Drinking Water Included in EPA FY 2020-2023 Priorities for OECA

This week, EPA announced their final National Compliance Initiatives (NCIs) for 2020 through 2023 for the Office of Compliance and Enforcement Assurance (OECA). For each NCI EPA will develop an implementation framework and work with states and tribes that want to participate.

One of OECA’s NCIs is to reduce noncompliance with drinking water standards at community water systems (CWSs). According to EPA, the work will focus on partnering with the EPA’s Office of Water to increase capacity in states, tribes and the EPA to address drinking water violations and support the Agency’s goal of reducing the number of CWSs that are out of compliance with health-based standards by 25% by the end of FY 2022.

ASDWA submitted comments to EPA during the development of the NCIs that encouraged EPA to ensure the initiative on drinking water:

  • does not trigger additional reporting requirements from state programs,
  • includes an action plan for identified problem areas and clear expectations for state actions for any tools that are developed as a part of this effort, and
  • is deployed with states that volunteer to partner with OECA on these efforts.