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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 15, 2017.
Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 2016
This bill amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to revise regulations for drinking water contaminants, including by:
requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine whether or not to regulate no fewer than 10 contaminants every 3 years (current law requires 5 contaminants every 5 years); revising the process and requirements for setting maximum containment levels in national primary drinking water regulations; directing the EPA to revise national primary drinking water regulations for lead and copper; setting deadlines for the EPA to publish maximum contaminant level goals and promulgate national drinking water regulations for perchlorate, perfluorinated compounds, and microcystin (algal) toxin; establishing grant programs for reducing lead in drinking water in schools; requiring community water systems to assess their vulnerabilities to contamination, including vulnerabilities from climate change or sabotage, and develop plans for addressing those vulnerabilities; establishing the Drinking Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Program, under which the EPA may award grants for community water systems to increase their resiliency to those threats; removing a regulatory exemption for hydraulic fracturing; requiring the EPA to develop a strategic plan for assessing and managing the risks of drought to drinking water provided by public water systems; revising requirements for the drinking water state revolving fund (SRF); creating a process for consolidating water systems that repeatedly fail to comply with drinking water standards; requiring the EPA to create an inventory of data about drinking water violations; directing the EPA to revise regulations for consumer confidence reports; establishing research grants for monitoring technology; and requiring the EPA to study the presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in drinking water sources. The bill reauthorizes specified programs under the Act, including reauthorizing through FY2022 the SRF.