Groups jockeying to shape EPA water rule

Read the full story in The Hill.

More than 100 advocates representing dozens of industry groups, companies and environmental organizations are flocking to the White House in a last-ditch effort to influence controversial regulations that would redefine the reach of the federal government’s water pollution enforcement.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has in recent days disclosed 16 meetings about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal since early April, when the OMB started its final regulatory review of the plan.

Pennsylvania study finds contaminants in drilling wastewater

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Two chemicals never before considered oil and gas industry contaminants, ammonium and iodide, were found in alarming levels in drilling wastewater discharged into Pennsylvania’s waterways, according to a recent study.

Oil spill on Santa Barbara County coast: Environmental groups, politicians respond

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

A 21,000-gallon oil spill on the Santa Barbara County coast is the latest reminder of the inherent risks of mixing industry and economy with nature, local politicians and environmental groups say.

The rupture occurred Tuesday afternoon on an 11-mile-long underground pipe owned by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline and spilled the equivalent of 500 barrels of crude. The pipeline is part of a larger oil transport network centered in Kern County and was moving oil between facilities in Las Flores and Gaviota.

WaterSense H2Otel Challenge Recruiting Rally — Two weeks left

WaterSense needs help spreading the word about the H2Otel Challenge and is counting on its partners and industry stakeholders to reach out to hotels in their areas to tell them how to join and why they should implement water efficiency best management practices.

To incentivize WaterSense promotional partners (i.e., utilities, state/local governments, trade associations, or nonprofits) to recruit hotels to take the Challenge, WaterSense will hold a Recruiting Rally from February 1 to June 1, 2015. The promotional partner that recruits the most hotels to sign up for the Challenge during that time period will be rewarded with free technical assistance. After the winner is announced, WaterSense will host a free water efficiency workshop for the winning partner’s hotel stakeholders and conduct an onsite water assessment at one hotel of the partner’s choosing.

Any organization or individual can recruit hotels to sign up for WaterSense’s H2Otel Challenge, but only WaterSense promotional partners are eligible to earn the free workshop and water assessment. Most recruiting organizations can become WaterSense partners. Learn more about the Recruiting Rally by downloading this flier and learn how to become a WaterSense partner here.

WaterSense provides materials for partners and other organizations to recruit hotels to take the Challenge and promote their participation. Download a recruitment flier to help you get started. Once your organization commits to participating in the Rally below, you will receive ongoing tips and communications about recruiting hotels to join the Challenge. WaterSense partners can visit the partner website for more information on the H2Otel Challenge.

Funding Opp: National Priorities: Life Cycle Costs of Water Infrastructure Alternatives

Proposals due July 2, 2015, 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is seeking applications that propose research focused on developing tools and models that compare the life-cycle costs of green, grey, and hybrid forms of water infrastructure. One of the high-priority research areas identified by the EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) is developing tools to protect the quantity and quality of water.  Under the 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA), the EPA established a program to address storm water discharges including the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program which regulates point sources such as pipes and sewers that discharge directly into surface waters. Under the CWA, communities need to address stormwater management requirements as they consider their aging water infrastructure systems, rate payer expectations, and other considerations important to the community. Green infrastructure is an emerging technology with much potential to help many communities.

Research is needed to assist communities throughout the United States in evaluating investments in green infrastructure that can improve stormwater management in multiple ways, including reducing the volume of stormwater entering the sewer system to decrease the costs of grey infrastructure updates, and by managing stormwater runoff as a resource, not a waste, to enhance scarce water supplies. The EPA currently supports a number of research grants from previous solicitations on performance and effectiveness of green infrastructure. Information regarding current and prior research can be found on ORD’s National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) web site.

This solicitation provides the opportunity for the submission of applications for projects that may involve human subjects research.  Human subjects research supported by the EPA is governed by EPA Regulation 40 CFR Part 26 (Protection of Human Subjects).  This includes the Common Rule at subpart A and prohibitions and additional protections for pregnant women and fetuses, nursing women, and children at subparts B, C, and D.  Research meeting the regulatory definition of intentional exposure research found in subpart B is prohibited by that subpart in pregnant women, nursing women, and children.  Research meeting the regulatory definition of observational research found in subparts C and D is subject to the additional protections found in those subparts for pregnant women and fetuses (subpart C) and children (subpart D).  All applications must include a Human Subjects Research Statement (HSRS, as described in Section IV.C.5.c of this solicitation), and if the project involves human subjects research, it will be subject to an additional level of review prior to funding decisions being made as described in Sections V.C and V.D of this solicitation. Additional information can be found in Section I.A of the full announcement.

How MillerCoors is brewing more beer with less water

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

MillerCoors this week became the latest company to join Ceres’ Connect the Drops campaign — a business-led effort organized by Ceres seeking bolder measures and shared solutions to achieve a sustainable water future in California.

Day-to-day, the company is also re-evaluating how water is used in various aspects of its operations.