Presentations From 2020 AEA Conference Available For Download

Posted on: December 9th, 2020 by eric

A number of presentations from our 2020 Annual Conference are now available for download in PDF form. Hopefully these documents will serve as a supplement to any notes taken at the conference and will provide  reference for you on these important topics.

The following presentations are available:

Strategic Planning Presentation

Introduction to Water CoopWilliam Senft presentation

COVID-19 Effects in the Bond Market – New COVID Related Borrowing
Robbi Acampora
Bob Beinfield

Selected Initiatives that Utilities Can Implement to Bolster their Financial Health and ResilienceAlan Karnovitz

Current Topics in Water Resources ManagementJohn Gray

Environmental Justice LegislationSean Moriarity

Developing Cyber Risk Awareness and Mitigation: Be Prepared!David Brearly and Jim Schultz

Policies, Politics and PandemicsDavid Smith

Agenda & Registration for AEA’s Annual Conference are now available

Posted on: October 26th, 2020 by eric

AEA is going virtual because of the pandemic.  We will be online to provide ESSENTIAL information providers of ESSENTIAL service need to navigate challenges and continue great service.

AEA Annual Meeting & Conference
November 12
and 13, 2020


Thursday
2.5 w tchs / 3 ww tchs
Friday 1.5 w tchs / 2 ww tchs
(Attendance for the entire day required in order to receive credit)

Topics include:

  • William Senft, EJ Water Trust, Inc. will give an Introduction to the Water Coop: a Non-profit Model of Water and Wastewater Service Delivery
  • John Gray, NJDEP will talk about Current Topics in Water Resources Management at the NJDEP
  • Rob Newby, NJDEP Division of Science and Research will present an Old Tool, New Use: Using Wastewater Epidemiology as a Strategy to Fight SARS-CoV-2
  • David A. Smith, Princeton Public Affairs Group, Inc. will wrap up with Policies, Politics and Pandemics

TCH credits for operators will be offered both days at a fee of $99 for the first 2 registrants and $50 for each additional registrant from the same organization. Introduce More of Your Folks to AEA! Our low, $25 non-TCH rate is a great way to introduce commissioners, administrative staff, operations professionals, and consultants to AEA. 

You will not be able to access the Zoom meeting without first registering. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Agenda
On-line Registration
Registration Form
Sponsor Form

 

Governor Bans Shutoffs of Drinking Water Due to Nonpayment Until March 15

Posted on: October 20th, 2020 by eric

Last week Governor Murphy announced an Executive Order prohibiting water systems from shutting off the water service to residential customers for non-payment through March 15. The order covers accounts that primarily serve residential customers. The EO will also require reconnection of any service shut off for non-payment since March 16, 2020, except in the cases of public health and safety. The EO does not cover sewer utilities. 


            About half of AEA drinking water members, that provide water to about one million people in New Jersey, do not  shut off the supply of drinking water to a home in the event of non-payment as a matter of policy


            As a matter of public health, our members that have shut off policies suspended this activity voluntarily at the outset of the pandemic. Our private/corporate purveyor drinking water colleagues also suspended shut offs voluntarily until Oct. 15.  


            There has been scant indication that anyone was continuing to do shutoffs, or leaving people without water, during the pandemic. Staff from DEP and BPU have indicated they have not received complaints of drinking water service shut offs for non-payment during the pandemic. Nor have cases like this come up at weekly cross-sector online pandemic-response meetings involving utilities and relevant State agencies. 


            AEA members are hometown utilities, accessible to customers. This gives them the ability to respond directly to individual financial hardships of customers by waiving interest charges on overdue bills and refraining from lien enforcement. While the Governor’s announcement said, “customers who are able to do so will be urged to continue to make payments,” some members have expressed worry that mandatory no-shutoffs give cover to people who are able to pay their bills but choose not to. The financial implications of no-shutoff policies become more severe as the pandemic and its economic impacts continue. 


            The Governor’s EO suggested that those in need of financial assistance reach out to their utility directly. 

AEA’s Virtual Annual Meeting & Conference is Coming Nov. 12-13

Posted on: October 6th, 2020 by eric

Thursday & Friday, Nov. 12 – 13, 2020

Agenda, TCH Credits & Registration Fee Detail Forthcoming!

Like many other associations, AEA is going virtual because of the pandemic. On Nov. 12 and 13, we’ll be online, but we will still be on top of the ESSENTIAL information you, providers of such an ESSENTIAL service, need to navigate challenges and provide great service.

We will be sharing more details leading up to our Inaugural Virtual Conference.

Below are just some of the highlights we are looking forward to:

Alan Karnovitz, Hazen Sawyer, will share selected initiatives that utilities can implement to bolster their financial health and resilience in the face of highly disruptive and unpredictable events such as COVID19.

Robert Newby, NJ DEP Division of Science and Research, will present in a two-part discussion on Wastewater Detection of SARS-CoV-2

The Value of Networking in the Water Sector Government. A dynamic panel will discuss how utilities routinely help one another, trading many different types of information. This may be one of the most under-valued aspects of their work. This panel will explore the value of networking and mutual support as well as two programs that leverage and nurture that aspect of water sector culture.

Egg Harbor City Ratepayers Won’t Benefit from Water/Sewer Sale in the Long Run

Posted on: September 10th, 2020 by eric

            Egg Harbor City (EHC) is selling its tiny water and sewer system to a corporate utility for an eye-popping $21.8 million, largesse being underwritten by the rest of the corporation’s two million New Jersey customers. What goes around comes around, though. EHC ratepayers will help underwrite the cost of the next acquisition, and the one after that, and the one after that. 

 

 

 

            According to a press report, the EHC council voted unanimously on Aug. 13 to relinquish ownership to New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of the multi-state corporation, American Water Works Company, Inc. (AWK). The people of EHC will join the estimated 15 million people in 46 states who are customers of the corporate family. NJAW is permitted to pass the cost of each and every acquisition along to its customers across the state, even though the acquisitions will not benefit them in any meaningful way.
            EHC/NJAW deal is being completed under a misleadingly named law called the “Water Infrastructure Protection Act” (WIPA) passed by a Legislature controlled by Democrats in 2015 and signed by Gov. Chris Christie. The name is misleading because the law does not protect infrastructure nor does it protect ratepayers. At a time when affordability is a bigger issue than ever, WIPA-type deals are especially misguided.
             Big Water has successfully lobbied for WIPA-type legislation, so-called “fair market value” (FMV) laws, in many states including Illinois, Pennsylvania, and California. Connecticut and Kentucky have resisted FMV laws thus far. FMV laws encourage “quick fix” transactions (such as the one in EHC) that in the long run are sure to inflate water/sewer rates, a point made in the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel’s testimony when WIPA was being considered. Under these FMV laws, corporations get to add to their water/sewer holdings for the benefit of their shareholders, but ratepayers foot the bill. AEA opposed WIPA because it permits a system to be sold without a voter referendum, increasing the chance of back-room deals, reducing the public’s voice, and limiting civic dialogue about an important community matter.
            AEA sees eye-to-eye with corporate-owned utilities on many issues, such as protecting water supplies and properly maintaining infrastructure. Professionals in government-owned utilities and corporate-owned utilities have worked very hard, together, to keep water and sewer services going during COVID-19. However, AEA opposes tactics often used to promote the corporate-ownership alternative. Promoters of these deals misrepresent the record of government-owned utilities and fail to tell the ratepayers of the true cost impacts of a sale.  They make references to “regionalization” and “economies of scale” to suggest the system being purchased is becoming part of some highly efficient, centralized network, a dubious claim.  NJAW bought the Long Hill Township (Morris County) sewer system and the Haddonfield (Camden County) sewer system –miles away from each other. No economies of scale there. 

AEA Seeking Presentation Proposals for Upcoming Conferences

Posted on: May 29th, 2020 by eric

AEA is seeking proposals for presentations for AEA training programs, workshops, and conferences.  Submissions are primarily used to create programs for the fall and spring conferences in Atlantic City but may be selected for other education activities such as the Environmental Professional Development Academy or special one-day and half-day workshops. It should also be noted that due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemicand associated restrictions at this time, we are also evaluating the necessity of holding a series of shorter topic-specific webinars in the fall, in lieu of the fall 2020 or spring 2021 meeting.

Abstracts are Being Sought From Executive directors, CFOs, operators, operators, financial, accounting, management, human resources professionals, public officials, regulators, engineers, scientists, consultants, sales representatives, manufacturers, academics and others with expertise, knowledge and skills applicable to the management of water, wastewater and solid waste facilities in New Jersey. Preference given to submissions from AEA member organizations.

AEA conferences and workshops are attended by decision-makers (commissioners, executive directors and managers), staff, professionals, licensees, and service providers associated with local water/wastewater/solid waste utilities.

Please refer questions and send completed abstracts to Karen Burris at karen@aeanj.org and Lorna O’Hara at ohara@ppag.com and add “AEA 2020-21 Presentation Proposal” within subject line. Submission deadline is August 31, 2020. All submissions will be considered for the November 2020 and March 2021 conference.

For full details, including a list of topics, contact information and more, please see this document.

You may download a proposal submission form here.