EPA Action: Agency, 24 domestic airlines reach drinking water agreement

Also in this report: No changes in air toxics rules for three industries; World Water Monitoring Day celebrated with Salem, Mass., youth; Groundwater cleanup set for Calif. superfund site; EPA awards $1.07M grant to the Guam Waterworks; Two Ky. water utilities win CCR awards; Missouri River network gets $96K EPA grant; Seattle Port reaches sampling settlement at Superfund site; Mining towns, watersheds revitalization Denver workshop Nov. 3; Hawaii DOT to pay $1M for stormwater violations...

In other news below:
-- Current air toxics standards for three industries protect public health
-- EPA celebrates World Water Monitoring Day with Salem, Mass., youth
-- Interim groundwater cleanup set for Calif.'s Omega Chemical Superfund site
-- EPA awards $1.07M grant to the Guam Waterworks Authority
-- Two Ky. water utilities win 2005 Consumer Confidence Report award
-- Missouri River Communities Network to get $96K EPA grant
-- EPA, Port of Seattle reach soil sampling settlement at Superfund cleanup site
-- Brownfields conference hosts mining towns, watersheds revitalization workshop
-- Hawai'i DOT agrees to pay $1M to resolve stormwater violations
-- Some hurricane relief firms ordered to stop delivering water

EPA announces drinking water agreements with 24 domestic airlines
WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 20, 2005 -- The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced it reached settlements with 11 major domestic airlines and 13 smaller airlines to ensure the safety of the drinking water used by their passengers and crew. The settling airlines have agreed to routinely monitor the quality of water on their airplanes. The action came after an EPA investigation of 327 U.S. and foreign planes at 19 airports in 2004 found total coliform contamination in the drinking water in 15 percent of aircraft.

Total coliform is an indicator that other disease-causing organisms (pathogens) could be in the water and could potentially affect people's health. The settlements require the airlines to regularly monitor aircraft water systems; notify EPA and the public when tests reveal contamination; and regularly disinfect aircraft water systems and water transfer equipment. The orders also require each airline to study possible sources of contamination from outside of the aircraft.

The information released today will help the traveling public make informed decisions. Passengers with compromised immune systems or others concerned may want to request canned or bottled beverages. EPA will update its information and advice to the traveling public as soon as new information is available at: www.epa.gov/airlinewater/factsheet.html.

"EPA and these airlines worked together to establish new practices for protecting the health of the flying public," said Grant Nakayama, EPA's assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance. "We will continue to monitor the safety of water on airlines that use U.S. airports while the agency develops regulations specifically for airline drinking water."

Ben Grumbles, EPA's assistant administrator for the Office of Water, insisted: "The water passengers drink on a plane should be as safe as the water they drink at home. The settlements announced today show that it's time to fine-tune and upgrade EPA's water regulations to specifically address airplanes."

The settlements announced today were reached with: AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Aloha Airlines, American Airlines, America West, ATA Airlines, Champion Air, Continental Airlines, Continental Micronesia, Falcon Air Express, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Miami Air International, Midwest Airlines, North American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Pace Airlines, Ryan International Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, USA 3000 Airlines, and World Airways. The 11 major domestic airlines who have settled are members of the Air Transport Association, whose 14 members account for 90 percent of U.S. air travel.

EPA is negotiating agreements with Omni Air International and the three remaining members of the Air Transport Association: Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Southwest Airlines. EPA will continue to work with smaller, regional and charter airlines to ensure drinking water quality with agreements similar to those reached with airlines that belong to the Air Transport Association and the National Air Carrier Association, and Air Carrier Association of America.

Meanwhile, EPA is developing regulations for water that is served onboard aircraft. EPA held a public meeting in June as part the development process for the airline drinking water rule.

For more information on the regulation of water supplies aboard passenger aircraft, to view publicly available testing data, and read a summary of the June 2004 public meeting, visit: www.epa.gov/airlinewater.

Among other recent agency headlines:
Current air toxics standards for three industries protect public health -- WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 20, 2005 -- Based on a recent analysis showing that current air toxics standards for cooling towers, ethylene oxide sterilization plants and magnetic tape manufacturing operations protect public health, EPA is proposing that further emission controls are not necessary. The agency issued separate national rules to limit emissions of toxic air pollutants from these facilities in 1994. Since 1990, it has issued 96 hazardous air pollutant regulations requiring 174 industry source categories to eliminate 1.7 million tons per year of hazardous air pollutants...

EPA celebrates World Water Monitoring Day with Salem, Mass., youth -- SALEM, MA, Oct. 20, 2005 -- As part of the international celebration of World Water Monitoring Day, EPA Region I officials and a Salem Girl Scout troop pulled water samples from the Ipswich River. Water monitoring by volunteer groups provides important data that is used by all New England states and EPA in assessing water quality conditions of lakes, rivers, coastal waterways and estuaries...

Interim groundwater cleanup set for Calif.'s Omega Chemical Superfund site -- Project begins in 2006 after design, construction of cleanup system complete -- LOS ANGELES -- Under EPA Region IX oversight, a group of potentially responsible parties will begin groundwater contamination cleanup at the former Omega Chemical Corp. property in Whittier, Calif. to contain highly contaminated groundwater near the source area until a permanent remedy is selected. The PRP group will extract and treat groundwater from five wells southwest of the Omega property, located at 12504 and 12515 E. Whittier Blvd. Treatment is expected to begin in 2006 after design and construction of the cleanup system is completed...

EPA awards $1.07 million grant to the Guam Waterworks Authority -- HONOLULU, Oct. 19, 2005 -- The agency recently awarded a $1.07 million grant to the Guam Waterworks Authority for wastewater infrastructure improvements in Agat, Guam. The funding was added to an existing EPA grant, for a current total of approximately $3.1 million for the design and construction of sewer collector lines in Agat...

Two Ky. water utilities win 2005 Consumer Confidence Report award -- ATLANTA, Oct. 18, 2005 -- On Oct. 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will award Lebanon Water Works Company in Lebanon, Kentucky with the 2005 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Excellence Award in the Medium Surface Water System category. Carrollton Utilities in Carrollton, Ky., will receive the same award Oct. 25 at a noon ceremony...

Missouri River Communities Network to get $96K EPA grant -- Students to do water testing demo at World Water Monitoring Day celebration at Missouri Riverfront -- ST. CHARLES, MO, Oct. 17, 2005 -- Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator for EPA's office of water, and Jim Gulliford, EPA Region 7 administrator, will present a $95,900 grant to the Missouri River Communities Network and participate in hands-on water testing of the Missouri River with a "stream team" from Francis Howell High School on Tuesday in St. Charles, Mo...

EPA, Port of Seattle reach soil sampling settlement at South Park's Terminal 117 Superfund cleanup site -- SEATTLE, October 17, 2005 -- The Port of Seattle has agreed to perform extensive soil sampling in the 3-acre upland portion of the area known as Terminal 117, which is part of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site. The terminal is located in Seattle's South Park neighborhood. The Port has agreed to conduct sampling across the entire property. This past fall, the Port completed soil sampling for PCBs at the northern part of Terminal 117. The samples taken under today's order will be analyzed for more chemicals than just PCBs, including petroleum byproducts and metals...

Mining communities, watersheds revitalization workshop Nov. 3 at Brownfields Conference -- DENVER, Oct. 13, 2005 -- A "Mining Communities & Watersheds in Transition Revitalization Workshop" will be conducted from 12:30-5 p.m., Nov. 3, during the 2005 Brownfields Conference at the Colorado Convention Center. Participation in the conference and workshop is free...

Hawai'i DOT agrees to pay $1 million to resolve stormwater violations -- HONOLULU, Oct. 6, 2005 -- The Department of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Hawai'i Department of Health have reached an agreement with the Hawai'i Department of Transportation that requires the department to pay a $1 million penalty and spend an estimated $50 million to address Clean Water Act storm water violations at highways and airports in Hawai'i...

EPA orders hurricane relief firms violating safety requirements to stop delivering water -- NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 6, 2005 -- The EPA issued emergency administrative orders requiring two companies that have been providing water to businesses in New Orleans to stop delivery out of concern that the trucks may contain hazardous constituents. The agency understands the water is being shipped in trucks previously used in oil field operations or other commercial activities. The level of cleaning these trucks have undergone prior to conveying water is unknown, but suspected to be minimal...

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In earlier agency reports: EPA Action: Agency to hold meeting on study of Armco Hamilton site -- Also in this report (Oct. 18, 2005): Nanotechnology for hazardous waste site remediation technical workshop planned; Proposed rule to harmonize New Source Review with existing Clean Air programs; Enviromapper displays test results and sites from hurricane sampling activities; Major international shipping company sentenced for falsifying oil record book; Ill. man charged with million gallon dairy waste discharge; Change offered to allow New York to avoid filtering Catskill/Delaware Water Supply; EPA cites Chesdin Limited for clean water violations at Va. construction site; ExxonMobil agreement to reduce harmful air emissions; SWVA settles toxic chemical reporting violations at Huntington, W.V., facility; EPA releases annual Superfund Report; EPA selects cleanup plan for Columbiana County Superfund site...

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