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EPA ORDERS FALLON TO REMOVE ARSENIC FROM DRINKING WATER ARSENIC IN FALLON'S DRINKING WATER AMONG HIGHEST IN NATION
Release Date: 8/31/2000
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, U.S. EPA,(415) 744-1587
SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued an order to the City of Fallon, Nevada requiring the municipality to adhere to a strict EPA schedule for removing arsenic from its drinking water to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Arsenic in Fallon's drinking water is 100 parts per billion (ppb), among the highest of any public water system in the nation. The EPA has been working with Fallon officials for more than a year to get the city to reduce the arsenic in its drinking water down to the current federal standard of 50 ppb.
"This is one of our region's highest priorities Fallon's water is a serious health concern," said Alexis Strauss, water director for the Pacific Southwest. "We want Fallon to comply with the law. This is a significant first step in bringing safe drinking water to all residents in the Fallon area."
The order requires the city to meet all deadlines outlined in a schedule leading up to the installation and management of a treatment system that will significantly reduce arsenic in the town's drinking water by September 2003.
Although a naturally occurring mineral, arsenic is a poison. It is naturally found in groundwater throughout the region. Drinking high levels of arsenic increases the chance of lung, bladder, and skin cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes and neurological damage. Arsenic inhibits the body's ability to fight off cancer and other diseases.
The EPA is currently proposing to reduce the current arsenic standard from 50 ppb to 5 ppb. The new rule is expected in January.
Since 1996 EPA's drinking water state revolving loan fund has made $3.6 billion available to communities nationwide to improve their drinking water systems.