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The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers jointly proposed a "waters of the United States" rule for determining which streams, wetlands and other bodies of water are protected under the Clean Water Act. In keeping with an issue that has been before the Supreme Court twice in recent years (2001 and 2006), the proposed rule drew a mixed reaction along predictable lines. Notably, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., slammed the proposal and said she "will work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a legislative solution to reverse this unfair, unwise and unnecessary decision."

The proposed rule would define "waters of the U.S." to mean: "traditional navigable waters; interstate waters, including interstate wetlands; the territorial seas; impoundments of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, including interstate wetlands, the territorial seas, and tributaries, as defined, of such waters; tributaries, as defined, of traditional navigable waters, interstate or the territorial seas; and adjacent waters, including adjacent wetlands."

In addition, other waters that don’t fit in any of the above categories could be determined to be "waters of the U.S." through "a case-specific showing that, either alone or in combination with similarly situated ‘other waters’ in the region, they have a ‘significant nexus’ to a traditional navigable water, interstate water, or the territorial seas." The rule would offer a definition of significant nexus and explain how similarly situated "other waters" in the region should be identified, but the agencies are soliciting comment on alternate approaches to determining whether "other waters" are similarly situated and have a "significant nexus" to a traditional navigable water, interstate water or the territorial seas.

The proposed rule is intended to provide "clarity to regulated entities as to whether individual water bodies are jurisdictional and discharges are subject to permitting," the agencies said. "The proposed rule does not protect any new types of waters that have not historically been covered under the Clean Water Act," EPA said—although Sen. Landrieu and others disputed that.

The proposed rule and additional information are posted on EPA's website. Comments on the proposed rule are due 90 days after its publication in the Federal Register. Comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OW–2011–0880, can be submitted online at www.regulations.gov. —ROBERT VARELA

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Murray Energy Corp. and several subsidiaries have asked a federal district court to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating new regulations impacting the coal industry until the agency conducts a review of possible job losses and employment shifts caused by its air pollution regulations, as required by Section 321(a) of the Clean Air Act. "The Clean Air Act is crystal clear in requiring the EPA to evaluate the negative impact that their regulations will have on jobs, but they have repeatedly been derelict in their duty," said Gary Broadbent, assistant general counsel and media director for Murray Energy, an independent coal producer based in Ohio.

"EPA’s war on coal inflicts numerous casualties on the electric generating sector, the largest market for coal in the United States," Murray said in a March 24 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Wheeling Division. The agency’s failure to comply with Section 321(a) of the Clean Air Act has harmed Murray "by delaying evaluations that will prevent or impede EPA’s continued efforts to reduce the market for coal," the complaint said.

The company asked the court to order EPA to evaluate whether its administration and enforcement of the Clean Air Act over the past six years has resulted in job losses or shifts in the coal industry. Murray also asked the court to enjoin EPA "from approving further regulations impacting employment in the coal industry and from continuing its New Source Review enforcement campaign against coal-fired power plants for work done after the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations until EPA has completed its evaluation." —ROBERT VARELA

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Arlen Orchard, general counsel of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California, has been named to succeed John Di Stasio as SMUD’s general manager and CEO after a nationwide search, the utility said yesterday.

Orchard, a 24-year veteran of the municipal utility, verbally accepted the board’s offer, and his appointment will be finalized when the board meets on April 3, SMUD said. Di Stasio’s last day as general manager will be April 11, and Orchard will assume his new position on April 12.


Arlen Orchard
"I’m honored and humbled to be chosen to lead this great organization," Orchard said, adding that SMUD’s priorities will not change under his leadership. "Our focus on our customers, the community, our people and the environment will continue to power SMUD forward," he said.

"SMUD attracted many strong candidates, each eager to lead one of the most progressive utilities in the world," said Genevieve Shiroma, president of SMUD’s board of directors. "After many interviews, followed by thorough deliberation, it became clear that Arlen was the best choice to navigate SMUD through the increasingly complicated legislative and regulatory environment, while keeping our power generation running, reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring that electric rates remain affordable."

"Arlen’s strong leadership skills and expertise as general counsel for more than a decade will serve SMUD and our customer-owners very well," Shiroma said.

Orchard has been SMUD's general counsel since 2001. He joined the utility in 1990 as a staff attorney and was assistant general counsel before accepting the general counsel position.

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Rather than relying on in-state renewables, California ratepayers could save up to $9.5 billion by building a $3 billion high-voltage, direct-current transmission line to bring in wind power from Wyoming, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory study that was commissioned by the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority. The study looked at possible choices for meeting the last increment of California’s renewables portfolio standard requirement—33 percent of retail sales by 2020—comparing Wyoming wind with in-state renewables likely to be available in 2017.

The benefits of importing 12,000 GWh of wind power from Wyoming annually would amount to between $2.3 billion and $9.5 billion over 50 years on a net present value basis, the NREL study said. The displacement of more costly California resources by Wyoming wind power would save $6.4 billion to $10.9 billion in generation costs, said the study, "California-Wyoming Grid Integration Study: Phase 1 Economic Analysis." California also could potentially avoid building up to $2.7 billion in transmission lines.

The study assumed the 600-kV direct-current TransWest Express Transmission Project, which would transport Wyoming wind power 725 miles to an interconnection point in southern Nevada, would operate at maximum capacity carrying only Wyoming wind power.

"By sourcing just a portion of Wyoming’s high-capacity wind, the NREL study notes that ‘annual generator cost savings range from around $500 million to around $1 billion,’" Wyoming Infrastructure Authority Executive Director Loyd Drain said. "Over a 50-year transmission lifespan, that equates to billions of savings in utility costs for California." —ROBERT VARELA

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APPA's Spring Education Institute, set for May 5-9 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., will offer basic, intermediate and advanced cost-of-service and retail rate design courses, as well as a new class on conducting a utility financial check-up.

These courses are designed for utility staff and policymakers — including general managers, finance and accounting personnel and rate analysts — involved in financial planning and the pricing of electric utility services.

The courses can be taken either individually or together, as a series. The classes are highly interactive: instructors incorporate real-life public power examples and calculations. Participants work through exercises and use computer models and actual rate forms in class.

•    Basic Cost of Service and Retail Rate Design course, May 5-6. This course covers traditional industry approaches to utility costing and pricing. Participants will learn where and how information is obtained, how a utility's costs are incurred and how to develop allocation factors. Participants will work through exercises to classify service expenses, work through a sample cost-of-service analysis and use standard rate forms.

•    Intermediate Cost of Service and Retail Rate Design class, May 6-7. This course features exercises and practical applications using a fully functional cost-of-service/unbundling and rate design model in Excel. Through these exercises, participants will learn how a cost-of-service study is used when designing rates. The instructors will also discuss customer relations and will offer ideas for working with governing boards.

•    Advanced Cost of Service and Retail Rate Design course, May 8. Participants will go through the process of developing a marginal cost rate and learn how traditional cost-of-service studies are used to support aspects of a marginal cost study. The instructor will discuss industry rate trends, alternative rate structures and how to work with governing bodies to plan for future rate adjustments.

•  Performing a Utility Financial Check-Up course, May 9. Participants will learn guidelines, methods and tools used by industry professionals to assess a utility’s financial health and control revenue stability. The instructor will discuss topics such as financial targets; debt and purchasing policies; identifying and managing rate structure risks; social, environmental and political risks to consider when establishing financial policies; timing of rate structure reviews; communicating financial performance and rate changes to policymakers and customers; proper capital planning; accounting and budgeting practices and rate methods used by utilities across the country.

APPA offers continuing education units, professional development hours and continuing professional education credits for participating in courses. There is a $100 discount for those who attend more than one course or who attend with a colleague. There is a $50 discount for those who register before April 14.

The Spring Institute also offers 16 other in-depth courses on public utility accounting, work order and asset management, a new track of safety and reliability classes and two week-long certificate programs on leadership and energy efficiency.  All courses will be held at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes hotel in Myrtle Beach.

For more information, visit www.APPAAcademy.org under "courses and workshops" or contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919 or MRiley@PublicPower.org. —HEIDI LAMBERT

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EVENTS CALENDAR


DEED webinar – Developing a Cost-effective Conservation Voltage Reduction Program
March 27


Webinar – Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues for Boards
March 31

Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo
Oklahoma City, Okla.
April 4-5

2014 Engineering and Operations Technical Conference
Oklahoma City, Okla.
April 6-9

Webinar – The Management of Successful Customer Service Operations
April 8

Webinar – Investing in Intellectual Capital: How to Capture, Mentor and Retain Critical Knowledge and Skillsets
April 10

2014 Public Communications Committee Spring Issues Roundtable
Washington, D.C.
April 11

Webinar – Electric Utility 101: Distribution
April 16

Webinar – Cybersecurity Awareness Training Part III
April 17

DEED webinar – New Program Options to Engage High School Students on Energy Usage
April 23

Webinar – Determining Revenue Requirements for Your Utility
April 24

General Accounting, Finance & Audit Spring Meeting
Washington, D.C.
April 24-25

Webinar – Industry Issues and Challenges Facing Public Power Governing Bodies
April 30

Spring Education Institute
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
May 5-9

DEED webinar – Better Building Practices Toolkit for New Residential Construction
May 8

Webinar – Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members
May 13

Webinar – The Leadership Development Process
May 15

Webinar – Development of Cash Reserve Policies
May 20

Webinar – Technology: From Meter Reading to Customer Information Systems
June 3

DEED webinar – Energy and the Environment, a High School Curriculum for Public Power
June 11

Webinar – Accounting Standards and Reporting Framework Update
June 12

National Conference & Public Power Expo
Denver, Colo.
June 13-18


Webinar – Introduction to Legislative Issues and Grassroots Advocacy
June 25

Webinar – Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils
June 30

DEED webinar – Customizable Weather Database Helps Utilities Handle Customers' High-Bill Complaints
August 20


For a full APPA Events Calendar, visit Publicpower.org.


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CLASSIFIEDS
Regulatory counsel—The American Public Power Association is recruiting for a regulatory counsel to assist in energy policy formulation and policy advocacy before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), federal courts, other federal/state agencies and industry policy forums. The incumbent participates in and monitors FERC dockets and NERC activities of interest to the association and its members, as well as advocates association positions in these forums and participates in coalitions on such matters with other industry associations and groups as appropriate. The incumbent also communicates with individual APPA utility members, groups of members and their counsel to develop and coordinate consistent policy positions. Required education and experience includes:

• a law degree and appropriate bar admissions to practice law before state and federal courts;
• prior relevant experience in FERC and NERC regulatory matters;
• broad experience in electricity policy issues;
• the ability to analyze legal issues, draft complex legal documents, understand multifaceted regulatory, technical and economic issues and develop solutions;
• the ability to help plan and organize educational offerings on areas of expertise for the association; and
• the ability to communicate effectively—verbal and written communications—and gain cooperation from staff, members, outside counsel, other industry association representatives, press and the public.

Apply: For more information, go to www.PublicPower.org. Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to HumanResources@PublicPower.org with "Regulatory Counsel" in the subject line. APPA is an equal opportunity employer.

Energy control system training/compliance coordinator—The Lafayette Utilities System in Louisiana is recruiting for the position of energy control systems/compliance coordinator. The position analyzes regulatory agencies’ requirements pertaining to staff performing real time, reliability related tasks on the North American Bulk Electric System (BES); analyzes tasks assigned to staff; and develops, implements and maintains comprehensive training materials and methods consistent with a Systematic Approach to Training and compliant with the applicable NERC standards. The position also schedules and coordinates training sessions, conducts training, keeps thorough records and prepares reports. Qualifications: NERC certification is desired. An associate’s degree in a technical field related to industrial electricity, electric generation, transmission and distribution systems, electrical switching, power dispatching and operations of bulk power transmission systems, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, is required. Compensation: Monthly salary is $4,824 to $6,030, depending on qualifications. The job also provides strong benefits and civil service protection. See the Lafayette Consolidated Government, Civil Service Office, 705 W. University Ave., Lafayette, LA and www.lafayettela.gov for deadline and applications, or call 337/291-8330. EOE.

IT administrator—The City of Piqua, Ohio, is seeking qualified applicants for the position of IT administrator. Compensation: The salary range depends on qualifications and includes excellent benefits. Qualifications: The position requires completion of an associate's degree (bachelor’s degree preferred) in information technology, engineering or related field, with three to five years relevant work experience. This experience should include network administration (SCADA experience and/or CISCO CCNA desired). Apply: Please send a city application, a letter of interest, including salary history, a resume and three business references by March 28 to Elaine G. Barton, human resources director, by mail: City of Piqua, 201 West Water St., Piqua, Ohio 45356; or email: ebarton@piquaoh.org. Visit the city's website at www.piquaoh.org to obtain an application. EOE.

Engineering assistants—The City of Redding Electric Utility (REU) in California is seeking two full-time engineering assistants to perform a variety of engineering assignments, including design, economic analysis, resource planning, study preparation and production, cost modeling, technical research and contract administration. Qualifications: The typical education would include a bachelor’s degree in engineering or other technical degree, including economics. Limited part-time or no experience is required. Apply: Apply online by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 at www.ci.redding.ca.us. EOE/FAAE.

Vice president, corporate services—Lincoln Electric System (LES) in Nebraska is recruiting for Vice President, Corporate Services. This position reports to the chief operating officer and oversees the Employee Resources Department, Transportation Department, Safety Department and Facilities Department. Requirements: The position requires proficient knowledge of human resources- and safety-related information systems, such as SAP and IndustrySafe, along with the ability to build and maintain internal relationships. The VP regularly interacts with LES’s administrative board and business consultants. Qualifications: Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree and a successful track record of increasingly responsible utility management assignments directing an organization similar to LES. Ten years of experience with facilities, safety, human resources and related information systems is preferred. A graduate degree in business is desirable. Lincoln Electric System is a municipally owned electric utility providing service to approximately 130,000 customers in Lincoln, Neb. LES employs a staff of approximately 475 non-union and union personnel. LES is governed by a nine-member administrative board. Apply: To apply, go to www.LES.com. LES is an EEO employer.


Check out APPA's career services on the Web

Visit the Career Center at PublicPower.org. Our career center allows job seekers to upload resumes, and recruiters to obtain resumes from job seekers. Classified ads in Public Power Daily and Public Power Weekly cost 70 cents per word for APPA members, and 80 cents per word for nonmembers, for a one-week run. Job posting subscriptions are available in packages of five, 10, or unlimited for a full year. The weekly deadline for placing a classified ad is every Thursday at 12 p.m. (Eastern time). If you have questions about classified ads, please write to jobs@publicpower.org, or call 202/467-2958.

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