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Proposed Rules and Regulatory Actions

Long-Term Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (under development by EPA)

Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule are under development by EPA. Issues to be addressed in these revisions include:

  • Lead service line replacement, partial, or otherwise.
  • How to determine when corrosion control is optimized; specifically the acceptable ranges for water quality parameters.
  • Sample site selection criteria.
  • Sampling issues, such as the potential removal of aerators and the acceptable stagnation period.

Amending the Waterworks Regulations (12VAC5-590).

ODW is proposing to amend the Waterworks Regulations to improve content and readability. Since 1995, amendments to the Waterworks Regulations have been limited to incorporating new federal requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

ODW formed a Regulatory Advisory Panel to assist in the development of proposed amendments to the Waterworks Regulations. The panel consisted of 30 members with knowledge and expertise in providing safe drinking water. They represented various stakeholders, including owners, operators, engineers, well drillers, and other government agencies. See attached list of panel members (PDF). The panel met five times from August to November 2014, to review, revise and proposed amendments to the Waterworks Regulations. The Regulatory Advisory Panel meetings were facilitated by the University of Virginia - Institute for Environmental Negotiation. Meeting summaries are posted on the Virginia Town Hall website for the five meeting (August 7, 2014, August 28, 2014, September 25, 2014, October 16, 2014, and November 21, 2014).

Four smaller workgroups were formed from the Regulatory Advisory Panel membership to focus on the following topics: (1) Well abandonment and reactivation, (2) Waterworks classification and operator attendance (3) Cross connection control and backflow prevention and (4) groundwater source development and capacity. Meeting summaries for these workgroups are also posted on Town Hall.

Next Steps
The review and development of regulations are governed by the Virginia Administrative Process Act and Executive Order 14. There are three steps to amending regulations:

  • Step 1: State Agency files a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA).
  • Step 2: Proposed Amendments are reviewed by the Executive Branch and, if approved, it is published in the Virginia Register for a minimum 60-day public comment period.
  • Step 3: Final regulation is adopted.

ODW is preparing to file the NOIRA. Once this Notice is published in the Virginia Register of Regulations and appears on the Town Hall website, there will be at least a 30 day period during which the agency receives comments from the public. The Agency will consider these comments as it develops the proposed amendments regulations.

[October 20, 2014]

EPA Makes Preliminary Determination to Regulate Strontium in Drinking Water

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made a preliminary determination to regulate strontium in the nation's drinking water. Strontium is a naturally occurring element that, at elevated levels, can impact bone strength in people who do not consume enough calcium.

A regulatory determination is a formal decision on whether EPA should initiate a rulemaking process to regulate a specific contaminant. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires that every five years, EPA develop a contaminant candidate list and then make a regulatory determination for at least five contaminants on the list.

Based on available information, the agency has initially determined that strontium has adverse health effects. Strontium replaces calcium in bone, affecting skeletal development. Although strontium affects all life stages, infants, children, and adolescents are of particular concern because their bones are developing. Strontium has been detected in 99 percent of public water systems and at levels of concern in 7 percent of public water systems in the country.

Four other contaminants (dimethoate, 1,3dinitrobenzene, terbufos, and terbufos sulfone) are either not found, or are found at low levels of occurrence in public water systems, thus requiring no regulation at this time.

These determinations are preliminary. EPA will evaluate public feedback following a 60-day public comment period and determine whether to issue a final determination to regulate strontium. If EPA makes such a determination, the Agency will begin the process of developing a proposed rule, with hopes of publishing the final regulatory determinations in 2015.

For more information, please visit:

Robert Daguillard,, 202-564-6618


Last Updated: 02-12-2015

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