The National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) convened for a two-day meeting at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. December 4-5. Topics included the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) for perchlorate and revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), as well as EPA’s National Water Reuse Action Plan.
Jennifer McLain, Director of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, provided updates to the timelines of multiple regulatory actions underway at EPA. She stated that the proposed regulatory determinations for PFOA and PFOS, which the agency previously stated would be out by the end of the year, would be published in the next few months. EPA sent its proposal on the contaminants to the Office of Management and Budget December 4, noting that it is “following through on its commitment in the [PFAS] Action Plan to evaluate PFOA and PFOS under the Safe Drinking Water Act.”
EPA staff gave a brief overview of the agency’s work developing the National Water Reuse Action Plan which, when first proposed in September of this year, included 46 possible actions organized around 10 strategic objectives to help advance water reuse. EPA stated the release of the plan is slated for February 27, 2020 and will include implementation plans for 20 actions. Afterwards, when discussing the LCR, NDWAC members inquired about a possible extension on the agency’s 60-day comment period – AMWA sent an extension request November 13 asking for an additional 30 days. EPA staff stated a decision had not yet been made but that the agency still plans to finalize the rule in 2020. EPA later granted a 30-day extension to the comment period December 19. The new deadline for providing input on the proposal is February 12.
During the second day of the meeting, members discussed EPA’s perchlorate NPDWR proposal, where EPA informed the council they are currently working through more than 1500 comments that they received during the public comment period earlier this year. AMWA submitted comments this past August. EPA clarified that, due to the recent extension granted in October, the agency now has until June 19, 2020 to publish the final rule. A summary of the event will be posted to the EPA website, though a timeline was not given.