Regulatory

Trump Administration Drops Obama-Era Water Protection Rule

The Trump administration on Thursday revoked an Obama-era regulation that shielded many U.S. wetlands and streams from pollution but was opposed by developers and farmers who said it hurt economic development and infringed on property rights.

Sewage Dumping at Airport Caused No Contamination

State regulators say Rapid City Regional Airport did not cause contamination when it dumped sewage on its property last month.

EPA Launches 60-day Comment Period for Clean Water Act Changes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a proposed rule to implement Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) intended to streamline the approval process for permits that are often an obstacle for pipelines and other infrastructure projects.

Texas Implements New Pipeline Safety Regulations

Texas’ natural gas utilities need to be ready for two new state pipeline safety programs: filing incident reports within one-hour of an accident, and removing underground cast-iron pipe by Dec. 31, 2021, used for natural gas delivery to end-use customers.

First Infrastructure Bill Emerges in Congress

House Democrats have introduced the first infrastructure package in Congress that would make significant new investments in broadband deployment and drinking water systems, among other areas. All 31 Democrats on the House Energy & Commerce Committee sponsored the LIFT America Act (H.R. 2741), which had a hearing in front of that committee on May 22, 2019.

Trump Says He’ll Push for $200 Million for Everglades Work

President Donald Trump says his administration will seek $200 million for federal work on watershed restoration in the Everglades this year.

Markwest Agrees to Payment for Pipeline Installation Issue

A subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum's MPLX midstream partnership agreed with West Virginia regulators to pay $124,030 for environmental violations related to a pipeline installation.

Water Treatment Plants Scramble to Meet Sludge Test Deadline

Wastewater treatment plants across Maine are working quickly to meet a deadline to begin testing municipal sludge for so-called forever chemicals.

Mass. Budgets Statewide Review of Natural Gas Systems

Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a spending bill that funds a statewide examination of Massachusetts’ natural gas distribution system. The review was ordered after the Sept. 13 gas explosions that killed one person, injured 25 others and damaged or destroyed dozens of buildings in the Merrimack Valley.

Miami-Dade Almost Out of Money for Federally Mandated Sewage System Upgrades

Miami-Dade County, Fla., is on the brink of running out of money to pay for federally mandated upgrades to its outdated sewage system. This revelation comes just days after more than 700,000 gallons of sewage dumped into Biscayne Bay from the last remaining pump station yet to be scheduled for repairs.

Breaking Records in a Conservation Park

Watercare Services of New Zealand engaged McConnell Dowell and McMillen Jacobs to increase the outfall capacity for its Army Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project involved installing a new wastewater outfall, upgrading the existing pump station and building a new ultraviolet disinfection facility.

Washington Watch

By Stephen Barlas | Washington Editor GAO Highlights Potential Cyber Security Threats The Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over its oversight of cybersecurity protection at interstate pipelines. The report essentially said the DHS’s Transp..

New Jersey Raises Protective Status of 749 miles of Waterways

New Jersey is adding 749 miles (1,205 kilometers) of rivers and streams to its inventory of waterways that have a high level of protection from pollution and development.

Infrastructure Funding Chances, Opportunities Looking Up in 2019

It's uncertain whether infrastructure legislation will be approved in 2019, but the good news is that any bill will likely include water projects. This was not the case last year, when spending talk centered on roads and bridges instead of water and sewer construction.

Washington Watch

By Stephen Barlas | Washington Editor U.S. Chamber Details Impacts of Pipeline, LNG Opposition   A new U.S. Chamber of Commerce study estimates that at least $91.9 billion in domestic economic activity and nearly 730,000 job opportunities were lost because of environmental opposition to the constr..

PCCA Looks Forward to Busy 2019

The Power & Communications Contractors Association plans to follow a productive year with a 2019 focus on advocacy, educational initiatives and programs that help its members run more successful businesses.

LAN to Design Major East Texas Utility Project

The City of Tyler, Texas, selected civil engineering firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) to design improvements to two of its major sanitary sewer basins. The East Texas city’s wastewater collection system includes more than 690 miles of sewer mains ranging in sizes from 6-inches to 54-inch..

Judge Halts Keystone XL for Environmental Study

NEW YORK (AP) — Environmentalists cheered a federal court order Thursday that blocks a Trump administration permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, pending an environmental review. The pipeline would begin in Alberta and shuttle as much as 830,000 bpd of crude through a half dozen ..

Regulators Order Changes at North Mississippi Water Utility

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi utility regulators are ordering changes in a rural water association. The move came after residents complained about water quality and other issues with Lafayette County’s 850-customer Punkin Water Association. The Oxford Eagle reports Northern District Commissione..

Pittsburgh Will Add Chemical to Water to Reduce Lead Risk

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh officials have received approval from the state to add a chemical to its water supply to help reduce lead contamination. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will start adding orthophosphate to its water in August. The chemical ..

Michigan Plans $1.7M Water Survey for Chemical Contaminants

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is planning a $1.7 million survey for certain kinds of industrial chemical contaminants in water supplies around the state. The chemicals are known as PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Unsafe levels have been detected in lakes and drinking wa..

$23 Million Awarded for Water Projects in Texas

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has approved financial assistance in excess of $23 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for the following pipeline construction projects: $22 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to the Johnson County Special Utility Distric..

Flint Implements Programs to Keep Water Fund out of the Red

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Flint officials are implementing several collection and restoration programs to keep its water fund solvent as the city attempts to rebound from a lead-tainted water crisis. Extending a trial water fee collection period and issuing water liens are part of Flint Chief Financial O..

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Construction Can Proceed Despite Vacated Permit

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Federal regulators declined to stop work Wednesday on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline after an appeals court invalidated a key permit for the multistate project. The decision came over the objections of environmental groups that insist the vacated permit means all construction must..

$62.5 Million Sewer and Water Project Begins in New York City

In honor of National Infrastructure Week, May 14-21, 2018, New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio announced that workers recently broke ground on a $62.5 million infrastru..

Legislation Proposed to Ban California Water Tunnel Lawsuits

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California congressman wants to ban environmental lawsuits challenging a plan to build two gigantic tunnels to divert water from the north to the thirsty south. Rep. Ken Calvert, a Riverside County Republican, inserted the ban in a 142-page draft of an Interior Departmen..

Providence Offers Interest-Free Loans to Replace Lead Pipes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The city of Providence has launched a program offering interest-free loans to homeowners so they can replace old lead water pipes. The $1.2 million program will give homeowners three years to repay the loans with no interest. The average cost of replacing a home’s lead..

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Permit Vacated

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appellate court vacated a key permit granted to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, saying Tuesday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided no specific limits for the allowable impact on threatened and endangered species. The order’s immediate impact was in dispute. ..

Washington Water Service’s Schlender Receives Drinking Water Week Commitment to Excellence Award

Washington Water Service’s (Washington Water) Water Quality Manager Carol Schlender has received the Drinking Water Week Commitment to Excellence award from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). The Drinking Water Week Commitment to Excellence award is given to an individual water system..

Del Puerto Water District Wins ACWA's 2018 Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) has awarded the 2018 Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence to the Del Puerto Water District for its North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program. The program is an innovative solution to water supply and reliability issues in the San Joa..