Drinking Water and EPA’s Strategic Plan

This post was originally published on this site

On February 12, 2018, EPA released its FY 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The Plan reflects EPA Administrator Pruitt’s core philosophies:

  1. Refocus the agency back to its core mission
  2. Restore power to the states through cooperative federalism
  3. Lead the agency through improved processes and adhere to the rule of law.

Within the Plan are a few items related to drinking water worth noting:

  • Under Agency Priority Goal-2 (APG-2) Empower communities to leverage EPA water infrastructure investments. By September 30, 2019, EPA will increase by $16 billion the non-federal dollars leveraged by EPA water infrastructure finance programs (Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act).
  • Under Objective 1-2, Provide for Clean and Safe Water – Strategic Measure-2 (SM-2) By September 30, 2022, reduce the number of community water systems out of compliance with health-based standards to 2,700. This is a significant decrease (25%) from 3,600 as of FY 2017, with no additional federal funding for state drinking water programs likely.

The second bullet is a serious stretch goal as the vast majority of community water systems out of compliance serve less than 500 people and have all kinds of technical, financial, managerial, social, and political issues surrounding them. The potential solutions for these systems is challenging at best.