[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 179 (Monday, September 16, 2019)]
[Pages 48612-48614]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19984]



[EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0174; FRL 9999-82-OW]

Draft National Water Reuse Action Plan

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public 
comment on a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan. This draft Action 
Plan seeks to foster greater consideration of water reuse across the 
water sector, such as agriculture, industry, potable water and more. 
Safe and reliable water supplies for human consumption, agriculture, 
business, industry, recreation, and healthy ecosystems are critical to 
our Nation's communities and economy. The draft Action Plan describes 
how agriculture, industry, and communities have demonstrated the value 
of reusing water, largely in response to various forms of water crises 
such as drought or source water contamination. Water reuse can improve 
the security, sustainability, and resilience of our Nation's water 
resources, especially when considered at the watershed or basin scale, 
through integrated and collaborative water resource planning.
    To accelerate the consideration of water reuse approaches and build 
on existing science, research, policy, technology, and both national 
and international experiences, the EPA has facilitated development of 
this draft National Water Reuse Action Plan across the water sector and 
with federal, state, and tribal partners. The draft Action Plan is 
intended to seek commitments and drive action across the various 
stakeholder groups and the Nation. The plan consists of 46 proposed 
actions that support consideration and implementation of water reuse 
applications across ten strategic objectives.
    This action is part of a larger effort by the Administration to 
better coordinate and focus taxpayer resources on some of

[[Page 48613]]

the Nation's most challenging water resource concerns, including 
ensuring water availability and mitigating the risks posed by droughts.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 16, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-
0174 to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, 
comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment 
received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any 
information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) 
or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. 
Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a 
written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment 
and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA 
will generally not consider comments or comment contents located 
outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other 
file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA 
public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, 
and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commentingepa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Ravenscroft, Office of Science 
and Technology, Office of Water (Mail Code 3207A), Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; 
telephone number: (202) 566-1101; email address: 
[email protected].


I. General Information

How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    1. Docket. The EPA has established a docket for this action under 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-0174. Publicly available docket materials are 
available electronically through www.regulations.gov, posted online on 
the EPA's water reuse website (www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan) or in hard copy at the Water Docket in the EPA Docket 
Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, 
Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal 
holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 
566-1744, and the telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-
    2. Electronic Access. You may access this Federal Register document 
electronically from the Government Printing Office under the ``Federal 
Register'' listings FDsys (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR).

II. Why develop a water reuse action plan?

    Clean, safe, and reliable water supplies for human consumption, 
agriculture, business, recreation, and healthy ecosystems are critical 
to our Nation's communities and economy. Due to various pressures, it 
is reported that 40 states anticipate some freshwater shortages in the 
next decade. Communities, agriculture, and businesses are looking to 
diversify their water supply portfolios to meet current and future 
needs. Water reuse (also known as recycled or reclaimed water) 
represents a major opportunity to supplement existing water supplies 
from potential sources for reuse from industrial process water, 
agricultural return flows, municipal wastewater, oil and gas produced 
water, and stormwater, when these potential sources are appropriately 
and effectively treated to meet ``fit for purpose specifications'' 
including appropriate public health and environmental needs.
    The goal of the draft Action Plan is to better coordinate and focus 
taxpayer resources on some of the Nation's most challenging water 
resource concerns, including ensuring water availability and mitigating 
the risks posed by droughts. The draft Action Plan contains key actions 
identified by stakeholders across the water reuse sector that can help 
improve water security, sustainability, and resilience.

III. Summary of Water Reuse Action Plan Contents

    The draft National Water Reuse Action Plan is approximately 45 
pages in length and is supported by extensive information in nine 
Appendices. Section 1 of the draft Action Plan frames the business case 
for water reuse including: Key definitions; summary of the key drivers, 
opportunities, and challenges for water reuse; the potential sources 
and applications for water reuse; and guiding principles and the 
methodology for development of the draft Action Plan.
    Section 2 of the draft Action Plan identifies 46 proposed actions 
across the following ten strategic objectives:
    1. Enable consideration of water reuse with integrated and 
collaborative action at the watershed scale.
    2. Coordinate and integrate federal, state, tribal, and local water 
reuse programs and policies.
    3. Compile and refine fit-for-purpose specifications.
    4. Promote technology development, deployment, and validation.
    5. Improve availability of water information.
    6. Facilitate financial support of water reuse.
    7. Integrate and coordinate research on water reuse.
    8. Improve outreach and communication on water reuse.
    9. Support a talented and dynamic workforce.
    10. Develop water reuse metrics that support goals and measure 
    As explained in the methodology, these proposed actions were 
identified from the following sources:
    1. Analysis and summary of the water reuse literature (greater than 
150 sources).
    2. Outreach and dialogue with an estimated 2,300 participants.
    3. Public input submitted to the first public docket on the plan 
(opened from April 18, 2019 until July 1, 2019).
    4. WateReuse Association expert convening report (conducted in 
Spring 2019).
    5. Review of international experiences with water reuse.
    6. Review of water reuse case studies from relevant applications 
throughout the United States.
    Section 3 of the draft Action Plan describes the process for going 
forward to identify the highest priority actions and seeks leaders and 
collaborators to describe and commit to specific actions.

IV. Solicitation of Public Comments

    The draft plan and the associated appendices can be found at: 
www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan. The EPA is soliciting 
public comments to inform revisions to proposed actions, as well as to 
identify their implementation steps and milestones and the 
collaborators who may carry out those actions. In addition to providing 
general input, commenters are encouraged to:
     Identify the most important actions they feel should be 
taken in the near term.
     Identify and describe the specific attributes and 
characteristics of the actions that will achieve success.
     Identify critical implementation steps and milestones 
necessary to successfully implement the proposed actions.

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     Commit to lead or collaborate with others on implementing 
any of the proposed actions.
     Provide additional information or recommendations to 
inform these or other proposed actions.
    The goal is to issue a final Action Plan that includes clear 
commitments and milestones for actions that will further water reuse to 
help ensure the sustainability, security, and resilience of the 
Nation's water resources.

    Dated: September 6, 2019.
David P. Ross,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
[FR Doc. 2019-19984 Filed 9-13-19; 8:45 am]