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Water: National Drinking Water Advisory Council

Basic Information on National Drinking Water Advisory Council

What is the National Drinking Water Advisory Council?
The National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) is a Federal Advisory Committee that supports EPA in performing its duties and responsibilities related to the national drinking water program. The Council was created on December 16, 1974 , through a provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974.

NDWAC provides advice, information, and recommendations on matters related to activities, functions, policies, and regulations required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

What is the composition of membership?
NDWAC has 15 members who serve as Special Government Employees. Members are appointed by EPA's Administrator or he/she may delegate this responsibility to the Deputy Administrator. Five (5) members are appointed from each of the following areas:

  1. appropriate State and local agencies concerned with public water supply and public health protection, 
  2. water-related or other organizations and interest groups having an active interest in public water supply/public health protection, and 
  3. the general public. 

Two (2) of the 15 members must represent small, rural public water systems.

Ethics for advisory council members
NDWAC members are required to file a confidential financial disclosure report when first appointed to participate in an advisory activity, and then annually thereafter.  Members must complete a "Confidential Financial Disclosure Form for Special Government Employees Serving on Federal Advisory Activities at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," EPA Form 3110-48 (PDF) (10 pp, 347K, About PDF). This form is used by Government officials to determine whether there are ethics issues with regard to the service of an advisory council member. Members of the council may also be required to update the confidential form before each meeting while they serve.

Who are the Technical Advisors from Other Federal Advisory Committees/Federal Agencies?
A member of the Science Advisory Board, a Federal Advisory Committee on science and research issues, serves as a liaison to the NDWAC and attends all NDWAC meetings and conference calls. A liaison from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is being added, through an amendment to the Council's Charter, in 2005.

Schedule of Meetings
Customarily, the Council has two face-to-face meetings each year in the Spring and Fall months. The Chair of NDWAC and/or the Designated Federal Officer can also schedule conference calls on which a majority of the members must participate. Consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Council holds open meetings and provides opportunities for interested persons to make statements within a designated time period at the two meetings or to file statements/comments before or after such meetings.

EPA may form NDWAC subcommittees or working groups for any purpose consistent with the Charter. Such subcommittees or working groups work through NDWAC. Subcommittees or working groups have no authority to make decisions on behalf of the NDWAC nor can they report directly to the Agency. Currently, NDWAC only has the Water Security Working Group, which is working on recommendations to define an active and effective security program for both drinking water and wastewater utilities, incentives for volunteer adoption, and metrics to track progress over time.

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