WASHINGTON (EPA) – As part of its commitment to implement sensible protections of drinking water for communities across the country, and as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing 30 currently unregulated contaminants for monitoring in water systems, and submitting this proposal for public comment. The comment period will allow the public and other stakeholders to provide input on the selection of new contaminants for monitoring, and will help determine the best path forward as the EPA seeks to collect data that will inform future decisions about how best to protect drinking water.
“Ensuring clean and safe drinking water for all Americans is a top priority for EPA,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “In keeping with the Safe Drinking Water Act, we are submitting for public comment and input our proposed next round of currently unregulated contaminants for monitoring. Learning more about the prevalence of these contaminants will allow EPA to better protect people’s health.”
Under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA currently regulates more than 90 contaminants in drinking water. To keep drinking water standards up-to-date with emerging science, the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that EPA identify up to 30 unregulated contaminants for monitoring every five years. This current proposal is the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation and includes requirements to monitor for two viruses and 28 chemical contaminants that could be present in drinking water and do not currently have health-based standards.
EPA is requesting public comment on the proposed list of 30 contaminants until May 2, 2011. Following the public comment period, EPA will consider this important input before the list is scheduled to be finalized in 2012, with sampling to be conducted from 2013 to 2015. Sampling will take place at all systems serving more than 10,000 people and at a representative sampling of systems serving less than 10,000 people.