NRWA's Wilmer Melton Represents Small and Rural Communities on EPA Advisory Council
(Wilmer Melton, left at table, at EPA NDWAC deliberations – 12/7/2016)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) convened on December 6-7 to advise the Agency on a host of current drinking water issues including the EPA's lead rule, new drinking water contaminants, harmful algal blooms, enforcement policies, the recent National Drinking Water Plan, etc.
Wilmer Melton of the City of Kannapolis (NC), the North Carolina Rural Water Association, and the National Rural Water Association participated in two days of deliberation representing small and rural community interests. Melton was appointed to the NDWAC, chartered under the Safe Drinking Water Act, in 2014 and has used his position as a council member to advance small and rural community water issues including the need for technical assistance, the success of local source water protection efforts, and the need to make federal regulations reasonable and workable in small water utilities.
Melton said, “The direct interaction with all the water leaders in EPA is helpful in educating the Agency to craft new regulations for all sizes of water utilities. This forum gives us the opportunity to raise any small community concerns with the federal drinking water program. Local governments are the primary protector of safe public drinking water and we make sure that is known. The Agency explained their plan to revise the lead rule next year and that they will be reviewing the current disinfection by-products rules. These rules have been some of the most burdensome and complicated rules for our constituency. We also had the opportunity to press EPA on their new initiative to make more drinking water compliance and monitoring data available to the public - we urged the Agency to make sure the information is provided in a manner that gives the public an accurate characterization of data and does allow for unnecessary alarm.”