NACWA Hosts COVID-19 Webinar, Updates Resources Website

(April 3, 2020) – NACWA hosted a webinar with over 1000 attendees on April 2 to highlight top utility leaders’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and engage in a question and answer session. 

Top utility executives from a number of utilities around the country spoke on the webinar to share their responses to COVID-19 as part of NACWA’s Peer-to-Peer information sharing initiative. Topics discussed included how clean water agencies are responding to the outbreak in areas such as Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPs), Emergency Response Plans, HR and staffing issues, operations issues, losses in revenue, and other challenges being presented by the virus. NACWA also provided a brief update on resources it has available for utilities to help respond to the crisis and related advocacy efforts with Congress and EPA.

NACWA would like to thank the following utility leaders for speaking on the webinar: John Sullivan, NACWA President and Chief Engineer of the Boston Water & Sewer Commission; Mike Slevin, Environmental Services Director of the City of Tacoma Environmental Services Department; Angela Licata, Deputy Commissioner of Sustainability for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection; Sue McCormick, Chief Executive Officer of the Great Lakes Water Authority; Josh Schimmel, Executive Director of the Springfield Water & Sewer Commission; and Tom Sigmund, Executive Director of NEW Water. 

NACWA has also updated the resources on its COVID-19 webpage, which include copies of various response plans, staffing information, and other documents that utilities have offered to share with their peers, along with other information and resources that utilities may find helpful.  NACWA is continuing to add to this page as it receives more information, including a recent compendium of response practices produced by Moonshot Missions.  Please feel free to send additional resources for posting to Nathan Gardner-Andrews, NACWA’s General Counsel & Chief Advocacy Officer. 

In a related COVID-19 development, NACWA sent a letter this week to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler thanking him for hosting a call with a number of Association members and other stakeholder group executives last week to better understand how EPA can assist the clean water sector during the outbreak.  EPA has been very helpful in ensuring clean water sector workers are considered essential personnel and in advancing the “Toilets Are Not Trash Cans” message to educate the public against flushing inappropriate products (see related stories).

A recording of the April 2 NACWA webinar is available online.