Hastings is one of 60 Nebraska cities and towns whose water systems are considered to be in violation of the EPA's copper rule.
The state wants all water systems hearings to be considered at the same time, but "our position is that there are special circumstances in each of the municipalities," Hastings Utilities attorney Steve Scherr says.
Hastings and other communities have maintained there are not dangerous levels of copper in their water supplies since assertions from EPA surfaced. EPA standards set the maximum level of copper allowed at 1.3 parts per million gallons of water. Tests of Hastings water have shown levels of 1.6 parts per million.
City officials attribute the levels of copper in city water to copper pipes in some older structures, but say there is no copper in the source water. Because officials claim the source of the copper is not in the original water supply, they say it may hurt water quality more than help it to take the corrective measures the federal agency would require.