EPA plans tighter standards on water

The broader strategy revision will develop regulatory approaches that consider contaminants as a group, which EPA says will enable more cost-effective protection efforts.

EPA also plans to improve collaboration with academic researchers and the private sector in developing water treatment technologies. Elsewhere, the agency plans use its authority under other statutes that regulate pesticides and chemicals to develop protection efforts.

For instance, EPA’s strategy says the agency can use registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act to “develop risk assessments, generate missing data, and develop analytical methods to support the development of drinking water regulations.”

Also, EPA is vowing to improve its collaboration with states to share data from the monitoring of public water systems.

“To confront emerging health threats, strained budgets and increased needs -- today's and tomorrow's drinking water challenges -- we must use the law more effectively and promote new technologies,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a prepared statement.