Safe Drinking Water Act Provides EPA Key Opportunity to Regulate BPA

by Ben Somberg

June 27, 2012

Member Scholar Noah Sachs and Policy Analyst Aimee Simpson have sent a letter to the EPA nominating the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) to be included on the “Fourth Contaminant Candidate List” for possible regulation. They write:

Pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 (SDWA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must compile a list of unregulated contaminants that are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and may require regulation under the SDWA.  EPA then must make a decision about whether or not to regulate a least five of the contaminants on the list.  EPA recently issued a notice and request for nomination of chemical and microbial contaminants for possible inclusion in the fourth drinking water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4).  Under existing guidelines, EPA selects contaminants for a CCL based on a scoring system that addresses two primary factors:  health effects and occurrence in water supplies.  BPA received a low score on this scale during deliberations on the CCL3 and was not included on that list.  We believe that new information published since the CCL3 deliberations will change BPA’s score.  It deserves your close attention, and BPA should be added to the CCL 4.

Sachs and Simpson explain that the scientific research on BPA has advanced significantly, particularly with regard to low-dose impacts. They write: “these low-dose health effects are not properly accounted for in current risk assessments of BPA and CCL evaluations.” The full letter is here.

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