- In 1976 the Oregon legislature defeated a bill to assume
primary enforcement responsibility (primacy) of Oregon drinking water
supply systems under the purview of the Safe Drinking Water Act (PL 93-
523), and subsequently reduced state drinking water supervision program
funding by 90%. Since that time Oregon drinking water systems have
been supervised directly by the EPA. Between 1976-1979, the combined
state and federal supervision program budgets were roughly half of the
Oregon supervision program budget in 1976. State enforcement of state
drinking water regulations has virtually ceased. The EPA only engages
in four aspects of drinking water provision: monitoring, reporting,
drinking water quality standards, and public notification. A sample
of water suppliers in Oregon indicates minimal changes by the vast
majority of suppliers; a preference for state regulation, but cordial
relations with the EPA; and confusion among the suppliers that is positively
related to infrequent contact with the regulatory agencies.
It is concluded that implementation of the act in Oregon has not met the
Congressional intent of maximizing the protection of public health
through a joint federal-state regulation effort.
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