Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES NEW MEASURES TO PROVIDE SAFER DRINKING WATER FOR 40 MILLION AMERICANS
In addition, the Vice President announced how the Presidents proposed $825 million Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund for fiscal year 2001 would be allocated among all the states if fully funded by Congress.
"Americans enjoy some of the safest drinking water
in the world. Today, more than 90 percent of the people served by community
water systems receive tap water that meets all federal health standards,"
Gore said. " I am proud of this Administrations commitment
to ensuring that every American receives safe, healthy drinking water
from their tap. I am dedicated to ensuring that they receive the resources
they need to continue to make that happen."
In December l998, President Clinton announced the first public health standards to remove Cryptosporidium in large water systems that serve 140 million people, to prevent up to 460,000 cases of waterborne illness a year. The l998 standards strengthened filtration and monitoring requirements to remove Cryptosporidium and other microbes.
Todays proposal would extend these public health protections by requiring 11,500 small water systems serving fewer than 10,000 people each to protect against Cryptosporidium and will improve treatment processes at water systems of all sizes. Currently, more than 18 million people are served by these smaller water systems. To help communities upgrade their water systems, the Administrations FY 2001 budget proposes $825 million for the Safe Drinking Water revolving Loan Fund. The fund, created by the Safe Drinking Water Act amendments signed in l996 by President Clinton, provides grants to make low-interest loans to cities to upgrade the nations drinking water systems. This initiative maintains that fifteen percent of the loans must go to small communities.
Since 1996, this revolving loan fund has made almost $3.6 billion available to water systems around the country, and this month, the EPA will have funded over 1,000 loans and grants under this program. Vice President Gores announcement unveils what the Presidents proposed $825 million would mean for every state in the country. (A list of state-by-state allocations is attached.)
EPA will take public comment for 60 days on the proposals, called the "Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Proposed Rule" and the "Filter Backwash Proposed Rule." Additional information on the proposals can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater or by calling EPAs Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
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