Proposed Changes to Safe Drinking Water Program

Proposed Changes to Safe Drinking Water Program

Aug 02, 2017
DEP is proposing updates to the Safe Drinking Water regulations and fees in a proposed rulemaking: Safe Drinking Water General Update and Fees (25 Pa. Code, Chapter 109).  The purpose of the proposed rulemaking package is to amend the Department’s Safe Drinking Water regulations to: (1) incorporate the remaining general update provisions that were separated from the proposed Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) as directed by the EQB on April 21, 2015, including revisions to treatment technique requirements for pathogens; clarifications to permitting requirements; and new requirements for alarms, shutdown capabilities, and auxiliary power; (2) amend permit fees and add new annual fees to supplement state costs and fill the funding gap ($7.5M); and (3) add new amendments to establish the basis for issuing general permits; and address concerns related to gaps in the monitoring, reporting and tracking of backup sources of supply.
The proposed rulemaking includes new annual fees and amended permit fees to supplement state costs and improve program performance.  The proposed fees will total approximately $7.5 million annually and will account for nearly 50% of the program’s state funding.  The fees will augment the program funding currently coming from the General Fund ($7.7 million).
The annual fees range from $250 - $40,000 for CWSs, $50 - $1,000 for NCWSs, and $1,000 - $2,500 for bottled, vended, retail, and bulk water haulers (BVRB).  The fees will most likely be passed on to the 10.7 million customers of these PWSs as a user fee.  Per person costs are expected to range from $0.35 to $10 per year, depending on the water system size.
One or more of these amendments will apply to all 8,521 public water systems (PWS):
• Community water systems (CWS) = 1,952
• Nontransient noncommunity water systems (NTNCWS) = 1,088
• Transient noncommunity water systems (TNCWS) = 5,309
• Bottled, vended, retail and bulk water hauling systems (BVRB) = 172
The following information was presented at the May 17, 2017 Environmental Quality Board Meeting.