Primary Standards

The EPA establishes primary standards for constituents which may effect human health.26 Initially, the EPA has set maximum contaminant level goals for contaminants found to have adverse effects on human health and which are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems (SDWA §§1412[a][3], [b][3][A], 42 USC §§300g-1[a][3], [b][3][A]). These health-based goals are set "at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effects on the health of persons occur and which allows an adequate margin of safety" (SDWA §1412[b][4], 42 USC §300g-1[b][4]).

The EPA also establishes maximum contaminant levels which specify the levels to which water contamination must be reduced.27 These primary standards are set as close to the maximum contaminant level goals as is feasible (SDWA §1412g-1[b][4], 42 USC §300g-1[b][4]).28 If the maximum contaminant levels are not economically or technologically feasible, the EPA must specify any known treatment techniques which will sufficiently reduce the levels of the contaminants.

24. The Federal Aviation Administration has authority to abate airport noise under the Noise Control Act and the Aviation Noise and Capacity Act (1990), U.S. Public Law 101-508, secs. 9301-09. The DOT is responsible for the enforcement of the EPA's railroad and motor carrier emission standards. While DOT is funded for this purpose, they do not have the authority to promulgate regulations under the act.

25. Contaminant is defined as any physical, chemical, biological, or ra diological substance or matter in water. Safe Drinking Water Act. Sec.

26. See Code of Federal Regulations. Title 40, parts 141-142.

27. The act defines maximum contaminant level to mean "the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water which is delivered to any user of a public water system." Safe Drinking Water Act. Sec. 1401(3). U.S. Code;. Vol. 42, sec. 300f(3).

28. Feasible is defined under the act to mean "feasible with the use of the best technology, treatment techniques and other means which [the EPA] finds, after examination for efficacy under field conditions and not solely under laboratory conditions, are available (taking cost into consideration)." Safe Drinking Water Act. Sec. 1412g-1(b)(5). U.S. Code. Vol. 42, sec. 300g-1(b)(5).

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