This month, the EPA completed its second review of National Primary Drinking Water Regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”) and published the findings of its review in the Federal Register. Such reviews are required every six years under Section 1412(b)(9) of the SDWA. The EPA reviewed existing regulations for 71 contaminants and determined that 67 regulations remain appropriate, while four regulations are in need of revision. Each regulation covers a single contaminant.
The four regulations found to be in need of revision were those governing acrylamide, epichlorohydrin, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene. According to the EPA, “tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene are used in industrial and/or textile processing and can be introduced into drinking water from contaminated ground or surface water sources,” and “[a]crylamide and epicholorohydrin are impurities that can be introduced into drinking water during the water treatment process.” The review states that reevaluations of the health risks posed by exposure to acrylamide, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene are under way. The review also concludes that compliance with more stringent limits on the concentration of all four contaminants is feasible and will likely be required under the revised regulations.