The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for August 7, 2017.
Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of August 7. Coming up...
Calif. water board accepts decision on hexavalent chromium MCL
Officials say Niagara discharge was 'necessary, routine'
Researchers raise health concern about pipe repair process
EPA: Michigan can forgive Flint’s past drinking water debt
California's State Water Resources Control Board decided last week not to appeal a court judgement invalidating the state's maximum contaminant level (MCL) for hexavalent chromium in drinking water.
In 2014, California established the lowest MCL for hex chrome in the nation at 10 parts per billion.
But in May of this year, the Superior Court of Sacramento County issued a judgment invalidating the MCL because the California Department of Public Health (which was responsible for the drinking water program at the time the MCL was developed) failed to "properly consider the economic feasibility of complying with the MCL" -- a requirement stipulated in the Safe Drinking Water Act for adopting an MCL.
The court also ordered the State Water Board to adopt a new MCL for hexavalent chromium.
The Board expressed disagreement with the court's conclusion, but said it would be faster to adopt a new MCL than to appeal.
Until then, the MCL returns to the previous California standard of 50 ppb.
Officials at the Niagara Falls Water Board say that last week's inky black discharge at the base of Niagara Falls was caused by "necessary, routine maintenance" of a sedimentation basin at the wastewater plant.
In a statement, the Board said: "The blackish water contained some accumulated solids and carbon residue within permitted limits and did not include any organic type oils or solvents."
The state Department of Environmental Conservation isn't convinced that the release was routine. DEC is evaluating water samples to determine the components of the discharge, and their quantities, as well as whether any water quality standards were violated.
New research from Purdue University examined a widely used method for repairing sewer, stormwater and drinking water pipes: cured-in-place pipe repair, or CIPP.
Seeking to understand any potential health and environmental concerns for workers and the public, the team analyzed seven steam-cured CIPP installations in Indiana and California.
They found that the steam emitted during the process was a complex mixture of contaminants, including hazardous air pollutants, suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals, and known and suspected carcinogens.
The researchers acknowledged that CIPP is brilliant technology, but that health and safety concerns need to be addressed.
The researchers are working to develop safeguards, including a new type of handheld analytical device that would quickly indicate whether the air at a worksite is safe.
Last week, the U.S. EPA agreed with the State of Michigan’s plans to forgive $20.7 million in past Drinking Water State Revolving Fund debt owed by the City of Flint.
The agency said taking this step is in line with the May 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act and will help Flint, the state, and EPA continue working together to protect public health and improve the city’s water system.
For more information, visit epa.gov/flint.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.