EPA Holds Webinar on Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Assessment Report

This week, EPA held a webinar on its draft study report entitled, “Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources.”  During the webinar, Stephen LeDuc of EPA’s Office of Research and Development presented background information about the draft report, as well as an overview of the report and findings.

The assessment is based on scientific literature reviews, research publications, and information provided by stakeholders.  The assessment identified vulnerabilities, but did not equate them to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water sources (and potential sources) from HF activities.  Contributing factors to vulnerabilities included inadequate well casing and construction, well proximity to drinking water resources, spills, inadequately treated wastewater, and insufficient data and information to make some conclusions.  The assessment also considered well water volume and use, which it found to be highly variable depending on well locations and characteristics.  EPA will use comments from the public and EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) to finalize the report.  The SAB plans to hold teleconferences on September 30 and October 1 and 19, and a panel meeting on October 28-30 as part of the peer review process for the draft assessment report.  For more information, visit the EPA web site at:  http://www2.epa.gov/hfstudy.

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AWRA Webinar Features Public-Private Water Quality Program in Delaware River Watershed

The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) held a webinar this week about a “Unique Program to Drive Water Quality in the Delaware River Watershed.”  During the webinar, Carol Collier (formerly with the Delaware River Basin Commission) and Stefanie Kroll of Drexel University presented information about the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.  The William Penn Foundation launched the initiative to drive measurable improvement in the quality of the Delaware watershed that aims to ensure a sustainable supply of clean water for ecological health and human consumption, enjoyment, and economic opportunity.  The initiative includes more than 50 public and private partners that leverage funding and resources to target restoration and protection best practices in areas of the watershed with the best potential for measureable results.  The initiative supports science based research, data gathering and analysis, and advocacy focusing on four priority stressors: loss of forested headwaters, stormwater, agricultural run-off, and depletion of underground water supply.  For more information, visit the web site at:  www.ansp.org/drwi.

Promote SepticSmart Week on September 21-25

SepticSmart Week Seal 073115

EPA is holding its third annual SepticSmart Week from September 21-25, 2015. SepticSmart Week outreach activities encourage homeowners and communities to care for and maintain their septic systems.

Nearly one-fifth of all American households depend on septic systems to treat their wastewater. Failure to maintain a septic system can lead to failures resulting in costly repairs, well contamination, polluted local waterways, and risks to public health and the environment.
During SepticSmart Week, EPA seeks to inform homeowners on proper septic system care and maintenance, assist state and local agencies in promoting homeowner education and awareness, and educate local decision makers about the infrastructure options available to improve and sustain their communities.  Visit EPA’s SepticSmart web page for more information and get printable homeowner-targeted materials in the SepticSmart Toolkit.

EPA Proposes Hazardous Waste Rules to Protect Water

EPA is proposing two new hazardous waste rules to strengthen environmental protection while reducing regulatory burden on businesses. One of the proposed rules will protect waterways, including drinking and surface water, by preventing the flushing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals, and simplify the requirements for healthcare workers. The other rule will provide greater flexibility to industry while requiring new safeguards to protect the public from mismanagement of hazardous waste. Both of these rule proposals address challenges raised by stakeholders for implementing and complying with hazardous waste regulations.  The Agency will publish the rules in the Federal Register in the next few weeks with a 60-day comment period.  For additional information on these proposed rules, visit the web sites for the:  Pharmaceuticals Rule and Generator Improvements Rule.