Hexavalent Chromium

CA-NV AWWA Comments on Proposed MCL for Hexavalent Chromium

On Friday, October 11, 2014 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) held public meetings in Sacramento and in Los Angeles to receive comments on the proposed MCL for hexavalent chromium. The California-Nevada Section of AWWA provided testimony to CDPH in Los Angeles, and submitted written comments jointly with AWWA’s regulatory office. CA-NV AWWA comments suggested several important improvements to the CDPH regulation, in part based upon technical analyses by the Jacobs Engineering Group and Water Quality and Treatment Solutions.

California sets Maximum Containment Level for Hexavalent Chromium

On August 22, 2014 CDPH announced a proposed MCL for hexavalent chromium, or Cr-6.
CA-NV Section, AWWA released a statement in response to the CDPH announcement.
The full regulatory notice is posted on the CDPH website.
This begins a 45-day public comment period. The Section's CR-6 TAG will review and comment on the proposed MCL.

Background on Hexavalent Chromium (also, Chromium (VI) or Chromium 6)

Chromium, in several forms, is a metallic element found in nature and also from human activities such as making steel, plating metal, tanning leather, or others. A California Department of Public Health database of chromium monitoring results collected by California utilities, shows that hexavalent chromium has been detected in drinking water sources in 52 of California’s 58 counties. AWWA has produced a comprehensive primer on hexavalent chromium, which should be consulted for much more information.

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) set a Public Health Goal (PHG) for Cr-6 at 0.02 parts per billion in July 2011. In turn, the California Department of Public Health will set a Maximum Contaminant Level for Cr-6 in 2013, separate from the existing MCL for total chromium.

Treatment processes can remove hexavalent chromium to a relatively low level, but not to the PHG. Depending on where an MCL is set, the cost of treatment facilities, and their operation and maintenance, may potentially add substantial new expenses to a utility’s budget.

Webinar: State of the Science on Chromium VI

The CA-NV Section AWWA, working hand-in-hand with other organizations, is engaged in the process by which the California Department of Public Health will establish a new drinking water regulation for hexavalent chromium. A series of webinars on the health risk, treatment processes, and cost to local communities of this regulation—scheduled for public review in July 2013—is intended to promote the public discussion with scientific, engineering, and economic information.
The first webinar, on November 14, featured Deborah Proctor discussing recent research on the “mode of action” by which chromium (VI) can cause cancer.
View the speaker's presentation here.
Download the audio+video recording of the live webinar: