Boxer, Feinstein Propose Safe Drinking Water Legislation

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The Environmental Protection Agency could soon have a deadline to come up with safe levels of Chromium 6 in drinking water supplies, as legislation has been introduced by U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

The potential risks of exposure to the carcinogenic toxic chemical were highlighted in the film “Erin Brockovich.”

Drinking water in 31 of 35 cities that were tested in a recent study, including San Jose, were found to have Chromium 6 contamination.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Marty Grimes with the Santa Clara Valley Water District said right now, there isn’t a safe standard.

“There’s a standard for total chromium. Chromium 6 is a component of that,” Grimes said. “All of our drinking water has always met those standards for total chromium, but there is no specific standard for Chromium 6.”

But Ted Smith, the former president of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, said just having a standard isn’t enough.

“Too often, lobbyists for the polluting companies get involved in standard setting and try to persuade the EPA to set a weaker standard,” said Smith. “People who are concerned about the health in drinking water need to be involved in watchdogging that kind of a process to make sure that the ultimate standard that they end up with is one that is health protective.”

California is currently the only state that requires testing for Chromium 6.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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