Water News

EPA Extends Schedule for Revised M/DBP Regulations

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) posted a notice that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced “…..an extension of the deadlines for proposed revisions to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) regarding microbial and disinfection byproduct (MDBP) rules. Originally set for July 31, 2024, the proposal deadline has been extended to July 31, 2025, while the final action deadline, initially scheduled for September 30, 2027, has been moved to October 2, 2028.”


The SDWA requires that every six years, EPA review primary drinking water regulations to determine whether they should be revised. In January 2017 EPA published the results from the third six-year review of contaminants.  The outcome of that review was that EPA considered eight NPDWRs as candidates for regulatory revision (chlorite, Cryptosporidium, haloacetic acids, heterotrophic bacteria, Giardia lamblia, Legionella, total trihalomethanes, and viruses). These constituents are currently regulated under the Long-term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule and the Stage 2 Disinfection Byproduct Rule and are referred to as M/DBP regulations.

In 2022 EPA formed an M/DBP Rule Revisions Working Group under the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) to develop recommendations for revisions to the M/DBP regulations. The first meeting of the NDWAC M/DBP Working Group was held in May 2022. The M/DBP Working Group met through November 2023 and prepared a final report with recommendations that was submitted to EPA on December 14, 2023.  The M/DBP Working Group report presented recommendations to EPA on 13 topics.

The 12 month extension of the schedule to publish proposed and final M/DBP regulations, is consistent with the language in the May 2020 signed Consent Decree between EPA and the Waterkeeper Alliance and California Coastkeeper Alliance (the lawsuit was filed in January 2019 regarding EPA’s missing statutory deadlines).

DDW Posts New Notice Regarding Future CrVI MCL

On January 31, 2024, the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) posted a Notice regarding an updated OEHHA review of hexavalent chromium (CrVI) non-cancer health effects and DDW’s Consolidation and Alternatives Analysis (additional details are provided in the February 1, 2024, Regulatory Update below).   DDW requested public comment by February 19, 2024.

On February 14, 2024, DDW posted a revised Notice (revisednotice_3cr6 mcl_021424).  The purpose of the revised notice was to include an Attachment to DDW’s Consolidation and Alternative Analysis (a link to the Attachment is included in the enclosed Notice and is presented below).  The deadline for submitting public comments has been extended from February 19, 2024, to March 4, 2024.

Link to New Attachment


EPA Requesting Public Comment on Analytical Methods UCMR6

Analytical Methods EPA Requesting Public Input: In the February 8, 2024 Federal Register (Fed Reg_UCMR6_Anal Methods) EPA lists published drinking water analytical methods and other methods that are currently in development.  EPA is requesting public input on the listed analytical methods (“particularly those listed in the Fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL5))”.  Public comments are due by April 8, 2024.

Note: The CCL5 was published November 14, 2022, CCL 5 includes 66 chemicals, three chemical groups (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), cyanotoxins, and disinfection byproducts (DBPs)), and 12 microbes.

Development of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 6 (UCMR6).  In the same Federal Register notice enclosed, EPA announced they will hold a virtual public meeting (via webinar) to “…discuss potential approaches to developing UCMR 6. The webinar will discuss the following: drinking water analytical methods and contaminants being considered, UCMR 6 sampling design, laboratory approval, and other potential aspects of the monitoring approach.”  The UCMR6 webinar will be held on April 17, 2024 and the same webinar will be held again on April 18, 2024.  The webinar is scheduled from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm (ET).


Link to register:

Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) Meetings and Materials | US EPA

EPA Webinars in February 2024

Below is information on a couple of upcoming Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webinars that may be of interest.

EPA’s Lead Service Line Inventory Guidance

On February 27, 2024, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm (ET) (with optional Q&A session from 3:00 to 3:30) EPA and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators will present a webinar on EPA’s guidance (and Colorado’s policy on requirements and expectations) for preparing lead service line inventories as required under the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions.  Speakers will be from EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.


EPA text describing the webinar: “Developing a lead service line (LSL) inventory and identifying the location of LSLs is the first step for beginning LSL replacement and protecting public health. The purpose of this presentation is to walk through the EPA’s Guidance for Developing and Maintaining a Service Line Inventory. The guidance provides support for the service line inventory requirements according to the 2021 Lead and Copper Rule Revisions, referred to as LCRR.”

Link to Register:


Enclosed is EPA’s announcement for the webinar, with additional information and the presenters.

Webinar on Water and Wastewater Security Threats and Preparedness

Also on February 27, 2024, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm (ET) EPA will present a webinar on water and wastewater security threats and preparedness.  EPA text describing the webinar: “Water Infrastructure and Cyber Resilience Division (WICRD), along with partners from the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), are offering a virtual threat briefing webinar….The briefing will be unclassified; no clearance is required. It will provide an overview of information on the following topics related to water and wastewater sector security threats and preparedness:”

  • “Potential threats to critical infrastructure (cyber and physical)”
  • “What to do in the event of a cyber or physical intrusion”
  • “Water security and preparedness products and services”

Link to Register:

Meeting Registration – Zoom (zoomgov.com)

EPA Proposal to Address PFAS Under RCRA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released pre-publication versions of two proposed rulemakings to address PFAS under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Introduction:  The following text is copied from EPA’s web site:  “On June 2021, the Governor of New Mexico submitted a petition to EPA expressing concern about the risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and requesting PFAS, either individually or as a class, be listed as hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. In October 2021, EPA responded to the Governor of New Mexico’s petition with a letter. EPA indicated in the letter that it would initiate the rulemaking process for two rulemakings that would help address PFAS under RCRA….”

First Proposed Rulemaking: The first proposed rulemaking would modify the definition of hazardous waste as it applies to cleanups at permitted hazardous waste facilities. The Agency states that this modification would “assure that EPA’s regulations reflect EPA’s and authorized states’ authority to require cleanup of the full range of substances that the [RCRA] intended, including emerging chemicals of concern, such as PFAS, that may present substantial hazards, at permitted facilities.”  Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, there will be a 30-day public comment period.

Second Proposed Rulemaking: The second rulemaking is a proposal to list nine PFAS as hazardous constituents under RCRA. Once published in the Federal Register, there will be a 60-day public comment period.  The nine PFAS are the following:

  • perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA),
  • perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS),
  • perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS),
  • hexafluoropropylene oxide-dimer acid (HFPO-DA or GenX),
  • perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA),
  • perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS),
  • perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA),
  • perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), and
  • perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA).

The following statements are copied from EPA’s proposal “….these PFAS would be among the hazardous constituents expressly identified for consideration in RCRA facility assessments and, where necessary, further investigation and cleanup through the RCRA corrective action process at RCRA treatment, storage, and disposal facilities….Entities potentially affected by this action include hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) with solid waste management units (SWMUs) that have released or could release any of the PFAS proposed to be listed as RCRA hazardous constituents…..The scope of this proposal is limited. Listing these PFAS as RCRA hazardous constituents does not make them, or the wastes containing them, RCRA hazardous wastes. Additionally, only facilities that are hazardous waste TSDFs are subject to RCRA corrective action….Therefore, EPA anticipates that, for example, a facility such as a publicly owned treatment works (POTW), would not be potentially affected by the RCRA corrective action requirements unless the facility is a hazardous waste TSDF.”

UCMR5 Third Set of Data Released by EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted the third set of results from the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 (UCMR5). Enclosed please find EPA’s summary of the results to date (ucmr5-data-summary_0).

Link to EPA Website with UCMR5 information and data files:

Text copied from the EPA website at the link above: “UCMR 5 was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2021. UCMR 5 requires monitoring for 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lithium. Sample collection under UCMR 5 will be from January 2023 through December 2025. The data released to date represent approximately 24% of the total results that the EPA expects to receive. Occurrence data will be updated on a quarterly basis until completion of data reporting in 2026. Data are added and possibly removed or updated over the course of this reporting cycle following further review by analytical laboratories, public water systems (PWSs), states, and the EPA.”

Another location with UCMR5 data (where you can download results in Excel file), here is link to EPA’s Data Finder Website for UCMR5 results:

Update on Non-Cancer CrVI Health Effects

Update on CrVI Non-Cancer Health Effects.
On January 31, 2024, for public review and comment, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW) posted an updated OEHHA review of hexavalent chromium (CrVI) non-cancer health effects. Written comments are due February 19, 2024. A copy of DDW’s announcement and a copy of the OEHHA non-cancer health effects report are enclosed (notice-3cr6-mcl-013124_revisedcr6noncancerupdate112123). Note: When OEHHA reviews health effects for constituents it considers to be a carcinogen, OEHHA will determine values (“Health Protective Concentration” or HPC) for both cancer and noncancer endpoints. OEHHA will use the lower of the two values to set the Public Health Goal (PHG). In the enclosed document, the proposed HPC for noncancer health effects is proposed at 5 parts per billion (ppb). Previously OEHHA had proposed a non-cancer HPC value of 2 ppb for CrVI. OEHHA set the PHG for CrVI at 0.02 ppb (based on cancer endpoint). On June 16, 2023, DDW proposed the CrVI at 10 ppb.

Also, in response to public comments received on the proposed MCL, DDW conducted an analysis of system consolidation and blending to comply with the proposed CrVI MCL. A description of DDW’s analysis is also enclosed.

Update on two Federal Regulations regarding PFAS: (1) on December 15, 2023, EPA submitted the final PFAS MCLs to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, (2) on December 6, 2023, EPA submitted the proposal to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) to OMB for review. As of this morning, both of these regulations are still undergoing review at OMB.

EPA Approves Analytical Methods, TSCA Fluoridation Lawsuit

EPA Approves Alternative Analytical Methods
In the January 30, 2024 Federal Register, (Federal Register_Analytical Methods Approval_2024-01-30), EPA is publishing the approval of 93 alternative analytical methods for determining compliance with drinking water regulations. The methods cover general physical and microbiological constituents, disinfectants, inorganic and organic chemicals and radionuclides. These methods are in effect as of publication in today’s Federal Register.

TSCA Fluoridation Lawsuit
The trial of the lawsuit filed under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to ban the addition of fluoride to drinking water restarts January 31, 2024. Bloomberg Law published an article about the trial:

Background on TSCA Lawsuit
A simplified highlight of some key dates in the case is presented below :
1. November 2016 – a petition was submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the addition of fluoride to drinking water under TSCA. The stated objective of the petition was to “protect the public and susceptible subpopulations from the neurotoxic risks of fluoride by banning the addition of fluoridation chemicals to water.”
2. The petition was submitted by the following organizations: Fluoride Action Network, Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and several individuals.
3. February 2017 – EPA denied the petition.
4. April 2017 – petitioners filed lawsuit against EPA.
5. EPA asked court to dismiss lawsuit.
6. December 2017 – court ruled against EPA and allows lawsuit to proceed.
7. EPA asks court to limit the scope of the lawsuit to only the information included in the original November 2016 petition.
8. The court denied EPA’s request to limit the scope of review.
9. Seven-day trial held in June 2020.
10. Since the June 2020 trial, there has been additional activity between the parties and the court, one key item was the judge’s decision to wait for additional information on fluoride’s potential neurotoxic effects.

Registration for EPA Meeting with NDWAC on Proposed LCRI

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will consult with the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) on the proposed Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) Improvements (published December 6, 2023, in the Federal Register). The virtual meeting with the NDWAC will be on January 31, 2024, from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm (ET). This morning, EPA posted the link to register to join the webcast.

Link to register: