Public Interest Group Moves to Intervene in Lawsuit Over Arsenic in Drinking Water Standard

Public Interest Group Moves to Intervene in Lawsuit Over Arsenic in Drinking Water Standard

CEI Files Motion on Behalf of Rural Water Suppliers
January 13, 2002

Washington, D.C., January 14, 2002—The Competitive Enterprise Institute today filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought against the Environmental Protection Agency by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  The NRDC is trying to force the EPA to lower the federal standard for arsenic in drinking water even further, a move CEI believes would do more harm than good, especially in rural communities. 

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Late last year, the Bush Administration decided to adopt the Clinton-era standard, which changed the amount of arsenic allowed in drinking water from 50 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 ppb.  The NRDC’s lawsuit calls for a 3 ppb standard.


“The NRDC’s demand is absolutely absurd,” says Angela Logomasini, CEI’s director of risk and environmental policy.  “The science has failed to find any adverse impacts of arsenic in U.S. drinking water at the 50 parts per billion level, a standard that has been in place more than 50 years.  Poor Americans will already suffer under the new standard of 10 ppb and some will likely disconnect to avoid the costly regulations, leaving the public to access water from substandard sources.”


CEI’s motion is being filed on behalf of small water suppliers in Desert Sands, New Mexico; Oberlin, Kansas; Lusby, Maryland; and Camano Island, Washington.  “These water utilities operate within their own communities and do not cross state lines.  As a series of recent Supreme Court decisions make clear, Congress cannot regulate such local activities under the Constitution.  That is the issue we intend to raise in this case,” said Sam Kazman, CEI’s general counsel.


The motion to intervene has been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  The text of the motion is now available.


Available For Interviews:


Sam Kazman

General Counsel

202.331.1010, ext. 218


Angela Logomasini, Director

Risk & Environmental Policy

202.331.1010, ext. 242


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, visit our website at