Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2008 - (Page 43)
Regulatory Update BY ED THOMAS, NRWA New Regulatory Requirement issued by the Federal Trade Commission – “The Red Flag Rule” The Federal Trade Commission’s has released a new regulatory requirement for utilities (that charge customers after they have provided a service/product), ﬁ nancial institutions and creditors. Many in the industry have referred to this new regulation as the “Red Flag Rule.” The rule speciﬁcally requires water and wastewater utilities to complete an Identity Theft Prevention Program. Part of the program requires utilities to identify red ﬂags (detection methods) that will be used to recognize when customers are potentially trying to start water/wastewater service using fraudulent information. The primary purpose of the rule is to protect against the establishment of false accounts and ensure existing accounts are not being manipulated or have an abnormal use of water. Utilities are ﬁ rst required to assess their existing identity theft risk for new and existing accounts. Using this information, measures are selected that would be used to detect attempts to establish fraudulent accounts (red ﬂags). The ﬁnal step is identifying procedures for employees to prevent the establishment of false accounts and procedures to monitor if existing accounts are being manipulated. The information collected through this process should be used to develop the utility’s “Identity Theft Prevention Program.” If your utility has not completed a program, you have missed the required deadline of November 1, 2008. However, you can contact your state rural water association to obtain a simple model that will help you develop the required document. Lastly, the plan must be updated periodically. An annual report must be reviewed and approved by the utilities board or senior management. The report should address any material matters related to the Program such as the effectiveness of the policies and procedures, the oversight and effectiveness of any third party billing and account establishment entities, a summary of any identity thefts incidents and the response to the incident, and recommendations for substantial changes to the program (if any). Final Recommendations Submitted to EPA Regarding Total Coliform The EPA advisory panel has submitted their ﬁ nal recommendations regarding changes to the existing Total Coliform Rule. The two primary recommendations are to remove the MCL violations and related public notice requirements for total coliform positive results. The recommendations may not make the rule less complicated, however, the overall recommendations are more protective of public health and less burdensome on small systems. The fundamental changes rely on two different assessments that utilities will be triggered into based on monitoring results: Level 1 assessment • Simple self-assessment completed by the water utility and submitted to the state. The utility is required to correct any sanitary defects identiﬁed, if any. State limited to consulting with utility if they deem the assessment insufﬁcient. • Triggered by: 1. Two or more TC positive samples in the same month (for those systems who collect less than 40 samples per month) or 2. Failure to take all repeat samples following a TC positive. • Being triggered into a Level 1 assessment does not constitute a violation, however, failure to complete the assessment within 30 days results in a treatment technique violation. Level 2 assessment • A detailed examination of the utility that must be completed by the water system if they have a certiﬁed operator with a minimum >>44 Fourth Quarter 2008 • 43 The EPA advisory panel has submitted their final recommendations regarding changes to the existing Total Coliform Rule. The two primary recommendations are to remove the MCL violations and related public notice requirements for total coliform positive results.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2008
Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2008
From the President
Rural Water: Where are We Headed?
The Future of Water in America
Bank Collateral Controls in Nervous Times
Bottle of Water or Billion Dollar Bully?
Aqua Chocolate No Mas
Why Even Small Water Systems Should Have Personnel Policy Manuals
Safe Drinking Water
2008 NRWA Industry Event
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2008