mated that the reduction in MCL would prevent 19-31 cases of bladder cancer and 19-25 cases of lung cancer per year. While this regulation created a national standard that legitimized the threat of arsenic in drinking water on national level, it failed to fully handle the intricacies of drinking water from state to state. Here we reintroduce the two major problems concerning the nature of arsenic contamination in Maine; large geographic water supply variation across the state and lack of extensive documentation on the incidence of arsenic contamination in individual wells. The MCL set by the EPA in 2001 provided a guideline for arsenic contamination for public utility style systems, which did not provide accountability, or have provisions set to handle private water systems. In Maine, where nearly 32
THE TRIPLE HELIX Spring 2016
half of the population of the state relies on private wells for their drinking water supply the public health ramifications of this oversight are frightening. This is the first major obstacle facing water reform in Maine; a large portion of the residents in the state are not connected to major public water utility systems. Large utility systems are easier, logistically and legally, to monitor and regulate. Private wells and other water systems are simply hard to reach --both resource-wise, in personnel or time, and with the legal framework of federal regulatory machinery. As a result, a sizable portion of the state relies on a federally unregulated source to provide their water needs. Without federal oversight on private wells to motivate well testing, we arrive at the second problem concerning the nature of arsenic contamination in Maine; lack of extensive documentation on the incidence of arsenic contamination in individual wells. State legislators in Maine produced two pieces of legislation to promote well water testing; L.D. 1775 (2007) and L.D. 1162 (2015). Both pieces of legislation gained bipartisan support, yet separate governors ultimately vetoed both. L.D. 1775 required well testing as a component of contract of sale of real estate property and suffered stiff opposition from the Maine Association of Realtors who had issues with being placed in a quasi-enforcement position to ensure that water ÂŠ 2016, The Triple Helix, Inc. All rights reserved.