On August 6, 1996 President Clinton signed legislation that provides strengthened protections to ensure that American families have clean, safe tap water. The legislation also contains important new loan funds, first proposed by the President, to help states and local communities provide more drinking water protection. The legislation strengthens and expands the nation's drinking water protection in four ways:

  • Providing money that communities need to upgrade drinking water systems: The legislation makes available loan funds that will help communities upgrade treatment systems to make tap water safer, and authorizes additional annual loan funds in future years.

  • Strengthening standards to protect public health from the most significant threats to safe drinking water: The legislation strengthens standards that will protect Americans from contaminants that pose the greatest health risks by setting clear schedules for developing standards for deadly microbial contaminants like cryptosporidium and mandating technical assistance to help water systems nationwide do a better job of delivering safe, clean water.

  • Giving the American people the right to know about tap water contaminants: The legislation gives Americans access to direct, simple information about local water quality, water sources, contaminants, and whether the water poses a risk to health.

  • Protecting the sources of our drinking water: The legislation contains measures that call for identifying and assessing potential pollution threats to local sources of water.

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