(October 31, 2017) - More than 30 leaders from clean water utilities across EPA Region 8 gathered in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 26 to discuss challenges facing their utilities, provide input to NACWA’s national advocacy priorities and network with peers. The meeting, held in conjunction with the Association’s Fall Strategic Leadership Meeting, provided an opportunity for the utilities to hear from state regulators from across the Region, to share information on current initiatives they are implementing in their communities, and to hear from others in the Region that may be dealing with similar utility-related and public affairs issues.
The half day program began with a keynote address from Alan Matheson, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, about how the state is planning for its water future. Participants then heard from other top state officials focused on clean water and agricultural regulation, before engaging in a closed door, utility-only discussion.
Chief among the concerns discussed by the utilities and regulators alike was nutrient regulations, including how best to address the algal blooms plaguing Utah and other western states. Discussion focused on alternative solutions like nutrient trading programs, and how these options can be tailored to be more effective both for utilities and for water quality. NACWA discussed the Association’s current efforts to evaluate options like longer permit terms and statewide watershed utilities to help alleviate concerns around trading and other emerging solutions.
NACWA regularly holds regional meetings across the country to provide an opportunity for better discussion of how state/regional issues should influence the Association’s national advocacy. If you are interested in hosting such a meeting in your region, please contact Erica Spitzig.