EPA holds house hearing on status of arsenic rule

The House Science Committee on Thursday planned to hold a hearing on status of EPA's review of the Jan. 22 arsenic in drinking water rule.

Oct. 3, 2001 — The House Science Committee on Thursday planned to hold a hearing on status of EPA's review of the Jan. 22 arsenic in drinking water rule.

Consumer expert Scott Rubin testified about his research recently concluded for the National Rural Water Association (NRWA).

Key points from Rubin and NRWA's testimony include:

* The EPA rule required small towns to spend millions of dollars on trace reductions in arsenic, threatening consumers' ability to pay for water service and other public health necessities.

* Low income communities and families will be most adversely impacted.

*EPA did not adequately consider the ability of low-income and rural populations to afford the rule as required by Environmental Justice policy.

*EPA's policy that families can afford water rates of $770 per household does not adequately capture financial abilities of low-income families or disadvantaged communities.

*Recent studies with enhanced data show that there is an effective threshold for arsenic and that health effects in U.S. populations show no increase in adverse effects in the 3-60ppb range.

Rubin and NRWA's testimony is available on the net at: http://www.ruralwater.org. Also, on the net is a U.S. map published by Scott Rubin showing the correlation of low-income counties and their concentration of communities with arsenic in their drinking water.

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