What is the difference between a variance and an exemption?
Variances generally allow a water system to provide drinking water that may contain contaminants at levels above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) on the condition that the quality of the drinking water is still protective of public health. An exemption, on the other hand, is intended to allow a system with compelling circumstances an extension of time before the system must comply with applicable SDWA requirements (63 FR 43834; August 14, 1998).
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