Thursday, July 30, 2009

NPDES Permit Writers' Course now on-line

NPDES Overview Course for Permitees – Now Available On-line

EPA is now offering segments of its very popular "NPDES Permit Writers' Course" on line. In response to diminishing travel budgets and to reach a broader audience, EPA's Office of Wastewater Management is developing web-based presentations that cover some of the material presented in the live course.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program is authorized under the Clean Water Act to control the discharge of pollutants from industrial and municipal point sources to waters of the United States. The "NPDES Permit Writers' Course" is a five-day training course covering the key elements of NPDES permit development. The course is taught by experienced EPA staff and contractors and has been very successful in training new EPA and State NPDES permit writers.

These recorded presentations are not intended to replace the "live course," but should enable permit writers who attended the NPDES Permit Writers' Course to review the material on demand in a self-paced environment. The Web-based presentations should also be useful for those who have not attended a live course, but wish to become familiar with important concepts of the NPDES permit program.

The first installment in this Web-based training, "Establishing Water Quality-based Effluent Limitations in NPDES Permits" is now available at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/outreach/training/pwtraining.cfm

This web site provides links to the presentations, as well as introductory text describing the training materials, and explanations of how to navigate through the presentations. Additional training materials will be posted to the site in the coming months.

Questions or comments should be directed to David Hair in EPA's Water Permits Division at 202-564-2287 (hair.david@epa.gov)

Source: Waterheadlines

Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Literature Reviews Related to Recreational Water Quality Risks

EPA conducted two literature reviews to help inform development of new or revised recreational water quality criteria by 2012. The first document, "Review of Published Studies to Characterize Relative Risks from Different Sources of Fecal Contamination in Recreational Waters," describes the existing information available to characterize the relative risks of human illness from various sources of fecal contamination in recreational waters. The second document, "Review of Zoonotic Pathogens in Ambient Water," provides a summary of information on waterborne zoonotic pathogens that come primarily from warm-blooded animals.

Both documents are available on EPA's Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/recreation/.

Source: Waterheadlines

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Web Seminar - What's Below the Surface of Your Reservoir

YSI has announced a free web seminar entitled What's Below the Surface of Your Reservoir? - Using Water Quality Monitoring & Mapping Systems to Find Out More About Your Source Water

July 30 1PM-2PM EDT

If you are interested in: 
• Early warning of taste- and odor-causing algae
• Monitoring low dissolved oxygen and stratification
• Tracking the impacts of storm events
• Monitoring water quality at intakes
• Calculating volume of reservoir

Join the webinar to learn about:
• Automated vertical profiling of water column
• 3-D mapping of water quality
• Bathymetry and volume mapping
• Case studies from source water manager

For more information, contact YSI at: environmental@ysi.com
Tel: +1-937-767-7241  US: 800-897-4151

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interagency Funding Guide for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - Focus on invasive spp

An Interagency Funding Guide has been developed in order to provide one-stop-shopping for applicants interested in applying for over $250 million in grants and project agreements which would be expected to be available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (if the full $475 million for the Initiative is appropriated). These grants and project agreements are intended to jump-start achievement of the Initiative's long term goals: safely eating the fish and swimming at our beaches, assuring safe drinking water, and providing a healthy ecosystem for fish and wildlife. The Interagency Funding Guide is available at:
http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/glri/fundingguide2009_r1.pdf

Note that pp 3-5 of the document describe funding opportunities for research, control and prevention of invasive species.

Be sure to regularly check http://nyisri.org/Funding.aspx for invasive species funding updates and full RFP's as they become available.

Source: Holly Menninger
Senior Extension Associate and
NY Invasive Species Research Institute Coordinator
Department of Natural Resources
Cornell University

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Water Quality Video Contest Winners Inspire Stewardship for the Nation’s Waters

The two winners of EPA’s first-ever water quality video contest made videos that will help educate the public about water pollution and give simple steps that people and communities can take to improve water quality.
“We are delighted by the number and quality of contest submissions,” said Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Michael H. Shapiro. “This is another illustration of how new Web technologies allow people to express their passion for water quality in new and exciting ways.”

In the 30 or 60 second category, “Protect Our Water - Check Cars for Oil Leaks” submitted by Lucas Ridley of Trenton, Ga. was the overall winner. His video illustrates one easy step you can take to protect your watershed through proper motor vehicle care.

In the 1-3 minute category, “Dastardly Deeds and the Water Pollution Monster” submitted by Nora Kelley Parren of Hinesburg, Vt. was the winner. Her animated video, made entirely out of discarded paper, illustrates how polluted runoff threatens ecosystems and offers tips people can take to protect water quality. The two winning filmmakers will each receive a $2,500 cash award, and their videos are featured on EPA’s Web site.

EPA received more than 250 video submissions that covered a wide variety of topics including low impact development, wetlands, marine debris, watershed management, water quality monitoring, polluted runoff, and other water-related topics. EPA received many other highly creative videos, and 22 videos were recognized as honorable mentions.

Thanks to the 1972 Clean Water Act, there have been great improvements to our nation’s waters over the past 37 years; however, there is more that we can do. Educating citizens about actions that they can take to reduce their impact is vital to improving the nation’s water quality.

To view the winning videos and honorable mentions: http://www.epa.gov/owow/videocontest.html

Source: Waterheadlines

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

VT TNC Distributes Vermont Monthly Invasives Update as e-newsletter

The Vermont Chapter of Nature Conservancy's Wise on Weeds! program distributes a well-produced Monthly Invasives Update chock full of usefull information covering terrestrial and aquatic invasive species. This newsletter should be of interest to residents throughout the Northeast and not just Vermont. If you would like to like to receive the newsletter, or have something to contribute, please contact Sharon Plumb at splumb@tnc.org

Here's the June 2009 Table of Contents to give you an idea of what you can expect:

1. Species Spotlight: Japanese Knotweed

NOTEWORTHY NEWS
2. Vermont Aquatics Nuisance Bill
3. The Conservancy's Wise on Weeds! Program Receives EPA Educational Grant
4. The Conservancy's Wise on Weeds! Program Receives Wellborn Ecology Grant  

LEARNING  OPPORTUNITIES
5. Managing Invasive Plants in Your Forests
6. Invasive Plant Management for Road Crews Workshops
7. Invasive Plants 101! Landowner Workshop at Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park  

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
8. Get outside with The Nature Conservancy and Pull it Up!
9.      Burlington Parks & Rec Invasive Plant Removal Program
10. Volunteers Needed to Assist in European Frogbit Management    

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
11. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for the 2009 "Pulling Together" Initiaitive
12. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for the 2009 Native Plant Conservation Initiative (NPCI) grants cycle  

RESOURCES
13. Wild Ones Promotes Native Plants
14. Invasive Species Middle School Curriculum
15. Goutweed Soup

Aquatic Invasive Speces Rapid Response Plan Approved for Lake Champlain Basin

Thanks to the dedicated work of the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) Aquatic Nuisance Species Subcommittee and Rapid Response Workgroup, the Lake Champlain Basin Rapid Response Action Plan for Aquatic Invasive Species has been approved by the LCBP Steering Committee. This plan is intended to ensure that appropriate protocols, trained personnel, equipment, permits, and other resources are in place to contain and potentially eradicate newly detected nonnative aquatic invasive species as they are reported in the Basin. The plan envisions a task force comprised of members from Quebec, New York, and Vermont to implement and oversee rapid response actions.

This plan will be very helpful should hydrilla (for example) be found in Lake Champlain. Hydrilla has rapidly spread since it was introduced into Florida waters by an aquatic fish dealer and is now found in Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts. The aggressive invasive poses a looming threat to Lake Champlain as it is very adaptable and difficult to control once it has established a population. The Rapid Response plan will limit its impact on the Lake and prevent hydrilla from clogging waterways.

For more information about hydrilla or other aquatic nuisance species, visit www.lcbp.org/nature.htm.

Source: Lake Champlain Basin Program

$10 million Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program

EPA is announcing the availability of up to $10 million in "Climate Showcase Communities" grants for local and tribal governments to establish and implement climate change initiatives. EPA requests proposals which create replicable models of sustainable community action, generate cost-effective and persistent greenhouse gas reductions, and improve the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community.

How many grants will be awarded?

The agency expects to award a total of approximately 30 cooperative agreements ranging from approximately $100,000 to $500,000.

Approximately 5% of the fund ($500,000) are set-aside for tribal
governments. EPA expects to award 1-3 grants under the tribal set aside.

Who is eligible for the grant program?

Eligibility for the program includes local governments (a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority, school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments, any other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government), federally recognized Indian tribal governments, and inter-tribal consortia.

(Ed. note: Are you an eligible party with an idea but need help developing a succesful proposal? LakeStewardship.org can help by connecting you with leading scientists & researchers in the field of climate change. Email Michael at LakeStewardship.org >> michael@lakestewardship.org)

Are applicants required to provide matching funds?

A 50% cost-match or cost-share is required for this program with the exception of tribal governments and intertribal consortia which are exempt from matching requirements. The cost share and/or match can be in the form of cash or as in-kind contributions, such as use of volunteers and/or donated time, equipment, expertise, etc.

What is the application deadline?

Proposals are due by July 22, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. EDT. An optional notice of intent to apply is requested by July 1, 2009.

Who will administer the grant program?

The Grant program is administered by EPA's Local Climate and Energy Program, an initiative to assist local and tribal governments to identify, implement, and track policies and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their operations and surrounding communities.

What resources will be available to grant recipients?

Over the course of the grant program, EPA will offer peer exchange, trainings, and technical support to grant recipients. Each grant recipient will be profiled online and in EPA materials. EPA will share lessons learned from the grant program with communities across the nation.

For more information: http://epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-programs/state-and-local/showcase.html

To view the Request for Applications: http://www.epa.gov/air/grants/09-08.pdf

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Source: Anne Weinberg & NPSINFO listserv (see NPSINFO Resource Center epa.gov/nps/npsinfo for more information)