Resource Type: Report
Assessment of Eliminating Lead in Minnesota Drinking Water
The 2017 Minnesota Legislature directed the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to “conduct an analysis to determine the scope of the lead problem in Minnesota’s water and the cost to eliminate lead exposure in drinking water.” In this report, Assessment of Eliminating Lead in Minnesota Drinking Water, MDH assesses the scope of the lead problem by examining the extent of lead already in water systems as well as factors that allow lead to get in drinking water. However, because drinking water systems across the state are diverse and have varying requirements and resource needs, broad estimates are used to gauge costs.
Policy Options: Promoting Affordability of Public Water and Sewer Service for Low-Income Households in New Jersey
This discussion paper presents policy options for improving affordability of water and wastewater service for lower income residents in New Jersey—for the benefit not only of those customers, but of all New Jerseyans who depend on their local utilities for clean, safe, and reliable water and sewer service. Jersey Water Works aims to use it to spark discussion among state and local policy makers, utility managers, water and sewer customers, community organizations, and other public sector, private sector, and non-profit stakeholders, and to use it as a basis for further analysis and development of priority recommendations. The paper is based on a review of existing literature from around the country; research on existing New Jersey laws and programs; and interviews with leaders representing or associated with a wide range of stakeholders, including publicly and privately owned utilities, state regulators, affordable housing developers and advocates, consumer advocates, environmental justice advocates, business, and labor.
“A major deterrent to proper investment in water infrastructure is affordability . . . Municipalities with a larger share of low-income residents find it difficult to raise rates to fund water infrastructure upgrades due to the detrimental effect higher rates will have on those residents. The result is underinvestment, which is a losing proposition . . . However, while increasing rates can adversely affect low-income households, as several witnesses noted, these effects are not inevitable and can be avoided . . .” —New Jersey Legislature, Joint Legislative Task Force on Drinking Water Infrastructure, Final Report (Jan. 2018)
Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states: Laws in states with the most lead service lines support the practice
In Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states, Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School and Environmental Defense Fund reviewed state laws and policies in 13 states with the most lead service lines (LSLs), and found no explicit barriers to using rate funds to replace the lines on private property. These states have an estimated 4.2 million LSLs, more than two-thirds of the nation’s total. In these states, publicly-owned utilities can act pursuant to existing state legislation by determining that the practice serves a public purpose—protecting public health. Investor-owned utilities can do the same, but typically need approval of the state’s utility commission. While we have not reviewed the remaining states, we anticipate that the state laws and policies are similar to the ones we evaluated.
To P3 or not to P3: A water industry view on the relevance of public-private partnership delivery models
This report, To P3 or not to P3: A water industry view on the relevance of public-private partnership delivery models, details how P3s benefit municipal utilities who don’t have the experience, capacity or confidence to deliver and maintain these assets using their existing staff and resources.
Public-private partnerships (P3), while no means a panacea for infrastructure delivery, offer distinct advantages to municipal water utilities in a range of circumstances. To date, P3s have been relatively limited in water, but the rationale for this is not always clear when it could be appropriately deployed to the public benefit.
To understand this better, EY and American Water Works Association conducted a survey to gain insight into the perceptions of those directly involved in water service provision across the US. Using the results of this survey, supplemented by our own experience of advising clients in the US water sector and commentary from key industry stakeholders, this report seeks to answer three key questions:
- What are the main drivers of interest in P3 as a delivery model?
- What are the key barriers to successfully pursuing P3 in water and how can these be overcome?
- Where is P3 likely to be most appropriately deployed in the US water sector going forward?
Get the Lead Out: Ensuring Safe Drinking Water for Our Children at School
This report, Get the Lead Out: Ensuring Safe Drinking Water for Our Children at School, by the Environment America and U.S. PIRG Education Fund provides recommendations for states and communities to address the problem of lead in drinking water in schools across the nation.
State of Water Preparedness: A 2018 Scan of Water Preparedness and Response Infrastructure in State and Territorial Health Agencies
In spring 2018, ASTHO surveyed state and territorial directors of public health preparedness and environmental health to learn more about their protocols, tools, resources, infrastructure, and gaps related to drinking water emergency preparedness and response. Survey questions focused on how state and territorial health agencies organize their water preparedness activities and what processes they have in place to prepare for and respond to water emergencies.
2018 State Asset Management Initiatives
The purpose of this document, State Asset Management Initiatives, is for state agencies to learn about the various initiatives that other states are undertaking involving the promotion of asset management. The categories of initiatives include: funding activities, regulatory activities, assistance activities and internal activities. The matrix on pages one and two provides a snapshot of each state’s activities. The remainder of the document contains descriptions that states provided about the activities. Not all activities marked in the matrix have associated descriptions.
Hidden Capacity: How Proper Maintenance and Cleaning of Sewer Systems Can Have Huge Benefits!
Issued by the JWW Combined Sewer Overflow Committee, the purpose of this paper, Hidden Capacity: How Proper Maintenance and Cleaning of Sewer Systems Can Have Huge Benefits, is to highlight the importance of sewer cleaning and inspection as critical elements of a proper and effective sewer system operation and maintenance program. Additional basic, cost-effective “gray” type controls, which have the potential to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs), sewer backups, and flooding significantly, are also presented. The cleaning and proper maintenance of sewer collection systems is relevant to both combined sewer systems (i.e., systems that convey sanitary/industrial flows as well as stormwater) and separate sanitary systems (systems that carry only sanitary/industrial flows). This paper also provides regulatory recommendations to help ensure that municipalities/utilities are implementing these basic, cost-effective control measures and are operating and maintaining their collection systems properly.
Research to Move Toward Evidence-Based Recommendations for Lead Service Line Disclosure Policies in Home Buying and Home Renting Scenarios
EDF and collaborators at Cornell published a new study that provides insight into how disclosure policies can impact potential home-buyer and renter behavior. This effort builds on a report EDF published in 2017 grading state housing disclosure policies according to their ability to help homebuyers make informed decisions about lead service lines (LSLs) before they sign a sales contract. LSLs are pipes that connect homes to the water mains under the street and are a major source of lead in drinking water. Four states — Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania — and Washington, DC scored an A-. Twenty-one states scored a D or F. The remaining 25 states scored a B or C.
The Economic Impacts of a $1 Billion Increase in New Jersey Drinking Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Capital Investment
This report, The Economic Impacts of a $1 Billion Increase in New Jersey Drinking Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Capital Investment, examines how investing the additional $1 billion needed on the drinking water, wastewater and stormwater networks would create economic benefits throughout the state economy. The report was commissioned by the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association.