Pueblo battles arsenic in water standard
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APRIL 16, 2001

For years, the New Mexico Pueblo of Isleta has fought to have surrounding communities adhere to high water standards, having succeeded at requiring the City of Albuquerque to clean up the waste water it dumps into the Rio Grande.

But the Pueblo now says the Bush administration's decision to scrap a strict arsenic in drinking water standard might hurt their chances of forcing Albuquerque to adopt an even tougher one. The Environmental Protection Agency last month abandoned a 50 parts per billion standard finalized by the Clinton administration.

The current level is 100 ppb. The EPA says an equally strict standard will be in place by 2006.

Arsenic can lead to cancer but the Bush administration wants more studies done to assess its effects.

Water in Albuquerque has the highest level of arsenic in any major city. New Mexico's Republican Congressional delegation praised the EPA's decision to rescind them.

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In New Mexico, Debate Over Arsenic Strikes Home (The New York Times 4/13)
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