Certification of Need, WOTUS Roundtables

Second Certification of Need Application Filed Under the Safe Drinking Water Act

This past week, EPA published an announcement in the Federal Register (copy enclosed) regarding the second Certification of Need Application submitted under the Safe Drinking Water Act.  The application was submitted by three public water systems and one publicly owned treatment works (POTW).  For two of the public water systems (located in Florida), the issue is limitations on the supply of liquid oxygen.  Specifically, the enclosed Federal Register notice  (Certification of Need Application_Fed_Reg_2021-10-20 ) states in part: “…due to competing demand for liquid oxygen at hospitals for high-flow oxygen therapy for COVID-19 patients.  Additionally, limited or non-cost-effective transportation resources or options have hampered their ability to bring in liquid oxygen from production facilities outside of the region.”

The Certification of Need announcement is open for public comment until November 3, 2021.

The enclosed Federal Register notice states: “After the comment period, EPA will determine whether to issue Certifications of Need for each distinct application. If issued, EPA will transmit the certifications to the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security to implement the certification by issuing an order to contracted suppliers. The orders will require repackagers and/or suppliers to provide the fully contracted chemical allocations to the applicants listed in this Federal Register announcement. EPA requests comment on the application submittals as well as feedback from repackagers or suppliers who may be able to assist.”

Enclosed is 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.  EPA Website with Q&A about Certification of Need:

https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/frequently-asked-questions-about-section-1441-safe-drinking-water-act

Nominations for Locations for the Ten “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) Roundtables

In the Federal Register to be published on Monday, October 25, 2021 (WOTUS_Regional Roundtables_Fed Reg_2021-10-25), EPA and the US Department of the Army are requesting nominations “…for one of….ten geographically focused roundtables” The intent for the Roundtables “….is to engage individuals representing diverse perspectives in meaningful dialogue on the definition of WOTUS.”   Nomination letters are due by November 3, 2021.  It is anticipated that the roundtables will be held in December 2021, and possibly January 2022.

Background:

  1. On June 9, 2021, EPA and the Department of the Army, published an announcement that they intend to revised the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
  2. On July 30, 2021 EPA the Department of the Army published a notice that they intend to hold ten “regionally focused roundtables.”
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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.