EPA Action: Final Contaminant Candidate List 2 for drinking water published

In other agency news, 1) Three corporations recognized for environmental commitments; 2) TCE issue papers released; 3) Arsenic on-site training dates, agenda posted; 4) Groups receive grants to address environmental health threats to elderly; 5) TMDL Draft 2006 Integrated Report Guidance open for public comment; 6) Office of Pesticide Programs 2004 Annual Report now available; 7) Greek ship captain pleads guilty to obstructing justice...

In other agency news below:
-- Three corporations recognized for 'beyond' environmental commitments
-- Trichloroethylene (TCE) issue papers released
-- Arsenic on-site training dates, agenda posted
-- Groups receive grants to address environmental health threats to elderly
-- TMDL Draft 2006 Integrated Report Guidance open for public comment
-- Office of Pesticide Programs 2004 Annual Report now available
-- Ship's Captain Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Justice

EPA considers contaminants for possible future drinking water regulation
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 25, 2005 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agency yesterday published a final notice on the Contaminant Candidate List 2 for possible future national drinking water rules in the Federal Register.

On the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL), the EPA is researching and evaluating are 51 unregulated, new or emerging drinking water contaminants. With yesterday's action, the agency is releasing the second CCL -- which carries over a number of contaminants from the first CCL -- and announcing plans to expand and strengthen the contaminant candidate listing process. The second draft CCL was initially published on April 2, 2004, (69 FR 17406) and announced EPA's preliminary decision to carry forward the remaining 51 contaminants from the first CCL promulgated in February 1998.

The CCL process was established by the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as a tracking and priority-setting mechanism to determine if new regulations are needed to protect drinking water safety. Unregulated contaminants that are known or anticipated to occur in drinking water comprise the list. The SDWA requires EPA to conduct extensive research into the occurrence and health effects of the listed contaminants before issuing new regulations or standards.

The SDWA directs the EPA to periodically publish a list of contaminants that "at the time of publication, are not subject to any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking water regulation, which are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems, and which may require regulation. In July 2003, EPA removed contaminants from the first CCL after the agency concluded that sufficient data and information was available to determine not to regulate nine contaminants.

The agency is publishing both a final CCL and an update on the agency's work to improve the CCL selection process. As such, it's reviewing more contaminants for inclusion on the third CCL and is working to implement a more transparent system for selecting contaminants. The EPA's new approach will produce a more comprehensive CCL because the process will address a wider range of information and screen contaminants more systematically, as was recommended by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Drinking Water Advisory Council.

Information on the CCL is available on EPA's Web site at: www.epa.gov/safewater/ccl.

The Federal Register notice on this action was published Feb. 24 and can be found at: www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/2005/February/Day-24/w3527.htm.

In other agency developments, you may be interested in the following:

Three corporations recognized for 'beyond' environmental commitments
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 24, 2005 -- For the first time, the EPA is recognizing corporate-wide environmental leadership under its National Environmental Performance Track program. For going "beyond-compliance" on their environmental commitments, the agency selected the following three companies as the first Performance Track Corporate Leaders: Baxter Healthcare Corp., a global medical products and services company, headquartered in Deerfield, Ill.; Johnson & Johnson, a global manufacturer of health care products, headquartered in New Brunswick, N.J.; and Rockwell Collins, a global provider of aviation electronic and communication solutions, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"The Performance Track Corporate Leader designation recognizes companies for their strong environmental performance beyond current regulatory requirements,'' said EPA Acting Administrator Steve Johnson. "This voluntary partnership program is based on the premise that government should complement its existing regulatory programs with new tools and strategies that not only protect people and the environment, but also capture opportunities for reducing cost and spurring technological innovation.''

To qualify for Corporate Leaders, companies must have a substantial number of facilities in Performance Track. For example, 44% of Baxter's major U.S. facilities are Performance Track members, as well as 82% of Johnson & Johnson's and 57% of Rockwell Collins'. The three companies promise to continuously improve their environmental performance and that of their suppliers and customers. Companies can improve the environmental performance of their customers by providing them information such as how to use a product or how to recycle. Other Corporate Leader qualification considerations include: a strong record of compliance with environmental regulations; robust corporate management of environmental issues; past and future commitments to environmental performance improvement; and public outreach and reporting on environmental achievements. Based on these criteria, each year EPA expects to invite a limited number of companies to apply for the Corporate Leader designation.

At the EPA's Innovation Action Council (IAC) meeting yesterday in Washington, these corporations were recognized as Corporate Leaders. The IAC, which is comprised of the agency's top career officials, is responsible for advancing Agency innovations. The Corporate Leaders will also be recognized at the EPA's Performance Track Annual Awards Dinner in Chicago on April 12.

Historically a facility-based program, Performance Track has added this Corporate Leader designation to recognize companies that have demonstrated a commitment to company-wide environmental excellence.

Since the program's inception in June 2000, Performance Track membership has grown and produced solid environmental results. The program currently has over 350 members in 46 states and Puerto Rico. To date, Performance Track members have collectively reduced their water use by 1.3 billion gallons and their generation of solid waste by nearly 970,000 tons, increased their use of reused or recycled materials by nearly 77,000 tons, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 67,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Performance Track encourages participation by small, medium and large facilities. The major industries are represented, with manufacturers of chemical, electronic and electrical, and medical equipment composing nearly 40% of the current members. The public sector is also represented by members such as national defense installations, postal facilities, and municipalities. Performance Track provides incentives that promote high levels of environmental performance and a learning network in which best practices are shared. For more information on membership benefits, visit: www.epa.gov/performancetrack/benefits. For information on Corporate Leaders, visit: www.epa.gov/performancetrack/corporateleaders.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) issue papers released
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 24, 2005 -- The EPA has developed four issue papers that highlight important scientific issues related to trichloroethylene (TCE). These papers were provided to the National Academy of Science (NAS) on Feb. 15, 2005 and now are available on-line at the National Center for Environmental Assessment website. For more information, see: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=117502.

Arsenic on-site training dates, agenda posted
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 23, 2005 -- Five two-day, interactive seminars will be held in April and May for comprehensive face-to-face training with the most up-to-date technical information on the treatment arsenic in drinking water.

The schedule is as follows:
-- Phoenix, AZ, April 25-26
-- Sacramento, CA, April 28-29
-- Omaha, NE, May 9-10
-- South Bend, IN, May 12-13
-- Austin, TX, May 23-24.

The technology-focused sessions include videos from the EPA demo projects, technology expert talks, and case study workshops on treatment technologies, design criteria and approval, and waste disposal.

For more information and to sign up, see: www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic.html.

Groups receive grants to address environmental health threats to elderly
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 23, 2005 -- Nineteen organizations will share $492,180 in EPA Aging Initiative grants to better understand how to reduce the environmental health hazards associated with older persons. The 19 award recipients include state and local health and environmental offices, regional councils of governments, universities and community colleges, a community foundation and non-profit organizations that deal with aging. Each recipient will receive between $18,900 and $25,000 over a one-year period. These first-ever grants will help educate older adults about environmental health issues; train older adults to be environmental stewards in their communities; foster intergenerational projects that address environmental risks; and enhance environmental health and quality of life through strategies targeting improved air and water quality. These grants are part of EPA's larger effort to protect the health of older adults, who may be more susceptible to environmental hazards, through its Aging Initiative. The Aging Initiative encourages civic engagement to recognize and reduce environmental hazards in their communities. A complete list of the awardees and more information about the Aging Initiative is available at: www.epa.gov/aging/grants/index.htm.

TMDL Draft 2006 Integrated Report Guidance open for public comment
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 22, 2005 -- EPA Office of Water is seeking public comment on the Draft 2006 Integrated Report Guidance. This guidance to States and Territories for developing their biennial Integrated Reports (IR) helps to implement our vision for achieving a broad-scale inventory of water quality condition. Each IR will report on the water quality standards attainment status of all waters, document the availability of data and information for each water, track trends in water quality conditions, and provide information to managers in setting priorities for future actions to protect and restore the health of our Nation's water resources. For more information, see: www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/draft2006IRG/.

Office of Pesticide Programs 2004 Annual Report now available
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 17, 2005 -- "Taking Care of Business: Protecting Public Health and the Environment," the 2004 annual report of the Office of Pesticides Programs (see: www.epa.gov/pesticides/) is now available online. The principal business of EPA's Pesticide Program is protecting human health and the environment, but the agency also must help ensure that society has access to pesticides and the benefits they can provide. This is a 32-page, 682 KB Adobe Acrobat PDF document. For the full report, see: www.epa.gov/oppfead1/annual/2004/04annualrpt.pdf.

Greek ship captain pleads guilty to obstructing justice
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 16, 2005 -- In recent EPA enforcement action, Ioannis Kallikis, of Athens, Greece, captain of the motor vessel Katerina pleaded guilty on Feb. 16 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles to charges that he obstructed justice by advising other crew members to destroy and conceal from United States Coast Guard inspectors incriminating telexes relating to the use of bypass pipes on the vessel. The bypass pipe had been used to illegally discharge oil into the Pacific Ocean. Illegally discharging oil into the ocean can harm fish and other aquatic life. The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, the Coast Guard's Investigative Service and the Los Angeles office of the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division. It's being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.

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For other recent EPA news, see:
-- "EPA Action: Governors, tribal leaders to nominate projects for watershed grants": In other news: 1) Billerica wastewater plant settles clean water violations; 2) 10 states, EPA to launch Clean Energy-Environment Partnership Program; 3) EPA, NARUC announce energy efficiency, renewable energy projects with six states; 4) Oil firms pay $1.5 million to settle Santa Monica MTBE cleanup costs; 5) Three firms to pay $720,250 for failure to clean up old Rhone-Poulenc site; 6) 3M-Brookings site recognized as a top environmental performer...

-- "EPA sets reference dose for perchlorate in drinking water": The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established an official reference dose (RfD) of 0.0007 mg/kg/day -- with a 24.5 ppb Drinking Water Equivalent Level -- for perchlorate. This is consistent with the recommended reference dose included in the National Academy of Science's January 2005 report. A reference dose is a scientific estimate of a daily exposure level that is not expected to cause adverse health effects in humans...

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