EPA to Regulate 30 New Contaminants in Drinking Water

March 04, 2011

March 4, 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted a proposal of 30 currently unregulated contaminants for monitoring in water systems.  EPA is requesting public comment.What's in your water?

View or download the full list of contaminants

The full list of EPA’s 30 proposed contaminants may be viewed or downloaded (courtesy of the Actio databases).  View or download the full list of proposed chemical contaminants here.

The list includes:

  • hormones, such as equilin, estrone, and testosterone
  • volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as methyl chloride and methyl bromide
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • anadium, molybdenum, cobalt, strontium
  • chlorate
  • perflourinated compounds, such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS)
  • enteroviruses and noroviruses

This measure is the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR) under EPA’s 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  The amendments require EPA to identify up to 30 unregulated contaminants for monitoring every five years.

Comments on this water contaminant list?

During the comment period, which lasts until May 2, 2011, the public is invited to provide input on the proposed list.  It’s your opportunity to help guide EPA’s decisions on how best to protect drinking water.  EPA plans to finalize the list in 2012.

The new regulation, known as UCMR 3, will require:
1.    all public water systems that serve more than 10,000 people
2.    800 representative public water systems that serve 10,000 or fewer people
to monitor for 28 proposed contaminants and two viruses during a 12-month period from January 2013 through December 2015.

Members of the public may submit a formal comment here.

“Ensuring clean and safe drinking water for all Americans is a top priority for EPA,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.

How many contaminants are currently regulated?

Currently, EPA regulates over 90 contaminants in drinking water.  Contaminants can include both viruses and chemical-substances.

How did EPA select the UCMR 3 proposed contaminants?

EPA reviewed previously targeted UCMR contaminants:

  1. for which analytical methods were not yet available
  2. included on the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) which are not regulated by the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations and are known or believed to exist in PWSs and
  3. contaminants based on occurrence and health effect risk factors

“Learning more about the prevalence of these contaminants will allow EPA to better protect people’s health,” said Stoner.

For more information on the proposed contaminants and corresponding analytical methods here.  Here is the full list:

EPA to monitor 30 new chemicals under SDWA

Download your copy here.

For information on managing compliance, go to