Last week AMWA staff met with senior career staff at the EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW) to discuss a range of ongoing regulatory agenda items, including the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI), state Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class VI programs, and more.
AMWA used the meeting to underline points raised in the association’s federalism consultation comments on the LCRI, specifically related to the hurdles some members are facing in trying to replace lead service lines, such as workforce challenges or getting access to private property. EPA expressed interest in understanding state and local limitations and hurdles to achieving full lead service line replacement (LSLR), noting that partial lead service line replacement is not encouraged by the agency. In 2019 EPA released a document with strategies to achieve full LSLR, and the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative has a webpage with approaches to achieving full LSLR.
AMWA staff and EPA also discussed EPA’s permitting program for Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class VI programs, which regulate carbon capture and sequestration wells (Class VI). Last week, EPA announced the availability of $50M in grant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help states apply for primacy of and implement Class VI programs. EPA recently updated its site documenting Class VI well permit applications. Louisiana and Texas are currently pursuing primacy applications for Class VI programs.
AMWA staff also encouraged EPA to plan for a future in-person meeting of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council working group on potential microbial disinfection byproduct rule revisions, noting the benefit to working group members and the discussion process with an in-person meeting. Staff also discussed OGWDW efforts to date to track benefits to disadvantaged communities under Justice40.
AMWA staff will continue to engage regularly with EPA about its regulatory agenda and share information with members via committees and newsletters.