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Drinking Water Protection Act Listening Webinar – Wednesday September 16th at 2 pm Eastern

Subject: Drinking Water Protection Act Listening Webinar – Wednesday September 16th at 2 pm Eastern

 

Dear Stakeholder,

 

On Wednesday September 16 at 2 pm Eastern Time, EPA is hosting a listening session webinar to allow the public an opportunity to provide early input on EPA’s development of a strategic plan for assessing and managing risks associated with algal toxins in drinking water.

 

On August 7th, 2015, the President signed H.R. 212 (the Drinking Water Protection Act) amending the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  H.R. 212 adds Section 1459 to SDWA and requires EPA to submit to Congress within 90 days a strategic plan for assessing and managing risks associated with algal toxins in drinking water, among other things. The amendment directs EPA to include in the strategic plan steps and time lines to:

 

  • Evaluate the risk to human health from drinking water contaminated with algal toxins provided by public water systems;
  • Establish, publish, and update a comprehensive list of algal toxins that may have an adverse effect on human health when found in drinking water provided by public water systems accounting for the levels of likely exposure;
  • Summarize known adverse human health effects of the listed algal toxins when present in drinking water provided by public water and summarize factors that cause toxin-producing cyanobacteria and algae to proliferate and cause cells to produce and release toxins;
  • For the listed algal toxins, determine whether to publish health advisories and establish guidance on feasibly analytical methods and monitoring; and recommend feasible treatment options to mitigate any adverse public health effects. Feasible treatment options are to include procedures, equipment, and source water protection practices;
  • Enter into cooperative agreements with affected States and public water systems and provide technical assistance on managing risks associated with algal toxins.

 

The amendment directs EPA to identify gaps in the Agency’s understanding of toxins, publish information from other Federal agencies regarding cyanotoxins and, as appropriate, consult with other stakeholders in carrying out the activities described in the amendment.  EPA will consider input provided during the listening session when developing the strategic plan.

 

In particular, EPA is interested in public input on the following questions:

 

  • What do you consider to be the key information gaps in understanding the human health effects of specific algal toxins?

 

  • What do you consider to be the key information gaps in understanding the occurrence of blooms and toxin formation?

 

  • Please identify effective technical support or tools, including outreach and education efforts, that could benefit states’ and PWSs’ ability to predict, prevent and mitigate the occurrence of algal blooms and inform management decisions.

 

  • In your opinion, what are the most important steps that can be taken to improve strategies for use of HAB-related analytical methods, monitoring, and treatment of harmful algal toxins for drinking water?

 

  • Can you identify specific source water protection practices that hold the greatest promise for mitigating the formation of harmful algal blooms?  In light of what you have identified, are there specific source water protection strategies you would recommend be explored, encouraged, or researched?

 

To register for the event, please go to:

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2979835210030369281

If you would like to provide input during this session, please send an email to Katherine Foreman at foreman.katherine@epa.gov by the end of the day on Tuesday, September 15. If large numbers of attendees wish to provide input, time may be limited to 5 minutes for each speaker. If you are unable to register, EPA will open the phone lines after all registered contributors have provided their input as time allows.

 

For general questions about registration, please contact webcastinfo@cadmusgroup.com

 

For text of H.R. 212 and related information, please visit: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/212

 

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