Clean Water Action’s analysis of supporting documents for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Proposed Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category confirms that power plant discharges to surface water often include contaminants that experts consider to be “contaminants of concern” when found in drinking water. For example, arsenic, lead, selenium and mercury are all commonly found in power plant discharges to water, and all are contaminants of long-standing concern in drinking water.
Long-time friends, Congressional champions, loyal members and volunteers, Board leaders, allies and former staff gathered in Washington, DC last fall as part of a year of celebrations marking the Clean Water Act’s 40th anniversary. We put together an abbreviated list of Clean Water Fund and Clean Water Action’s accomplishments for that event, but our best years are by no means behind us.
In fact, 2012 and 2013 have brought many additional important victories for our health and
environment. Our environmental health coalition won new laws in Minnesota to protect infants and children from formaldehyde and BPA. We’ve advanced water conservation in Texas with a new law preventing homeowner associations from banning water efficient landscaping. We’ve helped dozens of cities and towns in California to ban plastic bags and/or foam foodware. Plans for two proposed new coal-burning power plants in Michigan have been scrapped, creating new opportunities for renewable energy and economic growth. And that’s just some of what we’ve accomplished together in the past two years.
September's good water news, in two parts.
First: On September 18th, roughly 12 years after pro-polluter court decisions and actions by the Bush Administration weakened critical Clean Water Act protections, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency annouced it is taking important steps to clarify what water resources qualify for federal protections. Once finalized, this action will close protection gaps that have left drinking water sources for 117 million Americans vulnerable to contamination and destruction.