EPA makes Drinking Water an Action Item

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Clean Water Action welcomes publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water Action Plan.

“Drinking water isn’t a talking point, it’s an action item,” said Clean Water Action National Campaigns Director Lynn Thorp. “EPA's Drinking Water Action plan outlines concrete steps to increase oversight, investment and innovation to meet today’s drinking water challenges.”

The Action Plan lays out strategic initiatives to address numerous drinking water challenges, ranging from aging infrastructure to drinking water source contamination threats. The plan provides a roadmap for modernizing oversight, transparency, funding, and protection of drinking water sources. It underscores the important role that federal, state and local agencies and stakeholders play in ensuring that all Americans have access to safe drinking water.

The Drinking Water Action Plan calls on states, utilities and other stakeholders to collaborate on strategic approaches to address six priority areas.  Notable initiatives outlined in the Plan include: improving access to funding and capacity development in disadvantaged communities; publishing on-side triennial reviews of all state drinking water programs; greater integration of Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) programs; enhancing tools for quantitative assessment of comparative costs of source water protection and drinking water treatment, and providing more training and technical assistance to states for implementation of the SDWA Lead and Copper Rule.

“The Action Plan establishes critical next steps for  drinking water protection, but EPA’s ability to ensure safe drinking water for all Americans relies on a number of factors, including available resources, staffing and cooperation with states, locals and industry in order to enforce key laws and regulations. The President elect has proposed slashing the Agency’s budget and limiting its scope. Hamstringing EPA would severely limit its ability to implement the Action Plan.

If President-elect Trump truly believes that 'crystal-clear water is vitally important', he must ensure that initiatives like the Action Plan can be implemented by EPA, which means increasing, not cutting, funding for vital health and environmental programs at EPA."

Read our comments on the Action Plan, submitted in summer 2016, here.

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Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table.

Michael Kelly
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