Environmental group pushes for tougher water standards

Published: Oct. 9, 2019 at 5:45 PM EDT
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The Environmental Working Group is proposing a limit as low as one part per trillion (1 ppt) for a variety of chemicals present in drinking water nationwide.

That number is particularly true for perflourinated chemicals such as C8, for which the U.S. EPA set a limit of .07 parts per billion three years ago.

"It's not a good thing for these things to bring fear and confusion," Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said, after seeing the EWG's report, "because the numbers don't prove out."

Rapp's city saw the installation of carbon filters in its water wells, after the new EPA guidelines were announced.

The Environmental Working Group is also proposing lower limits for a variety of other chemicals, which would put most cities, including those in our area, in non-compliance.

That would include Parkersburg. Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett had not seen the EWG's report, and would not comment.

"I think you have to have some stock in the EPA and the regulations they put out," Mayor Rapp said, "which is all we have as a benchmark to go on."

Mayor Rapp showed us the latest test results, showing virtually non-detectible levels of C8 in its water wells.

"Even if they lower the standards, it's not going to matter to us because our results are already below the standard they are proposing."

The working group says federal regulators have not made any addition to its list of regulated chemicals in nearly 25 years.

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