Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2008 - (Page 37)

Regulatory Update What Can Utilities Expect in 2008? BY ED THOMAS, NRWA Climate Change and Utilities Climate change has the federal government looking into what can be done for utilities. This goes beyond what one would typically think of to impact climate change, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and identifying opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of utilities. (It should be noted that pending legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions may have a huge impact on utilities.) The more pressing issue for small systems is directed toward getting utilities to plan for future drought and identifying options for possible long-term water shortages. Droughts are plaguing some areas of the country, while unusual f looding is impacting others, causing overf lows from wastewater treatment plants. It is not scientifically clear whether this is a cyclical event in weather patterns that is a natural phenomenon or a result of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate changes and altering weather conditions. Either way, EPA intends to release a draft report early this year that identifies many of the issues EPA may have to address for utilities regarding climate change. This has the potential for more regulatory mandates that utilities may face in the coming years or possible restructuring of regulatory programs to accommodate future needs. Lead and Copper Revisions Compliance Date Effective Compliance with the short-term revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule become effective April 2008 UNLESS the State Primacy Agency has not adopted the rule as part of its regulatory program. (In this case, compliance with the rule will be required Dec. 10, 2009, or when the state adopts the program.) The primary impacts of the new rule include revised public notification requirements, more explicit monitoring requirements (including compliance determinations and reduced monitoring), corrosion control, state approval of treatment changes and further explanation of what and when a utility can consider lead service lines replaced. Final Notice of Second CCL (Perchlorate and MTBE) In April 2007, NRWA commended a proposal by the EPA for relying on sound science and not regulating contaminants on the Second Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). We further agreed with the EPA administrator that the EPA should continue to assess the scientific data regarding the establishment of a standard for perchlorate and MTBE. We urged the EPA to decide whether to regulate perchlorate when “in the sole judgment of the administrator, regulation of the contaminant presents a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water systems.” In April 2008, the agency is expected to make a final notification of its intent to not regulate any contaminants and to continue to assess perchlorate. The agency is expected to ma ke a determination to regulate or not r eg u late M T BE when the risk assessment i s comple te d for t hat conta m i na nt i n 20 0 9. (Note: There is legislation in Congress t hat mandates the regulation of perchlorate and directs the agency to establish a maximum contaminant level (MC L) w it h i n 12 months after the bill is signed into law.) Final EPA Blending Policy In 2006, Rural Water submitted comments on the draft EPA blending policy that would allow wastewater ut i lit ies to >>38 First Quarter 2008 • 37

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2008

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2008
From the President
Afterburn: Nexters' Impact in the Workplace
Retirement Will Have to Wait
From Sewage, Added Water for Drinking
Rural Water and the Farm Bill
Fiduciary Responsibility: It's All About Trust
Water Industry Supports International Rural Water Association
Regulatory Update
The Rural Water Washington Rally in April
Throwing My Loop
A Precious Thing Called Water
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2008