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NDWAC Meeting Held in DC This Week

The EPA’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) held its latest meeting on December 11 and 12, in Washington, DC.  The meeting was postponed from October, due to the government shutdown.  NDWAC members Jill Jonas and Jessica Godreau, the drinking water adminitrators from Wisconsin and North Carolina, respectively, and Beth Messer from the Ohio Drinking Water Program, and ASDWA staff were in attendance.

During the meeting, the NDWAC held discussions on the proposed regulatory revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) under the SDWA, as well as Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).  The LCR discussion included an overview, for Council members, of the principal requirements of the rule and a discussion of those elements of the rule that may warrant reexamination and possible revision (e.g., the merits of partial lead service line replacement; whether or not to sample copper and lead from the same location; and the protocol for collecting a representative sample).  The Council decided to charter a workgroup — comprised of some Council members as well as some outside experts (which would include state representatives) — that will meet over the next year or so and make recommendations to the Council concerning possible revisions to the rule.  The Council, in turn, will consider the workgroup’s recommendations and then make its own recommendations to the Agency concerning a rule revision.  The NDWAC’s LCR workgroup is projected to begin meeting in early 2014.  We will provide further details as those plans take shape.

The HABs discussion started with a presentation from Beth Messer about a number of events and associated actions in the State of Ohio, including the temporary shutdown of one water system due to high levels of microcystin in the finished water.  Following Messer, EPA’s Office of Science and Technology shared information about the resources and links available on their web site, as well as EPA’s Fact Sheet on Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins: Information for Drinking Water Systems that provides public water suppliers basic information on human health effects, analytical screening tools, and the effectiveness of various treatment processes.  In addition, EPA shared information about its source water protection efforts, as well as its regulatory activities to address a number of HAB related toxins on the current Contaminant Candidate List and as part of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule.  Questions and discussions focused on the need for:  more partnering with the agricultural community; education for, and involvement with health professionals and health departments; research on health advisory levels, analytical methods, and fate and transport of HAB toxins in the distribution system; and more.  For more information on nutrient pollution and HABs, you may also visit ASDWA’s Nutrient Pollution web page that includes information from a number of states, EPA, and other sources about nitrate risks and occurrence; links to state web sites with helpful information and resources; as well as state response strategies and water system treatment recommendations.

For more information about the NDWAC, visit the web site HERE.