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EPA Orders Seven Water Systems in Massachusetts to File Required Reports
Release Date: 05/15/2000
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Public Affairs Office, (617) 918-1042
BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered seven public water supply systems in Massachusetts to prepare reports within 30 days on the quantity and quality of their drinking water supplies. These systems are among 58 public water supply systems throughout New England that were ordered to prepare Consumer Confidence Reports, which are meant to give citizens critical information about the quality of the water they consume.
More than 150 systems in New England failed to prepare these Consumer Confidence Reports and to make them available to the public by the October 1999 deadline. The 58 systems serving 100 people or more were targeted in this week's administrative orders.
"We all have a right to know if the water we are drinking and giving to our children is clean and healthy," said Mindy S. Lubber, Regional Administrator for EPA New England. "These orders, which should not have been necessary, will help provide citizens with the drinking water reports they should have had in their hands nearly a year ago."
For the past year and a half, EPA has worked with states and various drinking water associations to provide extensive technical assistance and outreach to help public water systems draft the reports. Systems that did not draft reports were issued a number of warning and reminder letters by their states. The administrative orders issued this week require the systems to prepare and make the 1998 reports available within 30 days and to put a notice in the newspaper letting the public know that their water system did not comply with the October 1999 deadline. The newspaper notice must also indicate that the 1999 report will be available in July 2000 and will be mailed to consumers along with the 1998 report.
Systems that did not prepare their 1998 report and that serve fewer than 100 people will receive a notice of noncompliance requiring that they meet all the same criteria by May 30, 2000, if they do not want to be issued an administrative order.
EPA will work with Rural Water Associations throughout New England to help systems serving fewer than 100 people draft their 1998 reports by May 30, 2000.