AWOP Planning Meeting Update

Region 3 Planning Meeting – Kearneysville, West Virginia

October 10 – 11, 2012

By Bob A. Hegg

The Region 3 AWOP planning group consisting of participants from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, EPA Region 3, EPA TSC, Process Applications, Inc. and representatives from the state of North Carolina (Region 4) met in Kearneysville WV in October 2012.  The Region 3 AWOP are continuing their participation in a train the trainer implementation approach for developing a DBP PBT in their respective states.  Participants attending the meetings are returning to their home state and implementing a DPB session for their staffs and for selected facilities. Two states are implementing PBT with multiple plants; North Carolina and West Virginia.  They reported seeing the benefits of the PBT process through improved communication and confidence skills by their PBT participants.  They also reported increased staff confidence and understanding of DBP control.  The remaining three states; Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania also reported improved staff skills.  These states are implementing PBT efforts with a single utility.  Feedback from these states was unanimous in that the lack of the benefits provided by peer pressure was limiting the growth of utility staff skills.  These utilities suggested that future DBP PBT train the trainer approaches have a less stringent site selection process to help ensure that multiple facilities participated.  Maryland suggested that a good performing utility be considered just to allow the peer pressure.

High ranking topics discussed during the meeting were the status of distribution system optimization efforts, Stage 2 compliance tools, and training opportunities for state and Regional personnel on the CPE and PBT processes.  The distribution and Stage 2 compliance tools had a very high appeal because of the impending regulations and anticipated potential for noncompliance.  The Region 3 AWOP group expressed their desire to pursue a workshop on establishing strategic flushing in a distribution system.

Connecticut (a EPA Region 1 State) was not able to attend this meeting but reported that they are working on their status component.  The next regularly scheduled meeting of this AWOP network group is scheduled for March 19 – 20, 2013 in Baltimore, MD.  The meeting will focus on train the trainer efforts for Session 6 of the DBP PBT approach, which will be the final session of the training series.

Region 3 Participants engaged in DBP PBT Session 5 Training

TSC’s Matt Alexander conducting a DBP PBT Quiz