The Government Affairs Committee and the Public Relations Committee have been merged into the Public and Government Communications Committee. The Government Affairs Committee is involved with tracking and reporting Federal and State legislation that may have an impact on the wastewater industry in Virginia. We also write and submit articles for the quarterly Conduit regarding local policies, new or proposed legislation, and other topics dealing with regulation. The committee in responsible for developing a session at the annual VWEA conference for Government Affairs, whereby State officials, regulators and policy makers are invited to speak on topics of interest in the wastewater field. The committee is also focusing on increased networking opportunity for VWEA members with State regulators.
Allan Brockenbrough - Chair, Public and Government Communications Committee
WEF has an award to recognize public officials who have made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the water environment. This award is for an elected or appointed official that has made significant contributions in the areas of legislation, public policy, government service, or an another area of public prominence that resulted in improvements to the water environment. This award can be presented for public service at the local, state or federal level.
- The Public and Government Communications Committee is responsible for organizing the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) competition in Virginia. SJWP is one of the most prestigious science competitions for High School students in the world. Any High School student (grade 9-12) with a water-related science project is eligible to participate in SJWP. The competition consists of four levels: regional, state, national, and international. Awards are given at each of these levels to recognize the students' achievements in water-related research.
VWEA volunteers judge for SJWP at regional High School science fairs all over the Commonwealth and give out SJWP regional award certificates to the best water related projects. VWEA also encourages the winning students to continue their research and interest in water related issues by giving away monetary awards.
All students with water related science projects are encouraged to participate in the State competition by submitting their papers on-line (www.sjwp.org). At the end of April each year VWEA volunteers review the submitted papers and select a state winner. The state winner receives an SJWP state medal, a one year complimentary Water Environment Federation (WEF) student membership, a framed certificate for their school and gets to compete in the national competition. VWEA presents the state winner, and his/her teacher, with paid transportation to the national competition (all other expenses are paid by WEF).
The national competition is organized by WEF in June each year and the location varies from year to year. During the competition the students and their teachers will have several opportunities to network and learn more about the water environment. The finalists in the national competition receive a $1,000 scholarship and an all expense paid trip to WEFTEC. The national winner wins a $3,000 scholarship, the national trophy and an all-expense-paid trip with their science teacher to the International SJWP competition. The national winner's school also receives a $1,000 educational grant to enhance water education and research in the classroom.
The international competition takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, in August each year. The international competition brings together the brightest young scientists from all over the world to encourage their continued interest in water and the environment. The international winner received $5,000 and the international trophy.
Anyone interested in volunteering for SJWP, please contact
Other Science Fair Winners - Additional science fair winners are shown below.
Virginia Phase 2 Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) Update Webinar - Virginia Water Environment Association's Public and Government Communication's Committee held a FREE Webinar on April 17, 2012. Below are the two presentations from the webinar:
- Point Sources, Nutrient Credits and DEQs WIP Responsibilities - Russ Baxter, VA DEQ
- Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan - Phase II - Joan Salvati, VA DEQ
Virginia Regulations Handbook - The VWEA Public and Government Communications Committee has published a handbook titled " Understanding Wastewater Regulation in Virginia for Wastewater Operators 555.19 Kb." This handbook, which was updated in January 2010, has been prepared to help wastewater operators learn more about wastewater regulations in Virginia. The handbook also addresses Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay program, the state’s new nutrient standards, and nutrient trading. The document is also accessible from the Downloadable Documents page.