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Water: Chromium in Drinking Water

EPA Statement from Administrator Jackson on Chromium-6 (Hexavalent Chromium) in Drinking Water

EPA Statement from Administrator Jackson  on Chromium-6
(Hexavalent Chromium) in Drinking Water

The following statement and background information is in response to a study  released on December 20, 2010 by the Environmental Working Group (EWG):

“Today, I am announcing a series of actions that the EPA will take over the  coming days to address chromium-6 in our drinking water. It is clear that the  first step is to understand the prevalence of this problem. While the EWG study  was informative, it only provided a snapshot in time. EPA will work with local  and state officials to get a better picture of exactly how widespread this  problem is. In the meantime, EPA will issue guidance to all water systems in  the country to help them develop monitoring and sampling programs specifically  for chromium-6. We will also offer significant technical assistance to the  communities cited in the EWG report with the highest levels of chromium-6 to  help ensure they quickly develop an effective chromium-6 specific monitoring program.”

Recently announced actions on  Chromium-6:

  1.   EPA will work with state and local officials  to better determine how wide-spread and prevalent this contaminant is.

  3. EPA will soon issue guidance to all water systems on how to test for and  sample drinking water specifically for chromium-6. This guidance will provide  EPA-approved methods and other technical information.

  5. EPA will also offer technical expertise and assistance to communities cited  in the recent Environmental Working Group study with the highest levels of  chromium. Agency will work with water system operators and engineers to ensure  the latest testing and monitoring methods are being utilized.

  7. Once EPA’s chromium-6 risk assessment is finalized, EPA will work quickly to  determine if new standards need to be set. Based on the current draft  assessment, which has yet to undergo scientific peer review, it is likely that  EPA will tighten drinking water standards to address the health risks posed by  chromium-6.

Currently, the total chromium standard is 0.1 mg/L (100 parts per billion). Our latest data show no U.S. utilities are in violation of the standard. 

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