A Weekly Newsletter from the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
January 8, 2013

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EPA Concludes the Consumer Confidence Report Rule Retrospective Review with Electronic Report Delivery Now Available

EPA has completed its review of the Consumer Confidence Report Rule and has concluded that drinking water utilities can provide reports about drinking water quality to customers via email or on the internet instead of mailing a copy of the report. Electronic delivery of these consumer confidence reports, which utilities are required to provide to their customers each year under the Safe Drinking Water Act, is expected to help utilities improve transparency and save resources. For more information on the review, visit http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ccr/regulations.cfm. EPA will hold a webinar on January 17, 2013, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET to discuss electronic delivery of the consumer confidence reports.  Please reserve your webinar seat hereClick here for local drinking water information.

Importance of Water Symposium Videos Available Online

EPA is conducting a study on the importance of water in the U.S. economy to better understand how water contributes to the economic welfare of the nation and plays a critical role in many sectors of the U.S. economy. On December 4, EPA co-hosted a public symposium in Washington, D.C. with speakers that represent a diverse array of industries including agriculture, food and beverage production, manufacturing, recreation, tourism and fishing. EPA also released a draft report on the importance of water to the U.S. economy. Videos from the recorded webcast featuring the speakers are now available online. View the videos here. For more information, contact John Powers (powers.john@epa.gov or 202-564-5776).

Climate Ready Water Utilities Webinar Series to Begin on January 23

On January 23, EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative will begin a new series of webinars on its tools and resources to help drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities understand and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These webinars will assist the water sector in developing a better understanding of climate change, managing impacts, and creating adaptation strategies. Climate Ready Water Utillities' resources promote a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options, by translating complex climate projections into understandable, actionable and localized information for the water sector. Webinar topics include climate change readiness and an introduction to climate science for the water sector, followed by more in depth discussions on CRWU topics, such as planning a workshop on extreme weather events and the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool. For more information, visit the "training tab" on www.epa.gov/climatereadyutilities, or email questions to CRWUhelp@epa.gov.

Federal Agencies to Improve Coordination of Information on Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of the Interior have agreed to  improve coordination and collaboration on issues related to pharmaceuticals in drinking water through a new memorandum of understanding. Under this agreement, federal agencies will share scientific data and information and coordinate potential future research on the presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, their sources and potential health effects.The agencies formulated the agreement in response to a recommendation by the Government Accountability Office in 2011. Click here for more information on the agreement.

Human Health Benchmarks for Pesticides Now Available on Global Website

The human health benchmarks for pesticides, developed by EPA, were published in December 2012 to the Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substances. The portal makes available to the public information on properties of chemicals such as: physical chemical characteristics, environmental fate, human toxicity, and ecotoxicity. Sponsored by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the site provides links to information developed by national, regional, and international government chemical review programs, making information on over 350 registered pesticides available globally. 
In April 2012, EPA posted the human health benchmarks for pesticides, developed using the same methods used to calculate health advisories for drinking water and data that were peer-reviewed in EPA's pesticide registration process. The benchmarks can enable states, water systems and the public to better determine whether the detection of a pesticide in drinking water or source waters for drinking water may indicate a potential health risk. 

Features From the Web


A positive step on cleanup of mines: An update of the EPA's regulations on the cleanup of abandoned mines by "good Samaritans" is welcome.