The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced on August 29th plans to begin preliminary research to evaluate the federal agency’s oversight of state drinking water monitoring.

The OIG Project Notification states that its objectives are to:

. . .evaluate how the EPA ensures that Safe Drinking Water Act primacy states monitor and report drinking water sampling results from public water systems, and to determine whether the EPA can improve its oversight of state drinking water sampling programs.

The State of Arkansas has primacy for the implementation and enforcement of the relevant Safe Drinking Act authorities. This task is carried out by the Arkansas Department of Health.

OIG states that it plans to conduct initial work at EPA headquarters, as well as in selected regions and states. The regions and states are not specified in the August 29th notice. OIG is asking that the EPA Office of Water provide OIG with information on who collects drinking water samples for the states in each region (e.g., water utility, state personnel, contractor).

A copy of the August 29th Project Notification can be downloaded here.