Public Water System (PWS) Compliance Program | Region 10 | US EPA

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Public Water System (PWS) Compliance Program

In Region 10, all states (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington) have primacy for the PWS program which includes compliance and enforcement activities. Region 10's compliance team works directly with public water systems who are under federal enforcement actions explaining the requirements of the regulations and ways to achieve compliance or offer enforcement support to state personnel. Some of the states have adopted the federal regulations by reference. EPA's staff works with the state staff to help them interpret the regulations.

In primacy states, EPA can become involved in PWS compliance/enforcement under two circumstances. First, a Notice of Violation (NOV) can be issued to the state concerning a system that is out of compliance with regulations. A copy of the NOV is sent to the system. An NOV is used to inform the states that EPA will consider taking further enforcement action against the water system if the state does not initiate an appropriate action within 30 days. The NOV is a very effective tool in getting water systems back into compliance with the SDWA because systems receiving an NOV often contact the state to learn what needs to done to respond to the action. This begins a dialog between the system and the state which frequently leads to compliance without further formal actions or penalties. If the system does not contact the state and /or the state does not initiate an appropriate enforcement action, EPA may issue an Administrative Order (AO) as appropriate.

Second, an AO can be initiated upon receiving a referral from the state on a system that is out of compliance. An AO includes a list of violations against the system and a schedule to help them return to compliance. Orders may also be issued when a system fails to respond to the NOV. The Administrative Orders do not contain penalties.

EPA may issue a Complaint for Penalty with up to a $25,000 administrative penalty for failing to comply with an Administrative Order. EPA can also refer the case to Federal District Court with a court-ordered penalty of not more than $27,500 per day of violation.

DWU Personnel responsible for PWS compliance activity:

Alaska: Chan Pongkhamsing (206) 553-1806
Idaho: Marie Jennings (206) 553-1152
Oregon: Harold Rogers (206) 553-2715
Washington: Margo Partridge (360) 753-9459

State Compliance / Enforcement Contacts List:

Alaska: James Weise, Department of Environmental Conservation (907) 269-7647
Idaho: Lance Nielsen, Division of Environmental Quality (208) 373-0502
Oregon: Dave Leland, Oregon Health Division (503) 731-4317
Washington: John Aden, Dept. Of Health (360) 664-0441

If you have questions about definitions, terms or acronyms used on this Web Page click on the link to the Drinking Water Glossary

For a listing of the National Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (including MCLs and MCLGs) click here

(See our Drinking Water Links page for related sites in states)

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