March 2, 2023
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued orders to drinking water systems in Caro and Worth Township, Michigan, and in Bellwood, Illinois, for failing to meet requirements under America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. EPA took action to ensure Caro and Worth Township certify their emergency response plans and Bellwood certifies its risk assessment and emergency response plan.
EPA requires systems to assess risk and resilience and to re-evaluate vulnerabilities, threats, and consequences from potential hazards. An emergency response plan describes strategies, resources, plans, and procedures that systems can use to prepare for and respond to an incident, natural or man-made, that threatens life, property, or the environment. Incidents can range from localized flooding or hacking of cybersecurity systems to large scale hurricanes, earthquakes, or terrorist attacks, among other examples.
Under AWIA, any drinking water system which serves more than 3,300 people must develop or update a risk and resilience assessment and an emergency response plan. The law also establishes deadlines for certifying completion to EPA. Nationwide, more than 95% of water systems have complied with the requirements under AWIA.
EPA is ordering each system to submit a detailed compliance plan within 30 days for review and approval.
EPA continues to work with drinking water systems to ensure that they are compliant. EPA previously issued orders to two systems in Illinois. These orders were terminated after the systems returned to compliance.
More information on AWIA requirements is available on EPA’s website.