News Briefs: California to Begin Testing Drinking Water for Microplastics

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act

In a first for the world, the California State Water Resources Control Board recently approved requirements for testing drinking water for microplastics.

Under the new plan, 30 large water utilities in the state will be required to test quarterly for microplastics beginning in 2023.

“There’s no other place in the world — literally in the world — that has standardized methods for how you do this or has a monitoring program to look at drinking water,” says Steve Weisberg, executive director of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, according to Cal Matters. “California is really getting out there and being first.”

San Diego Secures WIFIA Loan to Reduce Flood Risks

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a $225 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan to the City of San Diego to support the Stormwater Capital Improvement Project. With EPA’s WIFIA loan, the city will protect water quality, reduce flood risk, and restore natural habitats while supporting resilience to the impacts of climate change.

This is EPA’s third WIFIA loan to the City of San Diego. The Stormwater Capital Improvement Program will utilize traditional infrastructure and green infrastructure to reduce flood risk and ensure that water flowing into local tributaries is clean and safe for San Diego’s 1.4 million residents. 

To accomplish this, the city is using the WIFIA program to finance the design and construction of the Stormwater Capital Improvement Program’s nearly 80 projects. These projects will redirect captured stormwater through existing, traditional drainage passageways as well as implement new, multi-benefit green technologies that will use the city’s natural environment to filter stormwater and reduce untreated runoff that enters the Pacific Ocean. 

EPA Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Clean Water Act

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott recently joined U.S Representative Donald Norcross, Camden (New Jersey)Mayor Victor Carstarphen, EPA Region 2 Senior Advisor for Equity and Chief of Staff Olivia Glenn, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette and local community leaders to highlight the continued improvements made to Camden’s water infrastructure as part of the agency’s tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

“When Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 — with an overwhelming bipartisan majority — it charted a new path for America’s waters. As a result, we have seen transformational progress over the last 50 years — waters that were once polluted are now fishable and swimmable,” says EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox.


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