USEPA Issues New Interpretive Statement on Releases of Pollutants to Groundwater Which Concludes These Releases are Not Subject to NPDES Permitting

On April 15, 2019 the USEPA issued an “Interpretive Statement” which provides EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program’s applicability to releases of pollutants from a point source to groundwater that subsequently migrate or may be conveyed by groundwater to jurisdictional surface waters. In general, the USEPA concluded in this “Interpretive Statement” that discharges to groundwater are excluded from NPDES program coverage under Section 301 of the CWA regardless of a hydrologic connection between the groundwater and a jurisdictional surface water. For addition information see

USDA ARS Study Finds Emissions from Cattle Production Not a Significant Contributor to Greenhouse Gases

A USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) team has completed a comprehensive life-cycle analysis quantifying the resource use and various environmental emissions of beef cattle production in the US. The aim of this study was to establish baseline measures that the U.S. beef industry can use to explore ways of reducing its environmental footprint and improve sustainability.

Study leader Alan Rotz indicated "We found that the greenhouse gas emissions in our analysis were not all that different from what other credible studies had shown and were not a significant contributor to long-term global warming"

This study can be found at

New NAS Report Available on Industrial Stormwater Discharges

As part of a Settlement Agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental petitioners, and intervenors on the challenge to the EPA's 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP), the EPA funded a study conducted by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) on potential permit improvements, focused primarily on monitoring requirements, for consideration in the next issuance of the MSGP. The findings of this Study and the NAS report are available

USEPA and the Department of the Army Issue Proposed Revision of the Definition of “Waters of the United States”

USEPA and the Department of the Army publishes a proposed rule defining the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for public comment. This proposal is the second step in a comprehensive, two-step process intended to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with the Executive Order signed on Feb. 28, 2017, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the `Waters of the United States' Rule.” This proposed rule is intended to increase CWA program predictability and consistency by increasing clarity as to the scope of “waters of the United States” federally regulated under the Act. This proposed definition revision is also intended to clearly implement the overall objective of the CWA to restore and maintain the quality of the nation's waters while respecting State and tribal authority over their own land and water resources. Comments must be received on or before April 15, 2019. See for details.

Impacts of Food Safety Intervention and Sanitation Chemicals on Wastewater Treatment Systems

Food and agricultural product production plants commonly use food safety intervention and sanitation chemicals to ensure production of safe, high quality, food products. Many of these chemicals can cause significant adverse impacts on wastewater treatment systems, and particularly biological wastewater treatment systems. WHEE, Inc. provides services to various food and Ag companies related to evaluation of the potential impacts of these chemicals on wastewater treatment systems and mitigation strategies.

Wastewater Treatment Challenges “Carryover of Antimicrobial Compounds into Wastewater Treatment Plants” 2019 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE)

Steven Woodruff, P.E. with WHEE, Inc. gave a presentation on “Carryover of Antimicrobial Compounds Into Wastewater Treatment Plants” at the Wastewater Treatment Challenges Workshop at the 2019 IPPE in Atlanta, Georgia. Copies of the presentation can be provided upon request at

WHEE Inc. Looking for Entry Level Engineer

WHEE, Inc. looking for an entry level Civil, Mechanical, Agricultural, or Environmental Engineer.  The Position will be responsible for the following duties:


  • Performance of various engineering duties including but not limited to: engineering plan and specification development; performance of engineering calculations; hydraulic system design work; performance of engineering evaluations; development of AutoCAD design drawings; performance of Storm Water Runoff Modeling, Hydrologic Studies; etc.
  • Performance of various environmental projects including but not limited to: development of environmental plans and permit applications; performance of regulatory compliance evaluations; performance of air emission calculations, performance of water, wastewater, storm water, and/or air sampling and analysis activities; and preparation of written reports.
  • Performance of field work activities at various client locations, such as sampling, conducting environmental compliance audits, site visits to prepare environmental plans, and other activities, as required.
  • Development of proposals for potential projects.
  • Assistance with development of Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans/Nutrient Management Plans for animal feeding operations, including ArcGIS Site Maps.
  • Other professional activities/duties as may be assigned.

This position requires proficiency with MS Office suite of products (Word, Excel, etc.), AutoCAD LT and ArcGIS, and will be responsible for quickly developing proficiency in this regard through use of associated computer program tutorials and, if necessary, participation in a related short course(s) at a nearby technical school.

Please send resumes to