Five States Run Top Environmental Programs

Minnesota, Rhode Island, California, Texas and New York all run\r\ntop environmental programs, according to the National Rural Water\r\nAssociation (NRWA) study of EPA data.

Minnesota, Rhode Island, California, Texas and New York all run top environmental programs, according to the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) study of EPA data.

The study ranked the effectiveness of state environmental programs for drinking water safety.

The five states'' drinking water compliance and health rates placed them in the top for most effective environmental programs.

NRWA 45 state associations requested the study to compare the effectiveness of state programs in complying with EPA''s environmental standards for drinking water.

The study analyzed the last four years of EPA''s published National Public Water Systems Compliance Reports which track the overall success of each state''s effectiveness in administering the federal drinking water safety program under the Safe Drinking Water Act last reauthorized in 1996.

EPA relies on this data to make conclusions on the status of drinking water safety in their reports, Congressional testimony and public education materials.

Mike Keegan, policy analyst, said, "Drinking water protection is perhaps the most important federal environmental program to the public''s immediate and long-term health. EPA rules are incredibly complex and thorough -- often requiring daily monitoring of drinking water quality and regulating upwards of a hundred contaminants at levels in parts per billion."

"Drinking water protection is one of the oldest and most established federal environmental programs under the EPA," he continued. "It''s essential that EPA is able to make comparative evaluations of the effectiveness of state programs for a national program to be useful. The study uses EPA''s data to identify which states score high with EPA''s requirements."

A copy of the study is available online at www.ruralwater.org.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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