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EPA award honors Vienna, W. Va. for protecting drinking water

Release Date: 10/28/2010
Contact Information: Roy Seneca seneca.roy@epa.gov, 215-814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (October 28, 2010) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic office has awarded Vienna, W. Va. a source water protection award for its work in protecting drinking water sources.

“The city of Vienna is getting this award for taking proactive measures to help ensure that residents will continue to have access to safe and healthy drinking water,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Drinking water is a finite and precious resource so we applaud these efforts.”

Vienna’s source water efforts are significant because its water supply is vulnerable to contamination from the nearby Vienna PCE Superfund site. The city of Vienna recognized the vulnerability to its groundwater and took proactive measures to reduce the likelihood of negative impacts.

The city established a wellhead protection plan, developed a source water protection plan with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and worked with the U.S. Geological Survey to develop a ground water model to determine the rate and direction of the ground water flow.

EPA’s source water protection awards recognize organizations and communities that take steps to protect drinking water sources. The awards are open to individuals and public and private organizations throughout EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Recipients have voluntarily gone beyond what the law requires to protect their drinking water.

In 1996, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to give greater protection to millions of Americans who rely on public drinking water systems. By law, all states must develop source water assessments for every public water supply, but it is up to the local authorities to develop plans and measures to protect drinking water sources from contamination. For more information on EPA’s source water protection awards, visit http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/drinking/awards.htm .