EPA Hosts Integrated Planning Webinar
(January 22, 2020) –EPA held a webinar on Tuesday, January 21 to update the public on Integrated Planning. The webinar, The Straight Scoop on Integrated Planning, was recorded and will be posted online soon.
Andrew Sawyers, Director of EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management, provided opening remarks and Robyn DeYoung, a Senior Environmental Specialist leading EPA’s Office of Water’s integrated stormwater and wastewater planning efforts, discussed the “facts and myths” of Integrated Planning and the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA). The WIIA, which codified Integrated Planning into the Clean Water Act, was championed by NACWA and signed into law in January 2019.
EPA noted that one of the key provisions of the Integrated Planning law was the directive to work more closely with stakeholders around the country. To this end, EPA is working with its regions to support municipal outreach, has updated its website and is close to filling the newly-created Municipal Ombudsman position on an interim basis. The Ombudsman position has been developed in coordination across the Office of Water and Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and is designed to help provide assistance to utilities that may be hearing different messages on issues like integrated planning from federal and state regulators.
The webinar also featured a representative from NACWA member utility, the City of Richmond, VA Department of Public Utilities, who shared Richmond’s experience developing its 2017 Clean Water Integrated Plan and permit. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Bureau of Water also provided a state perspective of working through a collaborative integrated planning approach.
NACWA will continue working with EPA to encourage full implementation of WIIA, as well as advancing integrated planning concepts. Integrated Planning will also be discussed in more detail as part of the Legislative & Regulatory Policy Committee at NACWA’s upcoming 2020 Winter Conference. Please contact NACWA staff to discuss further at anytime.