H.R. NO.








requesting the u.s. environmental protection agency to reconsider its decision to not issue new rules and standards for water quality and to review and strengthen its policies on water quality monitoring, enforcement, and data collection practices.



WHEREAS, under the administration of President George W. Bush, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made several policy decisions which harm human health and the environment; and

WHEREAS, in 2001, the first year of the Bush Administration, the EPA tried to weaken the national standard for drinking water containing arsenic, which can cause bladder, lung, prostate, and skin cancer and might cause liver and kidney cancer; and

WHEREAS, in 2003, after almost seven years of review, the EPA decided that its current drinking water rules were fully protective of public health and that it would not revise any drinking water rules nor regulate any new contaminates in tap water, likely resulting in a delay of any new enforceable standards until 2010 at the earliest; and

WHEREAS, according to water scientists within the EPA, only about 81 percent of the jurisdictions monitored in 2002 had safe drinking water--13 percent lower than what the agency had reported-–which would mean that tens of millions of additional people were at risk from unsafe water; and

WHEREAS, the EPA has proposed new rules allowing the continued, and potentially increased, injection of treated sewage into underground municipal wells, despite evidence in south Florida that wastewater containing industrial chemicals and pathogens had migrated from the state's injection wells to its drinking water supplies; and

WHEREAS, in February 2004, it was revealed that EPA officials had known for more than a year that Washington, D.C., had unusually high levels of lead in its pipelines, but chose to ignore the problem; and

WHEREAS, consequently, a warning had to be issued to pregnant women and children under six years of age living in Washington, D.C., to stop drinking unfiltered tap water and get blood tests; and

WHEREAS, the Office of the Inspector General, an internal EPA office, in its 2004 report entitled "EPA Claims to Meet Drinking Water Goals Despite Persistent Data Quality Shortcomings" (OIG Report), accused agency officials of consistently misleading the public about improvements in the quality of America's tap water; and

WHEREAS, the OIG Report identified a pattern of false statements about drinking water quality that were released by the EPA and disseminated throughout the media and alleged that the EPA did not meet its drinking water performance goals; and

WHEREAS, the OIG Report further claimed that the EPA loosely enforces its drinking water standards, monitors water quality inconsistently, and compiles sloppy and inadequate data; and

WHEREAS, the EPA's regional inspections of drinking water quality have plunged by more than half in recent years (from 488 in 2000 to 228 in 2003), and, according to the EPA's own data, 35 percent of known health standard violations nationwide have never been entered into the EPA's compliance database; and

WHEREAS, environmental organizations and concerned citizens are gravely troubled that President Bush is protecting the interests of his corporate contributors at the expense of public health; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, that this body respectfully requests the EPA to reconsider its decision to not issue new rules and standards for water quality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this body further requests EPA to review and strengthen its policies on water quality monitoring, enforcement, and data collection practices, in the best interests of the environment and public health; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States and the Administrator of the EPA.






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