Home / Should Your Kids Drink The Water? Bush’s EPA Doesn’t Know

Should Your Kids Drink The Water? Bush’s EPA Doesn’t Know

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been slow to force states to collect and report required data on lead levels in drinking water and has little information on schools and child-care facilities, according to a recently released government study.

The Government Accountability Office study found that the EPA’s database lacks some information on more than 70 percent of the nation’s water systems. In addition to broadly improving data collection and communication among local, state and federal agencies, it recommended more information be collected on the water in schools and child-care facilities, few of which test for lead, according to the findings.

Benjamin H. Grumbles, who oversees the EPA’s Office of Water, said through a spokeswoman Wednesday that the federal Lead and Copper Rule has been effective in keeping lead levels below federal limits in 96 percent of the nation’s large water systems.

It’s a nice statistic, but 96% of how many water systems? How can we know what’s safe and what’s not, if we don’t have sufficient data?

Sen. James M. Jeffords (I-VT), one of three congressmen to request the GAO study, said the EPA needed to continue to improve its oversight and implementation.

“This GAO report confirms that there are large holes in federal safe drinking water regulations, Jeffords said in a written statement. “The EPA has failed to act in a meaningful way to plug these gaps, even after the drinking water in the nation’s capital was ‘off-limits’ for months.”

Jeffords has offered legislation that would create stricter oversight, but the legislation has failed to gain traction in the Republican-led Congress.


This item first appeared at JABBS

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About David R. Mark

  • RedTard

    Has there been some cases of illness related to drinking water that I missed?

    Of course not, there’s nothing wrong with our water supply. This is just another anti-Bush garbage article like the 14 others you write every day. I must admit you are very dedicated. I can’t imagine hating any individual with such passion.

  • Dave Nalle

    David. Another fine bit of propaganda with little to back it up.

    A couple of questions.

    Do schools and child care facilities get their water from the supplies of the communities they are in?

    Doesn’t every municipal water supply and private water company test its water?

    Have lead pipes not been illegal in new construction nationwide for 20 years?

    Doesn’t every state in the union require schools to either have new pipes or filter their water?

    Let me give you a hint. The answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’. That being the case, what the hell are you talking about here?


  • gonzo marx

    he appears to be talking about the EPA studies, and simple mathematics, actually…

    if 70% of the Nation has not been tested and/or checked directly by the EPA, yet they claim a 96% standard…then they MUST be relying on either extrapolation…or sources outside fo direct testing or checking by the EPA

    we can agree on that so far?

    now..the concern woudl be that , oh…someone might be either incorrect…or lying…or covering their ass…

    and according to ti’s charter, it’s the EPA’s JOB to check up on these things…simple enough to gather samples and check them out…not even that expensive

    but, according to their own figures..which are supplied in David’s links…they have NOT done so to 70% of the supply…yet claim the 96% figure

    now..notice it doesn’t even mention something we are concerned about here in Maine..MTBE’s getting into the goundwater form gasoline contamination..

    but the main concern here, for me at least, is that even if the 96% figure is dead nuts accurate…

    what about the other 4%?

    in a nation of 280 million …4% would be about 11.2 million folks whose water is NOT safe by those standards

    so even if all is as it is claimed to be…11.2 million folks have water that doesn’t pass the most basic tests

    is that ok by you?


  • david r. mark

    The news peg is the GAO study.

    You don’t like what the GAO says, fine. It’s a non-partisan group, used by Republicans and Democrats (or in this case, a former Republican turned Independent.)

    I don’t claim to know reams about lead in the water. But the GAO researched the thing, and wrote a lengthy report (link provided). I’m just relating their results.

  • david r. mark

    Another fine bit of propaganda with little to back it up.>>

    Dave Nalle, always ready to fight the good fight, regardless of the facts.

  • Dave Nalle

    So you basically have no answer to my refutation of your weak argument.


  • gonzo marx

    he might not have..but i do think i covered it

    checks and balances..the feedback loops needed to confirm the accuracy of any circumstanc ewhich can be effected by out side influence or variables

    you know..like lying, or greed, or incompetence

    i noticed you didn’t bother to even try and refute my math, nor mention anything about my concern for the over 11 million people with CONFIRMED bad water by the study (that pesky 4%)

    doesn’t that bother you?


  • david r. mark

    I read the report. Did you?

    My defense, as you call it, is that the GAO researched the issue and concluded that there were some serious problems with data collection and communication. As a result of those problems, the GAO concluded, the federal government doesn’t know everything it needs to know about lead in the water.

    Now, if you have alternate information, please share. If you read the GAO report and can refute specific points with some other study, please share.

    Otherwise, what do you have to back up your weak argument?

  • Bliffle

    Lead has subtle longterm effects, but we know that medically it can cause mental abberations. So it may be that some part of the psychosis, criminality and other social ills that occur. Seems to me it would be cheap insurance to cleanup the air and water if it would reduce the burdens thrust on us by organically induced mental abberation.

  • David, the federal government is hardly the point man in dealing with lead. Every state and local jurisdiction deals with this issue, and we have no reason to think they aren’t on top of it. What your complaint comes down to is basically objecting to the fact that the EPA isn’t gathering enough information, not any evidence that lead levels are actually high. Those two things are worlds apart. And it’s the difference between an actual problem and alarmism for partisan advantage.

    As for lead, no question it’s a bad thing. The popular theory is that lead pipes brought down the Roman Empire.


  • david r. mark

    Dave, you’re killing the messenger, not sounding off partisan alarms. The main congressman to ask for the report, you’ll note, is not a Democrat.

    I agree with the GAO that the EPA should do its job.

    Part of that job is to have facts at its disposal. Part of that job is to coordinate with state and local agencies.

    Now, if your philosophy is “trust the system, and it will work,” fine. I believe in scientific research, not faith, when dealing with health questions.

  • Lumpen Prole

    I’d be a hell of a lot more worried about organic contaminants than I would about lead. This post certainly is alarmist, though, since the EPA’s monitoring is pretty meaningless compared to what local jurisdictions are doing.

  • The Management

    Dave, Lumpen, Lumpy:

    Please restrict yourself to one personality per thread.


    The Management

  • david r. mark

    Reporting the truth = alarmist?

    Asking that the government does its job = liberal propaganda?

    Ignorance truly is bliss, huh guys?

  • As I see it the only thing that’s alarmist about it is that you seem to suggest that there’s a connection between the EPA being inadequate at its oversight job – which is a legitimate complaint – and there being any meaningful risk to the public. There’s no causal relationship between incompetent EPA data gathering and the actual quality of our water and your article implies tha there is. That’s what makes it alarmist.