State Environmental Health Directors Meeting

The Association of State and Territorial Health Directors (ASTHO) held its Spring meeting of the State Environmental Health Directors in Washington, D.C. on April 27-28.  ASDWA staff participated in the portion of the meeting dedicated to drinking water issues.  Among the topics considered were the following:

  • The importance of collaborative approaches in addressing non-point source contribution of nutrients to sources of drinking water.
  • The challenges of dealing with harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins in drinking water.
  • The challenges associated with emerging, unregulated contaminants in drinking water, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
  • The challenges associated with providing assistance to private well owners, since these facilities fall outside of the statutory purview of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • State experiences in addressing the entire water profile (i.e., make-up water, fracking fluids, flow-back water, and waste disposal) at hydrofracturing operations.
  • The “new normal” of water scarcity and the need to consider an “all of the above” approach (e.g., water conservation, water reuse, drought preparedness/resiliency, etc.)

The group was also addressed by EPA’s Administrator, Gina McCarthy, who made the point strongly that environmental protection is, in effect, public health protection.