EPA’s “Anti-Environment” Regulation and Drinking Water Safety Issues

Andrew J. Yamamoto, Esq., Editor, Scott D. Pinsky, Esq., Environmental Law Editor, InternationalMosaic.com

Re: Proposal to Limit Use of Scientific Evidence in Rulemakings, 83 Fed. Reg. 18,768 (April 30, 2018) – Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0259.
EPA’s “Anti-Environment” Regulation and Drinking Water Safety Issues

One of the many terrifying aspects of the EPA’s proposed “Anti-Environment” Regulation (first proposed by Mr. Pruitt and now overseen by Mr. Wheeler) is that it will undo decades of hard won progress to protect America’s drinking water.

Congress enacted the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. §300f et seq. (1974), in part, to address drinking water issues highlighted by two important studies. The first study was The Industrial Pollution of the Lower Mississippi River in Louisiana (https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/9100C9IA.TXT?ZyActionD=ZyDocument&Client=EPA&Index=Prior+to+1976&Docs=&Query=&Time=&EndTime=&SearchMethod=1&TocRestrict=n&Toc=&TocEntry=&QField=&QFieldYear=&QFieldMonth=&QFieldDay=&IntQFieldOp=0&ExtQFieldOp=0&XmlQuery=&File=D%3A%5Czyfiles%5CIndex%20Data%5C70thru75%5CTxt%5C00000009%5C9100C9IA.txt&User=ANONYMOUS&Password=anonymous&SortMethod=h%7C-&MaximumDocuments=1&FuzzyDegree=0&ImageQuality=r75g8/r75g8/x150y150g16/i425&Display=p%7Cf&DefSeekPage=x&SearchBack=ZyActionL&Back=ZyActionS&BackDesc=Results%20page&MaximumPages=1&ZyEntry=1&SeekPage=x&ZyPURL)    The second study was the Community Water Supply Study (https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/9100W0XR.TXT?ZyActionD=ZyDocument&Client=EPA&Index=Prior+to+1976&Docs=&Query=&Time=&EndTime=&SearchMethod=1&TocRestrict=n&Toc=&TocEntry=&QField=&QFieldYear=&QFieldMonth=&QFieldDay=&IntQFieldOp=0&ExtQFieldOp=0&XmlQuery=&File=D%3A%5Czyfiles%5CIndex%20Data%5C70thru75%5CTxt%5C00000015%5C9100W0XR.txt&User=ANONYMOUS&Password=anonymous&SortMethod=h%7C-&MaximumDocuments=1&FuzzyDegree=0&ImageQuality=r75g8/r75g8/x150y150g16/i425&Display=p%7Cf&DefSeekPage=x&SearchBack=ZyActionL&Back=ZyActionS&BackDesc=Results%20page&MaximumPages=1&ZyEntry=1&SeekPage=x&ZyPURL#). PDF copies of both studies are attached.

Had EPA’s proposed “Anti-Environment” Regulation applied to Congress in 1974, the SDWA might never passed and generations of Americans would have drank unsafe, polluted water. Even today, the proposed regulation endangers the health and lives of millions of Americans.

In addition, the two studies add to the growing mountain of scientific evidence that EPA must prepare an EIS before deciding to adopt the proposed regulation.

Some of the highlights of the Community Water Supply Study include: (https://greengroundswell.com/safe-drinking-water-act-of-1974-and-beyond/2013/06/27/)

  • “41% of the 969 systems were delivering inferior or potentially dangerous water to 2.5 million people.
  • 56% of the water systems were considered deficient, including poorly protected groundwater sources, some were said to be archaic.
  • 77% of plant operators were inadequately trained in fundamental water microbiology.
  • Little was known about environmental and health impacts of the 12,000 toxic chemical compounds in industrial use.
  • Insufficient knowledge and technology existed to adequately treat wastewater for reuse as drinking water.”

The following report has figures that shows how water quality has increased over the years: https://permanent.access.gpo.gov/websites/epagov/www.epa.gov/safewater/consumer/trendrpt.pdf

Because of EPA, standards have been established “for more than 90 contaminants, and our compliance data show that more than 90 percent of the nation’s water systems consistently meet those standards. (https://blog.epa.gov/blog/2016/04/moving-forward-for-americas-drinking-water/)”

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