MICROPLASTICS IN DRINKING WATER: Notice of opportunity for public comment, public workshop, and board hearing for proposed definition of microplastics in drinking water

State Water Board begins process to address microplastics in drinking water

In 2018, Senate Bill 1422 added section 116376 to the Health and Safety Code, requiring the State Water Board, on or before July 1, 2020, to adopt a definition of microplastics in drinking water.

Section 116376 further requires the State Water Board no later than July 1, 2021, to (1) adopt a standard methodology to be used in the testing of drinking water for microplastics; (2) adopt requirements for four years of testing and reporting of microplastics in drinking water, including public disclosure of those results; (3) if appropriate, consider issuing a notification level or other guidance to aid consumer interpretations of the results of the testing required pursuant to this section; and (4) accredit qualified laboratories in California to analyze microplastics. This statute permits the State Water Board to implement this section through the adoption of a policy handbook that is not subject to the regular rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Staff intend to present a draft definition of microplastics in drinking water to the State Water Board for consideration at the Board’s June 16, 2020 meeting. The State Water Resources Control Board will receive public comments on the draft definition of microplastics in drinking water. Written comments must be received by 12:00 noon on Friday, April 24, 2020.

The State Water Board will hold a workshop on Tuesday, April 7th to receive information and solicit public input regarding the draft Definition. This is an informal stakeholder meeting where a quorum of the State Water Board may be present, but the Board will take no formal action. The workshop will begin with a staff presentation summarizing the draft Definition, followed by an opportunity for oral and written public comments. State Water Board staff will answer questions related to the draft Definition.  This will be a video and teleconference meeting only.

The State Water Board expects to consider adopting a definition of microplastics in drinking water at its June 16, 2020 meeting.

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