Regarding Scientific Literature…
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) replied to our attorney, Chris Nidel’s, letter and request to test for disinfection byproducts (DBPs)during the upcoming 2019 chlorine burn. You can read their reply below.
To summarize, TCEQ is choosing not to test for TTHMs and HAA5 during NTMWD chlorine burn. While we strongly believe this goes against what Texas Administrative Code and the Code of Federal Regulations requires and seems ethically wrong (see our original request with documentation HERE), at the end of the day TCEQ is in charge of compliance for water systems in Texas. As such, moving forward, we encourage Safer Water North Texas members to continue to ask for your cities to run independent tests for these DBPs during the burn and make all resulting data publicly available. Both the cities of Plano & Frisco have already announced that they will be doing this during the 2019 NTMWD chlorine burn. Plano has gone a step further and suggested that they will include the data on their Consumer Confidence Reports as supplementary data provided for consumers to review. Since TCEQ is choosing not to collect data during this time frame, we believe this is the next best scenario. If you are a Plano or Frisco resident, please get in touch with your city officials to thank them for their willingness to test and make the results available; we applaud and sincerely appreciate their initiative and transparency.
SWNTX response to the reply from Sara R. Thornton to Chris Nidel sent on Feb. 13, 2019:
First and foremost, Safer Water, North Texas (SWNTX) is pleased to see that North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) began implementing new monthly disinfection by-product (DBP) testing in December. We will be eagerly following the results of these tests along with tests run independently by member cities such as Plano and Frisco. This additional information is vital for the education of consumers who want to understand how DBP levels are impacted during the chlorine burn so they can make informed decisions for themselves and their families. We sincerely thank the cities that have chosen to run additional tests and make the results available to their customers.
Unfortunately, some of the concerns expressed by our attorney remain unaddressed:
• Will the water district’s new, monthly tests be considered “official”, with those results being submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and included in the annual Consumer Confidence Reports that are shared with North Texas citizens?
• Our letter was addressed to both NTMWD and the TCEQ. We have yet to receive a response from the TCEQ regarding how avoiding Stage 2 DBP monitoring during chlorine burns is legally or ethically justifiable, as Texas Administrative Code mandates that “All systems must monitor during month of highest disinfection byproduct concentrations.” SWNTX looks forward to receiving more complete, and timely, responses from both the NTMWD and the TCEQ, regarding these pertinent issues.
Safer Water North Texas attorney, Chris Nidel, received NTMWD’s response (to our request dated Jan 31 – posted below) at the close of business Wednesday. We haven’t had a chance to discuss it with him yet, but our leadership team does have some remaining questions and concerns, which we plan to begin sharing with you next week.
How would you feel if you discovered that the Consumer Confidence Report regarding water quality you receive from your city each year deliberately excluded data regarding chemical disinfection byproducts (DBPs) known to cause harm at higher levels? Sadly, this is exactly what has been taking place in North Texas.
Safer Water, North Texas (SWNTX) believes that this is illogical and unethical, so along with our attorney, we are formally calling for North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) and Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to require routine testing of DBPs during all future chlorine burns and include this data in annual compliance averages and/or any reports given to residents/consumers. For specific details regarding this request, see Christopher T. Nidel’s letter (of Nidel & Nace Law, SWNTX Legal Counsel) to Tom Kula (NTMWD Executive Director) and L’Oreal W. Stepney (TCEQ Office of Water Deputy Director) dated January 31:
As we await a reply to Mr. Nidel, Safer Water, North Texas hopes that the 13 member cities will take this matter seriously and put pressure on NTMWD and TCEQ so that North Texas citizens will receive accurate and complete information regarding our water quality for 2019.
NOTE: If you click on a link in the document and it doesn’t work, copy the entire link and paste it in your web browser.
When: 7 PM – 9 PM on Tuesday, May 15
Where: Garland Plaza Theatre – 521 W State St, Garland, TX 75040
SWNTX and local health experts are coming together to discuss the water issues in North Texas and share information with the public. Dr Neil Carmen (PhD in Bio-Chemistry) is coming from Austin to speak on Trihalomethanes, Chloramines, Fluoride, and more. Dr. Paul Connett PhD will bring the crowd up-to-date on information about the lawsuit against the EPA.
The City of Allen will host a Water Quality Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, April 18 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Allen City Hall (305 Century Parkway). This meeting will provide information and answer questions about water quality, distribution and public safety standards.
Representatives from the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) and the City of Allen Community Services Department will be on hand to address concerns.
Attendees are encouraged to ask questions during the Town Hall Meeting and submit questions in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 16. This will enable NTMWD and City staff to provide information and details of most concern to our residents.
Please join us in Allen for this exciting event and wear your Safer Water North Texas t-shirt or any blue colored shirt.