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EPA orders water company in Douglas to cut arsenic

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a water company serving parts of Douglas to cut arsenic levels by 2013 or face big fines.

The Monte Vista Water Co. faces fines of $37,500 a day if it doesn’t implement a plan to cut arsenic in the water it supplies to its 150 customers in northwest Douglas.

The EPA lowered the amount of the naturally occurring carcinogen allowed from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion in 2001 and gave providers five years to comply.

Monte Vista’s water is only slightly above the threshold.

Pacific Southwest drinking water enforcement director Joel Jones says the EPA has targeted only a handful of providers in Arizona. Meeting arsenic standards can be expensive, and the EPA works with companies before taking action.

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