18 Million Americans Exposed to Lead Contamination Violations in 2015

Chemicals in the Water

18 Million Americans Exposed to Lead Contamination Violations in 2015

October 12, 2016

A shocking report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) showed that in 2015, 18 million Americans received drinking water from systems that exceeded safe levels of lead. (pbs.org)

‘The research indicates more than 5,000 community waterway systems nationwide break the Lead and Copper Rule, a federal regulation managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This law requires that water utilities avoid unnecessary exposure to high lead in water by using remedial measures, including corrosion control, lead pipe replacement and public education.” (pbs.org)

According to outside sources, the EPA hasn’t been recording all lead contamination violations in their database because there hasn’t been a major concern for it…. until now. Thankfully Erik Olson, the director at NRDC has drawn to the public’s attention that 90% of the violations in drinking water systems faced no formal enforcement, and only 3 percent faced penalties. Olson said shoddy data collection, lax enforcement of the law and cities gaming the system have created unsafe drinking water conditions for millions of people across the nation. (pbs.org)

Despite the lack of seriousness in lead contamination for 18 million people, the EPA admits to a disclaimer on their website:

“EPA is aware of inaccuracies and underreporting of some data in the Safe Drinking Water Information System. We are working with the states to improve the quality of the data.”

The good news is that many people like you and me ARE interested in keeping America’s water safe and drinkable, while holding to moral standards that water should NOT be given to consumers when it’s POISONOUS.

Other related news: an environmental engineer from Virginia Tech, Marc Edwards, who had exposed the lead crisis in Flint in 2014, said that his research on water pollution has uncovered high levels of lead in major water systems, such as in Washington D.C. a decade ago. Edwards believes that the EPA needs to be more vigilant about following the Lead and Copper Rule, and he has personally written several letters to the agency expressing his concern. Still, no progress has been made on their part.

In addition to recent research, “[the] industry estimates say that from 15 million to 22 million Americans are served drinking water through lead service lines, the pipes connecting a residence to the water main that can release lead into tap water.”

Read more about how the EPA and state officials plan to assess this serious problem. (Thanks pbs.org for spreading the news!)

 

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