In the August 13, 2021 Federal Register (link to copy Fed Reg_2021-08-13) the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published for public comment receipt of an application for a Certification of Need from seven public water systems and three publicly owned treatment works.
The Certification of Need process is contained in Section 1441 of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Section 1441 states that a Certification of Need may be submitted when the amount of a “chemical or substance necessary to effectively treat water is not reasonably available” or “will not be so available when required.”
Today’s notice is open for public comment until August 27, 2021. EPA is requesting public comment from “chemical producers and repackagers that could supply the required chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, or ferric chloride to the applicants, and from any other interested parties.”
Within 30 days after publishing the notice in today’s Federal Register EPA will either issue or deny the Certification of Need. If the Certification of Need is issued, EPA will then forward it to the US Department of Commerce (Commerce). Within seven days of receiving the Certification of Need, Commerce will issue an order requiring “the manufacturers, producers, processors, distributors, or repackagers of the chemical or substance, identified in the amount and form in the Certification of Need that the Department determines the supplies to be necessary and appropriate….Persons or companies subject to the order will be given a reasonable opportunity to consult with the Department with respect to implementation of the order.”
Note: Under Section 1441, EPA can waive the public comment/review period if it determines a need to protect public health.
Link to a copy of the Safe Drinking Water Act as amended in 1996 (Safe Drinking Water Act). Section 1441 (Assurance of Availability of Adequate Supplies of Chemicals Necessary for Treatment of Water) begins on page 75. Link to EPA Website with Q&A about Certification of Need: