EPA calls for development of drinking water plan following Flint crisis

Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Water, said that agency management will meet with state, local government and public health officials next month, and the EPA will release an action plan by the end of the year.

Apr 27th, 2016
Clean Water Rules. Source: EPA
Clean Water Rules. Source: EPA

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2016 -- In a blog post today Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Water, called for the development of a national plan to better protect the nation's drinking water, citing the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan. He said that agency management will meet with state, local government and public health officials next month, and the EPA will release an action plan by the end of the year.

Beauvais, citing EPA data from 2013, said at least $384 billion in improvements will be needed through 2030 to maintain, upgrade and replace thousands of miles of pipe and treatment plants.

"The crisis in Flint, Michigan has brought to the forefront the challenges many communities across the country are facing, including from lead pipes that carry their drinking water," Beauvais said in the blog.

Beauvais' announcement comes a day after lawyers for Flint residents filed a claim for $220.2 million in damages, alleging that negligence by the EPA contributed to dangerous lead levels in the city's water supply.

Beauvais said the EPA has sent letters to governors and environmental and health commissioners in states that implement the Safe Drinking Water Act, urging them to work with the agency to improve drinking water quality.

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