The concerns include climate change, cyber threats, and leveraging the Toxic Substances Control Act for source water protection.
The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan to highlight a number of major issues of mutual concern.
According to the letter, these concerns include: climate change, cyber threats, and leveraging the Toxic Substances Control Act for source water protection.
“Water is the lifeblood of our nation’s cities and towns,” stated the letter. “Recognizing that sometimes mitigating climate impacts can be an adaptation strategy, our nation’s urban water utilities are seeking ways to implement innovative solutions that increase energy efficiency and adapt to the changes that are already being observed in their watersheds.”
The letter touches on the fact that water systems were built for conditions that existed decades or a century ago, so EPA must plan to mitigate the impact of future storms and provide essential services into the next century.
According to AMWA, helping communities and the water utilities serving them become more resilient to climate change should be a top priority for EPA. This approach would present an opportunity for EPA to address several of the administration’s key priorities include: protecting public health and the environment, addressing long standing environmental justice and equity issues, and creating economic opportunity.
AMWA also encouraged EPA to continue its collaboration with the nation's water utilities and support WaterISAC, the federally initiated international security network created by and for the water and wastewater sector, to combat cyber attacks.
Another recommendation by AMWA is for EPA to leverage the Toxic Substances Control Act to better safeguard drinking water sources from contaminants, specifically per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Since EPA and water utilities face these challenges, the AMWA welcomes “the opportunity to convene a handful of water utility CEOs and general managers to discuss with you how we can work together to address these critical challenges.”