PHOTO: Edward Kelly, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, testifies before the MA Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Boston- Today the Obama administration released its long awaited Clean Water Rule. The rule closes loopholes that have left the drinking water sources for nearly 3 out of 4 Massachusetts residents at risk of pollution and destruction. Today's historic release of the Clean Water Rule is the culmination of more than 12 years of advocacy by Clean Water Action, its members, and its allies.
Clean Water Action's Massachusetts Director, Elizabeth Saunders, released this statement:
"We are thrilled that the Obama administration has finalized the Clean Water Rule. The rule ensures that Massachusetts' vital headwater streams and wetlands are protected now, and for our kids and grandkids.
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the first-ever national pollution limits to control the amount of heavy metals, nutrients and other pollutants steam electric power plants can discharge into our nation’s rivers, lakes, streams and bays. Existing Clean Water Act standards for power plants were last updated in 1982 and did not require these facilities to remove toxic metals and other pollutants of concern from wastewater discharges. These new pollution controls are necessary because power plant wastewater discharges have contaminated more than 23,000 miles of rivers and streams with dangerous pollutants and exposure to these pollutants threatens public health. These landmark limits will prevent 1.4 billion pounds of toxic pollutants from being discharged into U.S. water resources every year, including drinking water sources.
In response to EPA’s action, Clean Water Action Water Programs Director Jennifer Peters released the following statement:
LANSING – Today, state leaders announced that they intend to develop a State Carbon Implementation Plan (SCIP) to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants for the first time in history. The SCIP must comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan that was introduced on August 3 or be subject to the federal implementation plan.