Regulatory Update At-A-Glance

A quick look at major water-related regulations under development at EPA.

Updated: 
May 11, 2018
Regulation: 
Lead and Copper Rule (LCR): Regulatory Revisions
Proposal: 
February 2019 (projected)
Final: 
February 2020 (projected)
Notes: 
EPA is developing proposed regulatory revisions and supporting materials taking into consideration recommendations of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) and lessons learned from recent events in Flint, MI. EPA invited AMWA and other associations to a federalism consultation on January 8 to discuss possible changes to the LCR. Comments from the invited groups are due March 8th.
Regulation: 
Definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS)
Proposal: 
August 2018 (Projected)
Final: 
September 2019 (Projected)
Notes: 
A February 28, 2017 Executive Order directs EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to review the existing Clean Water Rule (promulgated June 29, 2015) and submit a proposal for rescinding or revising the rule. The agencies plan to accomplish this in two steps. Step 1 involves the agencies re-codifying the regulation that was in place before the implementation of the Clean Water Rule. Under step 2, the agencies will propose a rule to newly define the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) and replace the Clean Water Rule altogether. On January 31 2018 EPA and USACE finalized a new separate rule, which effectively postponed implementation of the Clean Water Rule until 2020. However, this delay was overturned by the courts on August 16, 2018. Due to some district courts issuing stays on the Clean Water Rule and other courts still reviewing suits, the 2015 rule is now in effect in 26 states. The plan to re-codify the previous existing rule was proposed on July 27, 2017 and is expected to be finalized in April 2018. A proposal date for a new WOTUS definition to replace the Clean Water Rule is scheduled for May 2018.
Regulation: 
Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science
Proposal: 
April 30, 2018
Final: 
TBD
Notes: 
Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a new proposed rule April 24, which EPA says will “ensure that the regulatory science underlying Agency actions is fully transparent, and that underlying scientific information is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.” If promulgated as drafted, the rule will require EPA to clearly identify all studies it relied upon when taking any “final agency action” on regulations, including dose-response data and models, and to make those studies available to the public to the extent feasible. EPA is taking public comment until August 16, 2018.
Regulation: 
Perchlorate
Proposal: 
October 31, 2018 (per consent decree)
Final: 
December 19, 2019 (per consent decree)
Notes: 
An October 18, 2016 consent decree set deadlines for EPA to propose and finalize a perchlorate drinking water regulation. On September 15, 2017, two concurrent public notices were issued within the Federal Register by EPA related to EPA’s decision making for perchlorate. The first, Peer Review Materials to Inform the Safe Drinking Water Act Decision Making on Perchlorate, asked for comments on EPA’s draft report on the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for Perchlorate in Drinking Water. Comments were due to EPA October 30th. The second request, Interim List of Perchlorate in Drinking Water Expert Peer Reviewers and Draft Peer Review Charge Questions, asks for comments related to the selection of an expert panel to review materials related to EPA’s perchlorate decision making. The comment period for the second notice closed on October 6th. An External Peer Review Meeting was held January 29 and 30, 2018 for EPA’s Revised BBDR Model and Draft MCLG Approaches Report for Perchlorate in Drinking Water.
Regulation: 
Regulations Implementing Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act: Prohibition on Use of Lead Pipes, Solder, and Flux
Proposal: 
January 17, 2017
Final: 
January 2019 (projected)
Notes: 
The proposed rule codifying requirements set forth in the 2011 Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act was published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2017. The comment period ended on May 17, 2017.
Regulation: 
Fourth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR4)
Proposal: 
December 11, 2015
Final: 
December 20, 2016
Notes: 
The final UCMR4 was published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016. Large drinking water facilities will start monitoring in 2018, followed by a selection of 800 smaller utilities in 2019.
Regulation: 
Finished Water Storage Facility Inspection Requirements Addendum to the Revised Total Coliform Rule
Proposal: 
December 2019 (projected)
Final: 
TBD
Notes: 
EPA is evaluating options for a potential regulation and/or additional guidance.
Regulation: 
Strontium
Proposal: 
January 4, 2016 (announcement of delayed final deterimination)
Final: 
TBD
Notes: 
EPA issued a preliminary positive regulatory determination for strontium in drinking water on October 20, 2014. On January 4, 2016, EPA announced that it would be delaying a final regulatory determination for strontium pending further study. The projected timeline for making a final determination is unclear at this time.
Regulation: 
Carcinogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Proposal: 
November 2019 (projected)
Final: 
December 2020 (projected)
Notes: 
On February 2, 2011, EPA announced plans to develop a single National Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) covering up to 16 carcinogenic VOCs. EPA is conducting evaluations and developing supporting materials to support a regulatory proposal.