EPA’s Fall Regulatory Agenda Includes Two Drinking Water Actions

Each spring and fall, federal agencies, including EPA, publish a Regulatory Agenda listing the regulatory actions that are underway or planned.  In the actions for the Office of Water are two drinking water regulatory actions.  One is the specific regulation being developed to implement the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (2011).  This was the change in the SDWA that lowered the allowable level of lead in plumbing fixtures and materials from 8% to 0.25%.  The proposed rule target date is in 2016 and the final rule target is 2018.

The second drinking water action in the Fall Regulatory Agenda is a new announcement for a “610 Review” of the Ground Water Rule (GWR).  This is a special review of the rule after it has been in effect for 10 years, conducted under section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, specifically looking at the impact on small entities.  It is separate from EPA’s routine review of all rules under the Six Year Review of Existing Regulations required by the SDWA.  In the 610 review, EPA considers a number of specific issues, including the following:

  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
  5. The degree to which the technology, economic conditions or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule

EPA will take comments from the public on these aspects of GWR and its implementation.  See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0541 at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.  EPA’s 610 review is scheduled to be completed in April 2016.