Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service

Project Prologue

Nonpoint Source Pollution Projects

Legislation to Acquire Authority for Funding Nonpoint Source Pollution Projects January 2000 The law went into effect on May 1, 2000 that enabled the WQB to make loans from the State Revolving Fund to individuals, corporations, associations, or other private entities to acquire, construct, or implement nonpoint source (NPS) or underground wastewater disposal system (UWDS) projects. DWQ worked with soil conservation districts, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Utah Association of Conservation Districts & local health departments to develop the program. NPS project means ‘any facility, system, practice, or mechanism to abate, prevent or reduce pollution of waters of the state caused by nonpoint sources’. The NPS objectives included: Abate or reduce untreated or uncontrolled runoff; Abate or reduce untreated raw sewage discharges; Improve critical aquatic habitat resources; Preserve and protect beneficial uses; Reduce the number of water bodies not achieving WQ standards; Improve watershed management; Prepare and implement TMDL assessments; Conserve soil, water, or other natural resources; Protect and improve ground water quality; and wastewater collection and treatment. The Water Quality Board approved the Executive Secretary to authorize funding for projects under $150,000. Projects must have a water quality improvement component. Stormwater Projects Water Quality Improvement must be the main (more…)

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Olympic Preparations

For the Olympic Winter Games of 2002 held in Salt Lake City, a joint effort with the organizing committee of the Olympic Winter Games of 2002, local health departments and sewerage agencies was undertaken for waste management. The Division of Water Quality worked closely with the Organizing Committee to manage environmental issues. The model used in this event was used subsequently in other venues in Europe and Australia. In February 1999, the planning for waste management strategies began. The planning covered various contingencies from severe weather and road conditions to equipment failures. The organizing committee awarded waste management contract to a consortium of five companies having considerable experience in waste management of large public gatherings at all types of events. There were twelve venues holding different events. The Games were supported through six support sites, and ten park and ride sites. Waste management was planned for about a quarter million visitors and support staff. Arrangements were made to bring 2500 portable toilets, 31 restroom trailers for athletes and invited guests, 80 hand wash stations, 90 holding tanks and all available in-place facilities to collect and transport 150,000 gallons per day of wastewater flow, or two million gallons over the duration (more…)

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Planning and Design Advances

In March of 1995 legislation passed which provides for Planning and Design Advances to be made by the Utah Water Quality Board to political subdivisions of the state. This legislation provided a means to provide interim financial assistance for project planning until the long-term project financing could be secured. Planning Advances assisted communities in defining a current situation, selecting the best solution, and identifying an implementation plan. Design Advances gave communities the ability to complete detailed plans and specifications of the wastewater project to be built. Ultimately, both types of advances have allowed many Utah communities to evaluate the needs for wastewater infrastructure.

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Sales Tax Diversion

Sales Tax Diversion to the Water Loan Programs February 1994 A water development bill, sponsored by Sen. John Holmgren, passed the legislature. The bill directs 1/8% of sales tax revenue to water projects. Revenue would be split among state water boards as follows: 50% to the Board of Water Resources; 25% to the Water Quality Board; and 25% to the Drinking Water Board. In the second year of funding the bill provided for 50% of the revenues to go to the Department of Transportation provided two conditions occurred: 1) if state surplus revenues are greater than $200 million; and 2) the legislature did not pass a gasoline tax to fund transportation needs. The funding would initially provide $5 million per year to fund needed wastewater projects. In 1995 this percentage was amended to 1/16%. Governor Leavitt was opposed to this legislation. Governor Leavitt’s Campaign to Stop the Use of Using Sales Tax Funds To Help Fund Water Projects December 2002 Governor Leavitt attended a joint meeting of the Water Quality Board and Drinking Water Board to speak to his plan to petition the legislature to discontinue the pledging of 1/16% of sales tax revenues to the water loan programs. His (more…)

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Storm Water Program

Storm Water Phase I Program November 1990 Phase I of EPA’s administrative rules for the storm water program were published in the Federal Register on this date. The mandate for the new storm water program came from the reauthorization of the 1987 Clean Water Act. These rules required storm water permits for large and medium municipalities (large municipalities have populations over 250,000; medium municipalities have populations between 100,000 to 250,000). Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County are the only municipalities in Utah that fit the qualifications for permitting, however, with the highway and drainage system that UDOT had through the two municipalities, UDOT was a co-permittee in both municipal permits. Applications for large and medium municipalities were due in two parts. Part A for large municipalities was due November 18, 1991, Part B was due November 16, 1992. Part A for medium municipalities was due May 18, 1992, Part B was due May 17, 1993. To achieve compliance with the new storm water permit Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County developed storm water ordinances with legal authority and financial resources to support an extensive storm water management and monitoring program. Also included in Phase I of the UPDES (more…)

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Underground Wastewater

June 2001 Land development activities within the State cast a spot light on decentralized systems program managed by the Division of Water Quality. This fact necessitated skilled designers, operators, inspectors and maintenance personnel for a successful decentralized program. In recognition of this need, the Legislature adopted an onsite professional certification program and funded a training center at the Utah State University, Logan in 2001. In less than six months, the Utah Water Quality Board adopted rules for the certification and certified as many as 300 professionals within a short time frame of four months. The Onsite Training Center at Logan has continued to serve the needs of professionals through training and refresher training over last seven years.

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Underground Water Sources

October 1994 The Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program exists to protect underground sources of ground water from contamination through discharges into the subsurface via injection wells. Underground sources of drinking water, or USDWs, are ground water aquifers that currently serve as sources of drinking water or could do so in the future based on the quality of the ground water and a sustainable flow rate sufficient to supply a drinking water well. Although the UIC Program is a federal EPA Program, Utah has received authority from EPA to administer the program for all injection wells. The Utah Division of Water Quality administers the Utah UIC Program for Class I, III, IV, and V injection wells, the definitions for which are available in the regulations, R317-7. DETAIL OF THE PARTICULAR ISSUE On October 28, 1994, the Utah Water Quality Board approved revisions to the Utah UIC Program administrative rules, R317-7, to incorporate recent changes in the federal UIC rules that clarify existing requirements pertaining to financial responsibility and permit applications and add additional requirements for Class I, III, and V injection wells pertaining to mechanical integrity, plugging and abandonment, Class V authorization by rule, and hazardous waste injection. WHY IT WAS (more…)

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Utah Partners for Conservation and Development

1995, November: DEQ joined the Utah Partners for Conservation and Development, a partnership of federal, state and local authorities interested in the conservation of Utah’s land and water resources. In November, 1995 DEQ joined the Utah Partners for Conservation and Development, a coalition of seventeen federal, state and local agencies and organizations dedicated to protecting and enhancing Utah’s natural resources. The UtahPCD members work together to leverage limited financial and technical resources and increase the effectiveness of their respective programs. The Core Values of the UtahPCD include: Water Quality and Water Quantity for municipal, agricultural and natural resource uses Protecting Utah’s Biological Diversity including wildlife and vegetation Sustainable Agriculture through working and productive farms and ranches Outdoor Recreation opportunity, access, delivery, and quality As a member agency, DEQ is committed to coordinating its efforts, particularly as they relate to protecting and improving water quality through watershed management. Coordination of projects with partners allows one to accomplish more than any one agency or organization could alone. This partnership has been very successful in bringing people and funding together to address key resource concerns throughout the State including watershed restoration activities and rehabilitation of burned areas.

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Utah Water Finance Agency

Utah Water Finance Agency (“UWFA”), a pooled capital improvement financing program, was formed on September 26, 1996 for the purpose of financing or refinancing various water and wastewater projects and certain hydroelectric projects of UWFA members, (Alpine City, Cedar City, Centerville City, Central Utah Water Conservancy District, Heber City, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, Metropolitan Water District of Pleasant Grove City, Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake and Sandy, Orem City, Roy Water Conservancy Subdistrict, South Jordan City, South Valley Sewerage District, St. George City, Timpanogas Special Service District, Tooele City, Uintah Water Conservancy District, Washington County Water Conservancy District, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, Weber-Box Elder Conservation District, West Jordan City, and White City Water Improvement District). Participating members receive loans out of the proceeds of various Project Bonds, which are issued under the provisions of the Utah Interlocal Cooperation Act and various Trust Indentures.

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Wastewater Needs

Wastewater Needs Survey June 2000 A report was prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s to identify Utah’s capital needs for wastewater infrastructure over the next 20 years. The report presented the potential capital costs for publicly-owned municipal wastewater collection and treatment, municipal storm water management, and NPS pollution control needs as of January 1, 2000. Information and data was obtained by collecting planning level documents prepared by local municipalities and districts. Based upon information gather Utah’s capital costs for infrastructure that will meet the state’s wastewater needs through 2020 were $848 million dollars, including $421 million for treatment facilities, $412 million for sewer system, and $15 million for storm water and non-point. No capital costs were considered if no plans had been prepared to substantiate the costs.

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Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service