The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is failing to protect America’s drinking water supply.
The Waterkeeper Alliance is filing a lawsuit against the EPA for shirking their responsibilities to regulate contaminants polluting our drinking water. Federal legislation requires the EPA to identify and seek to regulate contaminants in our drinking water.
Everyday there are countless numbers of toxic chemicals that leach into our water supply, and yet there are no new mandates to identify or regulate any of these potentially harmful new toxins.
The suit claims that the EPA has systematically reversed regulatory policies on cancerous toxin such as polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFOS or PFOA as it is known has been linked to polluted tap water in a number of communities, including in Hoosick Falls, New York, according to the complaint. The Waterkeeper Alliance further accuses the EPA of not regulating highly toxic contaminants under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
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As of 2015 according to the National Academy of Sciences, as many as 21 million Americans may have been exposed to unsafe drinking water. Sadly low-income rural areas fall short of complying with EPA water safety rules. Health violations for drinking water surged in rural areas in part due to an aging water treatment infrastructure.
Many Americans become aware of the nation’s water crisis after the Flint Michigan contamination. Utilities have long used chlorine or other chemicals to disinfect their drinking water supplies. Upon reacting with organic matter, these chemical create new toxins that may pose their health risks to our water supply.
Millions of Americans local water supplies are exposed to unsafe levels of contaminants like lead, nitrates, arsenic or pathogens. What is not clear is whether these instances of water contamination are isolated or whether this provides evidence of a deeper systemic problem affecting our water supply.
Local municipalities are responsible for implementing federal water-quality standards, and the quality of monitoring and enforcement can vary significantly. Enforcement seems to be a contributing factor as the EPA has not penalized communities for not maintaining acceptable water quality standards.
Don’t assume your tap water is safe. Take action today to support water quality monitoring in your community by contacting your local government officials and ask them to support water monitoring legislation in your community.
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