Category Archives: Regulations

USGS study confirms the good-quality of US tap waters

Bradley PM, et al. Reconnaissance of Mixed Organic and Inorganic Chemicals in Private and Public Supply Tapwaters at Selected Residential and Workplace Sites in the United States. Environmental science & technology. 2018 Nov 21. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b04622

Safe drinking water at the point-of-use (tapwater, TW) is a United States public health priority. Multiple lines of evidence were used to evaluate potential human health concerns of 482 organics and 19 inorganics in TW from 13 (7 public supply, 6 private well self-supply) home and 12 (public supply) workplace locations in 11 states. Only uranium (61.9 μg L-1, private well) exceeded a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation maximum contaminant level (MCL: 30 μg L-1). Lead was detected in 23 samples (MCL goal: zero). Seventy-five organics were detected at least once, with median detections of 5 and 17 compounds in self-supply and public supply samples, respectively (corresponding maxima: 12 and 29). Disinfection byproducts predominated in public supply samples, comprising 21% of all detected and 6 of the 10 most frequently detected. Chemicals designed to be bioactive (26 pesticides, 10 pharmaceuticals) comprised 48% of detected organics. Site-specific cumulative exposure-activity ratios (∑EAR) were calculated for the 36 detected organics with ToxCast data. Because these detections are fractional indicators of a largely uncharacterized contaminant space, ∑EAR in excess of 0.001 and 0.01 in 74 and 26% of public supply samples, respectively, provide an argument for prioritized assessment of cumulative effects to vulnerable populations from trace-level TW exposures.

Prioritizing unregulated disinfection byproducts for risk mitigation, Canadian Perspective

Mian HR, Hu G, Hewage K, Rodriguez MJ, Sadiq R. Prioritization of unregulated disinfection by-products in drinking water distribution systems for human health risk mitigation: A critical review. Water Res. 2018 Sep 29;147:112-131. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.09.054

Water disinfection involves the use of different types of disinfectants, which are oxidizing agents that react with natural organic matter (NOM) to form disinfection by-products (DBPs). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has established threshold limits on some DBPs, which are known as regulated DBPs (R-DBPs). The human health risks associated with R-DBPs in drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs) and application of stricter regulations have led water utilities to switch from conventional disinfectant (i.e., chlorination) to alternative disinfectants. However, the use of alternative disinfectants causes formation of a new suit of DBPs known as unregulated DBPs (UR-DBPs), which in many cases can be more toxic. There is a growing concern of UR-DBPs formation in drinking water. This review prioritizes some commonly occurring UR-DBP groups and species in DWDSs based on their concentration level, reported frequency, and toxicity using an indexing method. There are nine UR-DBPs group and 36 species that have been identified based on recent published peer-reviewed articles. Haloacetonitriles (HANs) and haloacetaldehydes (HALs) are identified as important UR-DBP groups. Dichloroacetonitrile (DCAN) and trichloroacetaldehye (TCAL) are identified as critical UR-DBPs species. The outcomes of this review can help water regulators to identify the most critical UR-DBPs species in the context of drinking water safety and provide them with useful information to develop guidelines or threshold limits for UR-DBPs. The outcomes can also help water utilities in selecting water treatment processes for the mitigation of human health risk posed by UR-DBPs through drinking water.

California Drowning in the Swamp of SB 32 Emission Goals

“The emissions reduction leadership role for California championed by the L A Times is touted despite the fact that our state doesn’t have the foggiest idea of how it can achieve its SB 32 emissions goals nor does it have any idea of how many tens of billions it will cost nor care at all about how the state will end up dictating how all Californians must live their lives.” click here

USEPA Seeking Input on Regulations that may be Appropriate for Repeal – Submit on or Before May 15, 2017

In accordance with Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” EPA is seeking input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. Click here to submit.

The USEPA GHG Endangerment Finding is Flawed

Regardless of whether you are for or against attempting to control long-term weather patterns (by the way, that’s what climate is) by regulating CO2 (a futile quest) the EPA endangerment finding is both technically and legally flawed. Even a simple analysis such as mine (e.g. here) came to that conclusion in June 2013. But more knowledgeable people than I (e.g. here) have submitted comments ignored by USEPA revealing the inadequacy of USEPA’s GHG endangerment finding. In her 2012 appeals court opinion Justice Janice Rodgers Brown explained the situation well (here) .

USEPA Clean Power Plan Claim is Simply False

The USEPA Clean Power Plan (here) issued August 3 makes the following claim in the very first paragraph:

“These final emission guidelines…will lead to significant carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions from the utility power sector that will help protect human health and the environment from the impacts of climate change.”

This is simply untrue (aka false).



Implementing Drinking Water Ordinance Amendments; Frankfurt

Westphal T, Voigt K, Heudorf U. [Amendments to the Drinking Water Ordinance: Legionellae in Hot Water Systems – Data from the Public Health Authority Frankfurt am Main, Germany]. Gesundheitswesen. 2015 Jul 8. [Article in German]

Background: The first and second amendment to the Drinking Water Ordinance came in to force in the years 2011 and 2012 causing additional tasks and responsibilities for operators of commercial large-scale systems, usually hot water systems in large residential buildings, and for the local health authorities. This article describes the experiences of the health authority in Frankfurt/Main with these new regulations. Some of the revisions in the first amendment of the ordinance (TrinkwV 2001 (2011)) were omitted in the second revision (TrinkwV 2001 (2012)) such as the obligation to notify for large-scale systems. Furthermore, the intervals between the obligatory inspections were extended from 1 to 3 years and merely exceedances of the legal limits were to be notified in contrast to the previous obligation to notify all values.

Results: On the basis of the TrinkwV 2001 (2011) a large additional staff requirement had been estimated (13/21 positions). After the TrinkwV 2001 (2012) the tasks can be accomplished by less than 2 employees. While the notification obligation was still in force, the health authority received 4 461 notifications of large-scale systems, since then a further 477 have been notified. Of a total of 1 335 initial analyses, 794 (60%) exceeded the technical action value and in 113 properties with values exceeding 10 000/100 ml a usage restriction was necessary. Conclusions: Due to the suspension of the notification obligation to report any result of the analyses performed the assessment of the reports on large-scale systems has become difficult. An appropriate assessment of the implementation of the regulation is not possible, since the total number of large-scale systems is not known and a failure to report may result from a measured value below the technical action value as well as from a not inspected system. The large number of usage restrictions is an indication for the necessity to inspect and if required to treat and restore the system.