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Environmental Working Group Releases New Drinking Water Database

On Wednesday, July 26th, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its latest version of a national drinking water database.  The database contains over 28 million data points, and was primarily developed from states’ compliance monitoring databases, as well as monitoring from the Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3).
One observation about this database is that more than one health limit/standard is used to compare with the actual drinking water concentration.  A “health guideline” (typically very low) is shown in addition to the “legal limit” (i.e., EPA’s MCL).  So almost any detection for a system in compliance with the MCL will still be shown as above the “health guideline”.
Various national media outlets, such as USA Today, gave this report a fair amount of attention.  EWG also made a series of policy recommendations, that included increasing source water protection and not rolling back drinking water standards, that are pretty much standard stuff.