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Supply Issues - Chemical Shortages

August 28, 2021

In light of recent notifications by utilities of ongoing chemical supply issues, VA WARN felt it important to convey an emergency option available to utilities managed by the U.S. EPA.  The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) sec. 1441 provides for remedies of chemical shortages.   It's a mechanism outside of the Defense Production Act by which waterworks can apply for producers to be required to supply them with a chemical that isn't reasonably available.  A process has been established by EPA, which can be reviewed at the following link:

https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/water-sector-supply-chain-chemical-shortages

 The above website also contains the application which is required to initiate the request.  Utilities are still recommended to try alternate suppliers, alternate chemicals, and mutual aid networks before reaching for a certificate of need through EPA.  However, the turnaround time to get a certificate of need is 3-6 weeks so this should be factored into Utility decision making and it may be desirable to initiate this process concurrently with other actions. 

VA WARN Associates

Virginia Water Environment Association American Water Works Association - Virginia Section