Research Plan for Arsenic in Drinking Water (Draft)

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This research plan was developed to describe research needed to reduce uncertainties in the arsenic risk assessment and to support EPAs development of a new arsenic drinking water standard. The research plan was developed by a team of scientists from EPAs National Laboratories and Centers, within the Office of Research and Development, and with substantial input from EPAs Office of Water. The research plan addresses scientific issues pertinent to the protection of human health, especially the research needed to implement the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments. The research needs addressed are in the areas of exposure, health effects, risk assessment and risk management for determining the most scientifically defensible and technically feasible revised Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic in drinking water. This research plan stresses the implications of recent research findings and emphasizes identification of key strengths and sources of uncertainty and variability in the current arsenic risk assessment. The arsenic research plan is intended to serve as a prioritized blueprint that will be discussed with parties interested in addressing arsenic risk assessment and treatment technologies. The research needs are broader than those that EPA can address alone, and it is anticipated that other entities will be involved in conducting some of the needed research. The Plan was reviewed by EPA/ORDs Board of Scientific Councilors and several stakeholder groups in early 1997, and is being revised to reflect many of the recommendations received.