Time to Get Chromium Six Out of Our Water!

Chemicals being mixed in beakers. Photo credit: mediaphotos / Shutterstock

Earlier this year the State Water Resources Control Board (the Board) planned to propose a final drinking water standard for Chrome 6 in the spring.  That has slipped to December, but there is no guarantee that is going to happen.  After all, it has taken them 4 years to get this far.  We need your help now to ensure that the standard is not delayed any further and that it is the most health protective rule possible.  Please tell the Board today to set the standard at 1ppb and to do it quickly.  

Chrome 6, also known as hexavalent chromium, is a cancer causing chemical found in more than 2000 California water systems.  After being made famous in the 2000 film Erin Brockovich, the state legislature directed state regulators to set an enforceable drinking water standard for the chemical to protect the public.  It took state regulators 14 years to develop a standard but it was not adequately health protective. The standard was so sloppy that a polluter initiated lawsuit resulted in the court throwing out the regulation all together in 2017.  Four years later, we still don’t have a standard for this carcinogen.  

Water agencies that put in treatment to protect the public even without a standard have piloted innovative treatment technologies to bring the costs down and Clean Water Action has successfully worked to ensure that small water systems in disadvantaged communities have resources to address their Chrome 6 or connect to larger water systems. Consequently, there is no excuse for the Board’s delay in adopting  a cost-effective, innovative, and protective standard.

Enough is enough.  We have the means of treating Chrome 6 down to 1 ppb, and costs have lowered over time.  Further delay and anything less protective is unacceptable.  That’s why we need you to weigh in now.  Tell them to fulfill their obligations to protect public health and safety and to expedite a standard of 1 ppb, for Chrome 6.  Anything less will ensure that too many Californians will still be exposed to a life threatening chemical. That’s not how we do things in California.  

After you’ve taken action,  learn more about Chrome 6 (hexavalent chromium) and what Clean Water Action is doing about it here.

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