20% of nation's drinking water systems violated Safe Water Act

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The New York Times today ran a troubling story about the nation's drinking water supply, reporting that as many as 19 million Americans get sick from drinking tap water from regulated water systems each year.

It reports that more than 20% of the 54,700 U.S. water treatment systems have reported illegal levels of chemicals, radioactive substances or bacteria in the past five years, yet of these only 6% were ever punished.

An EPA representative is being questioned by the Senate Environment and Public Works committee today about the agency's enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act, first passed in 1974 and most recently amended in 1996.