October 5, 2004 The Honorable Nikki Tinsley
Inspector General
United States Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460 Dear Ms. Tinsley: We are writing to request that you examine the adequacy of enforcement of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard for lead levels in drinking water. According to the EPA, exposure to lead in drinking water in babies and children above EPA’s standard can result in delays in physical and mental development, along with deficits in attention span and learning abilities. In adults, prolonged exposure can lead to develop kidney problems and high blood pressure. According to EPA estimates, lead in drinking water accounts for approximately 20 percent of lead exposure. For these reasons, we believe that strong enforcement of EPA’s drinking water regulations for lead is a critical public health responsibility of EPA and its state and local partner agencies. We are alarmed by a Washington Post study, reported today, that cites evidence of a broad pattern of faulty testing and reporting by water authorities and inadequate oversight by states and EPA. We believe this study raises serious questions that we request that you examine, including: • Are water utilities complying with EPA’s testing and reporting requirements for lead? • Have water utilities manipulated lead testing data in order to avoid test results that would result in non-compliance with EPA’s lead standard? How widespread is this behavior? • What is the adequacy of oversight and enforcement by states and EPA? • Have state and EPA officials ignored evidence of improper lead testing and reporting by water utilities or otherwise failed to enforce the lead requirements? • Has EPA taken appropriate action where data required to measure compliance is lacking to improve or obtain that data? • Are there elements of the Lead and Copper rule that facilitate data manipulation to remain in compliance? We believe that these questions deserve your prompt attention, and look forward to your reply. Please contact Dan Utech (224-8365) or Catharine Ransom (224-8552) of our staffs if you have questions or would like to further discuss this request. Sincerely, James M. Jeffords

Hillary Rodham Clinton