Tom Berger Quoted in Bloomberg Law Article, "Utilities Want to Use Chemicals Law to Protect Drinking Water"

Date: Aug 10, 2020

Keller and Heckman Partner Tom Berger was quoted in the Bloomberg Law article, “Utilities Want to Use Chemicals Law to Protect Drinking Water.” The article discusses how two water associations, The Association of State Drinking Water Administration (ASDWA) and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), have teamed up to urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use all its regulatory authority to safeguard drinking water as the agency decides whether to allow new chemicals into U.S. commerce.

The entry of public water officials into the debate is spurred by the recognition of the Toxic Substances Control Act’s (TSCA) potential to affect public health, the environment, and the economy. The goal of both associations is to protect source water. Keeping new chemicals out of water would also help avoid higher water bills for consumers, caused when water companies upgrade technologies to remove new pollutants.

Mr. Berger observed that the efforts of associations like ASDWA and AMWA are unusual, noting that, historically, only chemical industry groups or specific manufacturers would object to a new chemical regulation, known as a significant new use rule or SNUR.

“The EPA is required to address comments,” he said, “so the utilities’ efforts could affect how much the agency regulates new chemicals, leaving manufacturers to decide how much time and money they want to spend developing such chemicals. Whether any particular comment will result in EPA publishing a final SNUR that differs from the proposal is largely a matter of speculation.”

To read the full article, please click here.