The Environmental Protection Agency agreed to a schedule in November 2005 that will end years of delays and offer drinking water standards for thousands of treatment facilities. The agreement will reduce germs, parasites and toxic chemicals in drinking water supplies across the country.
The agreement requires EPA to adopt three new rules by August 2006 that require drinking water treatment facilities to monitor and treat for Cryptosporidium and other parasites, as well as chemicals that result from certain types of water treatment. In the past, EPA has missed or ignored deadlines required by amendments Congress passed to the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1996. EPA estimates that these rules could reduce the number of water borne illnesses each year. Earthjustice negotiated the agreement on behalf of NRDC and Physicians for Social Responsibility.