Thursday, December 23, 2010

ENVIRO-NEWS: Statement from EPA on Chromium-6

The following is a statement from EPA Administrator Jackson regarding her meeting with 10 U.S. senators on Chromium-6.

The evidence of widespread contamination of US freshwater supply's is a clear concern to human health. Chromium 6 is a known carcinogen.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Makuch, Joseph" <>
Date: Dec 23, 2010 10:07 AM
Subject: [ENVIRO-NEWS] Statement from EPA Administrator Jackson regarding her meeting with 10 U.S. senators on Chromium-6
To: <>

From: U.S. EPA []
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 2:39 PM
Subject: EPA News Release (HQ): Statement from EPA Administrator Jackson
regarding her meeting with 10 U.S. senators on Chromium-6

Adora Andy (Media Only)

Jalil Isa (Media Only)

December 22, 2010

Statement from EPA Administrator Jackson regarding her meeting with 10
U.S. senators on Chromium-6

WASHINGTON - Yesterday, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson met with
Senators Richard Durbin (IL), Mark Kirk (IL), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Bob
Casey (PA), Ben Nelson (NE), Bill Nelson (FL), Daniel Akaka (HI), Dianne
Feinstein (CA), Jeff Bingaman (NM), and Jeff Merkley (OR) to brief them
on the issue of chromium-6 in drinking water as it relates to this
week's Environmental Working Group (EWG) report.

The following is a statement from Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
regarding that meeting:

"Yesterday, I briefed members of the Senate on chromium-6 in drinking
water supplies as it relates to the recent Environmental Working Group
report. EPA has already been working to review and incorporate the
ground-breaking science referenced in this report. However, as a mother
and the head of EPA, I am still concerned about the prevalence of
chromium-6 in our drinking water.

Today, I am announcing a series of actions that the EPA will take over
the coming days to address chromium-6 in our drinking water. It is clear
that the first step is to understand the prevalence of this problem.
While the EWG study was informative, it only provided a snapshot in
time. EPA will work with local and state officials to get a better
picture of exactly how widespread this problem is. In the meantime, EPA
will issue guidance to all water systems in the country to help them
develop monitoring and sampling programs specifically for chromium-6.
We will also offer significant technical assistance to the communities
cited in the EWG report with the highest levels of chromium-6 to help
ensure they quickly develop an effective chromium-6 specific monitoring

The science behind chromium-6 is evolving. EPA is already on a path
toward identifying and addressing any potential health threats from
excessive, long-term exposure with its new draft assessment released
this past fall. This assessment still needs to be reviewed by
independent scientists as an essential step toward tightening drinking
water standards for chromium-6. Strong science and the law will continue
to be the backbone of our decision-making at EPA. EPA takes this matter
seriously and we will continue to do all that we can, using good science
and the law, to protect people's health and our environment."

Meeting Readout:

In yesterday's meeting with the 10 U.S. senators, Administrator Jackson
described EPA's current chromium-6 risk assessment, which is a review
EPA immediately started in response to new science in 2008 showing a
link between chromium-6 ingestion and cancer. This risk assessment -
which would be the first step to updating the drinking water regulations
- will be finalized after an independent scientific peer review in 2011.
Administrator Jackson told the senators that based on the draft risk
assessment, EPA will likely revise drinking water regulations to account
for this new science. These revisions would only take place after an
independent science panel has verified the underlying science.

Administrator Jackson told the senators that EPA currently requires
testing for total chromium which includes chromium-6. She noted that the
testing does not distinguish what percentage of the total chromium is
chromium-6 versus chromium-3, so EPA's regulation assumes that the
sample is 100% chromium-6. This means the current chromium-6 standard
has been as protective and precautionary as the science of that time

Administrator Jackson told the senators that according to the most
recent data, all public water facilities are in compliance with the
existing total chromium standards, but she agrees that chromium-6 is a
contaminant of concern. She also told the senators that people can have
their water tested and install home treatment devices certified to
remove chromium-6 if they are concerned about the levels of chromium-6
in their drinking water.

The administrator concluded the briefing by making the following points
and commitments:

1)      While provocative, the EWG report is a self-described "snapshot"
in time and does not provide a full, long-term picture of the prevalence
of chromium-6 in our drinking water. EPA will work with state and local
officials to better determine how wide-spread and prevalent this
contaminant is.

2)      Meanwhile, EPA will issue guidance to all water systems on how
to test for and sample drinking water specifically for chromium-6. This
guidance will provide EPA-approved methods and other technical

3)      EPA will also offer technical expertise and assistance to the
communities cited in the EWG study with the highest levels of chromium.
This assistance will include providing technical experts to work with
water system operators and engineers to ensure the latest testing and
monitoring is being utilized.

4)      Once EPA's chromium-6 risk assessment is finalized, EPA will
work quickly to determine if new standards need to be set. Based on the
current draft assessment, which has yet to undergo scientific peer
review, it is likely that EPA will tighten drinking water standards to
address the health risks posed by chromium-6.

More information on chromium:

To track the status of the ongoing risk assessment:

[or ]


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