Water Well Journal

June 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/681918

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Page 11 of 111

Industry NEWSLINE Existing Safe Harbor for Lead Exposure Lawsuit Ruled on by California Court T he California Superior Court's ruling on the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation motion for judgment on the pleadings is in, and it's good news for those concerned about the existing safe harbor for lead exposure. The Court has upheld the state-estab- lished maximum exposure level of 0.5 micrograms/day, concluding the state agency responsible for establishing that safe harbor did not act in a manner that was either arbitrary, capricious, or entirely lacking in evidentiary support. Rather, the Court found the state agency (California Office of Environmental Hazard Assessment) appropriately relied on its scientific expertise when review- ing complex scientific data and in inter- preting its own regulations. While the plaintiff, Mateel, had ar- gued the agency did not base the safe harbor level on adequate scientific stud- ies, the Court rejected that argument. While the safe harbor was set using a somewhat unique approach, relying heavily on findings of a separate gov- ernmental entity, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Court noted those OSHA studies were "of high scientific caliber," and the state's reliance on those studies was not arbitrary or inconsistent with its statutory duties. The Court noted Mateel's arguments with respect to those scientific studies, rather than proving their inadequacy, actually demonstrated why deference to the decisions of state agencies, espe- cially agencies with a high level of scientific expertise, is so important. Ultimately, the Court rejected Ma- teel's various assertions and concluded the state's actions were reasonable and consistent with the flexibility built into Proposition 65—and also known as the Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Thus, the Court deferred to the state and upheld the existing safe harbor exposure level as consistent with Proposition 65. A ruling in Mateel's favor would have had sweeping effects for busi- nesses operating in California and busi- nesses that serve California's large mar- ket for consumer products. Thousands of manufacturers, processors, distribu- tors, retailers—and businesses that work with California's public water supply— regularly rely on the safe harbor for lead exposure in daily operations. The Court concluded, "In sum, the determination of how to properly set the MADL [maximum allowable dose level] was made by an expert scientific agency reviewing complex scientific data and interpreting its own regulations in light of its scientific expertise, and its deci- sions were neither arbitrary nor capri- cious nor entirely lacking in evidentiary support." Water Well Drilling Exempted from Additional Regulation in Final Crystalline Silica Rule Following comments from the Na- tional Ground Water Association and years of deliberation by the U.S. Depart- ment of Labor, the final rule governing exposure to crystalline silica was re- leased at the end of March. NEWS continues on page 12 waterwelljournal.com 10 June 2016 WWJ %$$$# "#" Meets Buy America Act requirements. WITH EXCLUSIVE TEST-CAP TECHNOLOGY! SECURE SYSTEM Installing Geothermal HeatPump Systems is Now Faster and More Secure EarthLoops ™ Secure System starts with two industry favorites: Centennial Plastics' NSF/ANSI 358-1 certified Cenfuse Geothermal HDPE pipe, and Bullet ™ U-Bend fitting. Now, we offer an exclusive test-cap system with one-step air testing to make installation faster and more secure – all at no added cost! Our new test-cap system sets the gold standard of factory-sealing! , Built-in pressure valve lets you check loop pressure with a tire gauge and add air during field pressure tests. , By cutting installation time, the new Test-Cap System helps reduce labor costs! , EarthLoops ™ are factory-pressurized and sealed with our new Test-Cap System to assure the loops you install are free from leaks and contaminants. , Using Exclusive Patent Pending Technology. !# ™ "# $#"# #" 09-2013

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