National Academies Press: OpenBook

Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants (1999)

Chapter: Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants

Based on the 1998 Workshop on Emerging Drinking Water Contaminants

Water Science and Technology Board

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1999

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under contract no. X-826345-01-0.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 99-64497

International Standard Book Number 0-309-06432-5

Additional copies of this report are available from:
National Academy Press
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20055 800-642-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu

Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

WORKSHOP SPEAKERS

CHARLES M. AUER,

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

JOHN CHELEN,

The Unison Institute

WALTER GIGER,

Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Zurich

WALTER JÜLICH,

International Association of Waterworks in the Rhine Region

MARK W. LECHEVALLIER,

American Water Works Service Company, Inc.

TIMOTHY L. MILLER,

U.S. Geological Survey

DEBORAH M. MOLL,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

ISSAM NAJM,

Montgomery Watson, Inc.

DANIEL A. OKUN,

University of North Carolina

MARTIN REINHARD,

Stanford University

JOAN B. ROSE,

University of South Florida

MARK D. SOBSEY,

University of North Carolina

JOHN D. WALKER,

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

JEANETTE WILTSE,

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Workshop Coordinators

JACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Study Director

MARK C. GIBSON, Research Associate

KIMBERLY A. SWARTZ, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

COMMITTEE ON DRINKING WATER CONTAMINANTS

WARREN R. MUIR, Chair,

Hampshire Research Institute, Alexandria, Virginia

R. RHODES TRUSSELL, Vice Chair,

Montgomery Watson, Inc., Pasadena, California

FRANK J. BOVE,

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia

LAWRENCE J. FISCHER,

Michigan State University, East Lansing

WALTER GIGER,

Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Zurich

BRANDEN B. JOHNSON,

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton

NANCY K. KIM,

Center for Environmental Health, Albany, New York

MICHAEL J. MCGUIRE,

McGuire Environmental Consultants, Santa Monica, California

DAVID M. OZONOFF,

Boston University, Massachusetts

CATHERINE A. PETERS,

Princeton University, New Jersey

JOAN B. ROSE,

University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

PHILIP C. SINGER,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

DEBORAH L. SWACKHAMER,

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

PAUL G. TRATNYEK,

Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, Portland

Staff

JACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Study Director

CAROL A. MACZKA, Director,

BEST Toxicology and Risk Assessment Program

MARK C. GIBSON, Research Associate

KIMBERLY A. SWARTZ, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD

HENRY J. VAUX, Jr., Chair,

University of California, Oakland

CAROL A. JOHNSTON, Vice Chair,

University of Minnesota, Duluth

RICHELLE ALLEN-KING,

Washington State University, Pullman

JOHN S. BOYER,

University of Delaware, Lewes

JOHN BRISCOE,

The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

DENISE FORT,

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

EVILLE GORHAM,

University of Minnesota, St. Paul

CHARLES D. D. HOWARD,

Charles Howard and Associates, Ltd., Victoria, British Columbia

WILLIAM A. JURY,

University of California, Riverside

WILLIAM M. LEWIS, Jr.,

University of Colorado, Boulder

GARY S. LOGSDON,

Black & Veatch, Cincinnati, Ohio

RICHARD LUTHY,

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

JOHN W. MORRIS,

J.W. Morris, Ltd., Arlington, Virginia

CHARLES R. O'MELIA,

The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

PHILIP A. PALMER,

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, Delaware

REBECCA T. PARKIN,

The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

JOAN B. ROSE,

University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

ERIC F. WOOD,

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Staff

STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director

JACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Associate Director

CHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff Officer

LAURA J. EHLERS, Senior Staff Officer

JEFFREY W. JACOBS, Staff Officer

MARK C. GIBSON, Research Associate

JEANNE M. AQUILINO, Administrative Associate

ANITA A. HALL, Administrative Assistant

ELLEN A. DE GUZMAN, Senior Project Assistant

KIMBERLY A. SWARTZ, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY

GORDON ORIANS, Chair,

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

DONALD MATTISON, Vice-Chair,

University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

DAVID ALLEN,

University of Texas, Austin

MAY R. BERENBAUM,

University of Illinois, Urbana

EULA BINGHAM,

University of Cincinnati, Ohio

PAUL BUSCH,

Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., White Plains, New York

PETER L. DEFUR,

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

DAVID L. EATON,

University of Washington, Seattle

ROBERT A. FROSCH,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

JOHN GERHART,

University of California, Berkeley

MARK HARWELL,

University of Miami, Florida

ROGENE HENDERSON,

Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico

CAROL HENRY,

American Petroleum Institute, Washington, D.C.

BARBARA HULKA,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,

DANIEL KREWSKI,

Health Canada and University of Ottawa, Ontario

JAMES A. MACMAHON,

Utah State University, Logan

MARIO J. MOLINA,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

WARREN R. MUIR,

Hampshire Research Institute, Alexandria, Virginia

CHARLES R. O'MELIA,

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

KIRK SMITH,

University of California, Berkeley

MARGARET N. STRAND,

Oppenheimer, Wolff, Donnelly & Bayh, Washington, D.C.

TERRY F. YOSIE,

Ruder Finn, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Staff

JAMES J. REISA, Director

DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Associate Director and Program Director for Applied Ecology

CAROL A. MACZKA, Program Director for Toxicology and Risk Assessment

LEE R. PAULSON, Program Director for Resource Management

RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Program Director for Environmental Sciences and Engineering

KULBIR BAKSHI, Program Director for the Committee on Toxicology

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES

GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chair,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

PATRICK R. ATKINS,

Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

JERRY F. FRANKLIN,

University of Washington, Seattle

B. JOHN GARRICK,

PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California

THOMAS E. GRAEDEL,

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

DEBRA KNOPMAN,

Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

KAI N. LEE,

Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts

JUDITH E. McDOWELL,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

RICHARD A. MESERVE,

Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.

HUGH C. MORRIS,

Canadian Global Change Program, Delta, British Columbia

RAYMOND A. PRICE,

Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario

H. RONALD PULLIAM,

University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

THOMAS C. SCHELLING,

University of Maryland, College Park

VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL,

Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida

E-AN ZEN,

University of Maryland, College Park

MARY LOU ZOBACK,

U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California

Staff

ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director

GREGORY H. SYMMES, Associate Executive Director

JEANETTE A. SPOON, Administrative & Financial Officer

SANDI S. FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate

MARQUITA S. SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
×

Preface

With an increasing population, use of new and diverse chemicals that can enter the water supply, and emergence of new microbial pathogens, the U.S. federal government is faced with a regulatory dilemma: Where should it focus its attention and limited resources to ensure safe drinking water supplies for the future? The availability of increasingly powerful analytical methods for the detection and identification of smaller and smaller amounts of chemicals and microorganisms in the environment, many of them never before detected, complicates these decisions.

To help address these difficult issues, one of the major requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publish a list of unregulated chemical and microbial contaminants and contaminant groups every five years that are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and that may pose risks in drinking water. The first such list, called the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL), was published in March 1998. The CCL's primary function is to provide the basis for deciding whether to regulate at least five new contaminants from the CCL every five years. However, additional research and monitoring need to be conducted for many, if not most, of the contaminants on the current CCL. Thus, the CCL is also used to prioritize research activities.

At EPA's request, the Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) and the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) of the National Research Council (NRC) jointly formed the Committee on Drinking Water Contaminants to help the EPA develop and use the first and successive CCLs in a scientifically defensible manner. Specifically, EPA asked the committee for assistance in addressing three related tasks:

  1. developing a scientifically sound approach for deciding whether or not to regulate contaminants on the current and future CCLs,
  2. convening a workshop that focused on emerging drinking water contaminants and the database that should be created to support future decision-making on such contaminants, and
  3. developing a scientifically sound approach for developing future CCLs.
  • While these tasks initially seemed closely related, one year, three meetings, and two reports have proved otherwise. The committee discovered through the presentations of several guest speakers, a review of relevant literature, and committee deliberations that the tasks were sufficiently different

  • Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
    ×

    and independent to demand additional time and meetings for each to be fully addressed. The committee gave thorough attention to the fast task in its fast report, Setting Priorities for Drinking Water Contaminants, which provides a phased decision process for determining which contaminants on a CCL are appropriate candidates for regulatory decisions and which will require research or monitoring. However, the committee had very little time to address the last two tasks, which are the subject of this report. Due to the short time available, the recommended approach for the development of future CCLs that is provided in this report is conceptual. The EPA would benefit from a more careful, detailed assessment of the CCL development process and how to identify critical contaminants for regulation from among tens of thousands of potential candidates.

    This report is based on a series of presentations and subsequent committee deliberations that occurred at a December 2-4, 1998, workshop on emerging drinking water contaminants. The purpose of the workshop was to present and discuss a dozen papers on emerging microbiological and chemical drinking water contaminants, associated analytical and treatment methods, and existing and proposed environmental databases for their proactive identification and regulation. The presented papers are included in this volume. Following the open presentations, the committee met in closed session for the latter half of December 3 and all day on December 4 to develop a consensus-based approach and related recommendations for the creation of future CCLs. The approach and recommendations were developed exclusively from information gathered and discussed at the workshop, the committee's first report, and the expertise of committee members. The consensus report precedes the workshop papers.

    I speak for the entire committee in thanking the workshop presenters and paper co-authors for their diligence and time in making the workshop a truly educational and enlightening experience for us all. I would also like to thank John Chelen of the Unison Institute and Jeanette Wiltse of the EPA for their remarks at the workshop. On behalf of the committee, I also wish to thank Jim Taft and Evelyn Washington of the EPA for supporting this important study throughout its development and fulfillment.

    I also thank the very capable and professional assistance that the committee has received from the NRC staff. In particular, I want to acknowledge the outstanding efforts that we have received from Jacqueline MacDonald, study director and WSTB associate director; Mark Gibson, WSTB research associate; Carol Maczka, BEST director of toxicology and risk assessment programs; and Kimberly Swartz, WSTB project assistant. These staff members worked extraordinarily hard and effectively to help us produce this report in a very short period of time, in order to be of maximum utility to the EPA as it moves forward in using the current CCL and creating the next CCL.

    This report has been reviewed, in accordance with NRC protocol, by individuals chosen for their expertise and broad perspectives on the issues addressed herein. The purpose of the external review is to provide independent, candid, and critical comments that will help ensure that the report is scientifically sound and meets NRC's standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The committee wishes to thank the

    Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9595.
    ×

    following people for their participation in this review and for their many constructive comments: Richard A. Conway, Union Carbide Corporation (retired); Joseph A. Cotruvo, NSF International; Gunther F. Craun, Gunther F. Craun & Associates, Staunton, Virginia; Joseph J. Delfino, University of Florida; Ann. N. P. Fisher, The Pennsylvania State University; and Eric D. Olson, Natural Resources Defense Council. The final content of this report is the responsibility of the Committee on Drinking Water Contaminants.

    Lastly, I want to thank the diverse and talented members of the committee, who were once again able to bring together their different perspectives and extensive expertise to produce this report. I look forward to continue working with this wonderful group to help the EPA address other pressing drinking water issues and requirements mandated under the SDWA Amendments of 1996.

    WARREN R. MUIR, PH.D.

    CHAIR, COMMITTEE ON DRINKING WATER CONTAMINANTS

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    With an increasing population, use of new and diverse chemicals that can enter the water supply, and emergence of new microbial pathogens, the U.S. federal government is faced with a regulatory dilemma: Where should it focus its attention and limited resources to ensure safe drinking water supplies for the future?

    Identifying Future Drinking Water Contaminants is based on a 1998 workshop on emerging drinking water contaminants. It includes a dozen papers that were presented on new and emerging microbiological and chemical drinking water contaminants, associated analytical and water treatment methods for their detection and removal, and existing and proposed environmental databases to assist in their proactive identification and regulation.

    The papers are preceded by a conceptual approach and related recommendations to EPA for the periodic creation of future Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate Lists (CCLs--produced every five years--include currently unregulated chemical and microbiological substances that are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and that may pose health risks).

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