The Trump administration is planning to release nearly a billion gallons of water from the West Coast over the next three weeks from a reservoir that has been deemed contaminated by lead.
The agency’s announcement Thursday is the latest in a series of moves to address the health concerns that have swirled around the aging reservoir in the Charleston area since the 2016 flood.
It’s part of an ongoing effort to reduce the risk of another water-borne outbreak, the White House said in a statement.
The agency has already released about 1 billion gallons from the reservoir since it was declared contaminated in August.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order to begin the process of releasing water from Lake Champlain in West Virginia next week, The Hill reported Thursday.
“Water from Lake Amherst is safe to drink and the EPA will continue to work with state and local officials and local agencies to determine the best and safest way to release the remaining water from that reservoir,” the White’s statement said.
A spokesman for the agency, Michael Reynolds, said the agency is working to release more than 3 billion gallons per day, with the largest release expected to occur Friday.
Water from the lake is now used by the city of Charleston, which relies on the reservoir for drinking water.
More than 300,000 people are currently living with lead poisoning from drinking water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the meantime, the reservoir is being monitored and the water may be released as soon as Friday, according the Associated Press.
There are more than 100 residents living in the village of Grafton, in Charleston County, about 120 miles east of Charleston.
This is a developing story.
Please check back for updates.