The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday recommended that utilities nationwide test drinking water for hexavalent chromium.
The new guidelines, issued to state water agencies and public water system managers, acknowledge the growing concern over the cancer-causing form of chromium, known as chromium-6.
Environmental advocates and Oregon water officials lauded EPA's swift response to an advocacy group's December report that it found hexavalent chromium in 31 of 35 U.S. cities where it tested water. Among them: a privately owned water system in Bend.
While EPA won't decide whether to mandate a new drinking water standard until later this year, it recommends water suppliers step up monitoring and test water at various points of their systems to ensure that treatment and disinfection methods are not making matters worse.
One wonders-couldn't EPA leave it to the States, counties and localities to decide the issue of drinking water standards? I realize I'll get comments wondering why I don't care about people being poisoned by chrome-6.
The comments will of coruse be assuming asusme that local, county and State offiicials somehow care less about their people than far-off Washington does. There is no evidence to support this assumption. Further, it is more likely that people affected by chromium issues in drinking water can have a meaingful say at their local level than they can with bureaucrats in the central government.
Some will argue that it is easier to corrupt local officials than federal ones. Of course, even were that true, at least corrupting a local agency would affect only the locality involved; corrupting the feds would involve the whole country.
Moreover, it's pretty clear that the feds are just as subject to corruption as are any state or local officials. Look at the Congressmen recently found to have violated the law or ethics rules.