Lawmakers grilled Environmen-tal Protection Agency officials during an April 16 hearing on pharmaceutical contamination of the nation’s drinking water. The hearing before a Senate subcommittee was prompted by an Associated Press report that claimed traces of pharmaceuticals were found in the drinking water of 24 major U.S. cities. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said the agency is six years behind schedule in identifying and addressing chemicals that harm human hormones, called endocrine-disrupting chemicals. She said EPA should issue a rule to require monitoring of pharmaceuticals in drinking water.

Benjamin Grumbles, EPA assistant administrator for water, said pharmaceuticals are a growing priority for EPA, “but at this point the scientific jury is still out as far as the risk to public health.”