Arsenic in Water Person 1- For our table topic we are doing "EPA urges tough rules on arsenic." The Environmental Protection agency has concluded that it must adopt a new standard for the amount of arsenic allowed in the nation's drinking water that is at least as though as the one proposed by the Clinton administration, officials said yesterday. Christie Whitman recommend a limit of arsenic allowed in the nation's drinking water after the National Academy of Sciences stated the health risks posed by arsenic are much greater than previously assumed by the EPA. Person 2- The decision addresses one of the most controversial environmental decisions the Bush administration has made since coming into office. The 50-year federal standard for naturally occurring arsenic levels in drinking water was at 50 parts per billion and the proposition was made at 10 parts per billion. Person 3- Whitman charged at the time that the Clinton rule had been hastily crafted without adequate scientific study or consideration of the cost for small communities that would have to change their filtration systems to meet federal law. The review focused on alternative standards - ranging from as low as 3 parts per billion to as high as 20 parts per billion.
Whitman states it is to dangerous to have the arsenic levels over 20 parts per billion. Person 4- Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks, soil, water, air, plants and animals. High concentration levels are mostly found in the drinking water in the Western states. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water led to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, and liver according to the EPA in March of 1999. Person 5- The proposal by the EPA must still be approved by the White House. The ex-president Bill Clinton's proposal had drawn criticism from officials and leaders through-out the South-West who said the regulation was to strict and would mandate expensive water system improvements that would bankrupt their communities..