Get prepared for Drinking Water Week Drinking Water Week , which will be celebrated May 7-13, is an opportunity to engage with consumers, public officials and media about the reliability of drinking water and all the professionals involved in delivering water to customers’ taps. Materials to help the sector prepare for this year’s Drinking Water Week celebration are available to download through AWWA’s website. WIFIA reaches 100 loans The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) – a federal program conceived and championed by AWWA – has closed on its 100th loan . The announcement came after the agency closed on two loans totaling $115 million to the Santa Clara Valley Water District in California. EPA, AWWA and others will mark this milestone during AWWA’s annual Water Matters! Fly-In on March 22. AWWA made creating WIFIA a key request of Congress at its Fly-Ins from 2011 to 2014, and Congress enacted legislation doing just that in 2014. Other water associations were key to the effort as well, specifically the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the National Association of Water Companies and the Water Environment Federation, with the latter joining AWWA for three joint Fly-Ins in 2011-2013. Others joining in the effort included the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, American Council of Engineering Companies, National Ground Water Association, WateReuse, American Beverage Association, the Water Design-Build Council and the Water and Sewer Distributers of America. The first loan to Santa Clara is for $74 million to support the planning and design costs of a project at the district’s largest reservoir to restore lost capacity, address seismic deficiencies and protect public safety. A $41 million WIFIA loan will help upgrade and add channel restoration projects to manage stormwater that impacts residents, schools, and businesses. Additionally, the district will improve water quality by implementing erosion control measures to protect wildlife habitats and enhance recreational opportunities adjacent to waterways. In other recent news, EPA also announced an $81 million WIFIA loan to the Yucaipa Valley Water District, California, to modernize its recycled water and drinking water facilities and help ensure a dependable water supply in the wake of drought impacts in the state. Over the long run, the district will receive $121 million in WIFIA loans for the project. By securing a low-interest WIFIA loan, EPA estimates that Yucaipa Valley Water will save about $24.5 million. Construction under the first loan will create approximately 500 jobs. Since the WIFIA program began, it has loaned out $17 billion to help finance $36 billion in water infrastructure projects. EPA estimates that borrowers have saved more than $5 billion and created 123,000 jobs. These projects are benefiting more than 50 million people, resulting in 1.2 million people receiving safer drinking water and 1,100 million gallons per day of wastewater receiving more treatment before it is discharged to waterways. Preparation of CCL6 ongoing EPA is requesting nomination of contaminants to be added to the Sixth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 6). Nominated contaminant should be “known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and … may have an adverse health effect on humans.” Placement on the CCL is the first step in EPA’s prioritization of contaminants for development of primary drinking water standards. AWWA will be submitting nominations. If you have recommended contaminants and/or data to support listing contact Chris Moody, AWWA’s regulatory technical manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org . EPA updates assistance website To assist in implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, EPA has updated its financial technical assistance website with new content and a request form. The agency’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center administers the site. The updates include: A fact sheet with an overview of water technical assistance resources A technical assistance request form A list of the types of assistance services available to the public Information on who can receive assistance through EPA California proposes levels for manganese The Water Board has proposed a notification level of 20 µg/L and response level of 200 µg/L. Twenty micrograms per liter is similar to treatment objectives used for minimizing Mn related aesthetic issues but are significantly lower than recent values released by the World Health Organization , Minnesota and Health Canada . While notification and response levels in California are not primary drinking water standards they, like federal health advisories, do impact system water supply options and treatment decisions. Agency to hold PFAS listening sessions EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) will host two public listening sessions in March to receive input on potential per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) enforcement under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. Agency officials will review the input as they draft a CERCLA PFAS enforcement discretion and settlement policy. EPA will accept verbal input during the public listening sessions and written input in a separate form. Registration for the March 14 CERCLA PFAS Enforcement Listening Session Registration for the March 23 CERCLA PFAS Enforcement Listening Session These sessions will focus on enforcement policy related to responsible parties’ financial obligations under PFAS contamination response actions but will not focus on the actions needed to address PFAS contamination or EPA’s progress in the agency’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap commitments. Sessions will be recorded and available on the following web page once both sessions have taken place: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/cercla-pfas-enforcement-listening-sessions . These listening sessions are separate from EPA’s perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) hazardous substance designation rulemaking process. Also, EPA is holding separate Regional PFAS Community Engagement Sessions to update progress on the PFAS Strategic Roadmap. To learn more about EPA’s Regional PFAS Community Engagement Sessions, visit https://pfascommunityengagement.org/ .