This month Babcock Labs held a sold-out TEAM Event on PFAS regulatory updates and monitoring insights. Our guest speakers, Southern California Section Chief Jeff O’Keefe (Division of Drinking Water, State Water Resources Control Board) and Drinking Water Practice Leader Rob Little (Woodard & Curran) shared their expertise and answered attendee questions. During his presentation, Mr. O’Keefe reminded attendees that Phases II and III of the State Board’s Phased Investigation Approach are forthcoming, planned for Summer and Fall of this year.
The snowpack in the Sierras is at 120% of its mid-June average, which is good news for California’s water woes. But this impressive wet season has come at a huge cost.
June of last year proved to be prime time for harmful algal blooms, resulting in major human health, environmental, and economic problems across the country. Despite the historically colder and wetter conditions we’ve experienced so far in 2019, harmful algal blooms are not out of the question if summer conditions prove conducive to cyanobacteria growth.
Approximately 1 million Californians currently struggle to access safe and affordable drinking water due to water agencies that are out of compliance with state standards on contamination levels or treatment techniques. Though not a new problem, new legislative attempts at the state Capitol endeavor to establish a fund for small water agencies unable to provide customers with clean drinking water because of the high treatment costs.
Last month the Division of Drinking Water and the Division of Water Quality announced the State Water Resources Control Board’s phased investigation approach to PFAS. It is the intention of the Board to begin the investigation by collecting PFAS detection data at 31 airports and 252 municipal solid waste landfills. These facilities have the potential to impact over 1,320 surrounding drinking water wells and drinking water sources.
A California Senate bill aiming to ban the use of a broad-spectrum pesticide passed the Health committee this month and will now be heard in the committee for Environmental Quality. The pesticide, chlorpyrifos, kills insects on contact by attacking their nervous systems. Unfortunately, it also has harmful effects on human neurodevelopment, which is why Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, proposed the bill.