EPA Holds Meeting and Webinar on Legionella Technologies Document

ASDWA staff attended a meeting this week that EPA conducted to provide information about their recently released Technologies for Legionella Control:  Scientific Literature Review document and solicit comments from stakeholders.  The event was also shared as a webinar for those that could not attend in person and many states were on the phone.  OGWDW presented on the content of the document and covered the various technologies that are included in this literature review:  chlorine, monochloramine, chlorine dioxide, UV, ozone, and copper-silver ionization.  The document also includes information on emergency treatment.

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs presented an overview of requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) which regulates substances and equipment intended to control a pest.  Legionella is considered a pest under FIFRA.

Some of the issues raised during the question and answer time included operator certification, Legionella monitoring regimes, and direct comparison between disinfectants.  After the speakers, various stakeholders presented their perspectives on the EPA document. Some of the issues raised here included:

  • the need for more research and better education, encouraging EPA to take a leadership role;
  • the impact of energy and water efficiency activities on Legionella;
  • the need for EPA regulations that better match the situation in individual buildings;
  • concerns about the expertise of regulators and whether their experience with other water systems and regulatory tools under the SDWA are adequate to prepare them to deal with Legionella control in buildings;
  • concern about the promotion of HACCP by EPA over other approaches; and
  • the need for continued stakeholder involvement as EPA moves ahead on Legionella issues; not just in meetings but actual cooperation in support of implementation

EPA is taking comments on the document until November 23rd.  They are especially interested in any other relevant peer reviewed research that should be considered.  EPA will consider all of this input, including any new research, and develop a final document in the spring of 2016.  Additional information can be found here.