EPA proposes to strengthen annual drinking water quality reports

March 30, 2023
The agency is proposing a rulemaking to require enhanced clarity, communication, and accessibility from Consumer Confidence Reports.

The U.S. EPA has announced a proposed rulemaking that would strengthen Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs), also known as Annual Drinking Water Quality Reports.

A CCR summarizes information about the local drinking water for the previous year. EPA says that its proposal would make the reports more accessible to residents and businesses by requiring the reports to more clearly communicating important information and improving accessibility.

“It’s crucial that the public has access to the most relevant information about the drinking water coming out of their taps,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “The Consumer Confidence Report is the primary way local water systems communicate with the people they serve, and EPA’s proposed rule would improve the information communities receive, in addition to making it more accessible.”

If finalized, EPA’s proposal would:

  • Improve the readability, clarity, and of water quality reports
  • Enhance risk communication
  • Encourage modern electronic delivery options
  • Clarify information regarding lead levels and efforts to reduce lead in drinking water
  • Provide translation for customers with limited English proficiency
  • Require reports be issued twice a year (for systems that serve 10,000 or more people)

Additionally, EPA’s proposal would require states to submit compliance monitoring data to EPA. While states already collect compliance monitoring data, current EPA regulations limit the data available to the EPA. When final, this action will help EPA identify trends both geographically and demographically, which could improve transparency and accountability.

The proposed rule marks a key milestone in revising the Consumer Confidence Report Rule as required by America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA).

PA is seeking comment on this proposal for 45 days. EPA is providing more information about the proposed CCR revisions on its website.

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