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2021-07-21EPA to Improve Access, Transparency and Timeliness of Air Toxics Data and Risk Information
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a move to provide more frequent updates to national air toxics data and risk estimates as part of the agency’s commitment to making high-quality information available on a timely basis to the public. The agency’s new approach will provide an annual, more systematic update for all air toxics information, including emissions, ambient concentrations, national screening risk estimates and monitoring data. [ full text ]

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2021-07-21EPA Announces $50 Million to Fund Environmental Justice Initiatives Under the American Rescue Plan
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will provide $50 million dollars for Environmental Justice (EJ) initiatives through funds allocated to EPA under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress designated this funding for grants, contracts and other agency activities that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in underserved communities through a range of local initiatives. [ full text ]

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2021-07-21Fitch Ratings: U.S. water utilities emerge largely ‘COVID-proof’
Despite increased delinquencies and some bad debts, U.S. water utilities have fared better than originally expected a year after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Fitch Ratings’ inaugural peer review of the sector. In fact, most water utilities saw improved revenue growth year-over-year despite the crippling effects of the pandemic on the broader economy, Fitch says. [ full text ]

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2021-07-21Survey Reveals the Cybersecurity Challenges and Needs Facing the U.S. Water Sector
There are approximately 52,000 community water systems and approximately 16,000 wastewater systems in the United States. With threats from increasingly sophisticated and destructive attackers, cybersecurity has become a top priority for water and wastewater systems. Recent incidents have added urgency to discussions within the sector and with Congress and in federal agencies on how best to help utilities improve their cybersecurity. To help guide discussions with policymakers and to inform the sector’s own cybersecurity programs, the Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSCC) – an advisory body comprising the national water and wastewater associations, the sector’s research foundation and the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) – collaborated on a utility survey to develop a picture of current cybersecurity practices in the sector to better articulate the challenges and needs of the sector. [ full text ]

Click here for more information about wastewater.