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The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986: Now a Tougher Act to Follow

Date

November 1986
16

Issue

11

Page

10338

Type

Articles

Summary

Editors' Summary: On June 19, 1986, President Reagan signed the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986 into law. Among the many changes made by the Amendments, three stand out. First, EPA must issue drinking water standards for a significantly increased number of contaminants. Second, the Amendments strengthen the Act's enforcement provisions by giving EPA authority to issue administrative orders and by the addition of language providing that EPA "shall" take enforcement action in certain situations. Third, the Amendments establish two new groundwater protection programs. The author reviews these changes and some of the issues that EPA will face in implementing the Amendments, and concludes that the Safe Drinking Water Act will assume a more prominent role among the environmental protection statutes.