OSTP’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) releases the National Emerging Contaminants Research Initiative to Support Clean Water for all Americans

Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a new report on the National Emerging Contaminants Research Initiative (NECRI). This report establishes a national vision to provide access to clean drinking water for all Americans and builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s existing efforts to ensure a healthy future for our nation.

This new report outlines a Federal strategy to address critical research gaps related to detecting and assessing emerging contaminants in drinking water, as well as identifying and mitigating the adverse health effects those contaminants cause. The report also outlines strategic steps needed to more effectively track, identify, and mitigate contaminants of emerging concern, (CECs) which have been traditionally difficult to detect in drinking water.

“All Americans need access to safe drinking water,” noted OSTP Assistant Director for Environmental Health, Melanie Buser. “This report will lead to new research and technological developments to better detect and address contaminants in our drinking water systems.”

The NECRI report outlines five research goals: (1) Decrease the time from identification to risk mitigation; (2) promote technological innovation in tools to discover, track, and mitigate; (3) develop and deploy tools and approaches for decision making; (4) coordinate transdisciplinary research activities among Federal and non-Federal partners; and (5) foster transparency and public trust when communicating about these issues. By advancing research in these critical areas, the United States will be closer to achieving clean water for all.

Background: This report was developed by OSTP and Federal partners working together in the NSTC Joint Subcommittee on Environment, Innovation, and Public Health, as authorized by Section 7342 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. OSTP and Federal partners received and integrated input from relevant stakeholders to inform the document. The report emphasizes the importance of collaboration among governments at every level, communities, and the private sector to build a strong foundation for future research. It also centers climate change and environmental justice tenets in the findings and makes clear the need to ensure that communities have equitable access to new technological developments, data sharing, and treatment processes.

Over the next year, OSTP will work with Federal partners to develop the necessary programs, policies, and budgets to support the implementation of this initiative. A full copy of the report is available here.

For more information on the NECRI report or work of the NSTC Joint Subcommittee on Environment, Innovation, and Public Health (JEEP), contact JEEP@ostp.eop.gov.

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