The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has called for national focus on
cleaning up drinking water resources contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE.
AWWA set forth its recommendations after determining that President
Clinton's proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency budget overlooked the
"Americans should not have to choose between safe drinking water and clean
air," said AWWA executive director Jack Hoffbuhr. "I know the
President is aware of the problem facing many of our communities from California
to Maine because of MTBE. This is a national problem that merits the attention
of the nation's leader."
The Clinton budget makes no mention of direct funds for MTBE cleanup, discussing
only general funding available in state revolving funds, which address many
issues including infrastructure, treatment and testing.
AWWA estimates U.S. MTBE clean-up could surpass $1 billion. The costs of
cleaning up the water supplies of Santa Monica, California, alone --
contaminated by MTBE for years -- is expected to cost $150 million. A report
issued last July by a USEPA Blue Ribbon Panel recommended increasing funds for
treatment of drinking water supplies contaminated by MTBE.
The American Water Works Association and its 56,000 members work to assure a
safe, sufficient supply of drinking water for the people of the United States,
Canada, and Mexico. The group leads efforts to advance the science,
technology, consumer awareness, management, conservation, and government
policies related to drinking water.
SOURCES: AWWA; EPA
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