Environmental News: Media CenterMain page | Archive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press contact: Erik Olson (202) 289-6868
If you are not a member of the press, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or see our contact page.
Congressional Study Finds 15 Million Americans Are Drinking Arsenic-Contaminated Water; NRDC Calls for Prompt EPA Action
New Findings Consistent with February 2000 NRDC Report
WASHINGTON (October 4, 2000) - A new congressional report documenting widespread drinking water contamination highlights the need to strengthen our arsenic-in-tap-water standard, says Erik Olson, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. The report, released today by the House Government Reform Committee minority staff, also confirms that congressional efforts to block the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing a new arsenic standard will further endanger the public.
"It's outrageous that House and Senate appropriators not only are fighting EPA's efforts to update our weak, 58-year-old arsenic limit, they're even trying to stop the agency from enforcing what we already have," Olson says. "Just last year, the National Academy of Sciences found that EPA's arsenic-in-tap-water standard, unchanged since 1942, is not safe and should be reduced 'as promptly as possible.' EPA needs to act, and it needs to act now."
The new report found that more than 15 million Americans nationwide drink tap water from some 5,500 public systems supplying water contaminated with arsenic in excess of EPA's proposed 5 parts per billion (ppb) standard. That finding is consistent with a February 2000 NRDC study, "Arsenic and Old Laws," which found that more than 7 million Americans in 25 states drink water exceeding 5 ppb of arsenic. Congressional investigators were able to access data from all 50 states.
"There ain't no mountain of evidence high enough, and there ain't no National Academy of Science report clear enough, to keep some special interests from continuing to poison millions of Americans with arsenic," says Olson.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 400,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Related NRDC Webpages
Arsenic and Old Laws
Get Updates and Alerts
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.