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EPA Releases Spring Regulatory Agenda

>Twice each year (spring and fall), all federal agencies publish their “Regulatory Agenda” which covers regulatory actions in process or planned.  The agenda reflects their official position on the status of these actions.  Some content, especially a projected future action date, is subject to change as EPA actually works through the rule development process.  The spring agenda for EPA includes a number of drinking water related activities summarized below:  (For the full EPA agenda which contains additional details on these rules and information on other EPA rule activity, go here and select EPA from the drop down list to see the active actions and click the Current Long Term Actions link for access to those actions.)
Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4) for Public Water Systems:   This action meets the SDWA requirement by establishing the terms for the next cycle of monitoring and identifying the new unregulated contaminants to be monitored during the UCMR 4 period of 2017-2021. Timetable:  Proposed rule – October 2015; final rule – January 2017.
National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Lead and Copper: Regulatory Revisions:  In developing the short-term revisions, EPA identified several regulatory changes to be considered as part of the more comprehensive changes to the rule. These considerations are longer-term in nature as they require additional data collection, research, analysis, and stakeholder involvement to support decisions. This action addresses the remaining regulatory revisions to be completed. Changes will be made to make the rule more cost effective and more protective of public health.  (Note: These are the issues now being considered by a subcommittee of the NDWAC) Timetable: Proposed rule – December 2016, final rule – June 2018.
National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Regulation of Perchlorate:  EPA is developing a national regulation for perchlorate in drinking water.   EPA will consider the Science Advisory Board’s guidance on how to best interpret perchlorate health information to derive a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for perchlorate.  The Agency is also evaluating the feasibility and affordability of treatment technologies to remove perchlorate from drinking water and will examine the costs and benefits of a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) and alternative MCLs. Timetable: Proposed rule – March 2017, final rule – September 2018.
National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Group Regulation of Carcinogenic Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs):  EPA announced in February 2011 that it plans to develop one national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) covering up to 16 carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  PCE and TCE, which EPA determined to be candidates for regulatory revision under the second six-year review of the existing NPDWRs, will be included in the VOC drinking water standard. Besides PCE and TCE, the group may include up to six additional regulated VOCs and up to eight unregulated VOCs from the EPA’s Contaminant Candidate List 3. Timetable:  Proposed rule – February 2018, final rule – August 2019.
National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Finished Water Storage Facility Inspection Requirements Addendum to the Revised Total Coliform Rule:  EPA is planning to propose an addendum to the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) to strengthen public health protection by including finished water storage facility inspection (SFI) requirements. The Agency is developing an SFI proposal in order to allow interested parties to again comment and provide any additional relevant information. EPA is planning to propose and request comment on requirements for public water systems to periodically inspect the interior and exterior of their finished water storage facilities and to correct any sanitary defects found.  Any potential requirements would apply to all public water systems that have one or more finished water storage facilities. Timetable:  Proposed rule – January 2018. (Note:  Decisions on a final rule will be made after evaluating feedback from the proposal)
Regulations Implementing Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act: Prohibition on Use of Lead Pipes, Solder, and Flux – The 2011 “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act” revised Section 1417 to redefine “lead free” to lower the maximum lead content of plumbing products such as pipes and fixtures from 8.0 percent to 0.25 percent, create specific exemptions to the requirements, and make some other related adjustments to the SDWA language.  The Community Fire Safety Act of 2013 further amended section 1417 of SDWA to exempt fire hydrants from the prohibitions on use and introduction into commerce of pipes, fittings, and fixtures that are not lead free. EPA will propose regulations to codify and assist in the implementation of these amendments to section 1417 of SDWA. Timetable:  Proposed rule – August 2016.