EPA Publishes Drinking Water Action Plan

On Wednesday afternoon, EPA released the Drinking Water Action Plan — a national call to action, urging all levels of government, utilities, community organizations, and other stakeholders to work together to increase the safety and reliability of drinking water.  You can download a copy of the Plan at:  https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-11/documents/508.final_.usepa_.drinking.water_.action.plan_11.30.16.v0.pdf.
The plan includes six priority areas and identifies proposed actions for each area:

  • Building capacity for water infrastructure financing and management in disadvantaged, small, and environmental justice communities: Actions include launching a national initiative to promote regional partnerships, reinvigorating training programs for system operators, sharing best practices and establishing an online water funding portal.
  • Advancing oversight of the Safe Drinking Water Act: Actions include electronic reporting for Safe Drinking Water Act compliance data, releasing triennial EPA reviews of state programs, and developing indicators to identify troubled systems.
  • Strengthening source water protection and resilience of drinking water supplies: Actions include updating and acting on source water vulnerability assessments, building collaborative local partnerships for watershed protection, developing an initiative to enhance community resilience to climate and extreme weather events, launching source water monitoring pilot projects and promoting water efficiency and reuse.
  • Addressing unregulated contaminants: Actions include strengthening the effectiveness of the health advisory program, prioritizing work on contaminants that pose the most significant risk, and promoting the development of low cost and innovative technologies that may remove a broad range of contaminants.
  • Improving transparency, public education, and risk communication on drinking water safety: Actions include strengthening transparency and public education, developing indicators to enhance how data is presented on the internet and improving risk communication tools.
  • Reducing lead risks: Actions include the consideration of critical options in revising the Lead and Copper Rule and continuing work to improve implementation of the current rule through enhanced oversight, identifying best practices on lead service line replacement, and revising guidance for schools.

You may also click https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/lgac_water_report_-final-draft_3.1.pdf to view recommendations on clean and safe drinking water made by the EPA Local Government Advisory Committee and click https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pcast/docsreports to learn more about the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).