Posts Tagged: tap water

California calls dibs on nation’s first hexavalent chromium limit

A framework for the nation’s first-ever limit on how much cancerous hexavalent chromium can be in drinking water was released yesterday by state environmental officials in California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wyatt Buchanan.

The California Environmental Protection Agency set a goal of .02 parts-per-billion, and will now work with state public health authorities to set a legally enforceable limit. (more…)

Who’s To Blame For Dangerous Drinking Water?

The New York Times’ Charles Duhigg continues with his investigative work into unsafe drinking water, reporting that though they are thousands of contaminants that are put into tap water, the Environmental Protection Agency only regulates 81. Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 and in the subsequent two decades lawmakers added amendments to expand what the EPA should look for in tap water. But since 2000, not a single contaminant has been added to the EPA checklist.

What’s missing from an otherwise thorough investigative report is that Duhigg doesn’t say whose fault this is. Lobbyists, EPA and even the Pentagon (for their resistance to testing water near military bases) get called to the carpet. But in the case of EPA, it mainly sounds like staff scientists wanted to add more contaminants and were either stifled by George W. Bush administration political leadership or an indifferent Congress. Still, it’s not clear: perhaps the final report in the series while assess whether the dirty drinking water problem is the fault of regulators, lawmakers or some combination thereof.