Water News

CEQA Scoping Study on CrVI MCL

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW) distributed the enclosed Notice of Preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Report (CEQA_Notice of Preparation_CrVI) to “assess the potential environmental effects of adopting a maximum contaminant level for hexavalent chromium.”   DDW is seeking “input regarding the scope and content of the environmental impact report.”

The meeting will be held Monday, November 29th from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, via Zoom.  Comments on the Notice of Preparation are due by December 6, 2021.

According to the enclosed announcement DDW is considering 17 possible MCLs (1 to 15, 20, and 25 μg/L).

The Notice of Preparation has links to join the Zoom webcast on November 29, 2021.

Certification of Need EPA Webinar, WOTUS Roundtables

EPA Hosting Webinar on SDWA and Certification of Need

On November 18, 2021, from 11:30 to 12:30 PST, EPA is hosting a webinar “Lessons from the Field: Tips to Mitigate Supply Chain Challenges.”  The intent of the webinar is to provide an overview of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Section 1441 process, on Certification of Need.  Topics include:

  • Who is eligible for SDWA Section 1441;
  • How to apply;
  • What to expect after submitting an application; and
  • Key takeaways from recent supply chain disruptions.

“The webinar will include a panel of previous water and wastewater utilities that submitted applications under the SDWA Section 1441 authorities. The panelists will provide lessons learned from their experience using the SDWA Section 1441 program. In addition, they will also provide information on EPA collaboration activities which assisted them with mitigation actions to help resolve their supply chain challenges, such as emergency contracts and identifying alternate systems and suppliers.”

Link to register:

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3105058638307692302

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

In the October 25, 2021 Federal Register, EPA and the US Department of the Army requested 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 were due by November 3, 2021.  In the November 8, 2021 Federal Register ( Fed Reg_WOTUS Roundtables_2021-11-08) EPA and the Department of the Army are extending the deadline for nominations until December 1, 2021.

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.”

 

Nature Article on Drinking Water Fluoridation

On October 27, 2021 the journal Nature published a lengthy article on drinking water fluoridation.  The article begins with the lawsuit filed in April 2017 under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to stop drinking water fluoridation and includes discussions about the current understanding of benefits and risks.  According to the article the judge in the TSCA lawsuit is awaiting the third and final draft monograph from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) on health effects of fluoride (expected in early 2022 according to article) before making a final ruling.

Link to article in Nature:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02924-6

Link to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Press Release earlier this year on the NASEM review of the second draft of the NTP Monograph:

https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2021/02/national-academies-complete-review-of-national-toxicology-programs-second-draft-monograph-on-fluoride-exposure-and-neurodevelopmental-and-cognitive-effects

Consent Decree with NRDC for CCR Regulations

In January 2021, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to meet the deadline to promulgate revised regulations for Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR).  See background discussion below.  In the October 27, 2021 Federal Register EPA announced the availability for public review and comment the Consent Decree with NRDC for publication of final revised CCR regulations.  EPA is requesting public comment on the Consent Decree by November 26, 2021.

According to the enclosed Consent Decree, EPA will publish the proposed CCR revisions by March 15, 2023 for public comment and publish the final CCR revisions by March 15, 2024.

Background

In October 2018, the federal America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA, Senate Bill 3021) was signed into law.  The AWIA included a section titled “Improved Consumer Confidence Reports.” According to this section, within two years of the AWIA being signed into law (i.e., by October 2020), EPA was to adopt regulations for CCRs that do the following:

  • Improve the “readability, clarity, and understandability” of CCRs,
  • Improve the “accuracy of information presented, and risk communication” in CCRs,
  • Require public water systems serving over 10,000 people to deliver CCRs two times each year, and
  • Include language regarding corrosion control efforts.

Beginning in August 2021, a National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) CCR working group was formed and began meeting to develop recommendations for  revising CCR regulations.  Earlier this month, the NDWAC CCR working group’s preliminary recommendations were presented and discussed with the full membership of the NDWAC.   The CCR working group is currently preparing its written report for delivery to the NDWAC, anticipated in mid-to-late November, for the NDWAC’s consideration in developing recommendations from the NDWAC to EPA.