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article imageOp-Ed: Clean Water Act protections effectively ended by Trump’s EPA

By Paul Wallis     Feb 10, 2020 in Health
Washington - How many times does the word “deranged” have to be used in one presidential term? The insane removal of the protection of waterways is yet another case. It actually enables pollution by rural and fossil fuel mining interests.
Before we start:
1. Water contaminants are NOT a hit-or-miss issue. Pollutants in the water supply affect all who use it. If you drink water, you’re a target for pollutants.
2. Some types of water contamination, like lead, mercury and PFAS, are extremely toxic. There are NO safe levels under single-digit parts per million.
3. Contaminated water supplies cost huge money to fix whatever the local issues.
4. Some fixes are fixes, some aren’t. Flint, Michigan is the classic case of a fix that wasn’t, including a massive spike in the number of kids needing special education.
5. Water sources can also be contaminated by land use methods, pesticides and dumping, adding a further dimension to control requirements.
The Environmental Protection Agency, which may well have to change its name to Environmental Pollution Apologists, has stated that it will “no longer protect” the waterways as before. This imbecility is based as usual on “deregulation” and as usual is sponsored by the usual suspects in Washington.
According to The New York Times, many Trump appointees in the environmental field have direct ties to fossil fuel companies. This is hardly a surprise, given the GOP’s endlessly reiterated total lack of interest in anything to do with public health and safety.
A bit of background:
• America has many problems with its water supply from coast to coast.
• Ancient infrastructure, including lead content in the water, is a common issue.
• Nothing is done quickly, and little is done well. The ongoing mess regarding contaminated water in Flint, Michigan is now entering its latest fun-filled decade.
• PFAS contamination in Ann Arbor and the Detroit region, in general, is an emerging monster.
• River administration is at best haphazard, at worst dangerous. According to a long-time researcher, pollution controls are going backwards.
One of the stranger perspectives of United States water quality is to be found in a lengthy but horrifyingly clear analysis of US water quality on The Conversation US. One of the findings cited in this grim but interesting really-should-read article is a statistic – 32 million cases of waterborne disease every year in the US. That’s 10% of the entire population of the United States.
The numbers are from CDC, from memory one of the agencies Trump targeted in one of his earlier tirades against “big government”. You’ll notice in the “ecology” chart that the incidence of new generation and bacterial pollutants tracks directly from around 2000. This was when the almost religious mania against health policies of any kind started in conservative politics. The numbers have been increasing ever since.
Deregulation = Death? Quite possibly, in this case, if you’re lucky.
The endless, and by now almost meaningless crusade against “big government” has reached its natural denouement in the current era. The crusade is nothing more than a money-grubbing exercise to reduce compliance costs. It’s never been anything else. It’s impossible even for the lunatic asylum now claiming to be conservatives and/or libertarians to claim that poison is good for people.
Pollution IS poison. It kills people or makes them sick. That’s why it’s called pollution. You’d think the alleged graduates of alleged top US colleges in what is now a purely nominal government would know that. If they do, they don’t seem to think the problems, or the people affected, are important.
However – Compliance costs money, and money, as we all know, is far more important than health. So your kids get brain damage from lead in the water. It could be worse. After all, they could be governed into a state of actual good health. Wouldn’t that be awful? Those immoral little toddlers could have lives, if someone doesn’t stop them. So the choices are obvious. Maim the kids or save a few bucks? No-brainer? Yep.
Meanwhile back in the genocide dispensary, the release of god knows what into waterways will also have to be cleaned up when sanity returns. The pennies saved in compliance will become billions in cleanup costs. Most water contaminants take years or decades to remove.
You can just see the reps and senators from the Great States Of Obfuscation falling all over themselves to help out, can’t you? Hordes of dedicated PR people who don’t know what humans are will rush to the rescue. Just imagine the mental gymnastics required by these intellectual outhouses to balance local politics with life-or-death issues. It’ll never happen while these white-collar rednecks run anything.
Possible DIY solution?
The best option for DIY water safety is a sort of home version of molecular water filters. These things only permit water molecules to pass through them. Doesn’t matter what the fluid, what comes out is pure H2O. Too much to hope someone markets these filters? Probably, but it’s better than nothing, and easy to do.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Epa, Clean water act, US water pollution, flint michigan water, water pollution and child health
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