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Cardin Pushes EPA for Better Regulation of Drinking Water

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The Virginia Department of Health is asking well owners to check their water for contamination.
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The Virginia Department of Health is asking well owners to check their water for contamination.

By Megan Hughes

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin is voicing concerns about Maryland's water systems. He says the federal government needs to do a better job enforcing drinking water standards.

Cardin told the Environmental and Public Works Committee that crumbling pipes turned River Road in Bethesda into a river last year. Baltimore public school children drink from bottled water because of concerns about lead.

But Cardin says it's the intersex fish in the Potomac, fish with both male and female characteristics that should be a top concern to the EPA.

"There, it's not so much about the infrastructure, but the pollutants that are getting into the water," Cardin says. "And there, it's your responsibility. The regulatory system."

A recent study showed that fewer than 6 percent of water systems that violate federal standards get fined or punished. The EPA is vowing better enforcement in 2010.

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