4. New funding for states and communities through the
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (EPA 2004).
The regulatory improvements included risk-based prioritization
of contaminants for regulatory action, based on human health
effects, occurrence in public water systems, and meaningful
opportunity for health risk reduction. To support this regulatory
framework, the 1996 amendments redesigned the Unregulated
Contaminant Monitoring program to incorporate a tiered moni-
toring approach, which progressively became the Unregulated
Contaminants Monitoring Rule (UCMR). The amendments also
The law was amended in 1986 and again in 1996. The SDWA
Amendments of 1996 sought to “provide greater protection and
information to those served by public water systems” (EPA 2014).
As described on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)
website, the amendment’s changes fell into four themes:
1. New and stronger approaches to prevent contamination of
2. Better information for consumers, (including “right to know”)
3. Regulatory improvements, (including better science, prioritization of effort, and risk assessment)
Alice Fulmer, Water Research Foundation
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), passed by Congress in 1974 to protect pub- lic health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply.