Pharmaceuticals in Washington fish. Coal industry pollution in Virginia rivers. Fracking chemicals in the Gulf of Mexico. Sewage on California beaches. Our water is under siege from a wide range of polluting sources, and the thing that stands in the way is the 1972 Clean Water Act, enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency.
That's why we're worried about the agency's moves to reduce the amount of water regulation, especially in light of overwhelming evidence that polluting industries can't police themselves. Scott Pruitt wants to roll back Obama-era regulations defining which waterways are subject to EPA oversight, while the EPA is granting permits environmental organizations say violate the Clean Water Act — like a license to pollute in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Clean Water Act has protected us and made our waters safer since 1972. The EPA needs to stand up for evidence-based science backed by established rulemaking and caselaw to defend the act and use its powers for good. Americans don't want industrial waste, untreated sewage, and other pollution in the waters we use for recreation and food — whether we're swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching, or anything between, we, and generations to come, deserve a clean environment.
EPA: Don't take a step backwards into history. Maintain the sanctity of our waterways and ensure that future generations aren't stuck with a big cleanup bill caused by our negligence.
Photo credit: Ray Schauweker