POLLUTION LOCATOR|Regulatory Coverage: Safe Drinking Water Act

Like the Clean Water Act, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) covers only some of the many toxic chemicals that may appear in drinking water. Under SDWA, the Environmental Protection Agency sets Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for specific chemicals. These are the maximum levels of a contaminant that are allowed in water delivered to users of a public water system. MCLs are set at levels designed to protect human health - although, under 1996 amendments to the SDWA, EPA must also perform a cost-benefit analysis on MCLs and take into account whether the levels are technically and economically feasible to achieve.

Under the SDWA, the states have primary responsibility for meeting the MCLs and running the public drinking water protection program.

See a list of the chemicals covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

More information about MCLs and the Safe Drinking Water Act: