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EPA Unveils Plan to Help Identify ‘Brockovich’ Chemical in Drinking Water

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Washington, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promised to help local water utilities address public concerns over the possible presence of hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) in drinking water, and today it delivered.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson released comprehensive guidance to make it easier for public water systems to monitor and sample their water specifically for chromium-6.

“Protecting public health is EPA’s top priority. As we continue to learn more about the potential risks of exposure to chromium-6, we will work closely with states and local officials to ensure the safety of America’s drinking water supply,” said Administrator Jackson in a statement released today.

Read EPA’s recommendations for enhanced monitoring for chromium-6 here:

“Local water utilities will now be able to better determine if their water carries potentially troubling levels of this carcinogen and get that information out to the public quickly,” said Environmental Working Group senior vice president for research Jane Houlihan. “This comprehensive plan and the speed with which it was produced is proof the federal government can act decisively to address public health issues people are concerned about.”

Today’s announcement by EPA comes less than a month after EWG released a study reporting chromium-6 contamination in the drinking water of 31 of 35 U.S. cities where it collected samples.

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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.