New report shows under-reporting for drinking water

Summary:Many states across the country failed to report drinking water violations, or underreported the number of violations to the appropriate authorities, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.

Many states across the country failed to report drinking water violations, or underreported the number of violations to the appropriate authorities, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.

According to the report released by the Government Accountability Office, the GAO found:

Using data from the 14 states EPA audited in 2009, GAO estimates that those 14 states did not report or inaccurately reported 26 percent of the health-based violations that should have been reported and 84 percent of the monitoring violations that should have been reported. GAO's findings were consistent with the results of prior EPA audits.

In a highlights report, the GAO said:

Survey respondents and other officials reported that numerous factors contribute to errors in reported data on violations and enforcement, including inadequate training, staffing, and guidance, and inadequate funding to conduct those activities.

Sister site CBSNews.com reported in April that $700 million was cut from the EPA.

Could budget cuts be contributing to these numbers? Possibly, but inaccurate reporting to the EPA is the more likely culprit.

Image: Flickr via fox_kio

Do you think the federal government should increase funding for the EPA? Are you worried about the quality of your drinking water? Feel free to share your thoughts and perspectives in the comment section below.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

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