By Associated Press Staff WriterWASHINGTON (AP) The Latest on a new bill to rein in pollution in the nation’s largest city (all times local):4:30 p.m.
A bipartisan group of senators and lawmakers is calling for the federal government to halt all water-piping and power lines in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) says he wants the Environmental Protection Agency to stop enforcing pollution rules.
He says he’s asking EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to suspend the new rule and let the agency take steps to protect people’s health and safety.
Markey’s office says McCarthy is still reviewing the request and is scheduled to deliver a decision to him Friday.EPA spokeswoman Amy Johnson says McCarthy was asked by Markey’s staff in March about the need for the EPA to reevaluate its regulations on power lines.
McCarthy said at the time that she was not yet certain whether EPA had a decision yet on that request.
The senator’s office said McCarthy has not yet made a decision on whether the agency should lift its ban on using power lines and other infrastructure for water supply.
The agency has been issuing permits to utilities to use water-powered pipes and infrastructure for drinking, cooking and other uses since at least the 1980s.
The EPA is currently issuing permits for power lines, pipes, distribution systems, storage tanks, water heaters and other equipment that are used to supply water to homes, businesses and schools in the District.
It’s unclear whether the ban on drinking water in the city was lifted.
Washington, D., is home to more than 4 million people and draws water from the Potomac River and the Columbia River, both of which are under the EPA’s purview.
In February, a federal judge temporarily blocked the agency from enforcing the Clean Water Act to limit pollution from the pollution of the water-pipe industry.
A second federal judge also temporarily blocked enforcement of the Clean Power Plan, which was aimed at curbing carbon emissions from power plants and other sources.