- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The shift was described as four key principles:
- Address contaminants as a group rather than one at a time so that enhancement of drinking water protection can be achieved cost-effectively.
- Foster development of new drinking water treatment technologies to address health risks posed by a broad array of contaminants.
- Use the authority of multiple statutes to help protect drinking water.
- Partner with states to share more complete data from monitoring at public water systems.
The EPA's current approach to drinking water protection is focused on a detailed assessment of each individual contaminant of concern, and can take many years. According to Jackson, this approach not only results in slow progress in addressing unregulated contaminants but also fails to take advantage of strategies for enhancing health protection cost-effectively, including advanced treatment technologies that address several contaminants at once.
In addition to four carcinogenic chemicals that the agency announced its intentions to regulate, currently, there are ongoing efforts on 14 other drinking water standards. Among these, the EPA is considering further revisions to the lead and copper rule, with a particular focus on risks to children. The agency also has ongoing health risk assessments or information gathering for chromium, fluoride, arsenic and atrazine. The EPA continues to consider whether to regulate perchlorate.