The last legislative session was overflowing with some legislation that was very questionable in some cases. While working with a lobbyist on the notorious "PVC" Bill (Opposed by ARWA, AWWMA members, ASPE/ACEC, General Contractors)with a lobbyist from DIPRA, he was amazed at how the tide had turned in opposition to that bill due to the immediate response and involvement of persons in our industry from all over the state. This year, water and wastewater professionals had a direct impact on major legislation and the defeat of questionable or poorly written legislation. You should be proud.
Best of all, we supported a resolution that is now law, ACT 335 Nutrient Trading is now law. Two of your AWWMA members Larry Lloyd of Beaver Water District and my self were just appointed by Governor Hutchinson on the new Nutrient Trading Water Quality Advisory Panel that will advise and make recommendations on regulations and implementation of this issue. We feel this panel of nie will be key on moving this forward for the future of water quality management in our state, EPA Region 6 and the south.
Some of the cities have written an informational "White Paper" on their vision of nutrient trading the needed change of culture in relationships between regulators and those they regulate. Local initiative to benefit the environment is the focus. It advocates a bottom up instead of a top down approach to improving water quality in our state. A short read but a good synopsis of the history and evolvement of ACT 335.
Things we officially supported and became law:
Things we generally supported that became law:
Things we successfully had to fight late in the game and stopped in the original house or second committee once it amazingly passed the first house:
The PVC bill will be back and we need to be ready. I will be glad to discuss this with anyone who will listen.
The bottom line is the AWWMA membership stood up and weighed in appropriately on key policies either as individual utilities, cities, or associated professional group. In the case of Nutrient Trading, we stood officially as an organization and actually passed a law we thought might no see the light of day. Thanks for your hard work. Keep your eyes and ears open and never assume something is such a crazy idea, it will never be law. It almost happened several times!!!
Stay informed, read publications, talk to your peers. The educated professional armed with good information is a powerful tool and key to protecting our environment and people with good, common sense laws and regulations.
I would also like to thank my committee members who made calls and fed me information. I think we were engaged and active. Thank you, again.
Heath A. Ward
Springdale Water Utilities