Stricter Drinking Water Standards


The New York Times reported on the recent EPA announcement that would tighten regulations for drinking water. As reported in the Times’ series Toxic Waters, the public’s health and safety has been at risk through the years because of lack of strict regulation of the drinking water supply. Charles Duhigg reported: “More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to an analysis of federal data by The New York Times. And the other major water law — the Clean Water Act — has been violated more than half a million times, though few polluters were ever punished”

The EPA is currently drafting stricter standards and better regulation practices. The Times reports:

[T]he E.P.A. intends to reform agency policies that essentially require regulators to examine pollutants one at a time. Those adjustments will allow government scientists to evaluate large groups of similar contaminants at the same time and to issue new rules that apply to dozens of chemicals.

“This is a dramatic change in how we think about regulation,” said Cynthia C. Dougherty, the director of the agency’s office of ground water and drinking water. “We’ll be able to move much faster and issue stronger rules.” The agency previously announced it was developing plans to crack down on polluters and force water systems to abide by cleanliness laws.

How can the EPA better regulate the safety of our drinking water? What sort of barriers will it continue running into?

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About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on March 24, 2010, in Water and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It’ll run into the IBWA – the International Bottled Water Association. My school recently screened Tapped ( ) and a representative from the IBWA was there and just kept slamming anyone who advocated for using tap water and spreading false information about the documentary. There was a nice article written up about it and, of course, the IBWA advocate hijacked the comment section pretty early on. Here’s the link to the article if anyone’s interested:

    Testing wells more often is probably one of the things they can do. In my area in North Whitehall (where the Wal-Mart is going in) and A LOT of arsenic and lead were found in the wells surrounding my house. Not good.

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