The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued an August 17th news release providing the first set of data collected under the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”) Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (“UCMR 5”).
EPA states that the data will improve its understanding:
. . . of the frequency that 29 PFAS (and lithium) are found in the nation’s drinking water systems, and at what levels.
Such monitoring data is used by EPA to make determinations about future regulatory decisions under the SDWA.
The SDWA requires that EPA undertake monitoring every five years for priority contaminants that may be present in drinking water but are not yet subject to drinking water regulations.
EPA states that the UCMR is utilized to provide EPA and other interested parties with:
- Nationally representative data on the occurrence of contaminants in drinking water
- The number of people potentially being exposed
- An estimate of the levels of that exposure
The UCMR 5 requiring the collection of such data was published on December 27, 2021. It required sample collection for 30 chemical contaminants between 2023 and 2025 using analytical methods developed by EPA and consensus organization.
EPA describes this as an initial data release representing approximately seven percent of the total results it expects to receive over the next three years. It will update the results quarterly and provide the public access in its EPA National Contaminant Occurrence Database.
A link to the EPA news release can be found here.