EPA Issues First-Ever Orders to Water Systems for Failure to File Consumer Confidence Reports
Release Date: 04/25/2000
|(#00074) St. Thomas, USVI – In the past several months, EPA has cited 94 drinking water systems in the U.S. Virgin Islands for their failure to file a report, detailing the quality of the drinking water delivered by the system and characterizing any risks that may have been posed by contaminants in the water. The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 required drinking water systems to prepare these reports, called Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR), and distribute them to water customers by October 19, 1999. In the months prior to October, the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources reminded all of the systems that these reports were due. EPA has issued Orders requiring the systems to prepare and distribute reports as soon as possible, but no later than July 1, 2000, or they could face penalties.
"We’re ordering these water systems to develop the reports as soon as possible," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "These 94 systems are not alone. There are probably thousands of systems throughout the country that have not yet distributed Consumer Confidence Reports, and EPA is working with the states, commonwealths and territories to identify these systems and take action to correct the violations. These are just the first of many actions the Agency will be taking in coming months. The next Consumer Confidence Report is due by July 1, 2000 and annually thereafter."
While most states and territories, such as the Virgin Islands, have primary responsibility for enforcing the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act, they do not yet have the regulatory authority to enforce this new Consumer Confidence Report provision. Until the states and territories change their regulations to gain this authority, EPA will enforce the rules. In this case, the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources identified these systems and asked EPA to take action. EPA and the Department have agreed to work together to enforce the rules in this way while the Virgin Islands Agency revises its authorities to assume the role of primary enforcer.
DRINKING WATER SYSTEMS THAT RECEIVED ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS