Cadmus provides key support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water as the Agency develops national drinking water standards to protect public health under the Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended. This support includes assisting EPA in:
- Identifying and prioritizing chemical and microbial contaminants not currently regulated, but for which health effects, occurrence, and other data suggest there might be a meaningful opportunity to improve public health protection.
- Providing scientific and technical support to define monitoring programs, research needs, and strategic planning to support the drinking water program.
- Providing scientific, engineering, economic, and related technical support to shape scientific and technical components for control of contaminants selected for regulation.
- Reassessing, during the 6-year review process, whether drinking water contaminants that have been regulated for some time might be revised or updated.
Support for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation and the Contaminant Candidate List
Cadmus provides technical, scientific, and economic support to help the EPA protect the public from “contaminants of emerging concern” in drinking water. Some of these contaminants are new high-production chemicals, such as flame retardants, and familiar compounds, such as medicines, whose environmental consequences were largely unforeseen. Others may be common personal care products, like the ones advertised on television: soaps, shampoos, and various emollients. What they all have in common, however, is that none are regulated under the National Primary Drinking Water Standards (NPDWSs).
EPA’s approach to deciding which contaminants ought to be regulated involves determining how widespread they are in drinking water, what their health effects are, and whether laboratories can detect their presence in the environment. Much of this information is collected under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR), which, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, requires a national monitoring program for up to 30 unregulated contaminants every five years. Cadmus provides a wide range of support to EPA’s UCMR efforts, including:
- Assisting EPA in designing monitoring programs to gather data in the field.
- Helping to store occurrence data.
- Statistically analyzing and summarizing data from various databases of water analyses results.
- Conducting literature searches and pulling together disparate databases, documents, summaries, reports, and fact sheets for mega-analyses.
- Helping develop protocols to look at the health effects of various contaminants and reference levels to compare to environmental occurrence levels.
EPA draws on the UCMR information, stored in the National Contaminant Occurrence Database, in concert with the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). The CCL is the primary source of priority contaminants for which the Agency conducts research to determine whether they warrant regulation under the National Primary Drinking Water Standards. Cadmus has supported the development of each of the CCLs EPA has published (in 1998, 2005, and 2009), and we are now working on the fourth list.
Support for the Development of New Drinking Water Regulations
Cadmus is the leading provider of regulatory development support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water in its development of new drinking water regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended. That support includes analyzing:
- Contaminant occurrence in public water systems.
- Human exposure to these contaminants.
- The adverse health effects and the risk of experiencing adverse health effects from exposure to drinking water contaminants.
- The reduction in adverse health effects a proposed drinking water regulation could be expected to provide.
- The availability and cost of methods to monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants in the field and in the laboratory.
- The availability and cost of engineering solutions and treatment to reduce or eliminate exposure to drinking water contaminants.