> EPA Releases Plans for Improved Drinking Water Standards - The Food Safety Company EPA Releases Plans for Improved Drinking Water Standards - The Food Safety Company
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    Wednesday, 7 December 2016

    EPA Releases Plans for Improved Drinking Water Standards


    Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a plan to improve drinking water standards in America. Called the Drinking Water Action Plan, it directly appeals to the nation’s government, utilities, organisations and stakeholders, urging them to jointly work towards safer and more reliable drinking water.

    Divided into six priority areas in need of attention, the plan outlines proposed actions for each area:

    EPA sourced information from state, local, and tribal government officials, drinking water utilities, community groups and environmental organisations to compile an appropriately all-encompassing plan that can be universally applied to the entire country. Combining these varied inputs to create a unifying vision had to be tricky.

    To further back EPA’s “national call to action,” the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) launched a study on science and technology for drinking water safety. Acting as the perfect accompaniment, PCAST’s findings are in line with and support the plan. From the looks of it, EPA has secured the right kind of backing.

    Some fronts have already been moved upon by the EPA and partners while other aspects will require a bit more diplomacy. Stakeholders must be considered, for example, and additional resources (monetary or otherwise) will need to be discussed. Pushing together singular pillars of operation – governing forces, utilities, and the private and public sectors – to create firm foundation is paramount to the success of the plan.

    EPA administrator Gina McCarthy speaks to the goal of the Drinking Water Action Plan: “Ensuring that all Americans have access to safe drinking water is an absolute top priority for EPA. We must work collectively to seize opportunities for progress, partnership, and innovation in order to continue to provide our citizens with the safest drinking water in the world.”

    According to Food Safety Magazine, 150,000 public water systems are used in America for everything from daily bathing to drinking water. More than one billion glasses of tap water are consumed each day from those same systems. It’s encouraging to hear that the “EPA has established drinking water standards for more than 90 contaminants, and compliance data show that more than 90 percent of the nation’s water systems consistently meet those standards.” This means that the majority of Americans are consuming relatively safe water; however, outside of America, the rest of the world must address an aging infrastructure, limited funding and management capacity, emerging contaminants, pollution of source water, and the impacts from drought and other climate events. Rather than applying a Band-Aid solution, EPA’s plan endeavours to solve these issues with a strategic plan of action. 


    Jacqui Litvan

    Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).
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