Whitman Vote Due Tuesday
A vote to confirm the nomination of Christine Todd Whitman as EPA Administrator is expected to sail through Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today, and a full Senate vote on the nomination is slated for Tuesday afternoon. Since the departure of former Administrator Carol Browner, Michael McCabe has held the interim Acting Administrator position. He was most recently a deputy administrator with the Agency. Diane Regas is Acting Assistant Administrator for Water.
Cabinet Status Sought For EPA
Legislation introduced last week by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) would raise the EPA to department status and its Administrator to a cabinet-level post. The Department of Environmental Protection Affairs Act would give broader Success With Anthony 2 power to EPA and increase its ability to integrate environmental policy with the policymaking of other federal departments.
California MTBE Phaseout Challenged, State Continues Pursuit Of Fuel Waiver
An industry group representing oxygenated fuel companies filed a Fast Traffic Formula lawsuit in a California district court last week to block the state’s impending ban on MTBE. The Oxygenated Fuels Association claims that the plan to phase out the controversial chemical violates the federal Clean Air Act. The suit may interfere with the state’s attempts to eliminate the fuel additive. MTBE is widely used in California to make cleaner burning gasoline, but has tainted drinking water throughout the state.
California Governor Gray Davis (D) hoped to receive a waiver from federal fuel oxygen content requirements from the Clinton Administration in order to reduce pressure on the state to shift to non-MTBE gasoline. The waiver was not forthcoming, however, and the appeal will now be pursued with the Bush administration, according to assisted living san diego California officials. Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa), the leading Democrat on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, is calling on President Bush to turn down the waiver request. He says the scientific support for California’s petition is flawed and the waiver would obstruct planned efforts in the new Congress to write MTBE phaseout legislation.
Conference To Spotlight Important Issues
Where will the highest concentration of drinking water policy makers be this spring? The answer: AMWA’s Legislative & Somanabolic Muscle Maximizer Regulatory Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 19-21. Taking advantage of a new Fat Loss Factor Administration and many new faces in Congress, this year’s conference will focus on the policy challenges facing the industry. Top policy makers and influential leaders will be featured on the program.
Among those invited are Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Robert Smith (R-N.H.) and Ranking Member Harry Reid (D-Nev.), as well as EPA Administrator-designate Christine Todd Whitman. Confirmed speakers include Ben Grumbles, Senior Counsel for the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment; Eric Washburn, Democratic Staff Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; and John Pemberton, Majority Counsel on the committee.
In addition, Debra Coy, Vice President of Charles Schwab Washington Research Group, will discuss trends and changes in the water market; Michael Vann, General Manager of Birmingham Water Works and Sewer, will describe recent privatization efforts in Birmingham; and Mark Beuhler of Metropolitan Commission Conspiracy Water District of Southern California will tell AMWA members about Met’s customer demographics research.
Cynthia Dougherty, EPA’s Director of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, will describe the Agency’s plans for implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act in the coming year and beyond. Dan Schmelling, Ph.D., also from the drinking water office, will provide the latest Leicester Restaurants information on ultraviolet light availability and feasibility.
Water Infrastructure Hearings To Begin In Spring
Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Robert Smith (R-N.H.) and Ranking Member Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced recently that the Committee will hold a series of hearings on drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs in the spring. The hearings likely will focus on water infrastructure studies by EPA and the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN).
Another focus of the hearings probably will be the recommendations of WIN, which is composed of AMWA, other water organizations, environmentalists, engineering groups, and State and local Los Angeles criminal defense attorney organizations. The WIN report will be published in February.
Arsenic Rule Issued, Implementation Status Unclear
The drinking water regulation governing arsenic was caught up in political maneuvering in the change of administrations. Although Congress extended the legal deadline to June, the Clinton Administration set a high priority on the rule and dedicated extensive EPA resources to finalizing it prior to the arrival of President Bush’s team. As the new administration took over on January 20th, Bush’s Chief of Staff Andrew Card issued a memorandum directing all regulatory agencies to suspend action on new and pending easy fb commissions 2 regulations. The directive was too late, however, to halt publication of the final Arsenic Rule in the Federal Register.
Arsenic Rule Includes New CCR Requirement
The EPA Administrator signed the final Arsenic Rule which lowers the arsenic standard from 50 ppb to 10 ppb. In the final rule the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for arsenic was set at zero based on carcinogenicity.
In a change from the proposed rule, EPA is requiring that systems with arsenic levels at 5 ppb or higher provide special health information in their annual Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs).
EPA may face legal challenges to the final arsenic rule from environmental Setup Activate Profit groups and the mining industry. Its not clear if an environmental group will challenge the standard at the federal level, but environmental organizations may take legal action at the local or state level in an effort to force EPA to tighten the requirement. The mining industry is considering a legal challenge. The new standard may have implications for water quality polices because EPA plans to use the revised standard to establish new ambient water quality criteria for arsenic.
A prepublication copy of the rule is available at www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic.html. Two arsenic fact sheets were mailed last week to members in Bulletin 01-04.
UV Project Information
The first UV Project list is now available for viewing!
AMWA is soliciting information on planned, underway and completed UV projects as part of a UV Resource Page to appear on this web site. Click here for more information on this initiative or to submit projects.