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Wikipedia

Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the principal federal law in the United States intended to ensure safe drinking water for the public. Pursuant to the act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to set standards for drinking water quality and oversee all states, localities, and water suppliers that implement the standards.

Safe Drinking Water Act
Long titleAn Act to amend the Public Health Service Act to assure that the public is provided with safe drinking water, and for other purposes
NicknamesSDWA
Enacted bythe 93rd United States Congress
EffectiveDecember 16, 1974
Citations
Public lawPub. L. 93-523
Statutes at Large88 Stat. 1660 (1974)
Codification
Titles amended42
U.S.C. sections created42 U.S.C. § 300f
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 433 by Warren Magnuson (DWA) on January 18, 1973
  • Committee consideration by Senate Commerce, House Commerce
  • Passed the Senate on June 22, 1973
  • Passed the House on November 19, 1974 (296-84 as H.R. 13002) with amendment
  • Senate agreed to House amendment on November 26, 1974 () with further amendment
  • House agreed to Senate amendment on December 3, 1974 ()
  • Signed into law by President Gerald Ford on December 16, 1974
Major amendments
Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986,
Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996

The SDWA applies to every public water system (PWS) in the United States. There are currently over 151,000 public water systems providing water to almost all Americans at some time in their lives. The Act does not cover private wells (in 2020, 13% of US households were served by private wells). A 2020 study found that children raised in homes with unregulated wells had a 25% increased risk of elevated blood lead than children raised in homes supplied by water utilities regulated by the SDWA.

The SDWA does not apply to bottled water. Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Contents

Chart of Regulatory Analysis Processes under the SDWA

The SDWA requires EPA to establish National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) for contaminants that may cause adverse public health effects.

The regulations include both mandatory requirements (Maximum Contaminant Levels, or MCLs; and Treatment Techniques) and nonenforceable health goals (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals, or MCLGs) for each included contaminant. As of 2019 EPA has issued 88 standards for microorganisms, chemicals and radionuclides.

MCLs have additional significance because they can be used under the Superfund law as "Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements" in cleanups of contaminated sites on the National Priorities List.

For some contaminants, EPA establishes a Treatment Technique (TT) instead of an MCL. TTs are enforceable procedures that drinking water systems must follow in treating their water for a contaminant.

Federal drinking water standards are organized into six groups:

  • Microorganisms
  • Disinfectants
  • Disinfection Byproducts
  • Inorganic Chemicals
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Radionuclides.

Microorganisms

EPA has issued standards for Cryptosporidium, Giardia lamblia, Legionella, coliform bacteria and enteric viruses. EPA also requires two microorganism-related tests to indicate water quality: plate count and turbidity. The agency issued its initial Surface Water Treatment Rule in 1989, to address contamination from viruses, bacteria and Giardia lamblia. The most recent amendment is the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, promulgated in 2006, requiring public water systems to employ a Treatment Technique to control Cryptosporidium and other pathogens.

Disinfectants

EPA has issued standards for chlorine, monochloramine and chlorine dioxide.

Disinfection by-products

EPA has issued standards for bromate, chlorite, haloacetic acids and trihalomethanes.

Inorganic Chemicals

EPA has issued standards for antimony, arsenic, asbestos, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, fluoride, lead, mercury, nitrate, nitrite, selenium and thallium.

"Lead Free" plumbing requirements

EPA illustration of lead sources in residential buildings
Main article: Lead and copper rule

The 1986 amendments require EPA to set standards limiting the concentration of lead in public water systems, and defines "lead free" pipes as:

(1) solders and flux containing not more than 0.2 percent lead;
(2) pipes and pipe fittings containing not more than 8.0 percent lead; and
(3) plumbing fittings and fixtures as defined in industry-developed voluntary standards (issued no later than August 6, 1997), or standards developed by EPA in lieu of voluntary standards.

EPA issued an initial lead and copper regulation in 1991. The regulation specifies a Treatment Technique rather than an MCL.

Congress tightened the definition of "lead free" plumbing in a 2011 amendment to the Act. EPA published a final rule implementing the amendment on September 1, 2020.

In response to the Flint, Michigan water crisis, EPA published revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule on January 15, 2021 addressing testing, pipe replacement and related issues. The rule mandates additional requirements for sampling tap water, corrosion control, public outreach and testing water in schools. The rule continues the requirement for replacement of lead service lines when the "action level" for lead is exceeded, but requires that a utility replace at least 3 percent of its lines annually, compared to 7 percent under the prior regulation. Several citizen and environmental groups immediately filed lawsuits challenging the rule. On March 12, 2021 EPA delayed the effective date of the rule to June 17, 2021.

Organic Chemicals

EPA has issued standards for 53 organic compounds, including benzene, dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD), PCBs, styrene, toluene, vinyl chloride and several pesticides.

Radionuclides

EPA has issued standards for alpha particles, beta particles and photon emitters, radium and uranium. EPA proposed regulations for radon in 1991 and 1999.

Secondary drinking water standards are non-regulatory guidelines for aesthetic characteristics, including taste, color, and odor.

EPA issues "health advisories" for some contaminants; some of which have not been regulated with MCLs. Health advisories provide technical information to public health officials about health effects, methods for chemical analysis, and treatment methods. The advisories are not enforceable. EPA was given explicit authority to issue advisories in the 1996 SDWA amendments. As of 2018, health advisories have been issued for the following contaminants.

EPA Drinking Water Health Advisories
Chemical Contaminants Microbial Contaminants
Boron Cyanotoxins
Dacthal (DCPA) and Dacthal degradates Cryptosporidium
2,4- and 2,6- Dinitrotoluene (DNT) Legionella
Fluoride Giardia
Manganese Mycobacteria
Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)
Oxamyl
Perchlorate
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
Sodium
Sulfate
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane

The SDWA allows states to set standards which are more stringent than the federal standards, and to issue standards for contaminants that EPA has not regulated. Several states have issued their own standards for a few contaminants, including fluoride, perchlorate and perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS).

Unregulated contaminants

The SDWA requires EPA to identify and list unregulated contaminants which may require regulation. The Agency must publish this list, called the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) every five years. EPA is required to decide whether to regulate at least five or more listed contaminants. EPA uses this list to prioritize research and data collection efforts, which support the regulatory determination process.

As of 2021, EPA has developed four CCLs:

  • CCL1: 50 chemical and 10 microbiological contaminants/contaminant groups were listed in 1998. In 2003 EPA made a determination that no regulatory action was needed on nine of these contaminants.
  • CCL2: EPA carried forward the remaining 51 contaminants from CCL1 for consideration in 2005. In 2008 EPA determined that no regulatory action was needed on 11 of these contaminants.
  • CCL3: EPA revised its listing process, based on recommendations from the National Research Council and the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (a Federal Advisory Committee). It expanded its initial review to 7,500 potential chemical and microbial contaminants, and subsequently narrowed this universe to a list of 600 for further evaluation. 104 chemicals or chemical groups and 12 microbiological contaminants were listed in 2009. In 2011 EPA announced it would develop regulations for perchlorate, which had been listed beginning with CCL1. In 2016 EPA determined that no regulatory action was needed on four other listed contaminants, and delayed determination on a fifth contaminant, in order to review additional data.
  • CCL4: EPA carried forward the CCL3 contaminants for which determinations had not been made, and requested public comment on additional contaminants. 97 chemicals or chemical groups and 12 microbial contaminants were listed in 2016. In March 2021 EPA announced that it would develop regulations for two of the CCL4 contaminants: PFOA and PFOS.

In March 2021 EPA proposed that drinking water utilities begin to conduct monitoring for 29 PFAS compounds and lithium. EPA would use the monitoring data to possibly develop additional regulations.

Perchlorate

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit in 2016 to accelerate EPA's regulatory process on perchlorate. Following a consent decree issued by a federal district court in New York, EPA published a proposed rule on June 26, 2019, with a proposed MCL of 0.056 mg/L.

On June 18, 2020 EPA announced that it was withdrawing its 2019 proposal and its 2011 regulatory determination, stating that it had taken "proactive steps" with state and local governments to address perchlorate contamination. In September 2020 NRDC filed suit against EPA for its failure to regulate perchlorate, and stated that 26 million people may be affected by perchlorate in their drinking water.

Perfluorinated alkylated substances

In March 2020 EPA announced its proposed regulatory determinations for two PFAS in drinking water. In a Federal Register notice published as a follow-up to CCL4, the agency requested public comment on regulating perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). In March 2021 EPA announced that it would develop regulations for PFOA and PFOS.

Non-community water systems

Future NPDWR standards will apply to non-transient non-community water systems (for example, some schools, factories, office buildings, and hospitals that operate their own water systems) because of concern for the long-term exposure of a stable population. It is important to note that EPA's decision to apply future NPDWRs to non-transient non-community water systems may have a significant impact on Department of Energy facilities that operate their own drinking water systems.

Public water systems are required to regularly monitor their water for contaminants. Water samples must be analyzed using EPA-approved testing methods, by laboratories that are certified by EPA or a state agency.

A PWS must notify its customers when it violates drinking water regulations or is providing drinking water that may pose a health risk. Such notifications are provided either immediately, as soon as possible (but within 30 days of the violation) or annually, depending on the health risk associated with the violation. Community water systems—those systems that serve the same people throughout the year—must provide an annual "Consumer Confidence Report" to customers. The report identifies contaminants, if any, in the drinking water and explains the potential health impacts.

The Public Water System Supervision Program comprises "primacy" agencies, which are either state government agencies, Indian tribes or EPA regional offices. All state and territories, except Wyoming and the District of Columbia, have received primacy approval from EPA, to supervise the PWS in their respective jurisdictions. A PWS is required to submit periodic monitoring reports to its primacy agency. Violations of SDWA requirements are enforced initially through a primacy agency's notification to the PWS, and if necessary following up with formal orders and fines.

An underground source of drinking water (USDW) means an aquifer with sufficient quality and quantity of ground water to supply a public water system now or in the future.

Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program

The SDWA prohibits any underground injection which endangers drinking water sources. The Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals while enforcing this prohibition of "harmful injections into drinking water aquifers" explains that underground injection of even clean water can result in the illegal movement of a fluid containing a contaminant into an USDW:

The SDWA and its implementing regulations are not concerned with whether an injected fluid is itself contaminated. Rather, they are concerned with the result of "injection activity." A permit applicant must show that the proposed activity will not allow "the movement of fluid containing [a] contaminant." Id. Injections of clean water into the ground can cause the movement of contaminants into an aquifer. For example, contaminants may dissolve into clean water as the injected water passes through the soil on its way to an aquifer.: 1077

Underground fluid injection can have disastrous consequences for drinking water and, in turn, for human health. Injected fluid is hard to trace once it enters the ground, and polluted aquifers are hard to remediate. Congress' cautious "preventive" approach requires permit applicants to show that their injections will not harm underground sources of drinking water. It presumes, until an applicant shows otherwise, that injections will contaminate an USDW. Although this approach may result in forbidding some injections that would not contaminate an USDW, it is a valid exercise of Congress' authority.: 1080

EPA poster illustrating UIC well classes

The 1974 SDWA authorized EPA to regulate injection wells in order to protect underground sources of drinking water. The UIC permit system is organized into six classes of wells.

  • Class I. Industrial waste (hazardous and non-hazardous) and municipal wastewater disposal wells
  • Class II. Oil and gas related injection wells (except wells solely used for production; see Hydraulic fracturing exemption)
  • Class III. Solution mining wells
  • Class IV. Shallow hazardous and radioactive waste injection wells (no longer permitted)
  • Class V. Wells that inject non-hazardous fluids into or above underground sources of drinking water
  • Class VI. Geologic sequestration wells for carbon dioxide.

EPA has granted UIC primacy enforcement authority to 34 states for Class I, II, III, IV and V wells. Seven additional states and two tribes have been granted primacy authority for Class II wells only. EPA manages enforcement of Class VI wells directly.

If a state does not take appropriate enforcement action then EPA must issue an order requiring a violator to comply with the requirements, or the agency will initiate a civil enforcement action. The SDWA directly provides for citizen civil actions.

Hydraulic fracturing exemption

Congress amended the SDWA in 2005 to exclude hydraulic fracturing, an industrial process for recovering oil and natural gas, from coverage under the UIC program, except where diesel fuels are used. This exclusion has been called the "Halliburton Loophole". Halliburton is the world's largest provider of hydraulic fracturing services. The measure was a response to a recommendation from the Energy Task Force, chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001. (Cheney had been Chairman and CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.)

Wellhead protection areas

The act requires states to establish wellhead protection programs to protect underground sources of drinking water. Wellhead protection programs must specify the duties of agencies, determine the wellhead protection areas, identify sources of contaminants, implement control measures to protect the wellhead protection areas, and a contingency plan for alternative drinking water supplies in the event of contamination. Federal agencies having jurisdiction over potential sources of contaminants must comply with all requirements of the state wellhead protection program.

Emergency power

The "Updated Guidance on Invoking Emergency Authority Under Section 1431 Of The Safe Drinking Water Act" shows that 42 U.S.C. § 300i gives the EPA Administrator broad power to protect public water systems and underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).: 3 This guidance encourages more widespread use of the EPA's emergency powers.: 3 This emergency power is granted when the Administrator receives "information that a contaminant which is present in or likely to enter a public water system or an underground source of drinking water ... which may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons" and that appropriate agencies have not acted.: 6–7 Since this emergency power protection applies to all USDWs it includes potential future supplies of public water and even private wells.: 7–8 The imminent endangerment includes contaminants that lead to chronic health effects that may not be realized for years such as lead and carcinogens.: 9–10 To prevent harm from occurring the EPA Administrator may issue administrative orders or commence civil actions even without absolute proof.: 11

Judicial review and civil actions

Whenever EPA finds a violation of the UIC Program and the State does not or cannot act, the agency must issue an administrative order or to file a civil action to require compliance.

A citizen can file a petition for judicial review of EPA final actions. A citizen may also file against any violator of the SDWA or against EPA for failure to take action under the SDWA which is not discretionary. EPA emergency administrative orders are also final actions subject to judicial review.

Airline water supplies

In 2004, EPA tested drinking water quality on commercial aircraft and found that 15 percent of tested aircraft water systems tested positive for total coliform bacteria. EPA published a final regulation for aircraft public water systems in 2009. The regulation requires air carriers operating in the U.S. to conduct coliform sampling, management practices, corrective action, public notification, operator training, and reporting and recordkeeping. An airline with a non-complying aircraft must restrict public access to the on-board water system for a specified period.

Source water assessment

The SDWA requires each state to delineate the boundaries of areas that public water systems use for their sources of drinking water—both surface and underground sources. Within each source area the origins of regulated contaminants are identified in order to determine the susceptibility of the public water systems. This information can help communities understand the risks to their sources of drinking water.

Whistleblower protection

The SDWA includes a whistleblower protection provision. Employees in the US who believe they were fired or suffered another adverse action related to enforcement of this law have 30 days to file a written complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Prelude

Prior to the SDWA there were few national enforceable requirements for drinking water. In 1914 the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) published a set of drinking water standards, pursuant to existing federal authority to regulate interstate commerce, and in response to the 1893 Interstate Quarantine Act. As such the standards were directly applicable only to interstate common carriers such as railroads. For local drinking water utilities, these standards were basically recommendations and not enforceable requirements. However, many municipal utlities began to voluntarily adopt the standards.

Improvements in chemical testing methods in the 1970s, particularly for synthetic organic chemicals, allowed for the detection of smaller concentrations of contaminants.

Under state programs, some water works managers mistakenly believed that the major, real threats were behind them and their primary focus was on providing consistent and effective service through aging infrastructure, with major efforts at maintaining the bacteriological quality of drinking water.

1974 Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act was one of several pieces of environmental legislation in the 1970s. Discovery of contamination from organic chemicals in public water systems and the lack of enforceable, national standards persuaded Congress to take action.

The 1974 law very clearly defined roles and responsibilities, giving EPA the job of generating scientifically based standards that would be applicable to all water supplies that served 25 or more customers and creating a process for setting new standards. EPA was mandated to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for a major study of contaminants in drinking water that might have health significance and to issue revised regulations once the NAS report was completed.

1986 amendments

The 1986 SDWA amendments required EPA to apply future NPDWRs to both community and non-transient non-community water systems when it evaluated and revised current regulations. The first case in which this was applied was the "Phase I" final rule, published on July 8, 1987. At that time NPDWRs were promulgated for certain synthetic volatile organic compounds and applied to non-transient non-community water systems as well as community water systems. This rulemaking also clarified that non-transient non-community water systems were not subject to MCLs that were promulgated before July 8, 1987. The 1986 amendments were signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on June 19, 1986.

In addition to requiring more contaminants to be regulated, the 1986 amendments included:

  • Wellhead protection
  • New monitoring for certain substances
  • Filtration for certain surface water systems
  • Disinfection for certain groundwater systems
  • Restriction on lead in solder and plumbing
  • More enforcement powers.

1996 SDWA amendments

President Bill Clinton signs the Safe Drinking Water Amendments Act of 1996 in the East Room

In 1996, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to emphasize sound science and risk-based standard setting, small water supply system flexibility and technical assistance, community-empowered source water assessment and protection, public right-to-know, and water system infrastructure assistance through a multibillion-dollar state revolving loan fund. The amendments were signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 6, 1996.

Main points of the 1996 amendments

  1. Consumer Confidence Reports. All community water systems must prepare and distribute annual reports about the water they provide, including information on detected contaminants, possible health effects, and the water source(s) for the system.
  2. Cost-Benefit Analysis. EPA must conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis for every new standard to determine whether the benefits of a drinking water standard justify the costs.
  3. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. States can use this fund to help water systems make infrastructure or management improvements or to help systems assess and protect their source water.
  4. Microbial Contaminants and Disinfection Byproducts. EPA is required to strengthen protection for microbial contaminants, including cryptosporidium, while strengthening control over the byproducts of chemical disinfection. EPA promulgated the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule and the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule to address these risks.
  5. Operator Certification. Water system operators must be certified to ensure that systems are operated safely. EPA issued guidelines in 1999 specifying minimum standards for the certification and recertification of the operators of community and non-transient, noncommunity water systems. These guidelines apply to state operator certification programs. All states are currently implementing EPA-approved operator certification programs.
  6. Public Information and Consultation. The SDWA emphasizes that consumers have a right to know what is in their drinking water, where it comes from, how it is treated, and how to help protect it. EPA distributes public information materials on its website and holds public meetings, working with states, tribes, local water systems, and environmental and civic groups, to encourage public involvement.
  7. Small Water Systems. Small water systems are given special consideration and resources under SDWA, to make sure they have the managerial, financial, and technical ability to comply with drinking water standards.

2005 amendment

Through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to exclude the underground injection of any fluids or propping agents other than diesel fuels used in hydraulic fracturing operations from being considered as "underground injections" for the purposes of the law.

2011 amendment

Congress passed the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act in 2011. This amendment, effective in 2014, tightened the definition of "lead-free" plumbing fixtures and fittings.

2015 amendments

The Drinking Water Protection Act was enacted on August 7, 2015. It required EPA to submit to Congress a strategic plan for assessing and managing risks associated with algal toxins in drinking water provided by public water systems. EPA submitted the plan to Congress in November 2015.

The Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act was signed by President Barack Obama on December 11, 2015. The amendment provides technical assistance to small public water systems, to help them comply with National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.

2016 amendments

The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act added several provisions to the SDWA, along with providing financial assistance to the city of Flint, Michigan in responding to its lead contamination crisis, as well as assistance for other communities. The provisions include:

  • expanding the water infrastructure public-private partnership loan program
  • requiring public notification when household drinking water contains lead levels above the EPA action level (currently 0.015 mg/L)
  • establishing a voluntary program for testing for lead in drinking water at schools and childcare centers
  • creating a public information clearinghouse on alternative drinking water delivery systems.

2018 amendments

The SDWA can promote environmental justice by increasing the safety of drinking water in the communities most adversely impacted by water contamination. Communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by unsafe drinking water and associated health problems in the United States. Specifically, Native American reservations and communities with dense Latino and African American populations are at higher risk of exposure to drinking water contaminants. Contaminants found in the drinking water of such communities include nitrates, coliform, and lead, which have been linked to cancer, reproductive health problems, gastrointestinal illness, and other health problems. One study found that levels of contaminants in the drinking water of two Nebraska Native American reservations were significantly higher than regional contaminant levels. Another study found that Latino residents in Tucson, Arizona, had higher than average levels of contaminants in their drinking water, which were linked to higher rates of cancer and neurological disorders among residents. Also, it is understood that low-income residents in the Appalachian region of West Virginia are disproportionately exposed to contaminants in drinking water from coal mining in the region.

In addressing the updated priorities associated with the act, EPA states that its first priority is to "promote equity... in disadvantaged, small, and environmental justice communities," specifically addressing that disadvantaged communities face disproportionate risks associated with exposure to contaminated drinking water.

This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "US Federal Legislation".

  1. United States. Pub.L. 99–359; 100 Stat. 642. "Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986." 1986-06-19.
  2. United States. Pub.L. 104–182 (text) (pdf), 110 Stat. 1613. "Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996." 1996-08-06.
  3. United States. Pub.L. 93–523; 88 Stat. 1660; 42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq. 1974-12-16.
  4. A public water system has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals, at least 60 days per year. 42 U.S.C. § 300f(4)(A)
  5. "Information about Public Water Systems". Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2017-03-08.
  6. "Private Drinking Water Wells". EPA. 2019-04-26.
  7. Gibson, Jacqueline MacDonald; Fisher, Michael; Clonch, Allison; MacDonald, John M.; Cook, Philip J. (2020-07-06). "Children drinking private well water have higher blood lead than those with city water". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117 (29): 16898–16907. Bibcode:2020PNAS..11716898M. doi:10.1073/pnas.2002729117. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC7382258. PMID 32631989.
  8. United States. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.
  9. EPA. "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations." Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR Part 141.
  10. "How EPA Regulates Drinking Water Contaminants". EPA. 2020-01-27.
  11. "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations". EPA. 2019-09-17.
  12. "Chapter 4. Guidance for Compliance with Requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act". CERCLA Compliance with Other Laws Manual (Report). EPA. August 1988. p. 4-1. EPA 540/G-89/006.
  13. "Surface Water Treatment Rules". EPA. 2016-11-02.
  14. EPA (2006-01-05). "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule." 71 FR 654
  15. Safe Drinking Water Act. "Prohibition on use of lead pipes, solder, and flux." 42 U.S.C. § 300g-6(d).
  16. EPA. "Maximum Contaminant Level Goals and National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Lead and Copper; Final Rule." Federal Register, 56 FR 26460, 1991-06-07.
  17. EPA (2007-10-10). "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Lead and Copper: Short-Term Regulatory Revisions and Clarifications." Federal Register, 72 FR 57782
  18. EPA (2020-09-01). "Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder, and Flux for Drinking Water; Final rule." Federal Register, 85 FR 54235
  19. EPA (2021-01-15). "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Lead and Copper Rule Revisions." Final rule. 86 FR 4198
  20. Friedman, List (2020-09-27). "E.P.A. to Promote Lead Testing Rule as Trump Tries to Burnish His Record". The New York Times.
  21. Beitsch, Rebecca (2021-01-15). "Groups sue EPA over 'backwards' lead rule". The Hill. Washington, DC.
  22. EPA (2021-03-12). "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Lead and Copper Rule Revisions; Delay of Effective Date." 86 FR 14003
  23. "Proposed Radon in Drinking Water Regulation". EPA. 2014-06-14.
  24. "Secondary Drinking Water Standards: Guidance for Nuisance Chemicals". EPA. 2017-03-08.
  25. SDWA sec. 1412(b)(1)(F);42 U.S.C. § 300g-1(b)(1)(F)
  26. "Drinking Water Contaminant Human Health Effects Information". EPA. 2019-03-21.
  27. Understanding the Safe Drinking Water Act (Report). EPA. June 2004. EPA 816-F-04-030.
  28. New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY (2018). New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. Title 10, SubPart 5-1 - Public Water Supplies. "Public Water Systems; Maximum Contaminant Levels; Monitoring Requirements; Notification Requirements." Section 5-1.52 - Tables.
  29. "Perchlorate in Drinking Water". Sacramento, CA: California State Water Resources Control Board. 2020-04-03.
  30. "Per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS); State Legislation". Washington, D.C.: National Conference of State Legislatures. 2020-03-11.
  31. "Basic Information on the CCL and Regulatory Determination". EPA. 2015-11-25.
  32. EPA (1998-03-02). "Announcement of the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List." Federal Register, 63 FR 10274
  33. EPA (2003-07-18). "Announcement of Regulatory Determinations for Priority Contaminants on the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List." 68 FR 42898
  34. EPA (2005-02-24) "Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 2." 70 FR 9071
  35. EPA (2008-07-30). "Regulatory Determinations Regarding Contaminants on the Second Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List." 73 FR 44251.
  36. EPA (2009-10-08). "Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 3-Final." 74 FR 51850
  37. "Overview of CCL 3 Process". CCL and Regulatory Determination. EPA. 2016-09-29.
  38. "Perchlorate in Drinking Water". Drinking Water Contaminants—Standards and Regulations. EPA. 2016-12-05. Archived from the original on 2017-01-25.
  39. EPA (2011-02-11). "Drinking Water: Regulatory Determination on Perchlorate." 76 FR 7762
  40. EPA (2016-01-04). "Announcement of Final Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Third Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List." 81 FR 13.
  41. EPA (2016-11-17) "Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4-Final." 81 FR 81099.
  42. "Overview of the CCL 4 Approach". CCL and Regulatory Determination. EPA. 2016-11-17.
  43. EPA (2021-03-03). "Announcement of Final Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List." Federal Register, 86 FR 12272
  44. EPA (2021-03-11). "Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) for Public Water Systems and Announcement of Public Meeting; Proposed rule." Federal Register, 86 FR 13846
  45. "Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) for Public Water Systems". EPA. December 2020. Fact Sheet for the Proposed Rule. EPA 815-F-20-004.
  46. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency and Gina McCarthy, 16 Civ. 1251 (ER). United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Consent Decree filed October 17, 2016.
  47. EPA (2019-06-26). "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Perchlorate." Proposed Rule. Federal Register. 84 FR 30524.
  48. "Perchlorate in Drinking Water; Final Action". EPA. 2020-06-18.
  49. Slisco, Aila (2020-09-04). "EPA Sued For Not Regulating Rocket Fuel Chemical in Drinking Water". Newsweek.
  50. EPA (2020-03-10). "Announcement of Preliminary Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List; Request for public comment." 85 FR 14098
  51. "Learn about Drinking Water Analytical Methods". EPA. 2018-07-19.
  52. "Learn About Laboratory Certification for Drinking Water". EPA. 2016-09-29.
  53. "Public Notification Rule". Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems. EPA. 2016-11-02.
  54. "CCR Information for Consumers". Consumer Confidence Reports. EPA. 2019-09-27.
  55. SDWA sec. 1443(c)(1);42 U.S.C. § 300j-2(c)(1)
  56. "Primacy Enforcement Responsibility for Public Water Systems". Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems. EPA. 2016-11-02.
  57. "Enforcing Drinking Water Regulations". Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Health. Retrieved2020-04-19.
  58. 40 CFR 144.3
  59. 42 U.S.C. § 300h(b) and 42 U.S.C. § 300h-1(c)
  60. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.US v. King, 660 F.3d 1071 (9th Cir. 2011).
  61. SDWA. "Regulations for State programs." 42 U.S.C. § 300h
  62. "Protecting Underground Sources of Drinking Water from Underground Injection". EPA. 2017-01-19.
  63. "Primary Enforcement Authority for the Underground Injection Control Program". EPA. 2017-05-10.
  64. 42 U.S.C. § 300j-8
  65. Energy Policy Act of 2005, (Pub.L. 109–58 (text) (pdf)), approved 2005-08-08. Amended SDWA § 1421(d). See 42 U.S.C. § 300h.
  66. "Natural Gas Extraction - Hydraulic Fracturing". EPA. 2016-02-01.
  67. Drajem, Mark; Klimasinska, Katarzyna (1 February 2012). "EPA Shrinking 'Halliburton Loophole' Threatens Obama Gas Pledge". Bloomberg. Retrieved22 March 2012.
  68. United States. National Energy Policy Development Group (May 2001). National Energy Policy(PDF) (Report). U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 5–6. ISBN 0-16-050814-2.
  69. "Cheney's Halliburton Ties Remain". CBS News. September 26, 2003. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. RetrievedDecember 13, 2007.
  70. SDWA sec. 1428;42 U.S.C. § 300h-7
  71. This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Environmental Protection Agency document: Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Updated Guidance on Emergency Authority under Section 1431 of the Safe Drinking Water Act"(PDF). Retrieved2018-12-05.
  72. 42 U.S.C. § 300h-2
  73. 42 U.S.C. § 300j-7
  74. Sackett v. EPA, 132 S. Ct. 1367, 1374 (U.S. 2012).
  75. EPA. "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Drinking Water Regulations for Aircraft Public Water Systems." Final rule. Federal Register, 74 FR 53590, 2009-10-19.
  76. 42 U.S.C. § 300j–13
  77. "Basic Information about Source Water Protection". EPA. 2018-09-12.
  78. SDWA. "General provisions." 42 U.S.C. § 300j-9(i)
  79. United States. "An act granting additional quarantine powers and imposing additional duties upon the Marine-Hospital Service." (Commonly known as the "Interstate Quarantine Act of 1893.") 27 Stat. 449-452 52nd Congress, 2nd session, Chapter 114. February 15, 1893.
  80. Gurian, Patrick L.; Tarr, Joel A. (February 2011). "The origin of federal drinking water quality standards". Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. 164 (1): 17–26. doi:10.1680/ehah.9.00009.
  81. "An Overview of the Safe Drinking Water Act"(PDF). Drinking Water Academy. EPA. May 2002.
  82. Bredickas, Vincent; Hartnett, Kim (1998-02-24). "Safe Drinking Water Act". Water Treatment Primer. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Archived from the original on 2007-06-02.
  83. Theiss, Jeffrey C.; Stoner, Gary D.; Shimkin, Michael B.; Weisburger, Elizabeth K. (1977). "Test for Carcinogenicity of Organic Contaminants of United States Drinking Waters by Pulmonary Tumor Response in Strain A Mice"(PDF). Cancer Research. 37 (8 Pt 1): 2717–2720. ISSN 1538-7445. PMID 872098.
  84. EPA Alumni Association: Senior EPA officials discuss early implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, Video, Transcript (see p4).
  85. EPA Alumni Association: Senior EPA officials discuss early implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, Video, Transcript (see pages 4,5).
  86. EPA (1987). "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations – Synthetic Organic Chemicals; Monitoring for Unregulated Contaminants; Final Rule." Federal Register, 52 FR 25690, 1987-07-08.
  87. SDWA sec. 1412(b)(7)(c)(i);42 U.S.C. § 300g-1(b)(7)(c)(i)
  88. EPA (1986). "President Signs Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments." Press release. 1986-06-20.
  89. EPA. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program and implementation regulations. 40 CFR 3500 (Subpart L).
  90. EPA (1998). "Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule." Federal Register, 63 FR 69389, 1998-12-16.
  91. EPA (1998). "Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule ." Federal Register, 63 FR 69477, 1998-12-16.
  92. EPA (1999). "Final guidelines for the Certification and Recertification of the Operators of Community and Nontransient Noncommunity Public Water Systems." Federal Register, 64 FR 5915, 1999-02-05.
  93. Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act. Pub.L. 111–380 (text) (pdf); 124 Stat. 4131. Approved January 4, 2011.
  94. Drinking Water Protection Act. Pub.L. 114–45 (text) (pdf). Approved August 7, 2015.
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  96. Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act. Pub.L. 114–98 (text) (pdf). Approved December 11, 2015.
  97. Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. Pub.L. 114–322 (text) (pdf). Approved 2016-12-16.
  98. United States. America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. Pub.L. 115–270 (text) (pdf). October 23, 2018.
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Safe Drinking Water Act
Safe Drinking Water Act Language Watch Edit The Safe Drinking Water Act SDWA is the principal federal law in the United States intended to ensure safe drinking water for the public 3 Pursuant to the act the Environmental Protection Agency EPA is required to set standards for drinking water quality and oversee all states localities and water suppliers that implement the standards Safe Drinking Water ActLong titleAn Act to amend the Public Health Service Act to assure that the public is provided with safe drinking water and for other purposesNicknamesSDWAEnacted bythe 93rd United States CongressEffectiveDecember 16 1974CitationsPublic lawPub L 93 523Statutes at Large88 Stat 1660 1974 CodificationTitles amended42U S C sections created42 U S C 300fLegislative historyIntroduced in the Senate as S 433 by Warren Magnuson D WA on January 18 1973Committee consideration by Senate Commerce House CommercePassed the Senate on June 22 1973 Passed the House on November 19 1974 296 84 as H R 13002 with amendmentSenate agreed to House amendment on November 26 1974 with further amendmentHouse agreed to Senate amendment on December 3 1974 Signed into law by President Gerald Ford on December 16 1974Major amendmentsSafe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986 1 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 2 The SDWA applies to every public water system PWS in the United States 4 There are currently over 151 000 public water systems providing water to almost all Americans at some time in their lives 5 The Act does not cover private wells in 2020 13 of US households were served by private wells 6 A 2020 study found that children raised in homes with unregulated wells had a 25 increased risk of elevated blood lead than children raised in homes supplied by water utilities regulated by the SDWA 7 The SDWA does not apply to bottled water Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration FDA under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act 8 Contents 1 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 1 1 Microorganisms 1 2 Disinfectants 1 3 Disinfection by products 1 4 Inorganic Chemicals 1 4 1 Lead Free plumbing requirements 1 5 Organic Chemicals 1 6 Radionuclides 2 Secondary standards 3 Health advisories 4 State standards 5 Future standards 5 1 Unregulated contaminants 5 2 Perchlorate 5 3 Perfluorinated alkylated substances 5 4 Non community water systems 6 Monitoring compliance and enforcement 7 Protection of Underground Sources of Drinking Water 7 1 Underground Injection Control UIC Program 7 1 1 Hydraulic fracturing exemption 7 2 Wellhead protection areas 7 3 Emergency power 7 4 Judicial review and civil actions 8 Related programs 8 1 Airline water supplies 8 2 Source water assessment 8 3 Whistleblower protection 9 History 9 1 Prelude 9 2 1974 Act 9 3 1986 amendments 9 4 1996 SDWA amendments 9 4 1 Main points of the 1996 amendments 9 5 2005 amendment 9 6 2011 amendment 9 7 2015 amendments 9 8 2016 amendments 9 9 2018 amendments 10 Environmental justice 11 See also 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External linksNational Primary Drinking Water Regulations Edit Chart of Regulatory Analysis Processes under the SDWA Main article Drinking water quality legislation of the United States The SDWA requires EPA to establish National Primary Drinking Water Regulations NPDWRs for contaminants that may cause adverse public health effects 9 The regulations include both mandatory requirements Maximum Contaminant Levels or MCLs and Treatment Techniques and nonenforceable health goals Maximum Contaminant Level Goals or MCLGs for each included contaminant 10 As of 2019 EPA has issued 88 standards for microorganisms chemicals and radionuclides 11 MCLs have additional significance because they can be used under the Superfund law as Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements in cleanups of contaminated sites on the National Priorities List 12 For some contaminants EPA establishes a Treatment Technique TT instead of an MCL TTs are enforceable procedures that drinking water systems must follow in treating their water for a contaminant 10 Federal drinking water standards are organized into six groups Microorganisms Disinfectants Disinfection Byproducts Inorganic Chemicals Organic Chemicals Radionuclides 11 Microorganisms Edit EPA has issued standards for Cryptosporidium Giardia lamblia Legionella coliform bacteria and enteric viruses EPA also requires two microorganism related tests to indicate water quality plate count and turbidity 11 The agency issued its initial Surface Water Treatment Rule in 1989 to address contamination from viruses bacteria and Giardia lamblia 13 The most recent amendment is the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule promulgated in 2006 requiring public water systems to employ a Treatment Technique to control Cryptosporidium and other pathogens 14 Disinfectants Edit EPA has issued standards for chlorine monochloramine and chlorine dioxide 11 Disinfection by products Edit EPA has issued standards for bromate chlorite haloacetic acids and trihalomethanes 11 Inorganic Chemicals Edit EPA has issued standards for antimony arsenic asbestos barium beryllium cadmium chromium copper cyanide fluoride lead mercury nitrate nitrite selenium and thallium 11 Lead Free plumbing requirements Edit EPA illustration of lead sources in residential buildings Main article Lead and copper rule The 1986 amendments require EPA to set standards limiting the concentration of lead in public water systems and defines lead free pipes as 1 solders and flux containing not more than 0 2 percent lead 2 pipes and pipe fittings containing not more than 8 0 percent lead and 3 plumbing fittings and fixtures as defined in industry developed voluntary standards issued no later than August 6 1997 or standards developed by EPA in lieu of voluntary standards 15 EPA issued an initial lead and copper regulation in 1991 16 The regulation specifies a Treatment Technique rather than an MCL 17 Congress tightened the definition of lead free plumbing in a 2011 amendment to the Act EPA published a final rule implementing the amendment on September 1 2020 18 In response to the Flint Michigan water crisis EPA published revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule on January 15 2021 addressing testing pipe replacement and related issues The rule mandates additional requirements for sampling tap water corrosion control public outreach and testing water in schools The rule continues the requirement for replacement of lead service lines when the action level for lead is exceeded but requires that a utility replace at least 3 percent of its lines annually compared to 7 percent under the prior regulation 19 20 Several citizen and environmental groups immediately filed lawsuits challenging the rule 21 On March 12 2021 EPA delayed the effective date of the rule to June 17 2021 22 Organic Chemicals Edit EPA has issued standards for 53 organic compounds including benzene dioxin 2 3 7 8 TCDD PCBs styrene toluene vinyl chloride and several pesticides 11 Radionuclides Edit EPA has issued standards for alpha particles beta particles and photon emitters radium and uranium 11 EPA proposed regulations for radon in 1991 and 1999 23 Secondary standards EditSecondary drinking water standards are non regulatory guidelines for aesthetic characteristics including taste color and odor 24 Health advisories EditEPA issues health advisories for some contaminants some of which have not been regulated with MCLs Health advisories provide technical information to public health officials about health effects methods for chemical analysis and treatment methods The advisories are not enforceable EPA was given explicit authority to issue advisories in the 1996 SDWA amendments 25 As of 2018 health advisories have been issued for the following contaminants 26 EPA Drinking Water Health Advisories Chemical Contaminants Microbial ContaminantsBoron CyanotoxinsDacthal DCPA and Dacthal degradates Cryptosporidium2 4 and 2 6 Dinitrotoluene DNT LegionellaFluoride GiardiaManganese MycobacteriaMethyl tert butyl ether MTBE OxamylPerchloratePerfluorooctanoic acid PFOA and Perfluorooctane sulfonate PFOS SodiumSulfate1 1 2 2 TetrachloroethaneState standards EditThe SDWA allows states to set standards which are more stringent than the federal standards and to issue standards for contaminants that EPA has not regulated 27 Several states have issued their own standards for a few contaminants including fluoride 28 perchlorate 29 and perfluorinated alkylated substances PFAS 30 Future standards EditUnregulated contaminants Edit The SDWA requires EPA to identify and list unregulated contaminants which may require regulation The Agency must publish this list called the Contaminant Candidate List CCL every five years EPA is required to decide whether to regulate at least five or more listed contaminants EPA uses this list to prioritize research and data collection efforts which support the regulatory determination process 31 As of 2021 EPA has developed four CCLs CCL1 50 chemical and 10 microbiological contaminants contaminant groups were listed in 1998 32 In 2003 EPA made a determination that no regulatory action was needed on nine of these contaminants 33 CCL2 EPA carried forward the remaining 51 contaminants from CCL1 for consideration in 2005 34 In 2008 EPA determined that no regulatory action was needed on 11 of these contaminants 35 CCL3 EPA revised its listing process based on recommendations from the National Research Council and the National Drinking Water Advisory Council a Federal Advisory Committee It expanded its initial review to 7 500 potential chemical and microbial contaminants and subsequently narrowed this universe to a list of 600 for further evaluation 104 chemicals or chemical groups and 12 microbiological contaminants were listed in 2009 36 37 In 2011 EPA announced it would develop regulations for perchlorate which had been listed beginning with CCL1 38 39 In 2016 EPA determined that no regulatory action was needed on four other listed contaminants and delayed determination on a fifth contaminant in order to review additional data 40 CCL4 EPA carried forward the CCL3 contaminants for which determinations had not been made and requested public comment on additional contaminants 97 chemicals or chemical groups and 12 microbial contaminants were listed in 2016 41 42 In March 2021 EPA announced that it would develop regulations for two of the CCL4 contaminants PFOA and PFOS 43 In March 2021 EPA proposed that drinking water utilities begin to conduct monitoring for 29 PFAS compounds and lithium EPA would use the monitoring data to possibly develop additional regulations 44 45 Perchlorate Edit The Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC filed a lawsuit in 2016 to accelerate EPA s regulatory process on perchlorate Following a consent decree issued by a federal district court in New York 46 EPA published a proposed rule on June 26 2019 with a proposed MCL of 0 056 mg L 47 On June 18 2020 EPA announced that it was withdrawing its 2019 proposal and its 2011 regulatory determination stating that it had taken proactive steps with state and local governments to address perchlorate contamination 48 In September 2020 NRDC filed suit against EPA for its failure to regulate perchlorate and stated that 26 million people may be affected by perchlorate in their drinking water 49 Perfluorinated alkylated substances Edit In March 2020 EPA announced its proposed regulatory determinations for two PFAS in drinking water In a Federal Register notice published as a follow up to CCL4 the agency requested public comment on regulating perfluorooctanoic acid PFOA and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid PFOS 50 In March 2021 EPA announced that it would develop regulations for PFOA and PFOS 43 See also Substances for which there are no federal standards Non community water systems Edit Future NPDWR standards will apply to non transient non community water systems for example some schools factories office buildings and hospitals that operate their own water systems because of concern for the long term exposure of a stable population It is important to note that EPA s decision to apply future NPDWRs to non transient non community water systems may have a significant impact on Department of Energy facilities that operate their own drinking water systems Monitoring compliance and enforcement EditPublic water systems are required to regularly monitor their water for contaminants Water samples must be analyzed using EPA approved testing methods by laboratories that are certified by EPA or a state agency 51 52 A PWS must notify its customers when it violates drinking water regulations or is providing drinking water that may pose a health risk Such notifications are provided either immediately as soon as possible but within 30 days of the violation or annually depending on the health risk associated with the violation 53 Community water systems those systems that serve the same people throughout the year must provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report to customers The report identifies contaminants if any in the drinking water and explains the potential health impacts 54 The Public Water System Supervision Program comprises primacy agencies which are either state government agencies Indian tribes or EPA regional offices 55 56 All state and territories except Wyoming and the District of Columbia have received primacy approval from EPA to supervise the PWS in their respective jurisdictions 27 A PWS is required to submit periodic monitoring reports to its primacy agency Violations of SDWA requirements are enforced initially through a primacy agency s notification to the PWS and if necessary following up with formal orders and fines 57 Protection of Underground Sources of Drinking Water EditAn underground source of drinking water USDW means an aquifer with sufficient quality and quantity of ground water to supply a public water system now or in the future 58 Underground Injection Control UIC Program Edit The SDWA prohibits any underground injection which endangers drinking water sources 59 The Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals while enforcing this prohibition of harmful injections into drinking water aquifers explains that underground injection of even clean water can result in the illegal movement of a fluid containing a contaminant into an USDW The SDWA and its implementing regulations are not concerned with whether an injected fluid is itself contaminated Rather they are concerned with the result of injection activity A permit applicant must show that the proposed activity will not allow the movement of fluid containing a contaminant Id Injections of clean water into the ground can cause the movement of contaminants into an aquifer For example contaminants may dissolve into clean water as the injected water passes through the soil on its way to an aquifer 60 1077 Underground fluid injection can have disastrous consequences for drinking water and in turn for human health Injected fluid is hard to trace once it enters the ground and polluted aquifers are hard to remediate Congress cautious preventive approach requires permit applicants to show that their injections will not harm underground sources of drinking water It presumes until an applicant shows otherwise that injections will contaminate an USDW Although this approach may result in forbidding some injections that would not contaminate an USDW it is a valid exercise of Congress authority 60 1080 EPA poster illustrating UIC well classes The 1974 SDWA authorized EPA to regulate injection wells in order to protect underground sources of drinking water 61 The UIC permit system is organized into six classes of wells 62 Class I Industrial waste hazardous and non hazardous and municipal wastewater disposal wells Class II Oil and gas related injection wells except wells solely used for production see Hydraulic fracturing exemption Class III Solution mining wells Class IV Shallow hazardous and radioactive waste injection wells no longer permitted Class V Wells that inject non hazardous fluids into or above underground sources of drinking water Class VI Geologic sequestration wells for carbon dioxide EPA has granted UIC primacy enforcement authority to 34 states for Class I II III IV and V wells Seven additional states and two tribes have been granted primacy authority for Class II wells only EPA manages enforcement of Class VI wells directly 63 If a state does not take appropriate enforcement action then EPA must issue an order requiring a violator to comply with the requirements or the agency will initiate a civil enforcement action The SDWA directly provides for citizen civil actions 64 Hydraulic fracturing exemption Edit Congress amended the SDWA in 2005 to exclude hydraulic fracturing an industrial process for recovering oil and natural gas from coverage under the UIC program except where diesel fuels are used 65 66 This exclusion has been called the Halliburton Loophole Halliburton is the world s largest provider of hydraulic fracturing services 67 The measure was a response to a recommendation from the Energy Task Force chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001 68 Cheney had been Chairman and CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000 69 Wellhead protection areas Edit The act requires states to establish wellhead protection programs to protect underground sources of drinking water Wellhead protection programs must specify the duties of agencies determine the wellhead protection areas identify sources of contaminants implement control measures to protect the wellhead protection areas and a contingency plan for alternative drinking water supplies in the event of contamination Federal agencies having jurisdiction over potential sources of contaminants must comply with all requirements of the state wellhead protection program 70 Emergency power Edit The Updated Guidance on Invoking Emergency Authority Under Section 1431 Of The Safe Drinking Water Act shows that 42 U S C 300i gives the EPA Administrator broad power to protect public water systems and underground sources of drinking water USDWs 71 3 This guidance encourages more widespread use of the EPA s emergency powers 71 3 This emergency power is granted when the Administrator receives information that a contaminant which is present in or likely to enter a public water system or an underground source of drinking water which may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons and that appropriate agencies have not acted 71 6 7 Since this emergency power protection applies to all USDWs it includes potential future supplies of public water and even private wells 71 7 8 The imminent endangerment includes contaminants that lead to chronic health effects that may not be realized for years such as lead and carcinogens 71 9 10 To prevent harm from occurring the EPA Administrator may issue administrative orders or commence civil actions even without absolute proof 71 11 Judicial review and civil actions Edit Whenever EPA finds a violation of the UIC Program and the State does not or cannot act the agency must issue an administrative order or to file a civil action to require compliance 72 A citizen can file a petition for judicial review of EPA final actions 73 A citizen may also file against any violator of the SDWA or against EPA for failure to take action under the SDWA which is not discretionary EPA emergency administrative orders are also final actions subject to judicial review 74 Related programs EditAirline water supplies Edit In 2004 EPA tested drinking water quality on commercial aircraft and found that 15 percent of tested aircraft water systems tested positive for total coliform bacteria EPA published a final regulation for aircraft public water systems in 2009 The regulation requires air carriers operating in the U S to conduct coliform sampling management practices corrective action public notification operator training and reporting and recordkeeping An airline with a non complying aircraft must restrict public access to the on board water system for a specified period 75 Source water assessment Edit The SDWA requires each state to delineate the boundaries of areas that public water systems use for their sources of drinking water both surface and underground sources 76 Within each source area the origins of regulated contaminants are identified in order to determine the susceptibility of the public water systems This information can help communities understand the risks to their sources of drinking water 77 Whistleblower protection Edit The SDWA includes a whistleblower protection provision 78 Employees in the US who believe they were fired or suffered another adverse action related to enforcement of this law have 30 days to file a written complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration History EditPrelude Edit Prior to the SDWA there were few national enforceable requirements for drinking water In 1914 the U S Public Health Service PHS published a set of drinking water standards pursuant to existing federal authority to regulate interstate commerce and in response to the 1893 Interstate Quarantine Act 79 As such the standards were directly applicable only to interstate common carriers such as railroads For local drinking water utilities these standards were basically recommendations and not enforceable requirements However many municipal utlities began to voluntarily adopt the standards 80 81 Improvements in chemical testing methods in the 1970s particularly for synthetic organic chemicals allowed for the detection of smaller concentrations of contaminants 82 83 Under state programs some water works managers mistakenly believed that the major real threats were behind them and their primary focus was on providing consistent and effective service through aging infrastructure with major efforts at maintaining the bacteriological quality of drinking water 84 1974 Act Edit The Safe Drinking Water Act was one of several pieces of environmental legislation in the 1970s Discovery of contamination from organic chemicals in public water systems and the lack of enforceable national standards persuaded Congress to take action The 1974 law very clearly defined roles and responsibilities giving EPA the job of generating scientifically based standards that would be applicable to all water supplies that served 25 or more customers and creating a process for setting new standards EPA was mandated to contract with the National Academy of Sciences NAS for a major study of contaminants in drinking water that might have health significance and to issue revised regulations once the NAS report was completed 85 1986 amendments Edit The 1986 SDWA amendments required EPA to apply future NPDWRs to both community and non transient non community water systems when it evaluated and revised current regulations 1 The first case in which this was applied was the Phase I final rule published on July 8 1987 86 At that time NPDWRs were promulgated for certain synthetic volatile organic compounds and applied to non transient non community water systems as well as community water systems This rulemaking also clarified that non transient non community water systems were not subject to MCLs that were promulgated before July 8 1987 The 1986 amendments were signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on June 19 1986 In addition to requiring more contaminants to be regulated the 1986 amendments included Wellhead protection 70 New monitoring for certain substances Filtration for certain surface water systems 87 Disinfection for certain groundwater systems Restriction on lead in solder and plumbing 15 More enforcement powers 88 1996 SDWA amendments Edit President Bill Clinton signs the Safe Drinking Water Amendments Act of 1996 in the East Room In 1996 Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to emphasize sound science and risk based standard setting small water supply system flexibility and technical assistance community empowered source water assessment and protection public right to know and water system infrastructure assistance through a multibillion dollar state revolving loan fund The amendments were signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 6 1996 2 Main points of the 1996 amendments Edit Consumer Confidence Reports All community water systems must prepare and distribute annual reports about the water they provide including information on detected contaminants possible health effects and the water source s for the system Cost Benefit Analysis EPA must conduct a thorough cost benefit analysis for every new standard to determine whether the benefits of a drinking water standard justify the costs Drinking Water State Revolving Fund 89 States can use this fund to help water systems make infrastructure or management improvements or to help systems assess and protect their source water Microbial Contaminants and Disinfection Byproducts EPA is required to strengthen protection for microbial contaminants including cryptosporidium while strengthening control over the byproducts of chemical disinfection EPA promulgated the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule 90 and the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule 91 to address these risks Operator Certification Water system operators must be certified to ensure that systems are operated safely EPA issued guidelines in 1999 specifying minimum standards for the certification and recertification of the operators of community and non transient noncommunity water systems 92 These guidelines apply to state operator certification programs All states are currently implementing EPA approved operator certification programs Public Information and Consultation The SDWA emphasizes that consumers have a right to know what is in their drinking water where it comes from how it is treated and how to help protect it EPA distributes public information materials on its website and holds public meetings working with states tribes local water systems and environmental and civic groups to encourage public involvement Small Water Systems Small water systems are given special consideration and resources under SDWA to make sure they have the managerial financial and technical ability to comply with drinking water standards 2005 amendment Edit Through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 the Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to exclude the underground injection of any fluids or propping agents other than diesel fuels used in hydraulic fracturing operations from being considered as underground injections for the purposes of the law 65 2011 amendment Edit Congress passed the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act in 2011 This amendment effective in 2014 tightened the definition of lead free plumbing fixtures and fittings 93 2015 amendments Edit The Drinking Water Protection Act was enacted on August 7 2015 94 It required EPA to submit to Congress a strategic plan for assessing and managing risks associated with algal toxins in drinking water provided by public water systems EPA submitted the plan to Congress in November 2015 95 The Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act was signed by President Barack Obama on December 11 2015 The amendment provides technical assistance to small public water systems to help them comply with National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 96 2016 amendments Edit The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act added several provisions to the SDWA along with providing financial assistance to the city of Flint Michigan in responding to its lead contamination crisis as well as assistance for other communities The provisions include expanding the water infrastructure public private partnership loan program requiring public notification when household drinking water contains lead levels above the EPA action level currently 0 015 mg L establishing a voluntary program for testing for lead in drinking water at schools and childcare centers creating a public information clearinghouse on alternative drinking water delivery systems 97 2018 amendments Edit America s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 98 Environmental justice EditThe SDWA can promote environmental justice by increasing the safety of drinking water in the communities most adversely impacted by water contamination 99 Communities of color and low income communities are disproportionately impacted by unsafe drinking water and associated health problems in the United States 100 Specifically Native American reservations and communities with dense Latino and African American populations are at higher risk of exposure to drinking water contaminants 101 Contaminants found in the drinking water of such communities include nitrates coliform and lead which have been linked to cancer reproductive health problems gastrointestinal illness and other health problems One study found that levels of contaminants in the drinking water of two Nebraska Native American reservations were significantly higher than regional contaminant levels 102 Another study found that Latino residents in Tucson Arizona had higher than average levels of contaminants in their drinking water which were linked to higher rates of cancer and neurological disorders among residents 103 Also it is understood that low income residents in the Appalachian region of West Virginia are disproportionately exposed to contaminants in drinking water from coal mining in the region 104 In addressing the updated priorities associated with the act EPA states that its first priority is to promote equity in disadvantaged small and environmental justice communities specifically addressing that disadvantaged communities face disproportionate risks associated with exposure to contaminated drinking water 99 See also EditClean Water Act pollution control law for surface waters Drinking water quality in the United States Water purification technical description of treatment processes Water supply and sanitation in the United StatesReferences Edit This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document US Federal Legislation a b United States Pub L 99 359 100 Stat 642 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986 1986 06 19 a b United States Pub L 104 182 text pdf 110 Stat 1613 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 1996 08 06 United States Pub L 93 523 88 Stat 1660 42 U S C 300f et seq 1974 12 16 A public water system has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals at least 60 days per year 42 U S C 300f 4 A Information about Public Water Systems Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems Washington D C U S Environmental Protection Agency EPA 2017 03 08 Private Drinking Water Wells EPA 2019 04 26 Gibson Jacqueline MacDonald Fisher Michael Clonch Allison MacDonald John M Cook Philip J 2020 07 06 Children drinking private well water have higher blood lead than those with city water Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 29 16898 16907 Bibcode 2020PNAS 11716898M doi 10 1073 pnas 2002729117 ISSN 0027 8424 PMC 7382258 PMID 32631989 United States Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act 21 U S C 301 et seq EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR Part 141 a b How EPA Regulates Drinking Water Contaminants EPA 2020 01 27 a b c d e f g h National Primary Drinking Water Regulations EPA 2019 09 17 Chapter 4 Guidance for Compliance with Requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act CERCLA Compliance with Other Laws Manual Report EPA August 1988 p 4 1 EPA 540 G 89 006 Surface Water Treatment Rules EPA 2016 11 02 EPA 2006 01 05 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule 71 FR 654 a b Safe Drinking Water Act Prohibition on use of lead pipes solder and flux 42 U S C 300g 6 d EPA Maximum Contaminant Level Goals and National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Lead and Copper Final Rule Federal Register 56 FR 26460 1991 06 07 EPA 2007 10 10 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Lead and Copper Short Term Regulatory Revisions and Clarifications Federal Register 72 FR 57782 EPA 2020 09 01 Use of Lead Free Pipes Fittings Fixtures Solder and Flux for Drinking Water Final rule Federal Register 85 FR 54235 EPA 2021 01 15 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Lead and Copper Rule Revisions Final rule 86 FR 4198 Friedman List 2020 09 27 E P A to Promote Lead Testing Rule as Trump Tries to Burnish His Record The New York Times Beitsch Rebecca 2021 01 15 Groups sue EPA over backwards lead rule The Hill Washington DC EPA 2021 03 12 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Lead and Copper Rule Revisions Delay of Effective Date 86 FR 14003 Proposed Radon in Drinking Water Regulation EPA 2014 06 14 Secondary Drinking Water Standards Guidance for Nuisance Chemicals EPA 2017 03 08 SDWA sec 1412 b 1 F 42 U S C 300g 1 b 1 F Drinking Water Contaminant Human Health Effects Information EPA 2019 03 21 a b Understanding the Safe Drinking Water Act Report EPA June 2004 EPA 816 F 04 030 New York State Department of Health Albany NY 2018 New York Codes Rules and Regulations Title 10 SubPart 5 1 Public Water Supplies Public Water Systems Maximum Contaminant Levels Monitoring Requirements Notification Requirements Section 5 1 52 Tables Perchlorate in Drinking Water Sacramento CA California State Water Resources Control Board 2020 04 03 Per and polyfluoroalkyl Substances PFAS State Legislation Washington D C National Conference of State Legislatures 2020 03 11 Basic Information on the CCL and Regulatory Determination EPA 2015 11 25 EPA 1998 03 02 Announcement of the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List Federal Register 63 FR 10274 EPA 2003 07 18 Announcement of Regulatory Determinations for Priority Contaminants on the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 68 FR 42898 EPA 2005 02 24 Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 2 70 FR 9071 EPA 2008 07 30 Regulatory Determinations Regarding Contaminants on the Second Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 73 FR 44251 EPA 2009 10 08 Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 3 Final 74 FR 51850 Overview of CCL 3 Process CCL and Regulatory Determination EPA 2016 09 29 Perchlorate in Drinking Water Drinking Water Contaminants Standards and Regulations EPA 2016 12 05 Archived from the original on 2017 01 25 EPA 2011 02 11 Drinking Water Regulatory Determination on Perchlorate 76 FR 7762 EPA 2016 01 04 Announcement of Final Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Third Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 81 FR 13 EPA 2016 11 17 Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4 Final 81 FR 81099 Overview of the CCL 4 Approach CCL and Regulatory Determination EPA 2016 11 17 a b EPA 2021 03 03 Announcement of Final Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List Federal Register 86 FR 12272 EPA 2021 03 11 Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule UCMR 5 for Public Water Systems and Announcement of Public Meeting Proposed rule Federal Register 86 FR 13846 Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule UCMR 5 for Public Water Systems EPA December 2020 Fact Sheet for the Proposed Rule EPA 815 F 20 004 Natural Resources Defense Council Inc v United States Environmental Protection Agency and Gina McCarthy 16 Civ 1251 ER United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Consent Decree filed October 17 2016 EPA 2019 06 26 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Perchlorate Proposed Rule Federal Register 84 FR 30524 Perchlorate in Drinking Water Final Action EPA 2020 06 18 Slisco Aila 2020 09 04 EPA Sued For Not Regulating Rocket Fuel Chemical in Drinking Water Newsweek EPA 2020 03 10 Announcement of Preliminary Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List Request for public comment 85 FR 14098 Learn about Drinking Water Analytical Methods EPA 2018 07 19 Learn About Laboratory Certification for Drinking Water EPA 2016 09 29 Public Notification Rule Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems EPA 2016 11 02 CCR Information for Consumers Consumer Confidence Reports EPA 2019 09 27 SDWA sec 1443 c 1 42 U S C 300j 2 c 1 Primacy Enforcement Responsibility for Public Water Systems Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems EPA 2016 11 02 Enforcing Drinking Water Regulations Olympia WA Washington State Department of Health Retrieved 2020 04 19 40 CFR 144 3 42 U S C 300h b and 42 U S C 300h 1 c a b One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from this source which is in the public domain US v King 660 F 3d 1071 9th Cir 2011 SDWA Regulations for State programs 42 U S C 300h Protecting Underground Sources of Drinking Water from Underground Injection EPA 2017 01 19 Primary Enforcement Authority for the Underground Injection Control Program EPA 2017 05 10 42 U S C 300j 8 a b Energy Policy Act of 2005 Pub L 109 58 text pdf approved 2005 08 08 Amended SDWA 1421 d See 42 U S C 300h Natural Gas Extraction Hydraulic Fracturing EPA 2016 02 01 Drajem Mark Klimasinska Katarzyna 1 February 2012 EPA Shrinking Halliburton Loophole Threatens Obama Gas Pledge Bloomberg Retrieved 22 March 2012 United States National Energy Policy Development Group May 2001 National Energy Policy PDF Report U S Government Printing Office pp 5 6 ISBN 0 16 050814 2 Cheney s Halliburton Ties Remain CBS News September 26 2003 Archived from the original on October 20 2007 Retrieved December 13 2007 a b SDWA sec 1428 42 U S C 300h 7 a b c d e f This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Environmental Protection Agency document Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Updated Guidance on Emergency Authority under Section 1431 of the Safe Drinking Water Act PDF Retrieved 2018 12 05 42 U S C 300h 2 42 U S C 300j 7 Sackett v EPA 132 S Ct 1367 1374 U S 2012 EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Drinking Water Regulations for Aircraft Public Water Systems Final rule Federal Register 74 FR 53590 2009 10 19 42 U S C 300j 13 Basic Information about Source Water Protection EPA 2018 09 12 SDWA General provisions 42 U S C 300j 9 i United States An act granting additional quarantine powers and imposing additional duties upon the Marine Hospital Service Commonly known as the Interstate Quarantine Act of 1893 27 Stat 449 452 52nd Congress 2nd session Chapter 114 February 15 1893 Gurian Patrick L Tarr Joel A February 2011 The origin of federal drinking water quality standards Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 164 1 17 26 doi 10 1680 ehah 9 00009 An Overview of the Safe Drinking Water Act PDF Drinking Water Academy EPA May 2002 Bredickas Vincent Hartnett Kim 1998 02 24 Safe Drinking Water Act Water Treatment Primer Blacksburg VA Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Archived from the original on 2007 06 02 Theiss Jeffrey C Stoner Gary D Shimkin Michael B Weisburger Elizabeth K 1977 Test for Carcinogenicity of Organic Contaminants of United States Drinking Waters by Pulmonary Tumor Response in Strain A Mice PDF Cancer Research 37 8 Pt 1 2717 2720 ISSN 1538 7445 PMID 872098 EPA Alumni Association Senior EPA officials discuss early implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 Video Transcript see p4 EPA Alumni Association Senior EPA officials discuss early implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 Video Transcript see pages 4 5 EPA 1987 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Synthetic Organic Chemicals Monitoring for Unregulated Contaminants Final Rule Federal Register 52 FR 25690 1987 07 08 SDWA sec 1412 b 7 c i 42 U S C 300g 1 b 7 c i EPA 1986 President Signs Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments Press release 1986 06 20 EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program and implementation regulations 40 CFR 3500 Subpart L EPA 1998 Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule Federal Register 63 FR 69389 1998 12 16 EPA 1998 Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule Federal Register 63 FR 69477 1998 12 16 EPA 1999 Final guidelines for the Certification and Recertification of the Operators of Community and Nontransient Noncommunity Public Water Systems Federal Register 64 FR 5915 1999 02 05 Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act Pub L 111 380 text pdf 124 Stat 4131 Approved January 4 2011 Drinking Water Protection Act Pub L 114 45 text pdf Approved August 7 2015 EPA November 2015 Algal Toxin Risk Assessment and Management Strategic Plan for Drinking Water Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act Pub L 114 98 text pdf Approved December 11 2015 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act Pub L 114 322 text pdf Approved 2016 12 16 United States America s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 Pub L 115 270 text pdf October 23 2018 a b Drinking Water Action Plan PDF EPA November 2016 Christian Smith Juliet 2002 A Twenty First Century US Water Policy Oxford University ISBN 9780199859443 Gochfeld Michael Burger Joanna 2017 04 21 Disproportionate Exposures in Environmental Justice and Other Populations The Importance of Outliers American Journal of Public Health 101 Suppl 1 S53 S63 doi 10 2105 AJPH 2011 300121 ISSN 0090 0036 PMC 3222496 PMID 21551384 McGinnis Shelley Davis R 2001 12 01 Domestic well water quality within tribal lands of eastern Nebraska Environmental Geology 41 3 4 321 329 doi 10 1007 s002540100389 ISSN 0943 0105 S2CID 129302914 Pinderhughes Raquel 1996 01 01 The Impact of Race on Environmental Quality An Empirical and Theoretical Discussion Sociological Perspectives 39 2 231 248 doi 10 2307 1389310 JSTOR 1389310 S2CID 146919626 Ludke Robert 2012 Appalachian Health and Well being University Press of Kentucky ISBN 978 0813135861 Further reading EditEPA Alumni Association Drinking Water Half Century of Progress a brief history of U S efforts to protect drinking waterExternal links EditEPA Safe Drinking Water Act Overview of national program Duhigg Charles That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy New York Times 2009 12 16 EPA Alumni Association Early Implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act video interviews regarding first 10 years of the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Safe Drinking Water Act amp oldid 1049688364, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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