EPA Publishes Draft Water Conservation Guidelines

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EPA has published draft guidelines for public water systems who may be interested in developing water conservation programs for their customers.

The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to publish such guidelines although, under the law, the development and implementation of water conservation programs is voluntary. The law also says that states may require water systems applying for funds under the new drinking water state revolving funds to submit a conservation plan consistent with the guidelines. EPA makes no recommendations on selection of specific water conservation measures.

Examples of optional water conservation measures include: programs to identify and fix leaks, residential water use surveys and service connection metering. The guidelines are addressed to water system planners and include water conservation planning criteria, integrating water conservation and infrastructure planning, developing measures, and state roles and programs.

EPA believes that water systems can benefit from conservation planning whether or not it is mandated by regulators. Strategic use of water conservation not only helps save the nations water resources but also can help extend the value and life of both water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure, extending the beneficial investment of public funds.
The final guidelines must be issued by August 6. The public can get additional information from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791. The draft guidelines are also available on the Internet at: http://www.epa.gov/owm/genwave.htm.

Former County Supervisor Pleads to CWA Violations

Robert Scott Cork of St. Peters, Mo., former St. Charles County Highway Department Supervisor, has pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Clean Water Act in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis.

Former County Supervisor Pleads to CWA Violations

Cork admitted that for the past four years, he directed his subordinates to discharge yellow and white road striping paint into Elm Creek which is a tributary of the Mississippi River. Exposure to road paint can be harmful to aquatic life and human health if ingested.

Former County Supervisor Pleads to CWA Violations

Cork faces a maximum of up to six years in prison, fines of up to $500,000 or both. The case was investigated by EPAs Criminal Investigation Division.

Virginia Man Indicted On CWA Violations

L. Robert Kirk of Midlothian, Va., has been indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Virginia in Richmond on twelve counts of violating the Clean Water Act.

Virginia Man Indicted On CWA Violations

Kirk operated the Environmental Restoration Company (ERC) in Richmond. ERC was in the business of storing and treating wastewater contaminated with oil and other petroleum products. Under the terms of its wastewater discharge permit, ERC was to pretreat wastewater discharged into Richmonds sewer system in order to reduce the concentration of pollutants.

Virginia Man Indicted On CWA Violations

Kirk is charged with altering laboratory certificates to falsely indicate that wastewater contaminants were below regulated levels. The defendant is also charged with discharging untreated wastewater after renaming his business Avion Environmental Group.

Virginia Man Indicted On CWA Violations

If convicted on all counts, Kirk faces a maximum sentence of up to three years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000 on each of the 10 alleged wastewater pretreatment violations and up to two years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000 on each of the two alleged false statement violations.

Sewer District Superintendent Charged With CWA Violations

Dennis Arnold, Assistant Superintendent of the Northeast Public Sewer District in Jefferson County, Mo., has been charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis with two counts of violating the Clean Water Act.

Sewer District Superintendent Charged With CWA Violations

The charges allege that Arnold discharged sewage sludge into Saline Creek in November 1996 in violation of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Saline Creek is a tributary of the Mississippi River. The sludge contained high levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

Sewer District Superintendent Charged With CWA Violations

The charges also allege that Arnold falsified a discharge monitoring report to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources by claiming that fecal coliform discharges from the Northeast Public Sewer District facility were within the limits set by the facilitys NPDES permit. The case was investigated by EPAs Criminal Investigation Division.

Work Begins on Next Drinking Water Survey

EPA has begun drafting its approach to the 1999 Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey. The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 require EPA to conduct an assessment of water system capital improvement needs of all eligible public water systems in the United States every four years.

Work Begins on Next Drinking Water Survey

The first (1995) Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey was submitted to Congress in January 1997. This document may be obtained by contacting the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or from the EPA Web Site at: http//www.epa.gov/OGWDW/docs/needs/.

Work Begins on Next Drinking Water Survey

The 1999 Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey Report to Congress is due February 2001. For information on the project, contact Rick Naylor of EPAs Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water at (202) 260-5135.

EPA Revises Rules on State Primacy Requirements

EPA has revised the regulations that set forth the requirements for States to obtain and retain primary enforcement authority (primacy) for the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program under section 1413 of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

EPA Revises Rules on State Primacy Requirements

The rule adds the new administrative penalty authority requirement that States must meet in order to obtain or retain primacy, plus changes the timing for a State to adopt new or revised drinking water regulations. The rule also changes a States primacy status while awaiting a final determination on its primacy application. Additionally, the rules language provides examples of circumstances that require an emergency plan for the provision of safe drinking water. The action also expands the definition of a public water system.

EPA Revises Rules on State Primacy Requirements

Since the changes were merely a codification of the amended SDWA, the Agency published the document as a final rule.

EPA Works to Define “Public Water Systems”

EPA has published draft guidance designed to interpret the broadened definition of what type of water suppliers will be defined as a “public water system” in light of revisions to this term by the 1996 amendments to the SDWA.

EPA Works to Define “Public Water Systems”

Before the 1996 amendments, the SDWA defined a ‘‘public water system” as a system that provided piped water for human consumption to the public and had at least 15 service connections or regularly served at least 25 individuals. The 1996 amendments expanded the definition of ‘‘public water system” to include systems providing water for human consumption that deliver this water by ‘‘constructed conveyances,” such as irrigation canals.

EPA Works to Define “Public Water Systems”

The definition of a ‘‘public water system” is central to delineating the scope of many SDWA requirements.

EPA Works to Define “Public Water Systems”

EPA is particularly interested in comments on the implementation of the provision regarding certain piped irrigation districts. The statute provides that a piped irrigation district in existence prior to May 18, 1994, which provides primarily agricultural service with only incidental residential or similar use shall not be considered a public water system (PWS) if it or its users comply with the alternative water or treatment exclusions for constructed conveyance suppliers in section.

EPA Works to Define “Public Water Systems”

The statutory language is ambiguous as to whether all connections to the system used for human consumption must comply with this provision, or whether only as many connections for human consumption must comply so as to reduce the remaining number of connections to fewer than fifteen.

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