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Texas Rural Communities Have High Levels of Arsenic in Water, Report Finds

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The Environmental Integrity Project, a Washington D.C. group, released a report warning of the danger plaguing these rural Texas communities as arsenic levels in drinking water exceeded federal safety levels.

According to the Austin-American Statesmanthe group found that the “arsenic levels in drinking water exceeded federal safety levels in more than 60 Texas communities.” Additionally, “about 51,00 people in 34 of those communities have been exposed to contaminated drinking water for at least a decade, many at levels several times higher than the arsenic limit.”

The EIP released the report in order to urge Texas to do something about either warning the residents or stepping in for aid. The data for the communities in West Texas and the Gulf Coast towns was collected by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and also confirmed following the report.

However, the spokesman for TCEQ told the Austin-American Statesman that “the arsenic levels typically found in Texas ‘do not pose an immediate health threat.'” He also stated that communities do not need to worry about securing an alternative water supply.

The cities affected, like Kenedy in South Texas, are working to solve the problem and have been receiving warnings and notifications from the TCEQ for years. However, the recently released Washington, D.C. report states that in light of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, residents personally should be notified of the water contamination.