Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, proposed amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act last week which would authorize the administration's proposed revolving loan fund (SRF) and modify some of the provisions in the current law regulating public drinking water supplies.
Except for specific provisions on radon, the Baucus proposal does little to change the current standard setting process. The measure would, however, replace the current law provision that requires EPA to promulgate regulations for 25 new contaminants every three years. Instead, the Baucus measure proposes that EPA identify 15 new contaminants three years after enactment for which standards may - or may not - subsequently be developed. EPA would, in effect, have discretionary authority to propose new drinking water standards.