EPA Estimates $473 Billion Needed for Water Infrastructure in New Report

EPA released the sixth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. The agency is required under the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments to conduct an assessment of the nation’s public water systems’ infrastructure every four years. The newest Needs Survey, issued March 30, shows that $472.6 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s drinking water infrastructure over the next 20 years.  The results of the new Drinking Water Needs Survey will form the basis for the state allocation formula for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund…

EPA’s assessment shows that investments are primarily needed in four areas:

  • Distribution and transmission – $312.6 billion to replace or refurbish aging or deteriorating pipelines;
  • Treatment – $83 billion to construct, expand or rehabilitate infrastructure to reduce contamination;
  • Storage – $47.6 billion to construct, rehabilitate or cover water storage reservoirs; and,
  • Source – $21.8 billion to construct or rehabilitate intake structures, wells and spring collectors.”

Plans for National Leadership Summit on PFAS Reported by EPA

On March 19, EPA announced plans to host a National Leadership Summit to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Invitations were sent to 56 governors to convene in Washington, D.C. in May. The participants will work together to:

  • Share information on ongoing efforts to characterize risks from PFAS and develop monitoring and treatment/cleanup techniques;
  • Identify specific near-term actions, beyond those already underway, that are needed to address challenges currently facing states and local communities; and
  • Develop risk communication strategies to address public concerns with PFAS.

Late last year, EPA reported a cross-agency initiative to address PFAS, a diverse group of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS).  In 2016, EPA established a lifetime health advisory level (HAL) for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water, but the agency has not established a national primary drinking water regulation for either chemical.”

EPA Administrator Announces Plans to End Agency’s Use of ‘Secret Science’

In a recent interview with The Daily Caller, followed by an EPA news release, agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would soon end EPA’s use of ‘secret science’ in developing regulations. Pruitt was quoted in the interview stating, ‘We need to make sure [EPA’s] data and methodology are published as part of the record. Otherwise, it’s not transparent. It’s not objectively measured, and that’s important.’

This new policy is similar to the HONEST Act (H.R. 1430), which was introduced in March 2017 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.). This bill would ‘prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating a covered action unless all scientific and technical information relied on to support such action is the best available science, specifically identified, and publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.’

Former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy has criticized the plan, saying it would ‘paralyze’ the agency.”

Read the full briefing at http://www.amwa.net