Certification of Need Application

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:


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About Dan Askenaizer

Dr. Askenaizer leads WQTS’ work on regulatory compliance support for many of our water agencies clients. Dr. Askenaizer tracks water quality and treatment regulations at the Federal and State levels and provides regulatory updates to our clients. Dr. Askenaizer has strong expertise in the development of Regulatory Monitoring and Compliance Plans (RMCPs), which he has completed for a number of water agencies. He has also been working on a number of projects dealing with the development of distribution system monitoring plans and review of nitrification control strategies. Prior to joining WQTS, Dr. Askenaizer was the Water Quality Manager for the Glendale Water and Power. Under his leadership, the Water Quality Group conducted a demonstration-scale study of chlorite for nitrification control and a pilot-scale study of biological treatment for removal of nitrate. Dan has 30 years of experience working on projects dealing with regulatory, water quality and public health issues. Dan has given numerous presentations at workshops and round-tables across the country for water utilities. Dan was instrumental in developing and implementing a Mentoring Program for water staff and was involved in a Sustainable Development team.