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Environmental News, Regulatory News

EPA Issues Preliminary Determination to Set Enforceable Drinking Water Standard for PFAS and PFOS

February 28, 2020

On February 20, 2020, the EPA announced it is issuing a preliminary regulatory determination for public comment to set an enforceable drinking water standard for two of the most common per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). This decision was based on the criteria that PFOA and PFOS have an adverse effect on public health, are present in our drinking water at a frequency and concentration that represent a public health concern, and regulation will reduce the health risk to those served by public water supply systems. The preliminary regulatory determination is the first step in setting a drinking water standard, called as a maximum contaminant level (MCL) under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). If an MCL is established, utilities will be required to monitor for these PFOA and PFOS and potentially treat their water to keep concentrations below the standard. It is important to note that this proposed regulation only covers PFOS and PFOA, and not the nearly…
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Megan Ostrand Joins Blackstone as Environmental Scientist

February 25, 2020

Blackstone Environmental is excited to welcome Megan Ostrand, Environmental Scientist, to our Overland Park, Kansas office. She holds a Master of Science in Soil Science and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management both from the North Dakota State University (NDSU). As part of the Blackstone team, Megan will focus on soil classification and investigation activities, groundwater monitoring and statistical analysis, wetland assessment, and NEPA compliance. Prior to Blackstone, Megan was a Graduate Research Assistant at NDSU. Her work included scientific data collection, use of geographical information systems (GIS), soil sampling, Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP) treatments and evaluation, development of organizational structure for coal research, and technical and research writing. Megan was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota. She played college hockey at NDSU during her undergrad years. In her spare time, she enjoys function fitness, being outdoors and sipping craft beer. Welcome!
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Environmental News, Regulatory News

Finalization of a New Rule Addressing the Clean Water Act Definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS)

February 18, 2020

On January 23, 2020 the United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Corps of Engineers announced the finalization of a new rule addressing the Clean Water Act definition of Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”). The definition of WOTUS is considered to be one of the three critical jurisdictional terms in the Clean Water Act. It is also important because it is relevant to non-National Pollution Discharge Elimination System programs including: Section 404 of the Clean Water Act Wetland PermitsSection 311 Oil/Hazardous Substances Release RequirementsClean Water Act Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Regulations The scope of the definition of WOTUS has been the subject of frequent litigation, legislative oversight, rulemakings, and public policy debates since the enactment of the modern version of the Clean Water Act in 1972. This current version will also likely be met by lawsuits from environmental groups and some states while at the same time it is being championed by organizations representing farming and ranching interests, industry groups, and real…
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