EPA Completes “610” Review for Arsenic

EPA has completed its “610” review of the arsenic rule and determined that no regulatory changes are needed at this time. On January 22, 2001, EPA revised the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic downward to 0.010 mg/L (10.0 ug/L). While EPA took steps to evaluate and mitigate impacts on small entities as part of the original promulgation of the arsenic rule, EPA reviewed the National Primary Drinking Water Rule (NPDWR) recently for arsenic pursuant to section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. As part of this review, EPA considered and solicited comments on the following factors: (1) The continued need for the rule; (2) the nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule; (3) the complexity of the rule; (4) the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal, State, or local government rules; and (5) the degree to which the technology, economic conditions or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule.

ASDWA and a number of states provided comments to EPA on their arsenic review. Commenters supported the need for the rule and did not have issues with its complexity, but did relay concerns related to the cost associated with treatment, disposal of waste streams, compliance determinations for the maximum contaminant level (MCL), risk communication and difficulty using alternative treatment technologies. EPA has reviewed and considered all comments received in response to this review. EPA identified previous actions and available resources to address these concerns and has made a determination not to revise the regulation at this time. EPA will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the arsenic tule and the potential to decrease the rule’s implementation burden within the Six Year Review framework provided by the SDWA and through other Agency initiatives. The new arsenic risk assessment is also still ongoing. The final revised arsenic risk assessment will provide one of the key elements considered by the Agency in determining if it is appropriate to revise the standard.

See EPA’s report summarizing the results of this review in the docket at www.regulations.gov by searching for docket number EPA–OW–2010–0728-0014.