EPA Begins Planning Drinking Water Needs Survey

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to conduct two surveys to gather information on the infrastructure needs of US drinking water systems...

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to conduct two surveys to gather information on the infrastructure needs of US drinking water systems and on the operating and financial characteristics of a nationally representative sample of community water systems. The agency recently submitted “Information Collection Requests” to the Office of Management and Budget, a first step toward conducting the surveys.

EPA’s 2007 Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment will identify the infrastructure needs of community public water systems for the 20-year period from January 2007 through December 2027.

EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water will use a questionnaire to collect capital investment need information from large (serving more than 100,000 people) and medium (serving more than 3,300 people but less than 100,000) community water systems. The questionnaire will also be used by EPA survey teams in visits to 400 to 600 statistically-selected small (serving less than 3,300 people) community water systems to ascertain their infrastructure needs.

Participation in the survey is voluntary. The data from the questionnaires will provide EPA with a basis for estimating the nationwide infrastructure needs of community water systems. Also, as mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA uses the results of the latest survey to allocate Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) monies to the states.

EPA is also planning its Community Water System Survey. Last conducted in 2001, the agency uses data provided by the survey to meet its Regulatory Impact Analysis obligations under Executive Order 12866 and its obligations to assess and mitigate regulatory impacts on small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.

EPA will use the survey to gather information on community drinking water system finances, as well as infrastructure characteristics that bear on both present costs and future cost impacts, including current treatment, storage and distribution system configurations, to help determine baseline conditions for economic analysis. In addition, the survey will provide a limited amount of information to help the agency better conduct its outreach efforts to assist the regulated community and gauge the effectiveness of current program initiatives in the area of water security.

EPA Publishes Guide On Drinking Water Plant Waste

A new guide to help drinking water treatment plants properly dispose of their solid waste by-products is now available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The eight-page guide gives step-by-step recommendations on identifying whether solid waste is hazardous, determining the regulatory status (based on size) of a treatment plant that produces waste, and waste disposal options. It also provides EPA references and websites to learn more about federal regulations regarding solid waste disposal under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

To view the guide, visit: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic/pdfs/guide_arsenic_disposalhazardous-nonhazardous.pdf.

$7 Million Available For Tribal Nonpoint Source Projects

EPA plans to award $7 million in grants to eligible tribes for nonpoint source pollution programs. The grants, awarded under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act, will help tribes implement their approved nonpoint source (NPS) management programs to control polluted runoff.

A portion of the funding will be distributed competitively to develop and implement watershed-based plans and other projects that result in a significant step towards solving NPS impairments. The remaining funds will be distributed to all eligible tribes for education programs, protection activities, and implementing watershed projects. The agency is also releasing national guidelines for the award of this base-grant funding.

EPA expects funds will be similar to those distributed in FY 2006, which included approximately $3.8 million awarded to 28 tribes and $3.2 million in base grants awarded to 95 tribes WW

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