Poor drinking water oversight could have ‘serious public health implications’ for Pennsylvanians, EPA says

Pennsylvania’s failure to enforce safe drinking water standards due to inadequate staffing could have “serious public health implications,” according to federal regulators, and cost the state millions in federal funding. That warning came in a Dec. 30 letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees drinking water inspections. At a time of major budget cuts, the DEP’s inspections of public water systems fell from 3,177 in the 2009-10 fiscal year to 1,847 in 2015-16, according to the EPA. The number of unaddressed violations doubled over the last five years, from 4,298 to 7,922; and those figures don’t account for violations that may have gone unnoticed.

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