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Statement of Administration Policy: S. 124 - Safe Drinking Water

May 16, 1985


(Senator Durenberger (R) Minnesota)

The Administration opposes enactment of S. 124 unless it is amended to:

— delete the requirement for mandatory standard setting on a rigid schedule for substances listed in two EPA advanced notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRMs) and the triannual listing process. Mandated lists and a listing process should not be used to force regulatory development as they eliminate the Administrator's flexibility not to regulate a substance posing little or no health risk and reduce EPA's ability to adjust priorities in response to new problems;

— delete the unnecessary and costly critical aquifer protection demonstration grant program ($20 million annually, FY 1987-90). This program is not warranted because of steps taken by EPA in the past year to establish an Office of Groundwater Protection and to distribute already available state grant funds for groundwater protection;

— delete the administratively burdensome requirement for

mandatory Federal enforcement of all violations not enforced by delegated states within 30 days. This could cause states simply to abandon enforcement, leaving it all to the Federal Government. This Federal intervention runs counter to the essential purpose of delegation: to enable states to make decisions on appropriate courses of action. Further, selective enforcement of significant violations, not addressed by states, is a more cost-effective and efficient means of ensuring and enforcing appropriate state actions. States have a long and exceptional record at running drinking water programs;

— delete the statutory requirement for mandatory treatment techniques, such as filtration and disinfection, and the requirement that controls on synthetic organic chemicals be at least as effective as granular activated carbon. Ample authority already exists to require whatever treatment process is determined to be appropriate, based on a full analysis of the alternatives. In fact, EPA has already published an ANPRM addressing possible filtration and disinfection regulations; and reduce the bill's authorization level of $171.3 million by $110.3 million to the $61 million requested in the President's FY 1986 Budget.

APP Note: Original document provided by Samuel Kernell, UC San Diego.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: S. 124 - Safe Drinking Water Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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