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The Nation

The Environmental Protection Agency has failed to act against tens of thousands of violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act by local water systems, the National Wildlife Federation said. “There has been a major breakdown” in administration of the 1974 law, said Jay Hair, executive vice president of the federation, at a news conference in Washington. The federation, whose 5 million members make it the nation’s largest environmental organization, released a report of an 18-month examination of 15,000 pages of EPA computer printouts for the 1987 fiscal year that showed 36,763 water systems committing 101,588 violations of the act. Though the law requires that every violation be reported to customers of the system, only 5,867 notices were issued.


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