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Water: Water Headlines

Week of January 10, 2011

  1. EPA and HHS Announce New Scientific Assessments and Actions on Fluoride: Agencies working together to maintain benefits of preventing tooth decay while preventing excessive exposure
  2. EPA Watershed Academy Webcast on "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution and Harmful Algal Blooms in Lakes” on January 26th
  3. EPA Announces the Availability of a Web-based Training Series for NPDES Permit Writers

EPA and HHS Announce New Scientific Assessments and Actions on Fluoride: Agencies working together to maintain benefits of preventing tooth decay while preventing excessive exposure

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced important steps to ensure that standards and guidelines on fluoride in drinking water continue to provide the maximum protection to the American people to support good dental health, especially in children. HHS is proposing that the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water can be set at the lowest end of the current optimal range to prevent tooth decay, and EPA is initiating review of the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water.

These actions will maximize the health benefits of water fluoridation, an important tool in the prevention of tooth decay while reducing the possibility of children receiving too much fluoride. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named the fluoridation of drinking water one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. 

HHS and EPA reached an understanding of the latest science on fluoride and its effect on tooth decay prevention, and the development of dental fluorosis that may occur with excess fluoride consumption during the tooth forming years, age 8 and younger. Dental fluorosis in the United States appears mostly in the very mild or mild form – as barely visible lacy white markings or spots on the enamel. The severe form of dental fluorosis, with staining and pitting of the tooth surface, is rare in the United States.

HHS’ proposed recommendation of 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water replaces the current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams. This updated recommendation is based on recent EPA and HHS scientific assessments to balance the benefits of preventing tooth decay while limiting any unwanted health effects. These scientific assessments will also guide EPA in making a determination of whether to lower the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water, which is set to prevent adverse health effects.

For the full press release: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/bd4379a92ceceeac8525735900400c27/86964af577c37ab285257811005a8417!OpenDocument

EPA Watershed Academy Webcast on "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution and Harmful Algal Blooms in Lakes” on January 26th 

EPA's Watershed Academy will sponsor a free webcast on "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution and Harmful Algal Blooms in Lakes” on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern.   This webcast will highlight an emerging issue of nutrient enrichment leading to harmful algal blooms in lakes.  The webcast will explain the connection between nutrients and harmful algal blooms such as blue green algae.  These algal blooms are causing loss of recreational uses including fishing, swimming and in some cases are resulting in increasing costs for drinking water treatment.  The webcast will provide an overview of the issue and will present case studies on Grand Lake St. Mary's in Ohio and Lake Waco in Texas. This Webcast is a first in a series of Watershed Academy Webcasts on the important issue of nutrients and their impact on water resources.

To register for this Webcast, visit www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts. Webcast participants are eligible to receive a certificate for their attendance. Slide presentations are posted in advance and participants are encouraged to download them prior to the webcast at www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts.

EPA Announces the Availability of a Web-based Training Series for NPDES Permit Writers

EPA has created a web-based training series, based on its popular in-person National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Writer's Course, which allows state and EPA Regional permitting staff, as well as stakeholders and the public, to access NPDES permit program training content online. 

The NPDES Permit Writer's Course is a five-day training session covering the key elements of NPDES permit development. The course is taught by experienced EPA staff and contractors and has been very well received by EPA Regions and authorized NPDES states. Due to the high demand for the course, EPA has developed and recorded Web-based presentations covering much of the material presented in the live course. These recorded presentations enable participants who attended the NPDES Permit Writer's Course to review the material on demand in a self-paced environment. The presentations also are useful for those who have not attended a live course, but who wish to become familiar with important concepts of the NPDES permit program.

Several training modules were previously posted on EPA's NPDES Training Courses and Workshops web page; however, the 13-part series is now complete.  In addition, a new feature has been added that allows the user to print a "course completion certificate" if they achieve a passing score on the module quiz.  After printing the certificate, the user may also (voluntarily) click a link to send their contact information to EPA for tracking purposes.

The NPDES Web-based training series can be accessed at: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/training

under “Self-Paced Web Training.” For more information please contact: David Hair (

hair.david@epa.gov; 202-564-2287)

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  


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