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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.
As California’s drought conditions are worsening, Nestle is pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest. State water officials have drafted a cease-and-desist order to force the company to stop overpumping from Strawberry Creek, which provides drinking water for about 750,000 people.
The ice-out date for Maine’s Lake Auburn is now three weeks earlier than it was two centuries ago, the Portland Press Herald reports, and other lakes across New England show similar trends. Climate change is not good for ice, and that includes Maine’s lakes that freeze over every winter.
Why This Matters: A disrupted winter with lakes that “defrost” earlier has multiple knock-on effects for freshwater: in addition to harming fish in lakes, the resulting large cyanobacteria algae blooms that form can be harmful to human health.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Drought conditions cover 85% of Mexico as lakes and reservoirs dry up across the country. Mexico City is experiencing its worst drought in 30 years, and the reservoirs and aquifers are so depleted that some residents don’t have tap water. The capital city relies on water pumped in from […]
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