NACWA Highlights California Toxicity Policy During Water Quality Committee Discussion

Water_Quality(November 14, 2018) - NACWA’s Water Quality Committee held a conference call on November 9 to discuss new issues and updates on a variety of key water quality issues around the country.

The Committee highlighted one issue in particular — California’s statewide toxicity provisions and the 2018 Draft Water Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries; and Toxicity Provisions. The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is proposing to adopt statewide numeric water quality objectives for acute and chronic toxicity that would apply to all inland surface waters. The new numeric objectives would require permitted dischargers to apply the Test of Significant Toxicology (TST) approach when testing whole effluent toxicity. The State Water Board has stressed that this is not a change in test methods but rather a “data analysis approach.”

NACWA, along with several California water organizations, have been active on EPA’s use of un-promulgated statistical and other toxicity procedures before and the Association plans to weigh in on California’s proposed adoption of the TST methodology.

The State Water Board is holding a public hearing on November 28, and the opportunity for public comment period closes on December 7. For a quick review of the issue in California, please check out this presentation from the State Water Board.

Members with questions can contact Chris Hornback, NACWA Deputy CEO, or Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director, Regulatory Affairs and Outreach.