EPA Seeks Public Comment on New Safe Drinking Water Act Contaminants

April 2011Newsletters In the Zone

As part of the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 300f, to implement protections of drinking water for communities across the country, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing 30 currently unregulated contaminants for monitoring in water systems. It has submitted 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, the EPA currently regulates more than 90 contaminants in drinking water. To keep drinking water standards current with emerging science, the Safe Drinking Water Act requires the EPA to 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.

The EPA is accepting public comment on the proposed list of 30 contaminants until May 2, 2011. Following the public comment period, the EPA will consider the 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.

For more information, please contact Clair E. Wischusen at 215.918.3559 or [email protected].