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Water: Water Headlines

Week of March 7, 2011

  1. EPA Submits for Public Comment the Next Round of Safe Drinking Water Act Contaminant Monitoring
  2. EPA Seeks Public Comments to Help Develop Management Practices for Recreational Vessels
  3. Office of Water accepting Comments on EPA’s Retrospective Review Plan and Significant Regulations for Potential Review.

 EPA Submits for Public Comment the Next Round of Safe Drinking Water Act Contaminant Monitoring

As part of its commitment to implement sensible protections of drinking water for communities across the country, and as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing 30 currently unregulated contaminants for monitoring in water systems, and submitting this proposal for public comment. The comment period will allow the public and other stakeholders to provide input on the selection of new contaminants for monitoring, and will help determine the best path forward as the EPA seeks to collect data that will inform future decisions about how best to protect drinking water.

Under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA currently regulates more than 90 contaminants in drinking water. To keep drinking water standards up-to-date with emerging science, the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that EPA identify up to 30 unregulated contaminants for monitoring every five years. This current proposal is the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation and includes requirements to monitor for two viruses and 28 chemical contaminants that could be present in drinking water and do not currently have health-based standards.

EPA is requesting public comment on the proposed list of 30 contaminants until May 2, 2011. Following the public comment period, EPA will consider this important input before the list is scheduled to be finalized in 2012, with sampling to be conducted from 2013 to 2015. Sampling will take place at all systems serving more than 10,000 people and at a representative sampling of systems serving less than 10,000 people.  

More information about the proposed list of contaminants:

EPA Seeks Public Comments to Help Develop Management Practices for Recreational Vessels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment from boaters and other stakeholders to help develop proposed regulations, as required by the 2008 Clean Boating Act, to reduce water pollution and the spread of invasive species in the nation’s rivers, lakes and other water bodies. As an alternative to permits required for commercial vessels, the act directs EPA to develop and promulgate management practices for recreational vessels.

The important input received through this process will help guide the development of proposed regulations to mitigate adverse effects from recreational boat discharges, such as bilgewater, graywater and deck runoff, that may contain substances harmful to water quality or spread invasive species.

The Clean Boating Act directs EPA to take steps to limit the impact of pollution and the spread of invasive species associated with the discharge from boats. As part of the public input, EPA is also seeking information from states that already enact standards to limit the impacts of boat discharges on waterways.

Based on the important input received, EPA will seek to develop appropriate management practices and performance standards that protect waterways while also working with the U.S. Coast Guard, which will establish regulations governing the design, construction, installation and use of management practices. Implementation of these management practices will allow boaters and other water enthusiasts to continue enjoying our nation’s water bodies while protecting water quality.

EPA is holding listening sessions and conducting webinars to inform interested parties about the Clean Boating Act and receive public input. The listening sessions will be held in Annapolis, Md. on March 18 and April 29.

More information about the Clean Boating Act: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/vessel/CBA/about.cfm

Office of Water accepting Comments on EPA’s Retrospective Review Plan and Significant Regulations for Potential Review

President Obama recently issued Executive Order 13563, requiring each agency to develop a plan to periodically conduct a retrospective review of its regulations, and determine if they are ineffective, insufficient, or overly burdensome, and then revise or repeal as warranted.   In response, EPA is developing a review plan and a list of candidate regulations for potential review, and we would like to solicit your feedback on both.  In order to do so, the Office of Water is participating in two listening sessions to be held on March 14th and March 17th, 2011.

EPA will hold an Agency-wide Public Meeting on Monday March 14, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. to solicit feedback on the Agency's draft review plan and all EPA regulations.   The Office of Water will be hosting two water-specific listening sessions in the afternoon.  This public meeting will be held at the Hilton Arlington, 950 N. Stafford Street, Arlington, VA 22203.  Additional information is available at:  http://www.epa.gov/improvingregulations/   Registration information for the March 14th Public Meeting is available here:  http://improvingregulations.eventbrite.com/

The Office of Water will also solicit input from the public and hold a webinar listening session on water-specific significant regulations on March 17th, from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m., EST.  Additional information, including information on registering for this webinar, can be obtained by going to EPA's website http://www.epa.gov/improvingregulations/, or contact Keith Bartlett at Bartlett.Keith@epa.gov   


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