SCHIFF SEEKS FUNDING FOR CHROMIUM 6 WORK.
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff urged a House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday to provide $3 million for Glendale to develop the technology to remove chromium 6 from contaminated water wells.
The $3 million would be added to $6 million being sought from the state to develop a pilot treatment plant capable of removing contaminants such as chromium 6, an industrial byproduct suspected of causing cancer, officials say.
``This proposal will result in the first definitive evaluation of technologies for removing chromium 6, as well as the first treatment plant in the nation that will be capable of removing chromium 6 and other heavy metals from our drinking water,'' said Schiff, whose 27th District includes Glendale.
``It is my hope that the research and the treatment facility will provide a model for other municipalities and water suppliers nationwide,'' he said.
Glendale is the lead agency for the pilot project, which also includes the University of California at Los Angeles, as well as the University of Colorado and Utah State University.
Once funding is secured, officials say, a study would take two years to complete, with a treatment plant going on line four years later.
``There is no facility like this in existence anywhere in the country,'' said Don Froelich, the city's water services administrator. ``The benefits of this research would help the water industry as a whole, which is why we're looking at federal funding.''
Glendale officials currently are concerned about levels of chromium 6 detected in water treated at a new treatment plant on Flower Street. The plant is part of a federal Superfund project designed to remove chemicals and other toxics caused by decades of manufacturing by the defense and aerospace industries.
The city appealed to the Environmental Protection Agency for permission to keep the treated water out of residents' taps until the supply is free of contaminants. However, it has been ordered to put the plant on line and to blend the treated water with outside supplies.
Chromium 6 is known to cause cancer when inhaled, but experts are divided on whether it causes cancer when ingested in drinking water.
Governments have not yet set a standard for the amount of chromium 6 that is acceptable in drinking water. The national standard for total chromium - of which chromium 6 is a component - is 100 parts per billion, while the state level is 50 ppb. State officials are considering lowering the allowable levels of total chromium to a maximum of 2.5 ppb.
Tests have shown levels of chromium 6 at levels as high as 45 ppb in some of Glendale's wells.