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Primacy

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) includes a requirement that EPA establish and enforce standards: (MCLs, treatment techniques, monitoring) that public drinking water systems must adhere to.  States and Indian Tribes are given primary enforcement responsibility (e.g. primacy) for public water systems in their State if they meet certain requirements. EPA recently released revisions to the primacy requirements.

Applicable Law, Regulations and Guidance 

Requirements for State Primacy (from 40CFR142, Subp. B) 

Revisions to Primacy Requirements 

This regulation, Revisions to State Primacy Requirements to Implement Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments ("primacy rule"), codifies the changes made to §§1401(4) and 1413 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) by the 1996 Amendments. The rule amends the regulations in 40 CFR Part 142 that set forth the requirements and process for States to obtain and/or retain primary enforcement authority (primacy) for the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program and incorporates the expanded "public water system" (PWS) definition and several other definitions in 40 CFR Parts 141 and 142.

For consistency with the amendments to §1413, the primacy rule makes the following changes to the existing regulations:

For consistency with the amendments to §1401(4), this rule makes the following specifications:

The primacy rule was published as a final rule without any notice or comment period because it is a direct codification and interpretation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, rules that fall within the interpretative statement exception in §553(b)(3)(A) are not subject to the rulemaking notice and comment requirements. Thus, the Agency has "good cause" to publish this document as a final rule.

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