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NTC PRES. CLINTON ANNOUNCED NEW MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN DRINKING WATER PROTECTIONS

Release Date: 12/03/98
Contact Information:


FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1998


Today, President Clinton announced new measures to strengthen drinking water protections for 140 million Americans. New public health standards – the first to be issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of l996 – will protect against Cryptosporidium, other disease-causing microbes and potentially harmful byproducts of the water treatment process.
In addition, the President is releasing $775 million to states for low-interest loans to help communities upgrade their drinking water treatment systems and protect watersheds.

Attached is a White House fact sheet and a list of the l999 grant amounts each state will receive for drinking water improvements.



R-162 ###

           


 PRESIDENT CLINTON:SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR AMERICA'S FAMILIES
                       December 3, 1998
                               
    Today, after touring a water treatment plant in Newport, Rhode Island, President Clinton will
announce new measures to strengthen drinking water protections for 140 million Americans. The new public
health standards -- the first to be issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 -- will
protect against Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite, other disease-causing microbes, and potentially
harmful byproducts of the water treatment process. In addition, the President will announce the release of
$775 million to states for low-interest loans to help communities upgrade their water treatment systems.


Safeguarding Our Drinking Water. Americans enjoy the safest drinking water in the world. Eighty-six percent
of this country's tapwater fully meets our tough federal standards. Since 1993, 10 million more Americans are
receiving water from utilities reporting no violations of federal health standards. Yet threats remain, and
President Clinton is working to make our water even safer. Major reforms of the Safe Drinking Water Act
proposed by the President, and passed by Congress in 1996, are leading to stronger standards and providing
communities with the resources to meet them. In August, the President announced a key step under these reforms
-- new rules requiring utilities to provide their customers with regular reports on the quality of their drinking
water.


New Standards to Protect Public Health. The Safe Drinking Water Act amendments focus federal research and
regulatory efforts on the contaminants that pose the greatest risk. In coming years, guided by new data and
science, the Environmental Protection Agency will adopt several new drinking water standards and tighten
existing ones. Today, the President will announce the first two sets of standards under the 1996 amendments:


    Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite found in animal and other organic wastes, is one of several
   potentially harmful microbes that can contaminate drinking water. A 1993 Cryptosporidium outbreak in
   Milwaukee sickened 400,000 people, hospitalized more than 4,000, and caused more than 50 deaths
   among people with weakened immune systems. Many other cases go undetected. By requiring improved
   filtration and monitoring in water systems serving 60 million people nationwide, the new standards will
   prevent up to 460,000 cases of waterborne illness a year.
   
   Disinfection Byproducts are potentially harmful compounds created during the water treatment process.
   One of the great health advances of the 20th century is the control of cholera, typhoid, and other diseases
   through the disinfection of drinking water. However, disinfectants can combine with natural organic
   material in water to create byproducts, some of which cause cancer or birth defects in laboratory
   animals. The new standards will require improved treatment practices in water systems serving 140

    million people nationwide, reducing exposure to these byproducts by 25 percent.
   
New Funding For States, Communities. The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act amendments authorized a $9.6
billion fund, proposed by President Clinton, to help upgrade drinking water systems. Today, the President will
announce the latest round of grants to states and U.S. territories -- a total of $775 million in fiscal year 1999.
These grants will be used by State Revolving Loan Funds to provide low-interest loans to municipalities to
improve water systems and protect watersheds. In addition, EPA is releasing $93.8 million in grants to states to
support their drinking water programs.



  HELPING STATES AND COMMUNITIES IMPROVE THEIR DRINKING WATER
                       December 3, 1998


President Clinton today is announcing nearly $870 million in grants to states and U.S.
territories to support efforts to improve the quality of America's drinking water.


The bulk -- $775 million -- comes from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund proposed by
the President and authorized by the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. These
funds are used by states to provide low-interest loans to municipalities to construct or upgrade
drinking water systems, and to prevent contamination through improved watershed protection.


In addition, the President is announcing $93.8 million in Public Water Supply Supervision
grants. These funds are used by state drinking water programs to monitor drinking water
quality, enforce drinking water standards, and provide technical assistance to local
communities.



                               Drinking Water State              Public Water Supply
States                                                                  Revolving Funds                           Supervision Grants


Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Other U.S. Territories (4)
Tribal Grants
Other


Total
                               
$        8,872,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,606,400
                                                    10,619,500
                                                    80,816,700
                                                    10,042,600
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                    21,635,700
                                                    15,986,900
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                    25,943,800
                                                     9,105,300
                                                    11,779,300
                                                    10,489,400

                                                     11,373,500
                                                    10,427,700
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                    28,732,900
                                                    21,959,100
                                                    12,426,300
                                                      8,669,500                                                              
                                                    10,035,400
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                    18,182,200
                                                     7,463,800

                                                     47,228,900
                                                    13,477,900
                                                     7,463,800
                                                    23,903,100
                                                    10,716,000
                                                    11,076,100
                                                    23,482,400
                                                    10,716,700
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     8,038,300
                                                     7,463,800
                                                    10,017,100
                                                    56,612,200
                                                     7,463,800
                                                     7,463,800
                                                    14,563,600
                                                    20,091,100

                                                      7,463,800
                                                    10,007,600
                                                     7,463,800
                                                             
                                                     2,463,000
                                                    11,625,000
                                                    17,000,000
                                                             
                                                   775,000,000
                                                                                                                             
                                                   $   854,600
                                                     2,032,100
                                                     1,239,600
                                                       881,900
                                                     5,674,200

                                                      1,277,400
                                                     1,453,000
                                                       513,200
                                                       356,000
                                                     3,539,000
                                                     1,949,400
                                                       448,300
                                                     1,066,000
                                                     2,799,600
                                                     1,864,800
                                                     1,234,200
                                                     1,026,700
                                                       802,500
                                                     1,439,800
                                                       860,000
                                                     1,332,000
                                                     1,024,200

                                                      3,958,300
                                                     2,418,700
                                                     1,210,800
                                                     1,703,800
                                                     1,087,900
                                                       905,800
                                                       742,400
                                                       944,000
                                                     1,944,300
                                                       953,100
                                                     4,152,400
                                                     3,013,600
                                                       622,200
                                                     2,894,000
                                                     1,267,800
                                                     1,406,800
                                                     3,966,400

                                                        686,000
                                                       462,000
                                                     1,052,100
                                                       690,300
                                                       922,100
                                                     5,432,700
                                                       771,300
                                                       679,200
                                                     2,169,400
                                                     2,345,300
                                                       831,000
                                                     3,096,500
                                                       665,800
                                                             
                                                       635,700
                                                     6,480,500
                                                             

                                                               
                                                    93,780,500