Office of Wastewater Management (OWM)
|Title||Description||Key Dates||ACWA Staff Contact|
|Discharges of Pollutants via a Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface Water||On January 14, 2021, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water signed and issued final guidance that EPA claims “clarifies how the Supreme Court’s County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund decision should be applied under the NPDES permit program.” Along with the 7 factors identified by the Supreme Court, EPA also listed an 8th factor, “design and performance of the system or facility” as an additional criterion that should be considered. EPA has informally indicated they plan to considering whether to revise or rescind this guidance. |
On September 16, 2021 EPA rescinded this guidance and is making plans to reissue in the future.
More information can be found here:
|ELG Steam Electric Power Generation||EPA continues to update this rule based on litigation and court decisions. In August 2021, EPA announced its intent to undertake a rulemaking in which the Agency will determine whether more stringent limitations and standards are appropriate and consistent with the technology-forcing statutory scheme and the goals of the Clean Water Act.||Sean Rolland|
|Section 402/404 Negligence Standard||States can seek approval to administer the 402 (NPDES) program and can assume the dredge and fill activities under 404(g). EPA is considering regulations to clarify the criminal intent standard applicable to state and tribal CWA 402 and 404(g) programs when administering those programs.||Sean Rolland|
|Market-Based Approaches under the NPDES Program||EPA supports market-based mechanisms to accomplish its mission to protect human health and the environment. Market-based mechanisms include water quality trading under the Clean Water Act (CWA), an approach that promotes water quality improvements at lower cost than more traditional regulatory approaches. The Agency has long interpreted the CWA to allow pollutant reductions from water quality trading and offsets to achieve compliance with CWA regulatory requirements. EPA is proposing a regulation to clarify how water quality trading and other market-based approaches may be used by NPDES permitting authorities in permits to meet applicable water quality standards.||Sean Rolland|
|Peak Flows Management||Wet weather events (e.g., rain, snowmelt) can affect operations at publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) when excess water enters the wastewater collection system. Large wet weather events can exceed the POTW treatment plant's capacity to provide the same type of treatment for all incoming wastewater. POTWs need flexibility to manage and treat peak flows under wet weather conditions to ensure efficient treatment plant operation while protecting public health. EPA is currently exploring permitting approaches to allow flexibility for more resilient and adaptable solutions for managing peak flows.||Sean Rolland|
|Clean Water Act Methods Update Rule||EPA regularly promulgates updates of approved monitoring methods at 40 CFR 136.3. EPA will only consider methods submitted through the Alternate Test Procedure (ATP) program; from Voluntary Consensus Standard Bodies (VCSBs); and other government Agencies by January 7, 2022. More information on specific requirements for submission of method packages for new methods/revisions. |
|Revisions to the Metal Finishing Effluent Guidelines to Address PFAS Discharges in Chromium Electroplating Wastewater||Under this action, EPA is revising the Metal Finishing ELGs at 40 CFR part 433 to address discharges of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in wastewater from chromium electroplating facilities.||Sean Rolland|
Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW)
|Title||Description||Key Dates||ACWA Staff Contact|
|Revised Definition of Waters of the United States ||On February 14, 2019, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule defining Waters of the United States that would replace the approach in the 2015 Rule and the pre-2015 regulations. |
In June 2021 the agencies announced their intent to revise the NWPR. The agencies will review and revise as appropriate the definition of "waters of the United States" in accordance with Executive Order 13990. In December 2021 the agencies published Rule 1 which returns the regulations to the pre-2015 rules (86 regulations) updated to include recent Supreme Court decisions.
The agencies intend to move forward with Rule 2 in 2022. This second rule proposes to include revisions reflecting on additional stakeholder engagement and implementation considerations, scientific developments, and environmental justice values. This effort will also be informed by the experience of implementing the pre-2015 rule, the 2015 Clean Water Rule, and the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
In May 2023, the US Supreme Court Rule in Sackett II that the CWA extends only to wetlands that have a continuous surface connection with “waters” of the United States — i.e., with a relatively permanent body of water connected to traditional interstate navigable waters, 33 U.S.C. § 1362(7) — making it difficult to determine where the water ends and the wetland begins.
The Office of Water is evaluating its options after the SCOTUS opinion.
|Clean Water Act 404 Assumption Update Regulation||Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404(g) authorizes States and Tribes to assume administration of the dredged and fill permitting program for certain waters, and it addresses the requirements for implementation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversight. Some States and Tribes requested that the EPA clarify those waters over which a state or tribe may assume CWA section 404 permit responsibilities, and those waters over which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) retains CWA 404 permit responsibility, under an approved State or Tribal program. In 2015, the EPA convened a Federal Advisory Committee (FACA), comprised of State, Tribal and other stakeholder representatives charged with providing recommendations for how the EPA could provide clarity on this issue. This rule is intended to provide clarity on the issue of which waters are assumable following the EPA's consideration of the FACA recommendations and to provide needed technical corrections and updates to the 1988 regulations.|
EPA approved the state of Florida's CWA Sec. 404 Assumption Request on 12/22/20.
|Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification||In accordance with Executive Order 13990, the EPA will review and revise as appropriate the June 2020 regulation titled Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule.” Recognizing that section 401 is a direct grant of authority to states and tribes, EPA intends to conduct stakeholder outreach with states and tribes to further inform this review. |
More information is available at https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401/updating-regulations-water-quality-certification
Office of Science and Technology (OST)
|Title||Description||Key Dates||ACWA Staff Contact|
|Federal Baseline Water Quality Standards for Indian Reservations||EPA is developing a proposed rule to establish tribal baseline water quality standards (WQS) for waters on Indian reservations that do not have WQS under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Less than 20 percent of reservations have EPA-approved tribal WQS. Promulgating baseline WQS would address this longstanding gap and provide more scientific rigor and regulatory certainty to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for discharges to these waters. Consistent with EPA regulations, the baseline WQS would include designated uses, water quality criteria to protect those uses, and antidegradation policies to protect high quality waters. EPA initiated tribal consultation on June 15th, 2021 and will be engaged in coordination and consultation with tribes throughout the consultation period, which ends September 13th, 2021. EPA welcomes consultation with tribes both during and after the consultation period. EPA plans to propose this rule by early 2022 and to finalize by early 2023.||Jake Adler|
|Water Quality Standards Regulatory Revisions to Protect Tribal Reserved Rights||Many tribes hold reserved rights to resources on lands and waters under state and federal jurisdiction, through treaties and equivalent agreements with the U.S. government. The U.S. Constitution defines treaties as the supreme law of the land. OW is pursuing a change to its water quality standards regulations to ensure that water quality standards do not impair tribal reserved rights by giving clear direction to states for developing water quality standards where tribes hold reserved rights. This will help EPA ensure protection of resources reserved to tribes in treaties and equivalent agreements when establishing, revising, and reviewing water quality standards.|
EPA's 404 action responds to longstanding requests from Tribes and States to clarify the requirements and processes to assume and administer a section 404 dredge and fill permitting program. The proposed revisions would facilitate Tribal and State assumption of the CWA section 404 permitting program, consistent with the policy of the CWA as described in section 101(b), by making the procedures and substantive requirements for assumption more transparent and straightforward. It clarifies how Tribes or States can ensure their programs meet the minimum requirements of the CWA while allowing for flexibility in how these requirements are met. Finally, the proposed rule makes technical revisions to remove outdated references associated with section 404(g) regulations.
|Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Meat and Poultry Point Source Category||As announced in the Effluent Limitations Guidelines Program Plan 15, EPA has initiated a rulemaking to revise the existing Meat and Poultry Products (MPP) Effluent Guidelines and Standards (ELGs) (40 CFR part 432) to address nutrient discharges. The MPP ELGs were last revised in 2004 and currently apply to only a subset of facilities nationwide. The current MPP ELGs also do not limit nutrient discharges from all regulated facilities.||Jake Adler and Sean Rolland|
|Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers Point Source Category: PFAS Discharges||In February 2019, EPA announced in the Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Action Plan that the Agency was taking steps to evaluate if industrial sources warranted regulation through national Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) to address PFAS discharges. After studying the available data regarding wastewater discharges from facilities that manufacture PFAS, the EPA is initiating a rulemaking to revise ELGs for these manufacturers. As a preliminary step, the EPA intends to publish an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit data and information regarding manufacturers of PFAS and the presence and treatment of PFAS in discharges from this industrial category. The EPA also intends to request information regarding PFAS formulators, which are facilities that produce a variety of PFAS products and materials from PFAS feedstocks. The EPA was able to obtain only limited data regarding formulators through publicly available sources, and additional information would inform the Agency’s consideration of discharges from PFAS formulators and the need for updated ELGs for these facilities. PFAS manufacturers and formulators are currently regulated under the Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers (OCPSF) ELGs found at 40 CFR part 414. Based, in part, on the public comments EPA receives on the ANPRM, the EPA intends to develop a proposed regulation.||Jake Adler and Sean Rolland|
|304(a) Recommended Lake/Reservoir Numeric Nutrient Criteria||On May 22, 2020, EPA announced the release of the Draft Ambient Water Quality Criteria Recommendations for Lakes and Reservoirs of the Conterminous United States: Information Supporting the Development of Numeric Nutrient Criteria for a 60-day comment period for scientific input. These draft national criteria recommendations are models for total nitrogen and total phosphorus concentrations in lakes and reservoirs to protect three different designated uses—aquatic life, recreation, and drinking water source protection—from the adverse effects of nutrient pollution. See Regulations.gov, Docket "EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0675"||Jake Adler|
|Updated Selenium Criteria and Technical Support Materials||EPA’s water quality criterion for selenium provides recommendations to states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. This criterion includes information to help states to develop site specific criteria that account for differing local conditions.|
In 2021, EPA identified that the following text was missing from the second sentence in footnote 4 in the criterion table: "When selenium inputs are increasing." Corrected footnote 4 now states: "4. Water column values are based on dissolved total selenium in water and are derived from fish tissue values via bioaccumulation modeling. When selenium inputs are increasing, water column values are the applicable criterion element in the absence of steady-state condition fish tissue data.” Footnotes 2 and 3 also reflect that footnote 4 was corrected.
|Updated Aluminum Criteria and Technical Support Materials||EPA requested scientific review for the draft updated aquatic life ambient water water quality criteria for aluminum in freshwater. Due to state interest, EPA and ACWA set up a Aluminum Criteria Working Group in January of 2018. This working group is working on implementation guidance for the updated criteria. EPA has targeted a final review of draft implementation guidance in Fall 2020 .||Jake Adler|
|Recreational Ambient Water Quality Criteria/Swimming Advisories for Cyanotoxins||EPA proposed a recreational ambient water quality criteria for cyanotoxins, which was later changed to a criteria or an advisory. This criteria/advisory focuses on microcystin and cylindrospermopsin concentration in fresh waters. The criteria/advisory, originally intended to be published in time for the 2017 swimming season has been delayed.||Jake Adler|
|Preliminary Effluent Limitation Guidelines Plan 15||The public comment period for Preliminary Plan 15 closed on October 14, 2021. In particular, EPA is announcing the following actions in Preliminary Plan 15:|
Preliminary Plan 15 also provides initial results from EPA's studies of multiple categories, including the Metal Products and Machinery, Explosives Manufacturing, and Landfills industries; and provides an update on the PFAS Multi-Industry Study.
|Jake Adler and Sean Rolland|
|Clean Water Act Methods Update Rule for the Analysis of Effluent||EPA regularly promulgates updates to the table of approved Clean Water Act (CWA) monitoring methods at 40 CFR 136.3. The next routine Methods Update Rule (rMUR) is scheduled for proposal as early as fall 2022. For this routine MUR, EPA will only consider new methods or method revisions for which a complete, acceptable method package has been received by January 7, 2022. EPA will consider only methods submitted through the Alternate Test Procedure (ATP) program; from Voluntary Consensus Standard Bodies (VCSBs); and other government Agencies. EPA is not currently considering any changes to radiochemical or Whole Effluent Toxicity methods because of the extensive data requirements and review associated with these methods. EPA is not considering methods for new analytes in this routine MUR. More information on specific requirements for submission of method packages for new methods/revisions, see https://www.epa.gov/cwa-methods/alternate-test-procedures.||Jake Adler and Sean Rolland|
|National Biosolids Program Strategy: Fiscal Year 2020-2025||The Biosolids Program Strategy is a 5-year outlook that describes key activities in the following focus areas. This strategy will be updated as needed including target initiation and completion dates. The strategy details CWA Activities Based on the Latest Scientific Knowledge; Resource Recovery and Reuse Alternatives; Lifecycle Assessment; Biosolids Partner Engagement; and, Biosolids Research.|
Specific activities for Fiscal Years 2020-2025 under the focus areas support meeting CWA requirements for biosolids and are consistent with scientific recommendations to EPA from the National Research Council (NRC).
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW)
|Title||Description||Key Dates||ACWA Staff Contact|
|Lead and Copper Rule||On November 13, 2019, EPA issued regulatory revisions to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for lead and copper under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This proposed rule provides more effective protection of public health by reducing exposure to lead and copper in drinking water. This proposed rule also strengthens procedures and requirements related to health protection and the implementation of the existing Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) in the following areas: Lead tap sampling; corrosion control treatment; lead service line replacement; consumer awareness; and public education. This proposal does not include revisions to the copper requirements of the existing LCR. In addition, this proposal includes new requirements for community water systems to conduct lead in drinking water testing and public education in schools and child care facilities.|
The Final LCR Regulatory Revisions were published to the Federal Register here.
On March 12, 2021, EPA issued a proposed rule delaying the LCRR's effective and compliance dates to enable the Agency to consult with stakeholders and review the LCRR in accordance with Executive Order 13990. This review of the LCRR will be consistent with the policy aims set forth in Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
More information can be found here.
|Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) for Public Water Systems||SDWA requires that EPA establish a program to monitor specified unregulated contaminants every five years, most recently in UCMR4 issued December 20, 2016. This action will propose the terms for the next cycle of monitoring and drafting a list of the new unregulated contaminants proposed to be monitored during the UCMR 5 period of 2022 to 2026. The proposal will include the collection of more drinking water occurrence data for 29 PFAS as well as lithium.||Jake Adler|
|Regulatory Determinations for PFOA and PFOS, National Primary Drinking Water Regulation||SDWA requires EPA to make regulatory determinations on at least five contaminants on the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) every five years. The CCL is a list of contaminants that are currently not subject to any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking water regulations but are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems. A regulatory determination is a decision about whether or not to begin the process to propose and promulgate a national primary drinking water regulation for an unregulated contaminant. Before EPA can issue a final regulatory determination, it must propose a preliminary regulatory determination to present EPA's supporting rationale about whether the specific statutory criteria for regulating a contaminant have been met. |
On March 10, 2020, the EPA published a notice which proposed to make positive regulatory determinations for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and to make negative determinations for six contaminants (1,1-dichloroethane, acetochlor, methyl bromide, metolachlor, nitrobenzene, and RDX). The notice also presents an update on three other contaminants (strontium, 1,4-dioxane, and 1,2,3-trichloropropane).
On February 22, 2021, EPA reissued the same final regulatory determinations for the contaminants noted above. EPA will now pursue a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) for PFOA and PFOS.
Office of Enforcement Compliance Assurance (OECA)
|Title||Description||Key Dates||ACWA Staff Contact|
|No New Rules Planned at This Time||N/A||N/A||Sean Rolland|
Office of Water (OW)
|Title||Description||Key Dates||ACWA Staff Contact|
|Cybersecurity in Public Water Systems||EPA is evaluating regulatory approaches to improve cybersecurity at public water systems. EPA plans to offer separate guidance, training, and technical assistance to states and public water systems on cybersecurity. This action will provide regulatory clarity and promote the adoption of cybersecurity measures by public water systems.||Sean Rolland|
Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) & Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)
|Title||Description||Key Dates||ACWA Staff Contact|
|PFAS-Related Designations as CERCLA Hazardous Substances: "Addressing PFAS in the Environment"||In 2019 and 2020, EPA issued and updated a PFAS Action Plan that identified both short-term solutions for addressing PFAS and long-term strategies that may provide the tools and technologies states, tribes, and local communities requested to provide clean and safe drinking water to their residents and to address PFAS at the source before it gets into the water. The designation of PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA hazardous substances was one of several actions mentioned in the PFAS Action Plan. The EPA is undertaking a rulemaking effort to designate PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA hazardous substances.|
In this ANPRM, EPA will seek public input on further PFAS-related designations under CERCLA. As examples, the Agency may request input regarding the potential hazardous substance designation of precursors to PFOA and PFOS; hazardous substance designation of additional PFAS; and designation, or designations of classes or sub-classes of PFAS as hazardous substances.
|Listing of PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, and GenX as Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Constituents||Based on public health and environmental protection concerns and in response to petitions from the Governor of New Mexico, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and Berkeley School of Law on behalf of five other organizations, which request EPA to take regulatory action on PFAS under RCRA, EPA is evaluating the existing toxicity and health effects data on four PFAS constituents to determine if they should be listed as RCRA Hazardous Constituents. If the existing data for the four PFAS constituents support listing any or all of these constituents as RCRA hazardous constituents, EPA will propose to list the constituents in a Federal Register notice for public comment. The four PFAS chemicals EPA will evaluate are: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA, and/or GenX).||Jake Adler|
|Designating PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA Hazardous Substances||On February 14, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a PFAS Action Plan, which responded to extensive public interest and input the agency had received and represented the first time EPA has built a multi-media, multi-program, national communication and research plan to address an emerging environmental challenge like PFAS. This Plan was updated on February 26, 2020. EPA's Action Plan identified both short-term solutions for addressing these chemicals and long-term strategies that may provide the tools and technologies states, tribes, and local communities requested to provide clean and safe drinking water to their residents and to address PFAS at the source before it gets into the water. The designation of PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA hazardous substances was one of several actions mentioned in the PFAS Action Plan. EPA is undertaking a rulemaking effort to designate PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA hazardous substances. Designating PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA hazardous substances will require reporting of releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity assigned to these substances. This will enable Federal, State Tribal, and local authorities to collect information regarding the location and extent of releases.||Jake Adler|
|Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Legacy Surface Impoundments||On April 17, 2015, EPA promulgated national minimum criteria for existing and new coal combustion residuals (CCR) landfills and existing and new CCR surface impoundments. On August 21, 2018 the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Utility Solid Waste Activities Group, et al v. EPA, which vacated and remanded the provision that exempted inactive impoundments at inactive facilities from the CCR rule. The EPA is developing regulations to implement this part of the court decision for inactive CCR surface impoundments at inactive utilities, or “legacy units”. This proposal may include adding a new definition for legacy CCR surface impoundments. The EPA may also propose to require such legacy CCR surface impoundments to follow existing regulatory requirements for fugitive dust, groundwater monitoring, and closure, or other technical requirements.||Jake Adler|
|Procedures for Chemical Risk Evaluation Under the Amended Toxic Substances Control Act||Per S. 6(b)(4) of the TSCA, EPA published a final rule on July 20, 2017, that established a process for conducting chemical risk evaluations. This process incorporates the science requirements of the amended statute, including best available science and weight of the scientific evidence. The final rule established the steps of a risk evaluation process including: scope, hazard assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and risk determination. The Agency is now in the process of reconsidering that final rule in keeping with new executive orders concerning the advancement of racial equity and support for underserved communities through the Federal government (EO 13985), the protection of public health and the environment and restoring science to tackle the climate crisis (EO 13990), tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad (EO 14008), and other Administration priorities (such as the Presidential memorandum on restoring trust in government through scientific integrity and evidence-based policymaking). If EPA determines to amend the 2017 final rule, EPA will solicit public comment through a NPRM.||Jake Adler|
|Changes to Reporting Requirements for PFAS and to Supplier Notifications for Chemicals of Special Concern ( Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting); AND Changes to Reporting Requirements for PFAS (Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting (40 CFR 372))||EPA is proposing to add all PFAS subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) to the list of Lower Thresholds for Chemicals of Special Concern (Chemicals of Special Concern). The addition of the PFAS to the Chemicals of Special Concern list will eliminate the use of the de minimis exemption, eliminate the option to use Form A, and will limit the use of range reporting. In addition, EPA is proposing to eliminate the use of the de minimis exemption under the Supplier Notification Requirements for facilities that manufacture, or process all chemicals included on the Chemicals of Special Concern list. Chemicals of Special Concern may be found in products below de minimis levels, this is especially true for PFAS which are used at low concentrations in many products. However, because of the widespread use of PFAS and their (or their degradants) persistence in the environment even concentrations below de minimis levels can contribute significantly to environmental loading.||Jake Adler|
|Revisions to Regulations on Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT) Chemicals Subject to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)||TSCA directs EPA to take expedited action on certain persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals to address the risks of injury to health or the environment presented by the chemical substance and reduce exposure to the substance to the extent practicable. Consistent with that mandate, final risk management rules restricting the use of five PBT chemicals were issued in January 2021 and went into effect in February 2021. EPA is considering revisions to all five of the final rules to further reduce exposures, promote environmental justice, and better protect human health and the environment.||Jake Adler|
|TSCA Section 8(a)(7) Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements for PFAS||EPA published a proposed rule on June 28, 2021, addressing reporting and recordkeeping requirements for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) under section 8(a)(7) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In accordance with obligations under TSCA section 8(a), as amended by section 7351 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, persons that manufacture (including import) or have manufactured these chemical substances in any year since January 1, 2011, would be subject to the reporting and recordkeeping requirements. In addition to fulfilling statutory obligations under TSCA, EPA expects that the final rule will enable EPA to better characterize the sources and quantities of manufactured PFAS in the United States. EPA solicited additional public comments on an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) following the completion of a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel addressing the proposed PFAS reporting and recordkeeping requirements. ||Jake Adler|
|Addition of Diisononyl Phthalate Category; Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting||On September 5, 2000, in response to a petition filed under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), EPA issued a proposed rule to add a diisononyl phthalate (DINP) category to the list of toxic chemicals subject to the reporting requirements under EPCRA and the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA). EPA proposed to add this chemical category to the EPCRA toxic chemical list based on its preliminary conclusion that this category met the EPCRA toxicity criterion. EPA has updated its hazard assessment for DINP and is proposing to add DINP as a category defined to include branched alkyl di-esters of 1,2 benzenedicarboxylic acid in which alkyl ester moieties contain a total of nine carbons. The updated hazard assessment demonstrates that the proposed DINP category meets the EPCRA toxicity criterion because the members of the category can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer and serious or irreversible chronic health effects in humans; specifically, developmental effects, kidney toxicity, and liver toxicity. On August 15, 2022, EPA proposed to add the DINP category to the toxic chemical list on this basis and requested comment on the updated DINP hazard assessment and associated updated economic analysis. EPA is considering the public comments received and next steps for this rulemaking.||Jake Adler|
|New Chemicals Procedural Regulations to Reflect the 2016 Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)||On June 22, 2016, the Lautenberg amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) were signed into law and impacted how EPA reviews and makes determinations on new chemical notices under TSCA section 5. As a result of these increased responsibilities, it has become more challenging for EPA to complete reviews within 90 days. This rulemaking seeks to revise the new chemicals procedural regulations in 40 CFR part 720 to improve the efficiency of EPA’s review process and to align its processes and procedures with the new statutory requirements. This rulemaking seeks to increase the quality of information initially submitted in new chemicals notices and improve the Agency’s processes to reduce unnecessary rework in the risk assessment and, ultimately, the length of time that new chemicals are under review.||Jake Adler|
Select Non Rulemaking Efforts and Other Developments
|Title||Description||Key Dates||ACWA Staff Contact|
|EPA Climate Change Strategic Plans||EPA’s Climate Adaptation Action Plan is intended to accelerate and focus attention on five priority actions the Agency will take over the next four years to increase human and ecosystem resilience as the climate changes and disruptive impacts increase. ACWA and ASDWA are working with EPA on implementation planning.||Jake Adler|
|National Water Reuse Action Plan||EPA is leading a multi-agency directive on water reuse and recycling across sectors including agriculture, industry, potable water, national security, and environmental restoration. In 2019, EPA consulted with states and other stakeholders to develop a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan containing proposed actions across 11 strategic objectives. |
Because water reuse is governed at the state level, ACWA and partner state water organizations (i.e., ASDWA, GWPC, WSWC) has been identified as a "critical partner" in carrying out the plan.
View example outputs from Plan Implementation, such as "Financial Support for Water Reuse from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund," here.
View each action, action teams and timelines, and outputs/materials produced to date here.
Access EPA materials, public comment docket, and Federal Register materials here.
|Credit Assistance for Water Infrastructure Projects||EPA is taking this action to update the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program regulation. This update is based on lessons learned from the first three years of program implementation. This action is also intended to provide guidelines on the WIFIA loan program for State Revolving Funds (SRFs) included in amendments passed as part of America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, Public Law 115-270.||Jake Adler|
|Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science Rule: Application to to the Development of CWA and SDWA Regulations||On April 30, 2018, EPA provided notice of proposed rulemaking (83 FR 18768) intended to strengthen the transparency of EPA regulatory science. On March 18, 2020, EPA issued a supplemental proposal (SNPRM) to clarify, modify and supplement certain provisions of the 2018 proposed rule in response to public comments. In the SNPRM, EPA proposed definitions and clarified that the proposed rulemaking applies to data and models underlying both pivotal science and pivotal regulatory science. EPA also proposed that the scope of the rulemaking apply to influential scientific information as well as significant regulatory decisions and proposed a modified approach to the public availability provisions for data and models that would underlie significant regulatory decisions and an alternate approach. In this action, EPA is requesting comment on how to apply these requirements to significant Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory actions. This rulemaking would increase transparency of the assumptions underlying data and models that support these EPA regulatory actions.||Jake Adler|
|Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science||This action is intended to strengthen the transparency of EPA regulatory science and ensure the appropriate science underlying its actions is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation. This rule would increase transparency of the assumptions underlying dose-response data and models that support EPA regulatory decisions.||Jake Adler|
|Oil and Gas Extraction and Centralized Waste Treatment Point Source Categories (Expansion of Discharges From CWT Facilities)||EPA Region 6 proposed to revise sections 40 CFR part 437 to expand the beneficial use of treated produced waters by allowing the discharge of produced waters from Centralized Waste Treatment (CWT) facilities, and from Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). These revisions would allow more flexibility in the discharge, and ultimately the management of treated produced waters for agricultural uses, reuse for oil recovery, and other uses to alleviate water scarcity.|
As of June 2021, EPA has decided not to pursue the rulemaking for expansion categories of oil and gas extraction discharges from Centralized Waste Treatment (CWT) facilities and from Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). In the future, the Agency may assess whether an update to the centralized waste treatment point source categories is necessary. As such, EPA has determined to withdraw this CWT expansion categories rulemaking. Withdrawing this action does not preclude the EPA from pursuing a similar rule in the future.
|EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) Hydraulic Fracturing Study||EPA ORD has been developing a study on the potential environmental and human health implications of hydraulic fracturing with special emphasis on the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. On June 4, 2015, a draft assessment was released by the agency. The study will be finalized after review by the Science Advisory Board and public review and comment. The Federal Register Notice with information on the SAB review and how to comment on the draft assessment was published on June 5, 2015: https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-13674. The Final Report, as well as companion statements and summaries, was published in December 2016 and is available here.|
No future updates are expected at this time.
|Study of Oil and Gas Wastewater Management||The focus of the Agency’s study will be to engage with states, tribes and stakeholders to consider available approaches to manage wastewater from both conventional and unconventional oil and gas extraction at onshore facilities. EPA’s study will address questions such as how existing federal approaches to produced water management under the Clean Water Act can interact more effectively with state and tribal regulations, requirements or policy needs, and whether potential federal regulations that may allow for broader discharge of treated produced water to surface waters are supported. EPA is particularly interested in working with its regulatory partners at the state level, who are at the forefront of the changing industry, and often manage complex water allocation programs under state law.|
EPA is consulting with states, tribes and stakeholders this summer, including industry and NGOs. The Agency is planning to hold a public meeting in Washington, D.C. to report on what we have learned and to allow stakeholders to provide additional input. EPA then plans to prepare a white paper that it can use to inform next steps. Following this study, EPA will determine if future Agency actions are appropriate to further address oil and gas extraction wastewater.