News & Information

Potomac River Basin Drinking Water Source Protection Partnership

Below are periodic news items and resources related to source water protection. To receive these updates directly, send us a request.

 January 2015

News & Information

Time to upgrade drinking water protections (Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 18, 2015)
A year ago, residents of Charleston, W.Va., learned that their entire drinking water supply had become contaminated by MCHM, a toxic chemical used to wash coal. Ten thousand gallons of MCHM had spilled from a corroding storage tank by the Elk River, located a mile upstream of the city’s drinking water intake pipes. As a result of the chemical spill, 300,000 citizens lost their water for more than a week, and hundreds sought emergency care.

EPA Proposal Strengthens Nation’s Preparedness Level and Response to Oil Spills (EPA Water Headlines, January 13, 2015)
EPA is proposing to amend requirements under the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan to improve the nation’s ability to plan for and respond to oil spills.  This proposal addresses issues raised by the public, responders, government, and industry officials during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Iowa’s Largest City Sues Over Farm Fertilizer Runoff In Rivers (NPR, January 11, 2015)
Des Moines, Iowa, is confronting the farms that surround it over pollution in two rivers that supply the city with drinking water. Des Moines Water Works says it will sue three neighboring counties for high nitrate levels in the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. It’s a novel attempt to control fertilizer runoff from farms, which has been largely unregulated.

One Year After West Virginia Chemical Spill, U.S. Drinking Water Protections Still Fall Short (Circle of Blue, January 9, 2015)
A year ago today, Charleston, West Virginia, the state capital, slammed to a halt when more than 300,000 people found themselves without drinking water. A chemical spill upstream of the city’s only drinking water intake had poisoned the Elk River. Less than a month later in North Carolina, a storage basin failure at a Duke Energy power plant sent more than 35,000 metric tons of coal ash, a noxious waste product, flowing into the Dan River, a drinking water source. In August, toxic algae shut down drinking water for nearly half a million people in Toledo, Ohio. Then in December, petroleum from an unidentified source contaminated drinking water in Washington, D.C., neighborhoods.

Salt concentrations high in 2 Md. rivers (Baltimore Sun, January 2, 2015)
Salting roads and sidewalks may keep people safe in winter, but scientists warn that profligate de-icing is turning urban streams and rivers salty, harming many fish and other fresh-water aquatic creatures.

River chloride trends in snow-affected urban watersheds: increasing concentrations outpace urban growth rate and are common among all seasons (Science of the Total Environment, December 2014)
Chloride concentrations in northern U.S. included in this study have increased substantially over time with average concentrations approximately doubling from 1990 to 2011, outpacing the rate of urbanization in the northern U.S. Historical data were examined for 30 monitoring sites on 19 streams that had chloride concentration and flow records of 18 to 49 years. Chloride concentrations in most studied streams increased in all seasons (13 of 19 in all seasons; 16 of 19 during winter); maximum concentrations occurred during winter. Increasing concentrations during non-deicing periods suggest that chloride was stored in hydrologic reservoirs, such as the shallow groundwater system, during the winter and slowly released in baseflow throughout the year. Streamflow dependency was also observed with chloride concentrations increasing as streamflow decreased, a result of dilution during rainfall- and snowmelt-induced high-flow periods. The influence of chloride on aquatic life increased with time; 29% of sites studied exceeded the concentration for the USEPA chronic water quality criteria of 230 mg/L by an average of more than 100 individual days per year during 2006–2011. The rapid rate of chloride concentration increase in these streams is likely due to a combination of possible increased road salt application rates, increased baseline concentrations, and greater snowfall in the Midwestern U.S. during the latter portion of the study period.

Dam breaks, tainted wells prompt new look at coal-ash dumps that escaped EPA review (Washington Post, December 18, 2014)
CHESTER, W.Va. — When work began on a strange new reservoir in the hills outside this Ohio River town, local officials promoted the project as offering something for everyone: an aquatic playground for boaters and sunbathers, and for the local power plant, a dump.

Thousands of miles of Va. rivers are polluted, report shows (Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 16, 2014)
More than 16,000 miles of Virginia rivers are polluted, a new report shows. That’s up nearly 3,000 miles from the previous report two years ago.

Webinars & Conferences
Webinar: CWA-SDWA Toolkit Introduction
February 3, 2015, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
ACWA, GWPC, and ASDWA are pleased to announce that we will be conducting our first in a series of four webinars on the Clean Water Act – Safe Drinking Water Act Toolkit entitled, “Opportunities to Protect Drinking Water Sources and Advance Watershed Goals through the Clean Water Act:  A Toolkit for State, Interstate, Tribal, and Federal Water Program Managers.

Farm Bill, Agriculture and the Chesapeake Bay
February 5, 2015, Washington, D.C.
American Water Resources Association, National Capital Section
The session will feature presentations by a senior USDA policy official, a USDA program delivery specialist for the region , and an EPA Region III Agricultural Adviser working in the Chesapeake Bay Program Office.  This will be a great time to have your questions about non-point source water quality issues discussed by those on the front lines in the context of a local application.

Webinar: Residual Treatment Water in Gas Shale
February 19, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST
Penn State Extension
Dr. Terry Engelder, Professor of Geosciences, Penn State University

Webinar: Moving Toward Sustainability: Sustainable and Effective Practices for Creating Your Water Utility Roadmap
February 23, 2015, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
The webinar will be presented by Jim Horne from the USEPA Office of Water and include local testimonials from Austin Water Utility and the City of Phoenix Water Services.

Webinar: Natural Gas Liquids: From Wellhead to Fractionation
March 19, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST
Penn State Extension
Dan Brockett, Educator, Penn State Extension Marcellus Education Team

2015 National Capital Region Water Resources Symposium: Urban Water Management and Resilience in Uncertain Times
April 10, 2015, Washington, D.C.
This one-day symposium will bring together experts from governmental agencies, academia, the private sector, and non-profits to discuss challenges and opportunities for sustainable management of water resources and infrastructure in the region, as well as nationally and internationally.

2015 Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium
May 6, 2015, State College, Penn.
This year’s theme is “An Unconventional Look at PA Groundwater.”  Organized by Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

December 2014

News & Information

WRF Celebrates 40 Years of the SDWA with latest Advances in Water Research (Water Research Foundation, December 16, 2014)
The Water Research Foundation has dedicated the current issue of Advances in Water Research magazine to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act and address some of the impending challenges utilities may face with pathogens and contaminants that aren’t currently covered by the SDWA.

Source Water Collaborative Call to Action
The Source Water Collaborative is announcing a Call to Action – A Recommitment to Assessing and Protecting Sources of Drinking Water. The core document outlining a series of key actions for all stakeholders is available now. More detailed resources will be available in 2015.

USGS study says Chesapeake tributaries are warming, and pollution may increase (Washington Post, December 10, 2014)
A slight increase in air temperature over the past half-century has caused waters to warm more than two degrees in tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay, a change that could reduce the expected benefits of the multibillion-dollar bay cleanup plan and eventually alter the behaviors of marine animals, a new study says.

Chesapeake Bay Region Streams are Warming (USGS, December 8, 2014)
The majority of streams in the Chesapeake Bay region are warming, and that increase appears to be driven largely by rising air temperatures. These findings are based on new U.S. Geological Survey research published in the journal Climatic Change.

NRCS Helps Protect Stretch of Antietam Creek (USDA NRCS, December 8, 2014)
Between crop fields and through a pasture meanders a stretch of the West Branch Antietam Creek. The landowners adjacent to this stretch were concerned with the condition of the stream and lack of aquatic habitat due to nutrient and sediment pollution. In addition, lack of vegetation on the stream banks and farm animal access was contributing to stream bank erosion. The landowners knew they wanted to improve in-stream habitat and decrease the amount of stream bank erosion.

Environmentalists urge Va. to begin crafting fracking rules (WTOP, December 5, 2014)
With a Texas company leading a charge to begin the controversial gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracking in Virginia, environmentalists are calling for the state to adopt new drilling regulations.

State of the Science on Integrated Urban Water Management (Water Research Foundation E-Newsletter, December 2014)
This state of the science document, written by WRF staff and originally published by the American Planning Association in their online publication, PAS Memo, explores the challenges and opportunities of Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) and presents the need for cooperation and leadership among urban planners and water service personnel using IUWM to move toward more water-resilient and sustainable communities.

Environmental group claims county is overdeveloping (Frederick News-Post, November 28, 2014)
An environmental conservation group claims the county is building new developments without regard to the health of the Potomac River watershed.

DEP Celebrates 10th Anniversary of the Potomac Partnership (Pa. DEP News, November26, 2014)
On Nov. 20, Acting DEP Secretary Dana Aunkst joined federal, state and local officials in Gettysburg, Adams County, at the annual meeting and 10th anniversary of the Potomac Partnership, a unique public-private partnership formed to safeguard drinking water sources for more than five million people in the Potomac River Basin.

O’Malley says he is ready to allow ‘fracking’ in Western Maryland, with strict safeguards (Washington Post, November 25, 2014)
Outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley says he is ready to allow drilling for natural gas in Western Maryland, but only if energy companies adhere to some of the most restrictive public health and environmental safeguards in the country.

A Decade of Partnership for the Nation’s River (Health Waters for EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region Blog, November 20, 2014)
This year, members of the Potomac River Drinking Water Source Protection Partnership are marking the tenth anniversary of their 2004 partnership resolution.  I recall the excitement as water utilities from the middle Potomac, and federal, interstate and state government representatives signed a giant version of the partnership’s framework document at Little Seneca Reservoir in Maryland, pledging to work together to protect the quality of the Nation’s River, the source of drinking water for more than 5 million people.

Reports show underground pools may pollute Potomac (Washington Times, November 19, 2014)
Concentrations of iron and sulfate collecting in underground pools could pollute the Potomac River and its surrounding groundwater, according to a long-awaited environmental impact report released Wednesday.

In Compromise Plan, Limited Fracking Is Approved for National Forest in Virginia (New York Times, November 18, 2014)
Drilling for oil and natural gas will be mostly off-limits in the largest national forest in the East, whose streams bring drinking water to Washington and Richmond, Va., the federal government said Tuesday.

New U.S. Forest Service plan retreats from ban on fracking in national forest in Virginia (Washington Post, November 18, 2014)
The U.S. Forest Service has backed off a proposal to ban fracking in the George Washington National Forest, a move likely to upset conservationists who oppose the controversial drilling practice.

Forest buffer research reveals more benefits than previously thought (Bay Journal, November 17, 2014)
One of the things that Sweeney and colleagues increasingly stress is that forest stream buffers are substantially different from other management practices used to control runoff. Not only are they highly effective at reducing nutrient runoff, but buffers also provide a host of additional stream benefits, such as stabilizing banks, regulating water temperatures and improving habitat quality.

Opportunities to Protect Drinking Water and Advance Watershed Goals Through the Clean Water Act: A Toolkit for State, Interstate, Tribal and Federal Water Program Managers
This Toolkit is designed to enable state and EPA water quality practitioners to better protect drinking water supplies using regulatory and non-regulatory provisions of the Clean Water Act and achieve mutual goals – better protected sources of drinking water and improved water quality.

Legislation & Regulations
S. 2785: Safe and Secure Drinking Water Protection Act of 2014
A bill to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to publish a health advisory and submit reports with respect to microcystins in drinking water.
Passed Senate on Dec 11, 2014, now goes onto the House for consideration.

Webinars & Conferences
International symposium on waterborne pathogens
April 13 & 14, 2015, Savannah, Georgia
The sixth International Symposium on Waterborne Pathogens will provide a comprehensive forum for exchange of critical information and cutting-edge ideas around monitoring, treatment, and public health protection from waterborne pathogens.

November 2014

News & Information

2014 State of the Nation’s River Report: River Friendly Growth (Potomac Conservancy, 11/11/14)
Potomac Conservancy’s 2014 State of the Nation’s River report calls for urgent action to preserve local water quality in the face of rapid urbanization and deforestation. By 2040, an estimated 2.3 million new residents will move into our region.

Potential Natural Gas Drilling and Transport in Virginia under Close Scrutiny in 2014 (Virginia Water Central News Grouper, 10/31/14)
As of late-October 2014, here’s an overview of recent developments regarding the drilling for or transport of natural gas in Virginia.  Following the summary of developments is an ongoing list of some news headlines since December 2013 on these topics, linked to the full article (links were functional at the time they were added to this post).

EPA drops appeal in runoff case against WV poultry farmers (Bay Journal, 10/29/14)
The EPA has dropped its appeal in the case of a West Virginia farmer who sued the agency after it required her to obtain a permit for discharges on her farm.

U-Md. studies hormones in Chesapeake tributaries (The Washington Post, 10/28/14)
University of Maryland researchers are getting federal funds to study the concentration and effects of hormone pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

In Florida, a water-pollution warning that glows at night (The Washington Post, 10/26/14)
Karen McLaughlin normally carries a flashlight for her nighttime kayak trips along Florida’s Banana River to spot any alligators resting on the banks. But these days, it’s the river itself that glows in the dark.

DEP announces public comment period and hearing on TMDLs for impaired streams in the South Branch of the Potomac and Shenandoah Hardy Watersheds (WV DEP, 10/23/14)
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announces a comment period and public meeting on draft Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired streams in the South Branch of the Potomac and Shenandoah Hardy Watersheds. The comment period begins Oct. 23 and extends through Nov. 21.

Nitrate Levels On the Rise in Local Streams and Rivers (, 10/21/14)
Residents in the four-state area could soon see water that will be undrinkable, especially in Virginia.

Announcement of Preliminary Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Third Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List ( Federal Register, 10/20/14)
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1996, requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make regulatory determinations every five years on at least five unregulated contaminants. A regulatory determination is a decision about whether or not to begin the process to propose and promulgate a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) for an unregulated contaminant. These unregulated contaminants are chosen from the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL), which SDWA requires the agency to publish every five years. EPA published the third CCL (CCL 3) in the Federal Register on October 8, 2009. This notice presents the preliminary regulatory determinations and supporting rationale for 5 of the 116 contaminants listed on CCL 3. The agency is making preliminary determinations to regulate one contaminant (i.e., strontium) and to not regulate four contaminants (i.e., 1,3-dinitrobenzene, dimethoate, terbufos and terbufos sulfone). EPA seeks comment on these preliminary determinations.

EPA Makes Preliminary Determination to Regulate Strontium in Drinking Water (EPA, 10/20/14)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made a preliminary determination to regulate strontium in the nation’s drinking water. Strontium is a naturally occurring element that, at elevated levels, can impact bone strength in people who do not consume enough calcium.

PA General Assembly weakens protection for high quality streams (Bay Journal, 10/15/14)
A controversial bill that environmental groups said would weaken protection for Pennsylvania’s cleanest streams won final approval by the state’s General Assembly on Wednesday.

Mercury in the nation’s streams: levels, trends, and implications (USGS, 10/14/14)
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in fish to levels of concern for human health and the health of fish-eating wildlife. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary reason for issuing fish consumption advisories, which exist in every State in the Nation. Much of the mercury originates from combustion of coal and can travel long distances in the atmosphere before being deposited. This can result in mercury-contaminated fish in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution.

$1.5 million available for water quality improvement projects for water bodies with implementation plans (Va. DEQ, 10/8/14)
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is making approximately $1.5 million in federal grant funding available to support Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation projects that will result in advancement of goals and milestones provided in eligible TMDL implementation plans.

Study: Chesapeake Cleanup Would Bring $22B Boon (Associated Press, 10/6/14)
The Chesapeake Bay region would reap an additional $22.5 billion a year from improved hurricane protection, crab and fish production and climate stability if the Obama administration’s contested plan to clean up the watershed proceeds, according to an environmental group.

More Action Is Needed to Protect Water Resources From Unmonitored Hazardous Chemicals (EPA Office of Inspector General, 9/29/14)
Management controls put in place by the EPA to regulate and control hazardous chemical discharges from sewage treatment plants to water resources have limited effectiveness. Download full report.
Emergency Preparedness Webinar, 11/13/14, 2-3 pm
Sponsored by EPA
Learn about and get free tools and resources to:
Assist with outreach to the public
Help mitigate an emergency
Support you during an emergency
Hear from utilities that have successfully used these tools and resources. Contact hours will be available for operators in eligible states.

September 2014

News & Information

Protecting forested watersheds is smart economics for water utilities (AWWA, September 2014)
Protecting and sustainably managing forested watersheds is an approach that, when used as a complement to traditional infrastructure, may not only reduce costs but also help secure new funding streams.

206 Million Pounds of Chemicals Hit Our Waterways in One Year (Nature World News (blog), 9/21/14)
A new report prepared by the Environment America Research and Policy Center (EARPC) has revealed than in 2012 alone, more than 206 million pounds of toxic chemicals found were dumped into United States waterways despite efforts by local officials and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent this harmful action.

Flooding from storm surge would threaten D.C. infrastructure, report says (Washington Post, 9/16/14)
By the end of this century, as sea levels rise, as much as $7 billion worth of property in the District will routinely be threatened by storm-driven floodwaters, according to a new analysis, including 1,000 homes, three military bases and a broad swath of the Mall.

An Evaluation of Fracture Growth and Gas/Fluid Migration as Horizontal Marcellus Shale Gas Wells are Hydraulically Fractured in Greene County, Pennsylvania (Department of Energy report, 9/15/14)
This field study monitored the induced fracturing of six horizontal Marcellus Shale gas wells in Greene County, Pennsylvania. The study had two research objectives: 1) to determine the maximum height of fractures created by hydraulic fracturing at this location; and 2) to determine if natural gas or fluids from the hydraulically fractured Marcellus Shale had migrated 3,800 ft upward to an overlying Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian gas field during or after hydraulic fracturing.

Pesticide Levels in Waterways Have Dropped, Reducing the Risks to Humans (New York Times, 9/11/14)
The development of safer pesticides and legal restrictions on their use have sharply reduced the risk to humans from pesticide-tainted rivers and streams, while the potential risk to aquatic life in urban waters has risen, according to a two-decade survey published on Thursday.

Pesticides in U.S. Streams and Rivers: Occurrence and Trends during 1992–2011 (USGS report in Environmental Science and Technology, 9/11/14)
During the 20 years from 1992 to 2011, pesticides were found at concentrations that exceeded aquatic-life benchmarks in many rivers and streams that drain agricultural, urban, and mixed-land use watersheds. Widespread trends in pesticide concentrations, some downward and some upward, occurred in response to shifts in use patterns primarily driven by regulatory changes and introductions of new pesticides.

EPA Announces Funding to Create Two New Drinking Water Innovation Centers (EPA Water Headlines, 9/9/14)
EPA is providing over $8 million to create two national centers for research and innovation in small to medium sized drinking water systems. These two EPA-funded centers will develop and test advanced, low cost methods to reduce, control, and eliminate groups of water contaminants that present challenges to communities worldwide.

Proposed natural gas pipeline slices through Virginia, national forests (Bay Journal, September 3, 2014)
Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and AGL Resources announced on Tuesday the formation of a joint venture that plans to move forward with a 550-mile natural gas pipeline across Virginia and parts of two national forests.

Federal Legislation and Federal Register Notices

Final Rule issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration for the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (9/9/14)

H.R. 5439 – Safe and Secure Drinking Water Act of 2014 and S. 2785 – Safe and Secure Drinking Water Protection Act of 2014
To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to publish a health advisory and submit reports with respect to Microcystins in drinking water.


Fertilizer Forecaster, A New Predictive Tool for Runoff
The next Penn State Water Resources Extension webinar on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 12:00 to 1:00 PM EST will discuss Fertilizer Forecaster, A New Predictive Tool for Runoff.  The presenter will be Dr. Tony Buda, a research hydrologist with the USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit (PSWMRU), located in University Park, PA. The live webinar can be viewed at

Continuous Monitoring for Nutrients: State of the Technology and State of the Science
September 24th, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Making water quality measurements that capture rapid changes due to storms and other events has long been a challenge for accurately measuring the sources, loads and cycling of nutrients in lakes, rivers and streams. However, advances in situ sensor technology and communications over the last 10 years has revolutionized the way water quality monitoring and research can be conducted. In particular, in situ optical sensor measurements for nutrients such as nitrate and orthophosphate are yielding significant insights into the sources and timing of nutrient transport, as well as real-time data for decision support. This talk will present the state of the technology for continuous monitoring of nutrients in rivers and streams and several examples from USGS studies that highlight the opportunities, challenges and importance of making comparable, high quality measurements in our Nation’s waterways. Presenter: Brian Pellerin, U.S. Geological Survey.

Expert Tips for Continuous Water Quality Monitoring
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 2 PM EDT
Sponsored by Aquatic Informatics and YSI, with AWRA
Information is power to better manage water resources. Join Dustin Shull from the Pennsylvania DEP, Timothy Finegan from YSI / Xylem, and David Gilbey from Aquatic Informatics as they share strategies for turning continuous data from your unattended stations into water quality insight!

Conferences & Trainings

Adaptation and Resilience to Natural Disasters
September 25, 2014, 5:30 pm, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
How does the National Capital Region prepare for natural disasters and assess risks to our human environment? Are the lessons learned from our nearby coastal communities part of the solution? Can models, infrastructure design, and smart policies help us effectively manage water resources and plan for an uncertain future? Panelists: Sandra K. Knight, Director and Senior Research Engineer, Center for Disaster Resilience, UMD; and Laurens van der Tak, Vice President and Technology Fellow, Water Resources and Ecosystem Management, CH2M Hill

American Water Resources Association Annual Conference, November 3-6, 2014, Tysons Corner, Va.
Super Saver registration discount ends August 29. 80+ concurrent technical sessions on a wide range of water resources research, policy, management, education, and technical topics, including special tracks for AWRA at 50, Climate Change, Dynamic Reservoir Operations, Flood Management, Green Infrastructure, International Water, Management Tools, Open Water Data, Social Science and Emerging Contaminants, Water Quality, and Watershed Protection Modeling. Our local topics tracks provide an opportunity for Mid-Atlantic water resource professionals to tell you about the Delaware River, Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, and Interstate Compact experiences.

Enhanced Threat and Risk Assessment Training (MGT 315), November 5-6, 2014, MWCOG – Washington, D.C.
There is no cost to attend this training, but advanced registration is required.

20th Annual Maryland Water Monitoring Council Conference: Looking to the Past to Guide our Future
November 21, 2014, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Maritime Institute, North Linthicum, Maryland
Much has happened in the world of water monitoring over the past 20 years. This year’s conference will highlight the advances in monitoring, improvements in methods and equipment, technological innovations, and environmental trends. Possible themed sessions include Stream Restoration Effectiveness Monitoring, Water Quality Trends in Chesapeake Bay, Freshwater Streams, and Coastal Bays, Columbia as an Early Attempt at Sustainable Development, Fish Kills, Maryland’s Coldwater Fishes, and Volunteer Monitoring.

August 2014

News & Information

MDE releases list of impaired waters for comment
In compliance with Sections 303(d), 305(b), and 314 of the Clean Water Act, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is announcing the availability of the Draft 2014 IR for public review and comment.  The public review period will run from August 8 to September 24, 2014. The Department is hosting an informational public meeting and conference call on the IR in Baltimore at 6pm on September 8, 2014. Comments or questions should be directed in writing to Mr. Matthew Stover MDE, Science Services Administration, 1800 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, Maryland 21230, emailed to, or faxed to the attention of Mr. Matthew Stover at 410-537-3873 on or before September 24, 2014. After addressing all comments received during the public review period, a final List will be prepared and submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

Report Released on Extreme Climate and Weather Events (EPA Water Headlines, August 13, 2014)
EPA collaborated with NOAA, WERF, WaterRF, CTC and Noblis on a new report about the impacts of and responses to extreme events at water utilities. This report describes what happened in six communities that experienced one or more extreme event when water services were disrupted, including drinking water supply, wastewater conveyance and treatment, and stormwater management.  The report discusses how utility managers and other local water resource managers made decisions, what information was used to inform decisions, what institutional dynamics helped or hindered, and how water utilities and their communities are planning to deal with extreme events in the future.

2 Virginia agencies to coordinate fracking reviews (Associated Press, August 13, 2014)
Two state agencies will coordinate their reviews of potential permits for hydraulic fracking for natural gas in Virginia’s coastal plain.

Changes in fish signal problems with waters [Editorial] (The Virginian-Pilot, August 12, 2014)
For more than a decade, scientists and policymakers have known that something has gone terribly wrong with the male fish in the rivers leading to the Chesapeake Bay.

Algae problems in the Shenandoah River may bring suit by Riverkeeper (Bay Journal, August 11, 2014)
The Shenandoah Riverkeeper has filed notice of intent  to sue the EPA for failure to address problems caused by algae in the Shenandoah River.

The toxin that shut off Toledo’s water? The feds don’t make you test for it. (The Washington Post, August 11, 2014)
There are no national standards for algal cyanotoxin in drinking water. U.S. utilities don’t need to test for it. How widespread the toxin is in drinking water is a mystery. Monitoring is voluntary. And even when water companies do look for the toxins, how and when the testing is done varies, opening the door to inconsistent results. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for years has discussed drafting rules to cover cyanotoxins but hasn’t acted.

Maryland gives Washington County top grade for water quality (Herald-Mail, August 9, 2014)
Washington County has earned a top grade for its effort to improve the water quality of its lakes and streams, as well for its drinking water, according to state’s environmental officials.

As more male bass switch sex, a strange fish story expands (The Washington Post, August 3, 2014)
At first she was surprised. Then she was disturbed. Now she’s a little alarmed. Each time a different batch of male fish with eggs in their testes shows up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Vicki Blazer’s eyebrows arch a bit higher.

NIST Corrosion Lab Tests Suggest Need for Underground Gas Tank Retrofits (NIST Tech Beat, July 29, 2014)
A hidden hazard lurks beneath many of the roughly 156,000 gas stations across the United States. The hazard is corrosion in parts of underground gas storage tanks—corrosion that could result in failures, leaks and contamination of groundwater, a source of drinking water. In recent years, field inspectors in nine states have reported many rapidly corroding gas storage tank components such as sump pumps. These incidents are generally associated with use of gasoline-ethanol blends and the presence of bacteria, Acetobacter aceti, which convert ethanol to acetic acid, a component of vinegar.

Toxic conversation: Panel addresses contaminants in local waterways (Bay Journal, July 29, 2014)
Chemical spills in West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia this year have brought toxics to the forefront of discussions about common pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay, even though each of them occurred just outside the watershed.

EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement (GAO Report, Released July 28, 2014)
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) role in the Underground Injection Control (UIC) class II program is to oversee and enforce fluid injection into wells associated with oil and gas production, known as class II wells. EPA has approved 39 states to manage their own class II programs, and EPA regions are responsible for managing the programs in remaining states. EPA regions and states use a mix of resources to manage class II programs, including EPA grant funding, state funding, and federal and state personnel. EPA’s UIC grant funding has remained at about $11 million for at least the past 10 years.

Protect Your Groundwater Day is Coming Up on September 9th! (ASDWA Source Water News, July 25, 2014)
Protect Your Groundwater Day (PYGWD) is coming up on September 9, 2014. That’s still plenty of time to prepare to help raise public awareness about the importance of groundwater and water well stewardship for the health of the public and the environment.  Visit the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) web page to find useful, educational information to share through your web sites, social media, newsletters, news releases, and events.

Summary of selected Studies Related to Possible Effects of Energy Development on Water Quantity, Water Quality and Ecosystems Conducted by USGS Water Science Centers (USGS, July 11, 2014)

Federal Register Notice
PHMSA-2014-0105 (HM-251B): Hazardous Materials: Oil Spill Response Plans for High-Hazard Flammable Trains
SUMMARY: PHMSA is issuing this ANPRM in conjunction with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) — Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (2137-AE91), which PHMSA is also publishing today. In this ANPRM, PHMSA, in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), seeks comment on potential revisions to its regulations that would expand the applicability of comprehensive oil spill response plans (OSRPs) to high-hazard flammable trains (HHFTs) based on thresholds of crude oil that apply to an entire train consist.
DATES: Comments must be received by September 30, 2014.

The Emergence of Wastewater as a New Supply – American Water Resources Association
August 20, 2014, 1pm
Wastewater services have evolved over decades under twin pressures from hygienic and environmental regulations, but new pressures have emerged. Some water-scarce regions see “waste” water as a valuable new source of fresh water. Other regions worry about losing supply to contaminants of emerging concern (e.g., pharmaceuticals, hormones, endocrine disruptors, etc.). This webinar will review the political, economic and regulatory forces affecting wastewater services and communities. We will discuss and share different means of meeting health, safety and environmental goals while maintaining fiscal and operational reliability. Speaker: David Zetland

Conferences & Trainings
23rd Annual Maryland Groundwater Symposium, September 24, Baltimore, Md.
The Maryland Department of the Environment is hosting the 23rd Annual Maryland Groundwater Symposium on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. This event provides a forum for groundwater professionals and stakeholders from around the State to exchange information and promote the protection of Maryland’s groundwater resources.

The future of Mid-Atlantic Water Infrastructure, September 24-25, 2014, Shepherdstown, W. Va.
Registration deadline is August 30. The 2014 Mid-Atlantic Water Research Conference is a regional event that will be attended by influential researchers, policy makers, regulators, and agencies. It will be an excellent educational opportunity where the latest information, technologies and research on water resources will be presented. Over the two-day period (September 2425, 2014), this Conference will host an elite group of environmental professionals seeking knowledge and sharing ideas around water infrastructure in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

American Water Resources Association Annual Conference, November 3-6, 2014, Tysons Corner, Va.
Super Saver registration discount ends August 29. 80+ concurrent technical sessions on a wide range of water resources research, policy, management, education, and technical topics, including special tracks for AWRA at 50, Climate Change, Dynamic Reservoir Operations, Flood Management, Green Infrastructure, International Water, Management Tools, Open Water Data, Social Science and Emerging Contaminants, Water Quality, and Watershed Protection Modeling. Our local topics tracks provide an opportunity for Mid-Atlantic water resource professionals to tell you about the Delaware River, Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, and Interstate Compact experiences.

Enhanced Threat and Risk Assessment Training (MGT 315), November 5-6, 2014, MWCOG – Washington, D.C.
There is no cost to attend this training, but advanced registration is required.

July 2014

News & Information

Protect Our Drinking Water [Editorial] (Scientific American, June 17, 2014)
In January storage tanks owned by Freedom Industries spilled 10,000 gallons of industrial chemicals into the Elk River in West Virginia. The toxic liquids washed a short distance downstream into the region’s largest drinking-water treatment plant. About 500 residents checked into local hospitals; 300,000 people could not use tap water for weeks on end; and businesses closed, leaving employees without a paycheck.

Intersex Fish Now in Three Pennsylvania River Basins (USGS, June 30, 2014)
Intersex fish have been found in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna, Delaware and Ohio river basins, indicating that the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals are more widespread than previously known. Previously sampling within the Chesapeake Bay drainage indicated signs of reproductive endocrine disruption in the Potomac river basin.

Woodstock dam may need an upgrade (, July 4, 2014)
Built in the late 1950s on Stony Creek off Millertown Road, the Woodstock dam once served as a major water source for the town until 1978, when Shenandoah County began operating a treatment facility that draws from the Shenandoah River. The town took over the plant years later.

The Scenic Towpath of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (C&O) National Historical Park (Healthy Waters for EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region Blog, July 10, 2014)
By Andrea Bennett – Recently I was in the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park, on the towpath that runs between the Potomac River and the canal itself. The C&O Canal is over 184 miles long and was constructed almost 100 years ago to transport coal, lumber and agricultural products.

EPA Improves Access to Data on Water Violations and Inspections (EPA Water Headlines, July 10, 2014)
EPA recently updated its Enforcement and Compliance History Online website, known as ECHO, which provides information about environmental inspections, violations, and enforcement actions for EPA-regulated facilities, including those regulated under the Clean Water Act.

$10 million pipeline research center to open in Houston (fuelfix, July 8, 2014)
As the pipeline industry strives to reduce failures in the aftermath of several high-profile ruptures, an industry-supported research organization is developing a $10 million center in  Northwest Houston aimed at developing new technologies to bolster safety.


How To Protect Your Drinking Water From Harmful Algal Blooms – July 16
EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds will host a webcast focused on the impact of algal toxins to drinking water. Karen Sklenar from The Cadmus Group and Tom Conry from Waco Water Utilities Services will continue the series with a discussion of the impact HABs can have on drinking water sources, the extent to which treatment facilities can remove toxins, and ultimately how people can help to reduce the environmental, health, and economic problem in the future.

June 2014

News & Information

Chemical board under fire amid investigation backlog (The Charleston Gazette, June 21, 2014)
“A key federal agency that is investigating the January’s Elk River chemical spill is in turmoil.”

BayFAST: A new Chesapeake Bay Program tool for assessing loads on user-defined land uses – July 8
The Chesapeake Bay Program will host a webinar that focuses on the recently developed tool BayFAST, which is designed to assist users in developing small-scale plans for reducing nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. In BayFAST, users specify the boundaries of a parcel, and then set the land uses within that parcel. Next, users select Best Management Practices (BMPs) to apply on that parcel. BayFAST builds the scenario and provides estimates of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment load reductions. The cost of a scenario is also provided so that users may select the most cost-effective practices to reduce pollutant loads. The webinar is free and no registration is necessary. At the time of the webinar, please sign into Adobe Connect as a guest using your first and last name.  Audio for the webinar will be provided via Teleconference Phone: 1-866-299-3188. After dialing the teleconference phone number, please enter the following Conference Code: 267-985-6222#

How To Protect Your Drinking Water From Harmful Algal Blooms – July 16
EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds will host a webcast focused on the impact of algal toxins to drinking water. Karen Sklenar from The Cadmus Group and Tom Conry from Waco Water Utilities Services will continue the series with a discussion of the impact HABs can have on drinking water sources, the extent to which treatment facilities can remove toxins, and ultimately how people can help to reduce the environmental, health, and economic problem in the future. To register, visit

Human Actions Increase Salt Content in many of the Nation’s Streams – July 22
This webinar will cover a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report that provides science-based information on where dissolved solids concentrations are elevated and the dominant sources contributing to these conditions. Using the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program SPAtially-Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model, long-term mean annual dissolved-solids loads from 2,560 water-quality monitoring stations were statistically related to several spatial datasets that are surrogates for dissolved-solids sources and land-to-water delivery processes. Sources in the model included variables representing geologic materials, road deicers, urban lands, cultivated lands, and pasture lands.Maps of concentrations, yields, and loads of dissolved solids in streams are available on the online, interactive decision support tool. The online tool can also be used to evaluate dissolved-solids loads to any user selected watershed outlet or to predict how changes in selected sources of dissolved solids within a selected watershed may change loadings to the watershed outlet. Visit the related USGS web sites to view the Report, Maps, and Decision support system. For questions, please contact David Anning at or (928) 556-7139.

Conferences & Events
Disaster Planning, Management, and Response
July 30, 2014, Albright College – Campus Center, Reading, Pa.
The Berks County Water and Sewer Association in partnership with the Center for Excellence in Local Government at Albright College are pleased to offer a full day seminar on Disaster Planning and Response. The seminar will prepare attendees for the inevitable event where emergency management and response is an immediate and required. In addition the seminar will examine disasters which effect water and sewer services. Likewise power, food and water, accessibility, emergency shelters, damage clearing and cleanup are all byproducts of effective planning and response.

June 2014

News & Information

Why West Virginia Residents Are Still Uneasy About The Safety Of Their Water (WAMU/NPR, June 6 2014)
“Just about everyone one of us fortunate enough to live in the so-called ‘first world’ take a lot of what we have for granted. There may be no better example than the water we use to shower, wash our dishes, do our laundry — and drink, of course…”

It’s Watershed vs. Pipeline in Latest Fracking Battle (Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2014)
High-Profile Spills Prompt Water Utilities to Fight Oil-and-Gas Pipelines

Fracking Chemicals Under Review In Virginia (Associated Press, June 5, 2014)
“A panel reviewing Virginia’s rules on hydraulic fracking for natural gas devoted much of its first meeting Wednesday to discussing the chemicals used in the process…”

Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013
“This bill was passed by Congress on June 17, 2014 and goes to the President next. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 19, 2014 (Passed Congress/Enrolled Bill).”

Federal Register Notices
Meeting of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
“The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on July 16, 2014, starting at 12:00 p.m. in the Ballroom at the Four Points Sheraton located at 600 Kanawha Blvd. E, Charleston, WV 25301. At the public meeting, the board will hear findings and recommendations from the CSB’s investigation team into the December 9, 2010, explosion and fire which occurred at AL Solutions located in New Cumberland, WV. An explosion ripped through the New Cumberland AL Solutions titanium plant in West Virginia on December 9, 2010, fatally injuring three workers. The workers were processing titanium powder, which is highly combustible, at the time of the explosion. The meeting will also provide an update on the CSB’s investigation into the January 9, 2014, tank leak at Freedom Industries that contaminated the local water supply leaving hundreds of thousands of West Virginia residents without clean drinking water.

Conferences & Events
Water Conference Sampler from around the United States, Canada, and Mexico (Virginia Water Central News Grouper, June 17, 2014)
Here are some water and water-related meetings in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in coming months.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference – The Future of Mid-Atlantic Water Infrastructure: Challenges and Solutions
September 24 & 25, 2014, Shepherdstown, W.Va.

NEXT STEPS FOR PROTECTING OUR BAY, BEES & BABIES – Pesticides & The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project
Monday October 6th, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Pearlstone Conference Center, Reisterstown, MD
The meeting will focus on recent research regarding pesticide impacts on the Bay, bees and human health — as well as on future efforts on all three fronts.

May 2014

News & Information

NRCS provides assistance for agricultural producers to improve water quality (NRCS Weekly Digest Bulletin, May 25, 2014)
NRCS will provide $33 million in assistance to farmers and ranchers in 174 priority watersheds who voluntarily make improvements to their land to improve water quality.

Governor Corbett Announces $21 Million Available in Growing Greener Grants (PA DEP, May 13, 2014)
HARRISBURG — Governor Tom Corbett announced today that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is now accepting applications for the Growing Greener Grant Program for watershed protection and abandoned mine drainage projects, the agency announced today. Local governments, non-profits, schools, municipal authorities and watershed associations are eligible to apply.

Despite Rise in Spills, Hazardous Cargo Rides Rails in Secret (The New York Times, April 15, 2014)
Jodi Ross, town manager in Westford, Mass., did not expect she would be threatened with arrest after she and her fire chief went onto the railroad tracks to find out why a train carrying liquid petroleum gas derailed on a bridge in February…

Continuous Monitoring for Nitrate in USGS Water Science Centers Across the U.S. (USGS Cooperative Water Program, May 27, 2014)
USGS and its partners continue to explore the many uses of continuous nitrate monitoring in our water resources. Read more about the many examples across the Nation and relevance to drinking water supplies, wastewater, land-management practices, and tracking nitrogen loads to key estuaries.

Federal Documents for Comment
Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Mixtures – Advance Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (Federal Register, May 19, 2014)
In its response to a citizen petition submitted under section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA indicated that as a first step, it would convene a stakeholder process to develop an approach to obtain information on chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing. To gather information to inform EPA’s proposal, the Agency is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and initiating a public participation process to seek comment on the information that should be reported or disclosed for hydraulic fracturing chemical substances and mixtures and the mechanism for obtaining this information. This mechanism could be regulatory (under TSCA section 8(a) and/or section 8(d)), voluntary, or a combination of both and could include best management practices, third-party certification and collection, and incentives for disclosure of this information. In addition, the Agency is seeking comment on ways of minimizing reporting burdens and costs and of avoiding the duplication of state and other federal agency information collections, while at the same time maximizing data available for EPA risk characterization, external transparency, and public understanding. Also, EPA is soliciting comments on incentives and recognition programs that could be used to support the development and use of safer chemicals in hydraulic fracturing. Comments must be received on or before August 18, 2014.

EPA Updates Recommended Water Quality Criteria for Human Health (EPA Water Headlines, May 20, 2014)
EPA has updated its national recommended water quality criteria for human health for 94 chemical pollutants to reflect the latest scientific information and EPA policies.  EPA will accept written scientific views from the public on the draft updated human health criteria until July 14, 2014.  Once finalized, EPA water quality criteria provide recommendations to states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act.

Forest Service Proposed Groundwater Management Directive (Source Water Collaborative, May 19, 2014)
The Forest Service’s proposed changes to internal Agency directives for Watershed and Air Management will include groundwater resources on National Forest System (NFS) lands as an integral component of watershed management. Public comments due August 4, 2014.

Proposed Directives for National Best Management Practices for Water Quality Protection on National Forest System Lands (Federal Register, May 6, 2014)
The Forest Service proposes to revise Forest Service Manual (FSM 2500) and Handbook (FSH 2509.19) directives for best management practices (BMPs) for water quality protection on National Forest System (NFS) lands to establish a National system of BMPs and associated monitoring protocols and require their use on NFS lands in order to meet existing mandates under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (Clean Water Act) (Pub. L. 92–500) and corresponding State laws. The National system of BMPs would provide a systematic approach to protect water quality from land and resource management activities taking place on National forests and grasslands and utilize suitable monitoring, and established Regional, State, Tribal, and local BMPs. These proposed revisions would help ensure the consistent use and monitoring of BMPs and provide appropriate analyses for evaluating BMP implementation and effectiveness on a regular basis. Public comment is invited and will be considered in development of the final directives.

May 29 EPA Webinar on the Role of Citizen Scientists in HAB Monitoring and Response (ASDWA’s Source Water News, May 15, 2014)
On May 29, EPA will host a free webinar on “The Role of Citizen Scientists in Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Monitoring and Response.” This is the first webinar in a new summer series about HABs. During this webinar, Steve Morton from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Scott Kishbaugh and Karen Stainbrook from New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation will discuss their involvement with volunteer monitoring initiatives, and how the American public can get involved in a project to monitor for potentially toxic algal species and collect meaningful data from their local water bodies for use in decision-making by a local, state, or Federal agency. To register for this webinar, visit:  For questions, please contact Christina Badaracco at

Sustainable Funding for Forested Watershed Protection
Wednesday, June 11, 2014; 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Forested watersheds provide drinking water to more than 180 million Americans—nearly two out of every three people in our country.  Healthy forests produce cleaner water, which is in turn less expensive to treat and store, saving consumers money. Forested watersheds, a form of natural or green infrastructure, are a cost-effective complement to traditional water treatment.  Forested watersheds also provide many other benefits, such as wildlife habitat, flood control, recreation areas, open space, and carbon sequestration. Obtaining the funds needed to protect and manage millions of acres of forested watersheds can be a challenge. One logical approach is for water consumers to help pick-up the tab. Results from this 2009 “Grants Leveraging Funds,” $4 million CIG will provide valuable tools to help local communities create funding programs to protect and manage their forested watersheds.

Conferences & Events
A Geologic and Natural History Tour of the Potomac Gorge below Great Falls
National Capital Region Section, American Water Resources Association
Saturday, June 7, 2014; 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Great Falls Park Visitors Center
The Potomac River Gorge extends 15 miles from Great Falls to Roosevelt Island and crosses the transition region between the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The Gorge is one of the longest and steepest fall zones on the Atlantic coast and is considered to be one the most significant natural areas in the Eastern United States. New age data for Potomac River bedrock has helped illuminate the nature of the geologic and flood-related processes that formed the Gorge, indicating that rates of bedrock gorge cutting can be very rapid. Join us for a guided hike along the Virginia side of the Potomac Gorge below Great Falls to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and to learn about the geomorphic processes that formed the Gorge and the response of this landscape to climatic and sea level change. In addition, commentary will be provided on the cultural and natural history of the Gorge, which is home to rare invertebrates, the bald eagle, fish like the American shad, and over 200 rare plant species.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference – The Future of Mid-Atlantic Water Infrastructure: Challenges and Solutions
September 24 & 25, 2014, Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Abstracts due May 30

March 2014

News & Information
Toxic Chemical Dioxane Detected In More Water Supplies
NPR, March 26, 2014
West Virginia’s drinking water crisis earlier this year highlighted an unsettling truth about tap water: Treatment plants test for only a fraction of the chemicals in use.

Qualities of spring waters of Clarke County where biosolid materials were applied as fertilizer to karst landscapes
Friends of the Shenandoah River
March 2014

Recovering from a heavy dose of winter
March 20, 2014
Healthy Waters for EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region (blog)

EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Clarify Protection for Nation’s Streams and Wetlands
March 25, 2014

Request for Proposals: Conservation Partners – Promoting Farm Bill Conservation Programs to Private Landowners
Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), Conservation Partners will fund organizations to partner with NRCS field offices to deliver technical assistance for high priority conservation objectives.

National Take-Back Day
The next DEA-sponsored National Take-Back Day will be held on April 26, 2014.

319 Success Story: Carter Run, Virginia (from Water Headlines from EPA)
In 1998 the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality added Carter Run to the state’s Clean Water Act  section 303(d) list of impaired waters for violating the state’s bacteria standard. To reduce bacteria loadings, various agricultural and residential best management practices  were installed through a total maximum daily load  implementation project supported by federal, state, and landowner funds. Implementing best management practices significantly reduced in-stream bacterial concentrations, resulting in reduced Escherichia coli violation rates. As a result, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality expects that Carter Run will be removed from the state’s Clean Water Act section 303(d) list of impaired waters in the near future.

The Conewago Creek Initiative: A Model for Community Watershed Engagement
Penn State Water Resources Extension
March 26, 2014 – 12:00 to 1:00 pm

EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3—Organic Contaminants, Part 2
Thermo Scientific Series with C&EN
April 2, 2014, 11:00 am

Nexus between water and energy usage during disasters
EPA Water and Energy Nexus in Disasters Webinar Series
April 2, 2014, 1 to 2pm EST

Working with Conservation Districts
Thursday, April 3, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
ASDWA and GWPC will conduct a webinar to showcase the new Source Water Collaborative Toolkit and share state source water program experiences from Minnesota and Nebraska in developing relationships and working with their conservation district partners.

Water Resources and Infrastructure: Emerging Problems and Solutions
American Water Resources Association – National Capital Region
April 4, 2014, University of the District of Columbia

2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference – The Future of Mid-Atlantic Water Infrastructure: Challenges and Solutions
National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR)
Sep. 24-25, 2014, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, W. Va.

Water Quality Technology Conference and Exposition
American Water Works Association
Nov. 16-20, 2014, New Orleans, La.

Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference
American Chemical Society (ACS) and the ACS’ Green Chemistry Institute
Jun. 17-19, 2014, Bethesda, Md

National Pretreatment & Pollution Prevention Workshop
National Association of Clean Water Agencies
May 14 – 16, 2014, Minneapolis, MN

February 2014


Romney water supply concerns mayor (Cumberland Times-News, January 26, 2014)
“Water resources have been discussed numerous times in the past years during Hampshire County Infrastructure Committee meetings as well as the development authority meetings.”

EPA appeals ruling in West Virginia farm case (Bay Journal, January 27, 2014)
“Agency filed notice it would challenge lower-court decision defining agricultural storm water”

Fracking in George Washington National Forest could threaten D.C. area drinking water (Washington Post, February 1, 2014)
“The future cleanliness of the Washington region’s drinking water has unexpectedly become a central concern in the national debate over the controversial natural-gas drilling method known as “fracking.””

Study: Salt could contaminate drinking water (WBALtv, January 31, 2014)
“University of Maryland study finds the volume of salt in Baltimore reservoirs growing. It warns that if salt treatments continue at current pace, the water won’t be fit to drink.” Features an interview with MDE Secretary Summers.


S. 1961: Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act of 2014
Introduced to the U.S. Senate and referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on January 27, 2014.


Fourth International Conference on Emerging Contaminants in the Environment (EmCon 2014)
August 19-22nd, Iowa City, Iowa

Annual Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference
May 1-3, 2014, Berks County, Pennsylvania

January  2014


Crude-oil spills on U.S. railways in 2013 topped total since 1975 (Washington Post, January 21, 2014)
“More crude oil was spilled in U.S. rail incidents last year than was spilled in the nearly four decades since the federal government began collecting data on such spills, an analysis of the data shows.”

Natural gas shale extends under Southern Maryland (Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, January 22, 2014)
“While most eyes in the statewide fracking debate are on the Marcellus Shale region in Western Maryland, a smaller gas basin beneath Southern Maryland is drawing a Texas-based energy company’s attention.”


The Costs to Agriculture of Saving the Bay
When: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 – 12:00 to 1:00 PM
Presenter: Dr. Jim Shortle, Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics and Director of the College of Agriculture’s Environment and Natural Resources Institute at Penn State University
Where: the live webinar can be viewed at
Description: Dr. Shortle will present highlights from a recently completed study for the USDA Office of the Chief Economist on the costs of meeting the agricultural load allocations mandated by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  The study estimated (1) the agricultural costs of the Watershed Implementations Plans (WIPs) developed by the states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed  to comply with the TMDL (about $3.6 billion); (2) the agricultural cost savings that could be realized by more efficient selection of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and spatial targeting of BMP implementation than required by the WIPs (very substantial) ; and (3) the potential cost saving from nutrient trading (very substantial depending on trading rules).


The Journal of the American Water Resources Association had a feature collection on “Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Development and Application” in the October 2013 issue.

Articles include:

  • Featured Collection Introduction: Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Development and Application, Richard A. Batiuk, Lewis C. Linker and Carl F. Cerco
  • Development of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load Allocation, Lewis C. Linker, Richard A. Batiuk, Gary W. Shenk and Carl F. Cerco
  • Deriving Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Standards, Peter J. Tango and Richard A. Batiuk
  • Computing Atmospheric Nutrient Loads to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Tidal Waters, Lewis C. Linker, Robin Dennis, Gary W. Shenk, Richard A. Batiuk, Jeffrey Grimm and Ping Wang
  • Development and Application of the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load Model, Gary W. Shenk and Lewis C. Linker
  • Estimating the Extent of Impervious Surfaces and Turf Grass across Large Regions, Peter R. Claggett, Frederick M. Irani and Renee L. Thompson
  • Evaluation of a Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Model Applied to Chesapeake Bay Through Long-Term Simulation of Transport Processes, Sung-Chan Kim
  • The Shallow-Water Component of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Model Package, Carl F. Cerco, Mark R. Noel and Ping Wang
  • Monitored and Modeled Correlations of Sediment and Nutrients with Chesapeake Bay Water Clarity, Ping Wang, Lewis C. Linker and Richard A. Batiuk
  • Twenty-One-Year Simulation of Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Using the CE-QUAL-ICM Eutrophication Model, Carl F. Cerco and Mark R. Noel
  • Total Maximum Daily Load Criteria Assessment Using Monitoring and Modeling Data, Jeni Keisman and Gary Shenk

Annual Pesticide Use Maps – 1992-2011 (USGS)
“The pesticide-use maps provided on this web site show the geographic distribution of estimated use on agricultural land in the conterminous United States for numerous pesticides. Maps were created by allocating county-level use estimates to agricultural land within each county. A graph accompanies each map, which shows annual national use by major crop for the mapped pesticide for each year during the period. These pesticide use estimates are suitable for evaluating national and regional patterns and trends of annual pesticide use. The reliability of estimates, however, generally decreases with scale and these maps are not intended for detailed evaluations, such as within or between specific individual counties.”

December 2013

Heavy snows could yield summer algae blooms (The Daily Record, December 11, 2013)
“If Maryland experiences heavy snowfall this winter, biologists predict the Chesapeake Bay could experience above-average levels of bacteria and toxic algae blooms during the summer.

Antibacterial soap makers would need to prove efficacy under proposed FDA rules (The Washington Post, December 16, 2013)
“Manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes would have to prove that their products are safe to use over time and perform better than ordinary soap and water to keep them on the market, according to regulations proposed Monday by the Food and Drug Administration.”

Conservation Practices Reduce Runoff of Nutrients, Sediment in Chesapeake Bay Watershed (National Hog Farmer, December 13, 2013)
“A record number of voluntary conservation practices adopted by Chesapeake Bay farmers since 2006 have significantly reduced the amount of nitrogen, sediment and phosphorus leaving cultivated croplands, according to a recent report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).”

USDA, EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading To Benefit Environment, Economy (USDA press release, December 3, 2013)
“The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced an expanded partnership to support water quality trading and other market-based approaches that provide benefits to the environment and economy. ”

The Potomac Watershed – From All Sides (EPA Region III blog, December 12, 2013)
“More often than not, watersheds cross political boundaries.  Take the Potomac River for example.  It drains an area of 14,670 square miles in four states: Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.  As part of the larger Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the Potomac River delivers a significant amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment to the Chesapeake Bay.”

Related Research
Detections, Concentrations, and Distributional Patterns of Compounds of Emerging Concern in the San Antonio River Basin, Texas, 2011–12 (USGS, December 5, 2013)
During 2011–12, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the San Antonio River Authority, evaluated detections, concentrations, and distributional patterns of selected compounds of emerging concern (hereinafter referred to as “CECs”) from water-quality samples (hereinafter referred to as “samples”) collected at a total of 20 sampling sites distributed throughout the San Antonio River Basin, Texas… The distributional patterns of detections and concentrations of individual compounds and compound classes show the influence of wastewater-treatment plant (WWTP) outfalls on the quality of water in the San Antonio River Basin… Consequently, all samples collected along the main stem of the San Antonio River had higher concentrations of CECs in comparison to sites without upstream WWTPs. The large number of detections at sites with no upstream wastewater source demonstrated that CECs can be detected in streams flowing through urbanized areas without a large upstream source of treated municipal wastewater. A general lack of detection of pharmaceuticals in streams without upstream outfalls of treated wastewater appears to be typical for streams throughout the San Antonio River Basin and may be a useful indicator of point-source versus nonpoint-source contributions of these compounds in urban streams.

Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on the Risk of Infection by Water-Transmitted Pathogens (Environmental Science & Technology, October14, 2013)
“Climate change is likely to affect the infectious disease burden from exposure to pathogens in water used for drinking and recreation. Effective intervention measures require quantification of impacts of climate change on the distribution of pathogens in the environment and their potential effects on human health.”

November 2013

McAuliffe looks to bury uranium issue
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/13/13

Farm pollution rule withdrawn
Baltimore Sun, 11/15/13

Scientists studying effectiveness of water quality practices, 11/19/15

H.R. 1900: Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act – Passed in the House on November 21, 2013 and now goes to the Senate.
To provide for the timely consideration of all licenses, permits, and approvals required under Federal law with respect to the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any natural gas pipeline projects.

Potomac News Reservoir
The Potomac News Reservoir is a service of Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin that keeps the watershed’s stakeholders informed about what is happening throughout the watershed.

Potomac Conservancy’s 2013 State of the Nation’s River Report

Changes in World’s Forests Portrayed in High Definition (map)

Stormwater Calculator
EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States (including Puerto Rico). Estimates are based on local soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records.

EPA has released an enhanced version of the environmental model BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources). BASINS version 4.1 includes numerous enhancements  in the underlying GIS software, such as use of TauDEM software to better sketch watershed boundaries from topographic information, use of  DFLOW to better estimate stream flow, and updated data management and analysis tools. BASINS was developed by EPA to assist states, local governments, and watershed groups in their efforts to manage their watersheds and develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). It does this by integrating environmental data, analysis tools, and watershed and water quality models.

September 2013

Fracking Limits for Virginia Forest Spark Debate on Water

U.S. Forest Service set to decide on fracking in George Washington National Forest
Washington Post

Comments on Proposed Rule: Water Quality Standards Regulatory Clarifications
Comments due by December 3, 2013
Docket identification (ID) No. EPA–HQ–OW–2010–0606
This proposed rulemaking requests comment on regulatory revisions in the following six key issue areas: (1) Administrator’s determination that new or revised WQS are necessary, (2) designated uses, (3) triennial reviews, (4) antidegradation, (5) WQS variances, and (6) compliance schedule authorizing provisions.

Webinar: Strategies to Protect Groundwater and Drinking Water in Pennsylvania – National Protect Your Groundwater Day
When: September 10, 2013 – 12:00 to 1:00 PM
Presenter: Bryan Swistock and Jim Clark, Penn State Extension
Where: live webinar can be viewed at
Webinar description: Penn State Extension and the Master Well Owner Network are pleased to announce a special webinar in recognition of the National Ground Water Association’s Protect Your Groundwater Day on September 10, 2013. Groundwater protection strategies are especially important in Pennsylvania which is home to over one million private water wells and springs but is one of the few states that do not provide statewide regulations to protect these rural drinking water supplies.  This webinar will highlight basic management strategies that homeowners can use to ensure safe drinking water for their household. The webinar will also highlight numerous Penn State publications and web tools for private water well and spring owners.  One lucky webinar participant will receive a free drinking water test package from the Penn State water testing laboratory.

Webinar: Understanding the Effects of Groundwater Pumping on Streamflow Depletion through USGS Capture Maps
October 2, 2013, 1 p.m. ET (Logistics and abstract)

Pesticides & the Chesapeake Bay Watershed 7th Annual Conference
Thursday October 3rd, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Pearlstone Conference Center, Reisterstown, MD.
REGISTRATION IS FREE, organic lunch/snacks provided.
Registration deadline: Sept 17th TO REGISTER EMAIL:

August 2013

June 2013


Source Water Protection News:

May 2013