EPA Releases Security Guide for Small Communities

Owners and operators of very small community water systems now have a new guide to help them in improving drinking water system security through vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans.

Owners and operators of very small community water systems now have a new guide to help them in improving drinking water system security through vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans.

EPA developed the guide to promote an increase in the level of security and emergency preparedness among community water systems serving 3,300 (or fewer) persons. These types of community water systems typically include small town systems, rural water districts, tribal systems, manufactured home communities, homeowners associations, small private systems, and Public Service Districts.

This straightforward, easy-to-read workbook can also be used as training material for basic courses on drinking water security.

Hard copies of the guide can be obtained by contacting the Water Resource Center (telephone number 1-800-832-7828) or the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP at telephone number 1-800-490-9198). Reference document number EPA 817-R-05-001 when requesting copies. A PDF version of the guide is posted on EPA’s Water Security website at http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/smallsystems.cfm.

New Tools Developed to Help Small Drinking Water Utilities Control Arsenic

EPA has released a set of multimedia products to help small drinking-water utilities meet new regulations to control arsenic. The tools will provide owners and operators with information to guide them in making treatment decisions.

Kits including all of the new arsenic tools will be provided to EPA’s state and technical assistance partners for distribution to public water systems affected by the arsenic regulation.

The anchor product in this suite of tools is the “Arsenic Virtual Trade Show,” a learning portal for arsenic-treatment technology. The website features a database of vendors, a treatment “decision tree,” and tips for evaluating and selecting treatment providers. To launch the Arsenic Virtual Trade Show, go to: http://www.arsenictradeshow.org/.

Information about arsenic and drinking water is available at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic/.

EPA Issues Guidance to Control Urban Runoff Pollution

EPA released the “National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Urban Areas.” This comprehensive document will help local governments and others protect water resources from polluted runoff that can result from everyday activities and urban development.

The guidance will also help municipalities and other regulated entities implement stormwater programs. The publication includes voluntary guidance on 12 management measures designed to prevent and control runoff from urban and suburban lands. The management measures cover topics including watershed assessment and protection runoff from new and existing development. The new guidance is available at: http://www.epa.gov/nps/urbanmm

EPA Advances Clean Beaches Plan

On January 5, another $10 million in beach grants were made available to states, bringing the total to nearly $52 million as part of an effort to help ensure the safety of the nation’s favorite recreational spots.

The grant money is available for beach monitoring and notification programs to 35 eligible states, territories and tribes to help to improve water quality at beaches and notify the public of beach warnings or closings if bacteria levels are too high.

Information about the beach program can be found at: www.epa.gov/waterscience/beaches/

Draft Watershed Handbook Released

A draft guide to watershed management to help various organizations develop and implement watershed plans is now available. The “Draft Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters” is aimed toward communities, watershed groups, and local, state, tribal, and federal environmental agencies.

The handbook contains in-depth guidance on quantifying existing pollutant loads, developing estimates of the load reductions required to meet water quality standards, developing effective management measures, and tracking progress once the plan is implemented. EPA will be accepting comments and suggestions on the document this year to incorporate in the final version of the handbook. The handbook is available at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/watershed_handbook/

$18 Million Targeted For Water Quality Monitoring

EPA plans to use $18 million in FY 2006 for the water quality monitoring initiative. These funds supplement an existing allocation of approximately $200 million annually to support state, interstate agency, and tribal programs to combat water pollution.

The agency is changing the way it allocates funds under the water pollution control grant program (known as Section 106 of the Clean Water Act). Under the revised process, EPA will be better able to target these additional funds to help carry out priority areas that include monitoring for pollutants. The process requires the agency to consult with states and interstate agencies prior to finalizing the allocation formula.

This action was taken in response to the President’s FY 2006 budget calling for an increase in funding of water-quality monitoring nationwide. For further information about the changes in the allotment formula, visit: http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/altformula-fy06.htm.

For general information about water pollution control program grants, visit: http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/pollutioncontrol.htm.

New Document Targets Invasive Species

The Office of Water has released a publication entitled “Overview of Authorities for Natural Resource Managers Developing Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response and Management Plans.”

The guide is designed for natural resource managers developing aquatic invasive species rapid response and management plans. It can be accessed online at www.epa.gov/owow/invasive_species. To obtain a free copy of this document call the Water Resource Center at 202-566-1729 and ask for document number EPA842-B-05-002.

More in Environmental