May 10, 2022

AP analysis finds growing number of poor, high-hazard dams

An Associated Press analysis tallied more than 2,200 high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition across the U.S. — up substantially from a similar AP review conducted three years ago. The actual number is likely even higher, although it's unclear because some states don't track such data and many federal agencies refuse to release details about their dams' conditions.

The nation's dams are on average over a half-century old and often present more of a hazard than envisioned when designed because homes, businesses or highways have cropped up below them. Meanwhile, a warming atmosphere can bring stronger storms with heavier rainfall that could overwhelm aging dams.

"All of a sudden, you've got older dams with a lower design criteria that now can potentially cause loss of life if they fail," said Del Shannon, an engineer who is president of the U.S. Society on Dams.

"The number of deficient, high-hazard dams is increasing," he said, adding that without investment in upgrades, that number will continue to rise.

Decades of deferred maintenance has worsened the problem. But a changing climate and extreme floods — such as the one that caused the failure of two Michigan dams and the evacuation of 10,000 people in 2020 — have brought a renewed focus to an often overlooked aspect of America's critical infrastructure.

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed last year by President Joe Biden will pump about $3 billion into dam-related projects, including hundreds of millions for state dam safety programs and repairs.


Source: AP

May 9, 2022

EPA takes three new actions to address PFAS

The agency is developing a new broad PFAS testing method, a PFAS development for the NPDES program, and ambient water quality criteria to protect aquatic life from PFA.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced three actions to protect communities and the environment from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in waters.

"EPA is using all available tools to address PFAS contamination as part of a broader, whole-of-government effort to protect communities across the country from these chemicals," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. "Today's actions help protect the health of all Americans as we deliver on our commitment to research, restrict, and remediate PFAS."

A New Testing Method
EPA is publishing a new method that can broadly screen for the presence of PFAS in water at the part per billion level. EPA's new Draft Method 1621, the Screening Method for the Determination of Adsorbable Organic Fluorine (AOF) in Aqueous Matrices by Combustion Ion Chromatography (CIC), provides an aggregate measurement of chemical substances that contain carbon-fluorine bonds. PFAS are a common source of organofluorines in wastewater.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program interfaces with many pathways by which PFAS travel and are released into the environment and ultimately impact people and water quality. EPA is seeking to proactively use existing NPDES authorities to reduce discharges of PFAS at the source and obtain more comprehensive information through monitoring on sources of PFAS.

EPA is also developing national recommended ambient water quality criteria for PFAS to protect aquatic life. The agency is proposing the first Clean Water Act aquatic life criteria for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)—two of the most well-studied chemicals in this group. The criteria are intended to protect aquatic life in the United States from short-term and long-term toxic effects of PFOA and PFOS.

Please read full from:
https://www.waterworld.com/drinking-water/potable-water-quality/press-release/14275856/epa-takes-three-new-actions-to-address-pfas