Regulations

EPA Lead Service Line Inventory Guidance Released
On August 4, 2022 EPA released guidance for water utilities to help identify lead pipes that connect drinking water service to homes and other buildings and to develop and maintain inventories of these service lines. 

Given the many benefits of Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR), EPA encourages water systems to begin LSLR as soon as possible, regardless of the stage of their inventory development. This is due to the many benefits of the LSLR but also water systems should focus on inventory of lead service lines so that systems will be able to access funding when it becomes available in 2024.

Read more >>

Source: EPA

For a guide to where the money is headed for lead requirements, check out US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s implementation memo here.
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Water Quality Standards for Manganese and Implementation (25 Pa. Code Chapters 93 and 96)

EQB Approves Final Regulation for Manganese Standard
On August 9, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) voted 16 to 3 to approve a final regulation setting a science-based manganese standard of 0.3mg/L as a Water Quality Criteria for Toxic Substances to protect public health and environment and make the point of compliance for the standard at the point of discharge into a river or stream.

More on the Manganese Rulemaking:

Click here for PMAA’s comments on the rulemaking

Click here for comments on the rulemaking from the AWWA-Water Utility Council (of which PMAA is a member).

Click here for the PA Environment Digest Blog (August 9th) report

Click here for EQB meeting materials (August 9th)

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EPA PFAS Information

EPA Health Advisories for PFAS

EPA Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Factsheet for Public Water Systems

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PA Environmental Quality Board - PFAS Proposed Rulemaking

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) issued their comments on the Safe Drinking Water PFAS MCL proposed rulemaking.

For background and public comments on the proposed rule, click here.

PA Environmental Quality Board PFAS Proposed Rulemaking in PA Bulletin click here

DEP press release click here.

Environmental Quality Board met on November 16th approving (17-2) Safe Drinking Water PFAS MCL Rule (pre-draft proposed revisions)

Click here for meeting materials (scroll down to November 16th meeting: Proposed Rulemaking: Safe Drinking Water PFAS MCL Rule (25 Pa. Code Chapter 109)).

August 2, 2021:

DEP’s Public Water System Technical Assistance Center Board (TAC) met July 29, 2021on a pre-draft regulation setting a state Maximum Contaminant Level and MCL Goals for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

DEP recommended a Maximum Contaminant Level of 14 ppt (parts per trillion) for PFOA and a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 8 ppt.

DEP recommended a Maximum Contaminant Level of 18 ppt for PFOS and a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 14 ppt.

Pennsylvania’s current health advisory is 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

The TAC Board recommended the pre-draft regulation move forward through the regulatory process.

Click here for the TAC Board's comment letter.

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Biosolids General Permit Extensions Announced

The General Permit for the Beneficial Use of Biosolids by Land Application (PAG-07 and PAG-08) has been extended.

PMAA’s comments on DEP’s Pre-draft Proposed Revisions to DEP General Permits PAG-07 and PAG-08 (Biosolids).

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State Revolving Loan Funds

The 2022 Intended Use Plans for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds (SRFs) were published in the PA Bulletin and are available for public comment. This funding includes Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Grants providing $50 billion to EPA to strengthen drinking water and wastewater systems, particularly lead service line replacements and emerging contaminants. For more information, click here.

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Combined Sewer Overflow Proposed Rulemaking

The proposed rulemaking amends the schedules of compliance for combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Specifically, Section 92a.51(a) allows CSO dischargers to implement Long Term Control Plans (LTCPs) to continue beyond the 5-year NPDES permit renewal.

EPA has expressed concerns that the DEP’s practice of approving LTCP implementation schedules exceeding 5 years is inconsistent with the existing language in § 92a.51(a) that requires compliance within 5 years. To resolve the inconsistency, this rulemaking proposes to amend § 92a.51(a) to allow the Department to approve NPDES permits for CSO dischargers with compliance schedules beyond the 5-year period currently established in the regulations, but not longer than the implementation period in the discharger’s approved LTCP.

Click here for the proposed rulemaking in the PA Bulletin. Public comment period ended March 1, 2022.

Click here for PMAA’s comments to DEP’s Proposed Combined Sewer Overflow Rulemaking.

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January 19, 2022

Amended Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) and the Wastewater Sector submitted to EPA

On December 30, 2021, Pennsylvania submitted an Amended Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to EPA. Among other things, this Amended WIP addresses how Pennsylvania intends to close the 9.8 million pound gap in planned nitrogen pollutant reductions needed to meet Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay restoration requirements by 2025 under the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. For PMAA members, it is important to note that Pennsylvania’s Phase III WIP specifically states that, “Pennsylvania’s wastewater sector has greatly reduced its contribution of nitrogen and phosphorous to the state’s waterways. To reduce these pollutants even more would be extremely costly.” Accordingly, the Phase III WIP and its amendment focus primarily on nutrient reductions from sectors other than wastewater. EPA has indicated that it has initiated its review of Pennsylvania’s Amended WIP to determine if the Plan meets Pennsylvania’s commitments to restore downstream waters. However, if the Amended Plan does not meet Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL 2025 goals, EPA has reiterated its ability to take further federal action, including enhanced oversight of permits and possible enforcement actions. PMAA will be closely monitoring any forthcoming information related to this matter and will provide its members with an update when such information becomes available.

Click here for EPA Press Release

Click here for the amended WIP

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In July 2021, DEP’s Public Water System Technical Assistance Center Board (TAC) met on a pre-draft regulation setting a state Maximum Contaminant Level and MCL Goals for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

DEP recommended a Maximum Contaminant Level of 14 ppt (parts per trillion) for PFOA and a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 8 ppt.

DEP recommended a Maximum Contaminant Level of 18 ppt for PFOS and a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 14 ppt.

Pennsylvania’s current health advisory is 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

The TAC Board recommended the pre-draft regulation move forward through the regulatory process.

Click here (TAC Board meeting July 29, 2021) for DEP’s presentation and the pre-draft regulation.

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Development of Environmental Regulations in Pennsylvania
Municipal authorities, as well as other units of local government, are subject to numerous regulations, which form the basis for a wide variety of permitting, record-keeping and reporting, compliance monitoring and assessment and, in some cases, enforcement activities. Most of these activities center on environmental and public health protection.

All regulations must be reviewed and approved, both as proposed and final rule making, by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) which normally meets monthly.

Prior to developing or revising a regulation, DEP programs typically discuss such changes with one or more Advisory Committees. PMAA has member representatives on several of DEP’s Advisory Committees.

The entire process by which any DEP regulation is proposed, reviewed and finalized is quite lengthy and complex and is governed by the PA Regulatory Review Act. It is not unusual for this process to take up to two years. The Regulatory Process flowchart outlines the procedure.

On-line access to all state environmental regulations is available at PA Code Online and are listed as various Articles and Chapters under Title 25: Environmental Protection. On-line access to all state environmental regulations being proposed are available at PA Bulletin.

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Technical Guidance
While Pennsylvania’s environmental regulations are numerous and complex, DEP has found it necessary to further clarify the intent of many regulations through development of supplemental technical guidance documents. Like regulations, development of a technical guidance generally involves going through a public participation process (including use of advisory committees).