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U.S. warns Pennsylvania over safe drinking water violations

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration says it is trying to address a warning by a federal official that the state isn’t appropriately enforcing safe drinking water standards.

FILE - Gov. Tom Wolf makes an appearance at Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine's campaign stop in Lancaster Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

StateImpact Pennsylvania reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued the warning in a Dec. 30 letter.

In it, EPA Water Protection Division Director Jon Capacasa wrote that the state Department of Environmental Protection’s inadequate staffing caused the number of unaddressed Safe Drinking Water Act violations to nearly double from 4,298 to 7,922 over five years.

A spokesman for Wolf’s DEP says the agency is discussing ways to address the EPA’s concerns. Environmental advocates warn that years of budget cuts have cost DEP a quarter of its staff.

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StateImpact Pennsylvania is a project of radio stations WITF-FM in Harrisburg and WHYY-FM in Philadelphia.