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Enviro-Mich message from Nolan Bennett <elansingcwa@cleanwater.org>


For Immediate Release
Nolan Bennett, Program Coordinator
(517) 337-4447

March 30, 1998


Clean Water Action responded to today's release of "Bottled Water: Pure
Drink or Pure Hype" by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) with a
statement in support of the "Bottled Water Right to Know Act" and with a
call for renewed efforts to ensure clean, safe and affordable drinking water
for all Americans.

The NRDC  report, "Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype," -- issued in
support of a detailed petition to the Food and Drug Administration
advocating improved bottled water protections -- surveyed 103 brands of
bottled water available nationally or regionally.  The study found that
bottled water is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water in the
United States, and that some might present a health threat to certain
vulnerable populations.

Justifiable public concern over tap water quality has led to a tripling of
bottled water sales over the last ten years, and contributed to the
successful campaign efforts of Clean Water Action and others in winning
passage of the 1996 improvements to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 

"Today's report reminds us that we cannot avoid drinking water problems with
a trip to the grocery store," said Clean Water Action Program Coordinator
Nolan Bennett. "Consumers need to demand stronger protections for all
drinking water, be it from the bottle or the tap."

America's drinking water program has different protections for tap water and
for bottled water. For example, there will soon be a dramatic difference
between public information about tap water quality versus the quality of
bottled water. By no later than October, all community water systems are
required to distribute to their customers a report on the quality of their
tap water. Systems that serve over 10,000 people will have to mail the
information directly to their customers. 

No such right-to-know requirement exists for bottled water. Further, the
Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) bottled water standards are weaker than
those for public water systems, and 60 to 70 percent of the bottled water
sold (including much carbonated and all seltzer water) are totally exempt
from these weaker standards.

Clean Water Action joined U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in announcing
the introduction of a bill to tighten federal safety standards for bottled
water. The "Bottled Water Right To Know Act," calls for bottled water
standards that are as protective as the current standards for tap water and
would establish the consumer's right-to-know about bottled water, as was
recently established in the Safe Drinking Water Act for tap water.  "The
right-to-know is the consumer's first line of defense," said Bennett.
"People need information about pollutants in their drinking water to make
the best choices for their families' health and pocketbooks."
Clean Water Action is a national organization working to ensure clean, safe
and affordable water, prevention of health-threatening pollution and
creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses. CWA has more than
700,000 members nationwide and 100,000 in Michigan. CWA's Michigan offices
are in East Lansing and Clinton Township. 

For copies of the report visit NRDC's web site, www.nrdc.org, or call NRDC
at (202) 289-6868.

# # #

Nolan Bennett					Program Coordinator
Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund		Phone:	(517) 337-4447
4990 Northwind Dr., Suite 210			Fax:	(517) 337-2833
East Lansing, MI  48823

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