NACWA Asks EPA to Improve Risk Assessment and Labeling of Root Control Chemical

three(December 19, 2017) - NACWA sent comments to EPA on December 13 asking the Agency to modify its proposed label language for dichlobenil, a root control chemical.  Dichlobenil can be effectively used to control roots in wastewater collection systems, helping to prevent overflows and backups.  However, if too much of the chemical is used in too short of a time, it has the potential to both interfere with the microorganisms used in the wastewater treatment process and negatively affect effluent quality.  The chemical may also be a safety hazard for collection system workers. 

NACWA, along with the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA), asked that EPA improve its risk assessment of dichlobenil used for root control by using a risk model that is more representative of conditions found in collection systems.  In addition, NACWA and BACWA asked that EPA use label language that requires notification of downstream POTWs before the dichlobenil is used for root control in collection systems.  This notification will help clean water agencies to protect their workers, who may be opening manholes or entering collections lines. 

NACWA members with concerns about dichlobenil or any other root control chemicals should contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director, Regulatory Affairs.