Senator Gillibrand requires EPA to test all public water systems in U.S. for unregulated contaminants

WASHINGTON (NEWS10) – On Thursday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to expand water testing for unregulated contaminants to all public water systems.

Under the current law, the EPA is only required to test for unregulated contaminants in water systems serving over 10,000 people.

“With one-third of all New Yorkers and millions of Americans nationwide getting their drinking water from water sources not subject to testing by the EPA, the Senate must take action immediately to close the loophole that exempts smaller public water systems from inspection,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “My amendment would do that by requiring the EPA to test for all potential contaminants in all public water supplies. As we have seen from the devastating situation in the Hoosick Falls area, having a smaller population doesn’t mean a community is immune from a dangerous water contamination crisis. I urge all of my colleagues to support this amendment, so that the EPA can better protect our small towns and villages from disasters like the one that took place in Hoosick Falls.”

Senator Gillibrand has made persistent efforts to urge the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, EPA, Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health to address the issues in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh.

This past May, she urged the EPA to quicken the clean-up of Hoosick Falls by designating it as a federal Superfund site.

She also sent a letter to Senator and Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, James Inhofe, in February 2016 requesting a hearing on PFOA effects in drinking water.

During this past June, Senator Gillibrand also asked the EPA to use new authority provided by the Toxic Substances Control Act to decide if PFOA should be restricted or banned at the federal level.

Most recently, Senator Gillibrand wrote to the Directors of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at NIH and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at CDC in July, urging them to prioritize research into the health effects of PFOA.

She also asked the two agencies to outline the resources and authority they need in order to conduct research and clarify gaps in understanding the health effects of PFOA.

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