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As of February 9, 2020, there are 4958 open recommendations, of which 422 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To improve EPA's ability to oversee the states' implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and provide Congress and the public with more complete and accurate information on compliance, the Administrator of EPA should resume data verification audits to routinely evaluate the quality of selected drinking water data on health-based and monitoring violations that the states provide to EPA. These audits should also evaluate the quality of data on the enforcement actions that states and other primacy agencies have taken to correct violations.
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: As of September 2019, EPA had not resumed data verification audits to routinely evaluate the quality of the data states provide to the agency. The Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) Prime and the Compliance Monitoring Data Portal (CMDP) will replace the data verification audits in the future. EPA has made SDWIS Prime available through incremental interim releases to state drinking water agencies for exploring and testing but does not expect to fully release it until mid-2020. However, as of August 2019, SDWIS Prime was unavailable while EPA awaited progress on the SDWIS Modernization Project plan. According to EPA, the CMDP will enable utilities and laboratories to report data electronically to primacy agencies with fewer errors and in a more efficient manner; but it is not clear when it will be fully operational. According to data provided by EPA in September 2019, 10 states were using CMDP to varying degrees. EPA information identified another 6 states that plan to transition to CMDP between September and December 2019, 2 states that plan to transition in 2020, and 12 others that may transition in the future. In the meantime, EPA indicated that the agency will complete nine file reviews in 2019 to verify data in agencies that do not currently use CMDP. EPA's actions may improve its ability to oversee states' implementation of the act and provide more complete and accurate information on compliance, but because EPA's systems to replace data verification audits are not yet fully in place, we are keeping this recommendation open.