WASHINGTON, DC, March 22, 2010 -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson today announced that the agency is developing a new strategy for protecting and regulating drinking water. The strategy includes evaluating regulation of groups of contaminants rather than individual compounds; fostering the development of new treatment technologies; using the authority of multiple statutes to help protect drinking water; and partnering with states to share monitoring data. EPA also announced it will initiate stricter regulation of the compounds tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene within a year, and will revise standards on epichlorohydrin and acrylamide at a later date. AWWA Deputy Executive Director Tom Curtis today released the following statement from the association:
"The American Water Works Association (AWWA) supports U.S. EPA's desire to make effective and timely decisions under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA is a strong statute that EPA can and should employ to assure that citizens of the United States have access to safe drinking water. Any new regulatory approach should be built on a foundation of sound science and should meet the SDWA requirement of providing meaningful risk reduction for consumers. Drinking water customers in the United States deserve no less.
"AWWA applauds EPA's stated intention to draw on multiple statutes to protect our precious water sources from contamination and supports leveraging the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to limit pollution in groundwater and surface water.
"AWWA is also encouraged by the agency's intent to foster the development of new treatment technologies. The water sector has a longstanding commitment to exploring technological advancements that provide safe, healthy water at a reasonable cost to communities and consumers. AWWA especially encourages the exploration of technologies that reduce utility energy costs and the water sector's carbon footprint. We look forward to facilitating partnerships between AWWA members and EPA to encourage advancements that serve public health.
"AWWA stands behind the principle of transparency and supports EPA's plan to streamline the sharing of data among state and federal agencies. A reliable repository of high quality data would reduce confusion and provide a better overall picture of U.S. drinking water quality. Consumers interested in their water quality should review their water system's consumer confidence report, which is sent annually to system customers and is frequently posted online.
"AWWA continues to strongly support the Safe Drinking Water Act and its rigorous, scientific approach to setting standards. EPA has announced it will initiate stricter regulation of the compounds tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene within a year, and will revise standards on epichlorohydrin and acrylamide at a later date. AWWA's water quality experts stand ready to provide helpful input throughout the rulemaking process. We will also provide the necessary technical information and training to members to help them meet these and all future regulations."
AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world. AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the entire water community. Through our collective strength we become better stewards of water for the greatest good of the people and the environment.