WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the first-ever national standards for coal ash disposal. Coal ash is the toxic waste that remains from burning coal to generate electricity. This second largest industrial waste stream in the United States contains many known hazardous chemicals, including arsenic, mercury, lead, and hexavalent chromium. This new rule is a first step toward better protecting communities from leaking coal ash ponds and landfills. However, for the most part, it leaves enforcement of the regulations up to individual states.
Clean Water Action National Campaigns Director Lynn Thorp testified today before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on issues related to “Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water”. Cyanotoxins, the contaminant that forced the shutdown of the Toledo OH water system for several days in August of this year, are produced by Harmful Algal Blooms.
In her testimony, Thorp said “The most cost-effective way to prevent cyanotoxin contamination of drinking water sources is to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that is also causing numerous other drinking water, environmental and economic impacts.”
Last night the U.S. and China released a groundbreaking agreement in the fight to curb climate change. The Obama Administration committed to reduce US emissions by 26-28% by 2025 and China announced that its emission would peak around 2030. Clean Water Action President and CEO Robert Wendelgass released the following statement:
Diverse group of environmental, conservation, faith based groups, unions, businesses and elected officials recognize the value of protecting headwaters for downstream water bodies, including lakes, bays, and wetlands
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Clean Water Action released public comment letters sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ for its Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act Rule. Over 100 Pennsylvania organizations, public officials, and businesses voiced their support for this rule. The comment deadline is set for this Friday, November 14th.
EPA’s proposed rule is supported by more than 1,000 scientific peer-reviewed studies that recognize the importance of protecting headwaters to the biological, chemical, and physical integrity of rivers downstream. At stake is drinking water for 117 million Americans, 2 million stream miles, and 20 million acres of wetlands. In Pennsylvania, the rule would protect drinking water for 8 million Pennsylvanians who rely on rivers and streams for their water from public water systems. Pennsylvania sportsmen will be the beneficiaries of improved fish habitat, cleaner rivers and streams, and wetlands protection.