As if Flint wasn’t enough, an Ohio village is now having a lead crisis of it’s own.
Seven of the 20 homes where Sebring’s water supply is routinely tested showed elevated levels of lead and copper on Thursday, well beyond the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended limits, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
Tests showed that Sebring’s water had lead levels of 21 parts-per-billion, well over the EPA’s limit of 15 parts-per-billion, reports CNN.
While the Sebring water system is much smaller than Flint’s — it only serves about 8,100 homes — the problem has similar culprits including ageing infrastructure and official inaction.
An Ohio EPA spokesman told CBS that the lead is not coming from the Mahoning River, Sebring’s water source. Similar to Flint, the village’s mildly acidic water is leaching lead from the village’s old pipes and distribution lines.
On Tuesday morning, the Ohio EPA informed Sebring’s Water Superintendent, James Bates, that they intend to revoke his operating licence for “endangering the public,” and for submitting “misleading, inaccurate, and false reports,” per CBS.
The Ohio EPA also released documents showing that it had asked Bates for months when he would take public action to solve the lead problem. CBS also reports that Bates has been placed on administrative leave.
The EPA’s Ohio director, Craig Butler, has asked the federal EPA to open up a criminal investigation to figure out who exactly was responsible for letting the lead situation go unreported for so long, Fox8 reported recently.
The Ohio government is currently sending bottled water to those affected.
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