CMA – Leading the Charge on Water and Aluminum Standards

CMA received praise in an article published by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.   The Interstate Water Report (IWC) September edition cited CMA’s leading edge efforts in developing alternative criteria for aluminum standards.   In an article discussing the challenges facing both state regulators and the nation’s water users, the IWC cited the role that CMA played in persuading the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a more reasoned approach in setting standards for discharges of aluminum.    Noting that there is little agreement on whether aluminum causes water quality problems, the IWC article cited the important work CMA performed:  “In 2010, the Colorado Mining Association fired some of the first official shots at EPA’s recommended aluminum criteria.  In proposing that the criteria be revisited, the CMA argued that the studies EPA used to set the chronic value didn’t even meet EPA’s own guidelines for chronic studies, and that, more importantly, [other studies] showed that water hardness makes aluminum significantly less harmful.” (Acute and chronic signify the difference between high but temporary spikes of a particular pollutant versus ongoing high levels of a contaminant).

Although the EPA initially refused to give much ground,  “The CMA pushed back and ultimately proved persuasive.   EPA finally approved hardness-scaled criteria, resulting in significant increases in aluminum limits for some of the hard waters of Colorado into which mining effluent is discharged.”