May 2, 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on May 1, 2012 that the agency will work with drinking water systems to monitor unregulated contaminants.
EPA has finalized a list of 28 chemicals and two viruses for monitoring:
If you wish to download a PDF copy for your records, download here (link will download directly, no registration required). The list includes 28 thus-far-non-regulated substances to be monitored in drinking water from 2013 to 2015.
It's said that approximately 6,000 public water systems will take part in the new effort to monitor these 28 (+2 viruses). The effort itself is part of EPA's "unregulated contaminant monitoring program" — which collects data on contaminants suspected to show up in drinking water but that do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Under the Act, EPA is required to regulate 30 new chemicals every five years.
EPA intends that the data collected about the frequency and levels at which these contaminants are found in drinking water systems across the United States will help determine whether additional protections are needed to ensure safe drinking water for Americans.
State participation in the monitoring is voluntary. EPA will fund small drinking water system costs for laboratory analyses, shipping and quality control.
The list of contaminants to be studied includes total chromium and hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6 in drinking water lingo. Addressing hexavalent chromium in drinking water is a priority, as EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has said many times.
EPA has standards for 91 contaminants in drinking water, and the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that EPA identify up to 30 additional unregulated contaminants for monitoring every five years.
For more information, visit: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ucmr/ucmr3/index.cfm There you'll find information on a new tool for pollutant visibility called the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool. EPA bills it as "a new tool designed to help you determine who [what company] is discharging, what pollutants they are discharging and how much, and where they are discharging." It's basically a searchable database.