Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011 - (Page 31)

Regulatory Update BY ED THOMAS, NRWA Looking back at 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had a busy year issuing various regulations, policies and guidance. Four items of significance kept us all busy and will hopefully help ease the burden on the drinking water industry: 1. EPA’s new drinking water strategy to regulate groups of contaminants as opposed to issuing MCLs for individual contaminants 2. EPA’s completion of the second round of reviewing all regulations (referred to as the six-year review) 3. The proposed Revised Total Coliform Rule 4. The final rule under the Underground Injection Control Program for Carbon Dioxide Geological Sequestration Wells Looking forward to 2011 and beyond, the EPA released their regulatory schedule for the new year. A brief summary and expected date of completion for EPA regulations and policies follow. Drinking water Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 — The Agency is required to monitor for a maximum of 30 contaminants every five years. UCMR 3 is the third round of different priority contaminants that all large water utilities must collect and will be proposed by the beginning of this year. If a small system is selected, EPA will pay the analytical costs for utilities serving less than 10,000 people. They expect to release the final rule on time in the beginning of 2012 with monitoring during the 2012-2015 timeframes. Carbon dioxide geological sequestration — The potential impacts from allowing the geological sequestration of CO2 may have an impact on underground sources of drinking water. CO2 captured from an emission source will be allowed for permanent storage in deep subsurface rock formations. The Agency proposed regulations in 2010 and finalized those requirements December 10, 2010. Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) — The agency did not indicate any schedule to propose a regulation for MTBE. However, EPA is revising the health assessment and indicated that taste and odor problems occur at very low levels. Further, they explicitly recognized that 25 states already have set a maximum contaminant level for MTBE. Revised total coliform rule — The Agency published a proposed rule based on the agreement in principle that was recommended by the agency’s advisory council. The proposed rule requires utilities to find and fix pathways to contamination when monitoring results indicate that microbial contamination is present, reduced monitoring requirements and significant revisions to the public notification requirements that more fully educate the end user. Perchlorate — In 2008, the agency initially proposed to not regulate perchlorate. In 2009, the Agency published new data indicating that they may regulate the contaminant. The final determination will be made after the Agency reviews the updated scientific data and public comments are received. No timeframe was provided. Lead and copper revisions — The agency intends to propose revisions to the existing lead and copper rule in mid 2012. The changes that are being considered include changes to flushing guidance, sample collection processes and partial/full lead service line replacement requirements. Wastewater Federal NPDES permit regulations — EPA intends to propose broadbased National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements (a.k.a. wastewater discharge permits) by the middle of this year. The regulation would propose standard permit conditions for all wastewater treatment plants. The standard requirements would address reporting, public notification and a recordkeeping requirement for sanitary sewer overflows. The regulations would also include requirements for capacity assurance, management, operation and maintenance requirements for wastewater collection systems. Final regulations should be released at the end of 2012. NPDES requirements for new permits — The Agency is considering the initiation of a regulation that will specify requirements for all newly issued NPDES permits. The regulation will concentrate on specific offset requirements to protect impaired and non-impaired bodies of water. A final rule is expected by the beginning of 2012. First Quarter 2011 • 31

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011
From the President
Engineering Contracts 101
Design-Build is New and Different, But it Works
A New Angle: Environmentally Friendy Angle Well Construction
This Ain't Business...It's Just Personal
Fill Up Your CUPSS Today!
Regulatory Update
A Joint Letter to NRWA and AWWA Memberships
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011