May 17, 2001

For more information, contact:
Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056
Writer: Marsha Belford

Independent Group Gives A+ to Brookhaven Lab's Water Quality Consumer Confidence Report

Upton, NY - The independent Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) has given the grade of A+ to Brookhaven National Laboratory's annual Water Quality Consumer Confidence Report. A U.S. Department of Energy research center located in Suffolk County on Long Island, Brookhaven Lab operates a drinking-water supply system for its yearly population of 2,900 employees and 4,000 guest scientists.

CCE evaluated 18 reports for the year 2000 from water suppliers with more than 1,000 service connections. Of the A to D grades assigned to the reports, Brookhaven Lab's A+ was one of only four "outstanding" grades given by CCE. The majority of grades were Bs and Cs.

According to CCE, the highest grades in this evaluation were given to the water suppliers that were effective in communicating important water-quality information in an easy-to-read format. The CCE based its grades on an evaluation of between 11 and 18 key components, including completeness of the information disclosed, clarity of definitions, readability, and report layout.

Under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, drinking-water suppliers such as Brookhaven Lab are required to produce an annual report to inform consumers about the water's quality. Consumer confidence reports are expected to contain information about where the water comes from, what analytical tests are conducted to ensure its safety, what those tests reveal about the water, and how those results compare to regulatory standards. Reports on last year's water quality are due out by the end of this month. Brookhaven Lab's 2000 Water Quality Consumer Confidence Report is available on the Web at http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/pubaf/bulletin/2000/ccr00.pdf, or by calling (631) 344-2345.

CCE, together with Citizens Environmental Research Institute, reviewed a total of 66 water quality consumer confidence reports from across New York State. The full evaluation of the reports is described in a May 2001 document entitled "New York's Annual Water Quality Reports: A Report Card for 2000," available from CCE upon request at (516) 390-7150. Citizens Campaign for the Environment is an 80,000-member, grassroots advocacy organization working to build widespread citizen understanding for policies and promote actions designed to protect the natural environment and public health.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies. Brookhaven also builds and operates major facilities available to university, industrial, and government scientists. The Laboratory is managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, a corporation founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.