EPA Considers New Approach to Drinking Water
EPA is developing a new approach to managing drinking water and is currently seeking comments by the public and stakeholders, including utilities, rural communities, and states.
The new approach will focus on four areas:
- Address contaminants as a groups rather than one at a time so that enhancement of drinking water protection can be achieved cost-effectively.
- Foster development of new drinking water technologies to address health risks posed by a broad array of contaminants.
- Use the authority of multiple statutes to help protect drinking water.
- Partner with states to develop shared access to all public water systems (PWS) monitoring data.
The current approach for protecting drinking water is focused on individual contaminants of concern and slows the process of implementing regulations; it can take many years for some contaminants to become regulated. This approach not only slows the progress in addressing unregulated contaminants but also fails to take advantage of strategies for enhancing health protection cost-effectively, including advanced treatment technologies that address several contaminants at once. The new approach seeks to use existing authorities to achieve greater drinking water protection more quickly and cost-effectively.
Over the next few months, EPA will be hosting public meetings, webcasts and workshops as well as consulting with the National Drinking Water Advisory Council and the Science Advisory Board’s Drinking Water Committee.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the underlying federal law that ensures the quality of drinking water in the United States. Under SDWA, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.
Tags: contaminants, Drinking Water, EPA, monitoring, National Drinking Water Advisory Council, public water, public water systems, PWS, Safe Drinking Water Act, Science Advisory Board, SDWA, standards, unregulated, USEPA