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Legislative Update - Drinking Water Highlights from the recently passed 2018 New York State Budget

April 11, 2017

 

The $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act for drinking water, wastewater and storm water projects was a bright spot in the budget. We certainly appreciate the funding and support. It is absolutely a step in the right direction. However, with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) projecting a $40 billion investment need over the next 20 years for drinking water infrastructure alone (not including new treatment for emerging contaminants), this type of funding must be continuous for each fiscal year and expanded. Right now the details for the funding administration are pending. The first step is to obtain legislative authorization which has been completed. The actual implementation will probably lag by 6 to 12 months.  EFC will most likely develop the application process for the bulk of the funding. We will continue to monitor the process and communicate to our members as this moves along. A complete breakdown of the clean act funding as defined in the legislation is provided in the link.

 

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2017 Nominations for the Board

February 06, 2017

 

The Trustee Nominating Committee is responsible for presenting nominations for the Trustee and Trustee-at-Large positions to the Board of Governors. The Trustee Nominating Committee members include: Mike Marino, Chair; Amanda Bauner; Dan Seaver; Kevin Castro; and Richard Tobin.  

 

The Nominating Committee reviews each potential candidate for the Trustee and Trustee-at-Large positions; a candidate or candidates for each position will be presented to the Section Board of Governors. Outside of being nominated by the local water works conferences, individuals can submit a petition signed by a minimum of 20 active members to the Section office no later than February 22, 2017. Should there be more than one candidate for either position, Section membership will vote and the winner will be announced at the Section's annual meeting in April 2017. 

 

This year the Nominating Committee nominated: Brian Sibiga, Wendel; Trustee Nomination and Mike Keating, NYCDEP; Trustee-at-Large Nomination.

 

If you have any comments or questions regarding the Trustee Nominating process, please contact Jenny Ingrao, Executive Director at 315-455-2614 or email jenny@nysawwa.org.

NYS Governor Signed the Cybersecurity Bill on December 31, 2016

January 03, 2017

 

S7601 - SUMMARY

Provides for enhanced protection of water supplies from and emergency planning for terrorism and cyber terrorism attacks.

 

Download bill text PDF. 

 

APPROVAL MEMORANDUM ‐ No. 32 Chapter 6

 

MEMORANDUM filed with Senate Bill Number 7601, entitled: "AN ACT to amend the executive law, the public health law and the environmental conservation law, in relation to protection of water supplies"


APPROVED
Current law requires any water supplier who owns or operates a community water system that supplies drinking water to more than 3,300 people to prepare an emergency plan, including an analysis of vulnerability to terrorist attack, and to submit such emergency plan to the Department of Health. This bill would now require these water suppliers to amend their vulnerability assessments to include an analysis of potential cyber‐attacks and their impact on the water supply.

 

I fully support the intent of this bill. As drafted, however, this bill contains technical flaws that would make it extremely challenging to implement effectively. In order to ensure full compliance by water suppliers and to safeguard their vulnerability assessments, the Executive has secured a three‐way agreement with the Legislature to pass legislation in the upcoming session to address these issues. On that basis, I am signing this bill.


This bill is approved.

 

(signed) ANDREW M. CUOMO

 

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AWWA Water Utility Energy Challenge - new Great Lakes competition

December 13, 2016

 

AWWA and our partners received grant funds through the Great Lakes Protection Fund to develop and administer the WATER UTILITY ENERGY CHALLENGE (WUEC) to reduce energy related pollution emissions (focus on mercury) in water distribution systems. Our team is offering utilities two FREE tools to track emissions and optimize pumping systems. During the Trial Period (Dec 2016-Feb 2017), utilities can use the tools without obligation within their system before applying to be a competitor. We are working to recruit utilities and have them REGISTER for the Trial Period to check out the tools. The competition is scheduled for Apr 2017-Mar 2018, and we expect to have 6-8 utilities compete. First prize is $20,000 and second prize is $10,000.

 

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Technical Advisory - Laboratory Analysis of Drinking Water Samples for Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

September 28, 2016

 

EPA has recently learned that laboratories have identified different approaches for implementation of EPA Method 537 Rev 1.1 (“Method 537”) for analysis of PFOA.

 

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Best of the Best Professionals from Central New York to Speak at AAEES Conference

October 20, 2016

 

The American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists (AAEES) will be hosting a one-day technical conference in Cazenovia, New York in conjunction with the Academy’s Board of Trustees Meeting the following day. The selected speakers represent the “Best of the Best” professionals from Central New York in their environmental specialities of water and wastewater. Attendees will hear about the proven and state-of-the-art technologies and concepts to maximize performance and improve energy efficiencies and sustainability.

 

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Understanding Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins

August 29, 2016

 

Take a look at this great video the Water Research Foundation made on the science behind cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins and a utility perspective on the latest in source water protection, monitoring, detection, and treatment

 

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Researchers find unsafe levels of industrial chemicals in drinking water of 6 million Americans

August 10, 2016

 

Drinking water supplies serving more than six million Americans contain unsafe levels of a widely used class of industrial chemicals linked to potentially serious health problems, according to a new study from Harvard University researchers.

The chemicals — known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs — have been used for decades in a range of industrial and commercial products, including non-stick coatings on pans, food wrappers, water-repellent clothing and firefighting foam. Long-term exposure has been linked to increased risks of kidney cancer, thyroid problems, high cholesterol and hormone disruption, among other issues.

 

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Final Regulation: Part 4 - Protection Against Legionella

July 22, 2016

 

Part 4 of the New York State Sanitary Code Protection Against Legionella, became effective on July 6, 2016, and can be viewed in full at http://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/recently_adopted/docs/protection_against_legionella.pdf (beginning on page 11). The regulations were released for public comment on April 20, 2016 and the comments and the Department’s responses can be viewed in the Assessment of Public Comment at the link above, on page 59. The permanent regulations replace the emergency regulations which have been in effect since August 17, 2015.

 

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The passing of Nicholas J. Bartilucci, former President and Chairman of D&B Engineers

July 18, 2016

 

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Nicholas J. Bartilucci, former President and Chairman of the Board of Dvirka and Bartilucci Consulting Engineers.

 

Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, his wife Joan, and children Mark, Paul and Lisa.

 

For more informatoin click the link below.

 

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NYSAWWA and NYSDOH Working Together on Emerging Issues

June 30, 2016

 

As water suppliers, we have all faced increased awareness from our customers regarding recent news reports about Lead and emerging contaminants such as Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs).  The Sections Water Utility Council, Public Affairs Committee and Section leaders have been working with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to address these important issues, and provide timely and accurate information to our members and the public.  A meeting was recently held between NYSDOH and NYSAWWA (which we hope will be a recurring meeting) to discuss these issues and what efforts we can provide together to educate the public and our members on these issues.  While we will have more to report in the coming months, our initial discussions focused on the following:

- Develop responses to frequently asked questions regarding Lead And Copper Rule monitoring and compliance.

- Provide clarification of specific Lead and Copper sampling approaches (pre-stagnation flushing, aerators, sample rates etc.)

- Provide direction on reporting  and evaluating voluntary Lead and Copper sampling outside of required compliance monitoring.

- Provide direction on customer notification of partial lead service line replacement.

- Promote best management practices for premise plumbing.

- Act as stakeholders for the Governor’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team.  

- Create messaging for the public, elected officials and our members related to emerging contaminants.

- Improved early sharing and messaging of the findings of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule.

 

The Section is seeking volunteers to work with our Public Affairs committee on these emerging issues.  If you have specific expertise to offer in these areas, or water supply issues in general, please volunteer.

 

For more information, please contact Kevin Castro (kevin.castro@ghd.com), Chair of the Public Affairs Committee.

Village of Canajoharie, NY Placed Third in the Nation as

June 29, 2016

 

The Village of Canajoharie competed against 25 other Water Utilities in the nation at the American Water Works Association's twelfth annual “Best of the Best” Tap Water Taste Test on Tuesday, June 21 at the AWWA’s Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE16) in Chicago, Ill.

 

First place went to the the City of Bloomington, Minn,; Second place went to the City of Iola, Kan.; and the People’s Choice award winner, as determined by the conference attendees, went to City Corporation, Russellville, Ark.

 

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AWWA announces launch of Partnership for Clean Water

June 14, 2016

 

Innovative new program helps to optimize wastewater utility performance
DENVER – The American Water Works Association proudly announces the launch of the Partnership for Clean Water, a global optimization and recognition program for wastewater utilities. The program is a voluntary initiative created to help wastewater utilities of all sizes and configurations optimize the operations, performance and efficiency of their treatment facilities. The Partnership for Clean Water will officially launch with a series of events scheduled at AWWA’s Annual Conference & Exposition, held in Chicago June 19-22.   

 

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Spring/Summer 2016 Aquarius Now Available Online

June 02, 2016

 

The Spring/Summer 2016 Edition of Aquarius is now online.

 

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Monroe County Water Authority Ranked Highest in Northeast for Customer Satisfaction

May 19, 2016

 

J.D. Power contucted a 2016 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study and New York Section AWWA member, Monroe County Water Authority was ranked highest in the Northeast for Customer Satisfaction! 

 

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Public Affairs Advisory

April 05, 2016

 

The White House, in coordination with federal agencies, launched a major report on climate change and public health today. Water utilities should expect news outlets to cover this report about the known and possible public health impacts of climate change.

 

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Member Spotlight Seth Walburger

April 04, 2016

 

The Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA) is responsible for providing Central New York with its most vital life source. In order to keep taps flowing, roughly 100 employees with various skill sets and knowledge work together to provide palatable and potable drinking water. Seth Walburger, 27, of OCWA’s Operations Department, views it as a puzzle; each employee, or puzzle piece, is essential to a successful big picture affair. “I like the fact that our goal is to provide people with necessities. It’s our duty to supply good quality water to help them go about their lives,” says Walburger. 

 

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Together, let's get the lead out

March 22, 2016

 

by: David LaFrance, CEO, AWWA

If there is one lesson to be learned from the Flint crisis, it is this: Our communities will be safer in the long run with no lead pipes in the ground. That’s why the board of the American Water Works Association – recognizing our first core principle is the protection of public health -- voted unanimously on March 7 to forge on a path toward the removal of all lead service lines. AWWA believes that as water professionals and a broader society, we should seize this moment of increased awareness to develop solutions for eliminating all risks from lead in water.

 

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