The U.S. EPA yesterday reduced the amount of arsenic allowable in drinking water by 80 percent, a shift that the agency said would boost health protections for about 13 million Americans. The new rule would reduce the allowed arsenic level to 10 parts per billion, down from the 1942 standard of 50 parts per billion. Last year, the agency proposed a standard of five parts per billion, which won the support of many environmentalists. But water supply companies, as well as the mining and chemical industries, lobbied instead for the 10 parts per billion standard, complaining about the high costs associated with anything tougher. Still, enviros are moderately happy with the outcome. In other regulatory news, the EPA earlier this week said it would develop rules targeting air pollution from oil tankers for the first time, settling a lawsuit filed by enviros.