OMB Completes Review of Proposed Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR5)

On Monday (1/4), the Office of Information and Regulatory Analysis (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a part of the Executive Branch of the President, completed its Executive Order (EO) 12866 review of the proposed Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR5). Given the timing of the completion of this review, it’s likely that the proposed UCMR5 will be signed and released by the EPA Administrator before the change in Administration on January 20th. Following the mandated five-year regulatory cycle in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), UCMR5 monitoring will be conducted from January 2023 through December 2025.

Communications surrounding UCMR5 monitoring will be challenging due to the requirements in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for EPA to include all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for which there is an EPA-approved analytical method. Using EPA methods 533 and 537.1, government, water system, and commercial laboratories can measure 29 PFAS in their drinking water. Communication challenges will likely arise when any of these 29 PFAS are detected during UCMR5 monitoring in 2023-2025.