E.P.A. Warns State Water Quality Division Is Understaffed

Denver (AP) The Environmental Protection Agency is warning
Colorado that its water quality regulators are significantly understaffed and could be slow in putting new rules into effect. However, the federal agency says the staff shortages are not threatening public safety.

The review was reported in Monday's edition of the Rocky Mountain News. The E.P.A. says the state's Water Quality Control Division has 37 people in its drinking water program, but according to a model developed by the association of state drinking water administrators, the number should be around 72.

The report says too few staffers are available to help with
complex rules, resulting "in many unnecessary violations" of two new regulations on proper treatment at drinking water plants.

The Water Quality Division, which is part of the State
Department of Public Health and Environment, oversees almost 2,100 drinking water systems and more than 2,400 cities and industries that discharge pollution into waterways.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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