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Why This Matters: There is not much left of the Clean Water Act with the Trump Administration at the helm of the so-called Environmental Protection Agency. The agency has limited the scope of what the Act covers, refused to regulate a chemical that hundreds of thousands of Americans are ingesting at levels that are not safe, and it is totally failing to oversee the states in monitoring pollutant discharges as required by the Act.
As for the rocket fuel chemical, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under a court order requiring the agency to establish a safe drinking-water standard for the chemical, called perchlorate, by the end of June, but Administrator Wheeler decided to defy it. In addition, according to The New York Times, the agency also overturned the previous scientific determination that declared perchlorate a serious health risk for five million to 16 million people in the United States. Some states are working to reduce contamination using state regulations. Environmental groups expressed dismay. “Today’s decision is illegal, unscientific and unconscionable,” Erik D. Olson of Natural Resources Defense Council told The Times. “The Environmental Protection Agency is threatening the health of pregnant moms and young children with toxic chemicals in their drinking water at levels that literally can cause loss of I.Q. points. Is this what the Environmental Protection Agency has come to?” Meanwhile, the state of Massachusetts’ state environmental protection agency is years behind in filing its Clean Water Act monitoring reports with the EPA, which “has left the public with a murky picture of water quality in the state,” Suzanne M. Bump, the state auditor, said in a statement according to The Globe.
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Torrential rains have flooded “at least a quarter” of Bangladesh, Somini Sengupta and Julfikar Ali Manik reported in the New York Times last week. According to data from the National Disaster Response Coordination Center, 4.7 million people have been affected by this deluge and over 50,000 people have been […]
As the “dog days” of summer are here, so is the threat of toxic algae in lakes and ponds across the U.S., according to reports from news outlets nationwide.The Boston Globe’s David Abel reported on how the 996 small lakes on Cape Cod that had provided a respite from saltwater are now warming so rapidly that they are being “transformed by climate change” that saps their oxygen, makes them dangerous for swimming by humans and pets, and harms wildlife.
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer The largest hydroelectric dam in Africa, located in Ethiopia, is now nearly completed after nearly a decade of work, Declan Walsh reported in the New York Times this week. While many Ethiopian people are lauding the measure, Egyptian leaders have said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) poses an […]
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