EPA invites comment on proposal to delay arsenic rule

The Environmental Protection Agency has invited comments on its most recent arsenic proposal, which would delay the effective date of the new arsenic standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb).

April 25, 2001—The Environmental Protection Agency has invited comments on its most recent arsenic proposal, which would delay the effective date of the new arsenic standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb).

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to revise the existing 50 parts per billion (ppb) standard for arsenic in drinking water. In January 2001, EPA published a new standard for arsenic in drinking water that requires public water supplies to reduce arsenic to 10 ppb by 2006.

EPA is reviewing this standard so that communities that need to reduce arsenic in drinking water can proceed with confidence that the new standard is based on sound science and accurate cost estimates.

On April 18, the Administrator announced the process by which EPA will work with the National Academy of Sciences and the National Drinking Water Advisory Council to review the science and cost estimates behind the rule.

On April 23, EPA requested public comment on a proposal to delay the effective date (read it on EPA's web site)for the rule until February 22, 2002 allowing time to complete the reassessment process outlined above and to afford the public a full opportunity to provide further input.

In accordance with the January 20, 2001 memorandum from Andrew Card, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled "Regulatory Review Plan," which was published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2001, 66 FR 7701, EPA has temporarily delayed one of the effective dates for this rule for 60 days, from March 23, 2001, to a new effective date of May 22, 2001. The delay of effective date was published on March 23, 2001.

To read more about arsenic, visit the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic.html.

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