October 14, 2003.

In February 2002, EPA proposed and requested comment on a regulation that revised requirements for larger meat products facilities and established requirements for the poultry slaughtering and processing sector. Since then, the Agency received significant comments from stakeholders and collected new information about the industry.

On August 13, 2003, EPA published a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) that summarized the new data and described how EPA might use it to develop the final regulations. The NODA contained a September 29 deadline for comments, which EPA is extending by about two weeks. You can get more information on this action and on the proposed regulation by visiting the Internet at http://epa.gov/guide/mpp/

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Praises Smart Water Use

While in Seattle attending the National Water Directors meeting, Assistant Administrator G. Tracy Mehan III met with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to discuss EPA's new water efficiency programs. To read the article "Smart Water Use Is Vital, Even Here" visit http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/141488_watered.html

Celebrate World Water Monitoring

From Sept. 18 to Oct. 18, people around the world will be taking to their local waters to sample water quality and post their data as part of World Water Monitoring Day events. Monitoring activities and events will culminate on World Water Monitoring Day, Oct. 18, 2003-- which is the 31st anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

EPA is partnering with America's Clean Water Foundation and others to encourage participants to use a simple test kit to take water quality samples of local streams, lakes bays or wetlands, enter their data into an international database, and take part in activities that educate us all about our role in protecting clean water.

In addition, EPA has developed a number of new outreach materials for Monitoring Month and World Water Monitoring Day, and more information on these materials is available at http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/monitoringmonth.html. The outreach materials include:

"Be Part of Something Big! World Water Monitoring Day," a brochure that explains how to participate in World Water Monitoring Day;

"Monitor Your Watershed," a full color magnet;

"Get Your Feet Wet! Monitor Your Watershed," a poster for kids to color, with puzzles, tips about clean water, and activities for parents and teachers;

"Get Bugged About Water Quality!" a laminated card showing healthy stream bugs, with a magnifying glass key chain, for use in stream-side bug identification;

"Help Your Watershed," a poster with tips on protecting your watershed;

"Getting to Know WATERS," a fact sheet that explains EPA's WATERS website that decision-makers and citizens alike can use to learn more about water conditions;

"What YOU Can Do On World Water Monitoring Day," a fact sheet listing the types of activities we can all take part in on October 18; and

An order form to order a number of these publications from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications and the Water Resource Center.

For more information on ordering water test kits and to register your monitoring location, visit http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org

EPA Announces 2003 National Clean Water Act Recognition Awards Winners

A Federal Notice was published on Sept. 22, 2003, to announce EPA's National Clean Water Act Recognition Awards presentation during the Water Environment Federation's Technical Exposition and Conference (WEFTEC). Jim Hanlon, Director of the Office of Wastewater Management, will be presenting the awards on Monday, Oct. 13, 2003, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

An inscribed plaque will be presented to over 40 first and second place national awards winners in five awards categories including Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Excellence, Biosolids Management Excellence, outstanding Pretreatment Program, Storm Water Management Excellence and Combined Sewer Overflow Control Program Excellence.

The Notice also announces the 2003 national awards winners. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/owm/mtb/intnet.htm or contact Maria Campbell at 202-564-0628.

EPA Awards Grant to the American Society of Civil Engineers

G. Tracy Mehan III, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, announced the grant award of $1.6 million, which was jointly funded by the Office of Water and the Office of Research and Development, to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The American Society of Civil Engineers with its partners, the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation, will be developing voluntary physical security standards for drinking water, wastewater, and storm water systems. Preliminary information on this project will be available for use in approximately one year. For more information, please contact Curt Baranowski at (202) 564-0636.

EPA Awards Grant to the Association of Boards of Certification

G. Tracy Mehan III, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, announced the grant award of $24,000 to the Association of Boards of Certification. The Association of Boards of Certification will develop voluntary drinking water and wastewater security-related operator certification examination questions.

These questions will be shared with all state operator certification programs and will be available for use in approximately one year. For more information, please contact Curt Baranowski at (202) 564-0636.

Notice of Intent for Proposed Ballast Water Discharge Standard

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) issued a Notice of Intent to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for a proposed regulatory action to establish a ballast water discharge standard. The intent of this standard is to establish the required level of environmental protection in preventing introductions and spread of invasive species from ballast water discharges.

EPA and USCG are working as cooperating agencies to develop the PEIS for the Coast Guard's Ballast Water Discharge Standard rule. EPA will play a key role in identifying the serious environmental and economic consequences of aquatic invasions from ballast water. The Coast Guard is seeking public and agency input to develop the scope of this PEIS.

Comments should be submitted by December 26, 2003. 68 Fed. Reg. 5555. USCG will hold five public scoping meetings in order to expand the opportunity for input. The meetings will be held during the last week in October and first week in November. A notice of the public scoping meetings will be published in the Federal Register, identifying the dates, times and locations of the meetings. For additional information, please call Katherine Bruce at 202-566-1280.

Annual International Coastal Cleanup

Events in celebration of the 18th Annual International Coastal Cleanup were held on Sept. 20 throughout the world. Due to impacts from Hurricane Isabel, the cleanup for Haines Point in Washington , DC, has been rescheduled and will occur on Oct. 18, 2003, from 9 a.m. until noon near the Awakening Statue at Haines Point. EPA's staff contact for participation in the cleanup is Javier Velez-Arocho at 202-566-1257.

More in Environmental