EPA Discussing Arsenic, Other Contaminants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a group of discussion documents that will be used to help develop new rules for arsenic. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires EPA to propose a revised standard by January 1, 2000, and to issue a final rule no later than January 1, 2001.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a group of discussion documents that will be used to help develop new rules for arsenic. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires EPA to propose a revised standard by January 1, 2000, and to issue a final rule no later than January 1, 2001.

The new rule would revise the existing standard of 50 µg/L (ppb) for arsenic in public drinking water supplies. EPA is soliciting input from stakeholders on several issues associated with the arsenic regulatory process including: arsenic risk assessment (exposure, health assessment, national occurrence); key technical assessments (treatment technologies, treatment residuals, cost, benefits, analytical methods); small system concerns; and future stakeholder involvement.

EPA will sponsor a public meeting on the arsenic regulatory process Feb. 25 in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, contact: wu.jennifer@epamail.epa.gov. To obtain copies of the discussion documents or obtain more information about the arsenic in drinking water rulemaking, please contact Irene Dooley at US EPA, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460; dooley.irene@epamail.epa.gov.

Contaminant Occurrence Database Discussed

The EPA is planning to hold a stakeholders meeting Feb. 12-13 in Washington, D.C. to discuss development of the National Drinking Water Contaminant Occurrence Database (NCOD). Topics to be discussed include how to make the data readily accessible to the public, what contaminants should be included, and other sources of data that could support the NCOD.

Contaminant Occurrence Database Discussed

The SDWA calls for EPA to select contaminants for drinking water regulation based on risk, setting standards for contaminants that pose the greatest risk to public health first.

Contaminant Occurrence Database Discussed

The NCOD will be a collection of data on regulated and unregulated chemical, radiological, microbial and physical contaminants, and other such contaminants likely to occur in finished, raw and source waters of public water systems. The purpose of the NCOD is to support the identification and selection of contaminants for future regulation, regulation development or other appropriate actions, and review of existing regulations for possible modification. The initial deadline for the NCOD to be operational is August 1999.

Contaminant Occurrence Database Discussed

The EPAs contaminant selection process is based on the likelihood of a contaminant to pose a considerable health risk, as well as where it occurs, or is likely to occur. EPA recently released a draft Contaminant Candidate List, which publicizes microbial and chemical contaminants currently being considered for future regulation.

Contaminant Occurrence Database Discussed

The public meeting on the NCOD will be at Resolve Inc., Suite 275, 1255 23rd St., NW, Washington, DC., (202-944-2300). For more information, contact: job.charles@epamail.epa.gov. Send comments on the database to: NCOD Input, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (4607) Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460.

EPA Releases Inventory Of Contaminated Sediments

EPA has released its first-ever national report on the quality of sediments in the nations rivers and other inland and coastal waterways. The report found that only 7 percent of the surveyed watersheds are sufficiently contaminated with toxic pollutants to pose potential risks to people who eat fish from them and to fish and wildlife.

EPA Releases Inventory Of Contaminated Sediments

EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Robert Perciasepe said, "The report confirms that contaminated sediment is a significant problem in many watersheds around the country. The report underscores the need to finish the job of cleaning up our nations waters and to prevent their continued pollution to protect public health."

EPA Releases Inventory Of Contaminated Sediments

The data show that every state has some sediment contamination. Sites where the highest levels of contamination were measured tended to be clustered around larger urban areas and industrial centers and in regions affected by agricultural and urban runoff.

EPA Releases Inventory Of Contaminated Sediments

The EPAs contaminant selection process is based on the likelihood of a contaminant to pose a considerable health risk, as well as where it occurs, or is likely to occur. EPA recently released a draft Contaminant Candidate List, which publicizes microbial and chemical contaminants currently being considered for future regulation.

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