S 460: Drinking Water Protection Act

This bill amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and submit to Congress a strategic plan for assessing and managing risks associated with algal toxins in drinking water provided by public water systems. Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have the ability to produce cyanotoxins, or algal toxins. When certain conditions are favorable, algae can rapidly multiply causing blooms, or dense surface scums, that may be toxic.

The plan must include steps and time lines to:

  • evaluate the risk to human health from drinking water contaminated with algal toxins;
  • establish, publish, and update a comprehensive list of algal toxins that may have an adverse effect on human health;
  • summarize the known adverse human health effects of algal toxins and the factors that cause toxin-producing cyanobacteria and algae to grow rapidly and make toxins;
  • determine whether to publish health advisories for algal toxins and establish relevant guidance;
    recommend feasible treatment options; and
  • enter into cooperative agreements with, and provide technical assistance to, affected states and public water systems to manage risks associated with algal toxins.

S 460 is sponsored by Senator Rob Portman.