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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Region 6 South Central - Drinking Water Enforcement

Mission

Protection of human health and safeguard drinking water in EPA Region 6 by ensuring:

  • Federal/State Drinking Water Statutes are enforced fairly and effectively.
  • Timely and appropriate enforcement actions are taken against significant SDWA violators and these actions will serve as a deterrent to future violators.
  • The State Environmental Agencies, the regulated community, and concerned citizens have access to accurate information to effectively participate in sensitive drinking water discussions.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed in 1974 and all of the States under EPA Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas) have been delegated primary enforcement authority or what is called "primacy". The 1986 Amendments to the SDWA, in effect, created a drinking water enforcement program in EPA. The Drinking Water Enforcement (DWE) has Enforcement Officers assigned to each State and those individuals are the focal point for implementation of EPA Regional policy for "timely" and "appropriate" enforcement responses to violations. Violations of the SDWA are prioritized according to the severity of the violations, the worst cases being "significant non-compliers". The Enforcement Officers serve as technical experts in providing engineering guidance to water systems to remediate violations. This technical assistance is generally achieved by working directly with mayors, city managers, owners, operators or their consulting engineers or attorneys.

 

If the EPA Region 6 does not have primacy in a State for a new rule, the DWE will retain direct enforcement authority for rule compliance. For States with primacy, the DWE will encourage the State to form partnership with EPA Region 6 to enforce complex upcoming rules.

Lead/Copper Rule; Surface Water Treatment Rule; Public Notification Rule; Total Coliform Rule; Chemical and Radiological Rule; and Consumer Confidence Rule are a few examples of the SDWA's regulations.

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