RIDGEWOOD, N.J.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The American Water Works Association New Jersey Section (AWWA NJ) has continued its mission as the authoritative resource on safe water by delivering testimony on two issues critical to New Jersey’s safe drinking water. On November 3, 2016, AWWA NJ Chair Michael Furrey provided written and oral testimony for the NJ Senate Environment and Energy Committee in Trenton regarding Hexavalent Chromium. Senator Bob Smith, Chair for the Committee, made a request to the drinking water industry for technical testimony on this emerging contaminant. Hexavalent Chromium (also known as ‘chromium-6’ or ‘Cr(VI)’) was the contaminant depicted in the film “Erin Brockovich.”
Cr(VI) is currently regulated under a US drinking water standard for total chromium of 0.1 mg/L, set in 1991. EPA is currently revising its risk assessment for Cr(VI). The AWWA NJ recommends that the NJ Water Quality Institute reconvene and examine a science-based strategy to address Hexavalent Chromium.
On November 30, 2016, members of the AWWA NJ Infrastructure Management Committee provided testimony to the Joint Task Force on Water Infrastructure in Trenton NJ. AWWA NJ leaders joined former Governor James Florio in providing critical testimony to the Committee for developing a comprehensive strategy to address water infrastructure and lead contamination issues. AWWA NJ will be partnering with NJDEP, USEPA, NJ Water Works, AEA (Public) and the NJUA (Private) to help the NJ legislature address this important issue.
AWWA published a report in 2014 called “Buried No Longer,” which concluded that restoring existing water systems as they reach the end of their useful lives and expanding them to serve a growing population will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, if we are to maintain current levels of water service.
On September 16, 2016, the U.S. Senate approved S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act or WRDA. The House is still working on its own version of a WRDA bill. A key water infrastructure element in S. 2848 is a provision for $70 million so the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program, or WIFIA, can start making actual loans. In the two previous fiscal years, Congress has provided funds for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set up WIFIA administration. Another important element is $100 million to the state revolving loan fund program to assist communities where there has been a drinking water emergency, such as Flint, Mich.
Information about Hexavalent Chromium and Water Infrastructure, along with copies of AWWA NJ’s written testimonies on these issues, are available at www.njawwa.org.
For more information about the AWWA NJ Section, please visit www.njawwa.org or call Mona Cavalcoli, Section Manager, at (866) 436-1120.
About AWWA NJ
AWWA New Jersey Section is part of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the world’s largest association of water professionals with over 50,000 members. The AWWA New Jersey Section represents over 1,300 members united in a mission to provide New Jersey residents with a safe and reliable supply of drinking water. Members include most of New Jersey’s public and investor-owned water utilities along with engineering and environmental professionals and allied industry businesses. AWWA works to make advances in public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of drinking water professionals.