Year in Review: Key Issues of 2018

As we prepare to welcome 2019, I find it important to reflect on some of the key industry issues of 2018 as they provide a prelude to the focal-points and challenges our industry is sure to experience in the New Year.

When the Smoke Clears: Aftereffects of Wildfires on Communities’ Water Quality

It is impossible to overstate the tragedy of the Camp and Woolsey fires. The road to recovery will be a long, expensive, and painful one and, unfortunately, rebuilding is only the first of many costs. In addition to the obvious aftermath of a wildfire, there is a subtle yet salient issue these communities will now face: tainted water quality.

EPA Extends WIFIA Deadline

Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a deadline extension for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan applications.

EPA Calls on States to Take the Lead on Lead

Earlier this month Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told reporters that eradicating lead from drinking water is one of his top priorities. 

Pruitt said part of the President’s $1.5 trillion plan to bolster the nation’s infrastructure includes investments in aging water infrastructure, which Pruitt believes should focus on eliminating lead in potable water. In his conversation with reporters, however, Pruitt appeared to place the onus on state and local governments, calling on them to invest in such upgrades. 

EPA Awards Babcock Labs UCMR 4 Small Systems Contract

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has selected Babcock Laboratories, Inc. to provide analytical laboratory services in support of the fourth round of its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule program (UCMR 4). As a contractor to the USEPA, Babcock Labs will conduct UCMR 4 water quality testing for up to 800 community water systems and non-transient, non-community water systems serving between 25 – 10,000 people (i.e., small systems) across the nation.