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AWWA Issues Regulatory Update

USEPAThe new year typically brings new regulatory requirements. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) recently released a regulatory outlook that covers 2015 and beyond.

  1. Draft Fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL4) is another iteration in USEPA’s five-year cycles of identifying potential contaminants for regulation. The AWWA says given the current constrained federal budget environment, it’s likely that CCL4 will consist of the CCL3 minus the five recent regulatory determinations plus a chemical or two from the nominations received in 2012. The USEPA expects to release the CCL4 early in the year. A 60-day comment period will be included.
  2. Proposed Fourth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR4) is another version of the rulemakings to fill the occurrence data gaps in CCLs. The Final UCMR4 is scheduled to be published in 2016, and UCMR4 monitoring will start in January 2018.
  3. Final recommended fluoride level for drinking water is expected to be released by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2015. The proposal for 0.7 mg/L as the optimal fluoride level was released in January 2011, but AWWA says it has been delayed likely due to ongoing controversy surrounding fluoride. USEPA is in the process of reviewing both the primary and secondary standards for fluoride.
  4. Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2ESWTR): The second round of monitoring under the LT2ESWTR begins in 2015. Surface water and groundwater under the influence (GUI) systems that serve more than 100,000 people must start monitoring by April 1, 2015, and surface water and GUI systems serving 50,001 to 99,999 people must start monitoring by October 1, 2015. Systems serving fewer than 50,000 people begin monitoring in 2016.
  5. Final Waters of the U.S. Rule is scheduled to come out in April 2015. The USEPA says the intent of the proposed rule is to clarify the definition of streams, wetlands, and other jurisdictional waters related to the Clean Water Act programs. The USEPA has stated that the proposed rule does not expand jurisdiction while also releasing information that approximately 3.2 percent of additional waters will be found jurisdictional as compared to existing practice. The anticipated rule changes will likely have the greatest effect in areas that have a high percentage of intermittent or ephemeral streams such as the upper Midwest. Particularly, the Dakotas and Montana have some of the highest amounts of intermittent or ephemeral streams as a percentage of total stream length.
  6. Final Third Regulatory Determination: USEPA published the Preliminary Third Regulatory Determinations from the Third Contaminant Candidate List (CCL3) after deciding to regulate strontium and to not regulate dimethoate, 1,3-dinitrobenzene, terbufos, and terbufos sulfone. In the Final Third Regulatory Determinations, if USEPA moves forward with regulating strontium, a final rule would be expected in 2019 or 2020. USEPA also decided to include chlorate and nitrosamines in its Third Six-Year review that is scheduled to be released in 2016.
  7. Storage tanks: USEPA is evaluating data and information to determine if a regulation, guidance, or other strategy is needed for storage tanks. This action came in response to pressure on USEPA to better regulate storage tanks after a 2008 Salmonella outbreak in Alamosa, Colorado.
  8. Third 6-Year Review in 2016: Chlorate and nitrosamines are being evaluated as part of the review of the Microbial/Disinfection By-Products (M/DBP) regulations. The AWWA says Hexavalent chromium (Cr-6) will likely be discussed in the context of the review of the current total chromium regulation. It is not clear whether USEPA is going to regulate Cr-6 separately or not.
  9. Perchlorate, long-term revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), and carcinogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (cVOCs) are not anticipated to be proposed until late 2015 or 2016. Perchlorate is being delayed for additional modeling work, and USEPA set up a workgroup under the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) to develop recommendations for long-term revisions to the LCR. USEPA is considering a potentially complicated “risk cup” approach for cVOCs. The AWWA says this “risk cup” approach would be based on the relative risk of each cVOC, and the mixture of cVOCs in each water would result in variable standards for each cVOC between systems, which could be a challenging concept to explain.

AE2S will continue to track regulatory developments, announcements, and discussion of regional impacts in The Update throughout 2015.

If you have any questions concerning the content of this newsletter,
please contact Heather Syverson at 701-364-9111 or Heather.Syverson@ae2s.com.
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