President Trump last month instructed the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to review and reconsider a 2015 rule known as the Waters of the United States rule, a move that could ultimately make it easier for agricultural and development interests to drain wetlands and small streams. Outdoor recreation and environmental groups said the new federal protections were essential to safeguard both public drinking water
supplies and the terrain that sustains an array of waterfowl, fish and other species.
“Without the Clean Water Rule’s critical protections, innumerable small streams and wetlands that are essential for drinking water supplies, flood protection, and fish and wildlife habitat will be vulnerable to unregulated pollution, dredging and filling,” said Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers.
The EPA’s most recent administrator, Gina McCarthy, also criticized Trump’s impending order, saying it was the latest example of his administration “sidelining EPA’s public health mission.”
Thousands of documents detailing water testing practices over the past decade reveal: Despite warnings of regulators and experts, water departments in at least 33 cities used testing methods over the past decade that could underestimate lead found in drinking water
; officials in two major cities, Philadelphia and Chicago, asked employees to test water safety in their own homes, not randomly around the city. In addition to that, two states, Michigan and New Hampshire, advised water departments to give themselves extra time to complete tests so that if lead contamination exceeded federal limits.
Officials could re-sample and remove results with high lead levels; some cities denied knowledge of the locations of lead pipes, failed to sample the required number of homes with lead plumbing or refused to release lead pipe maps, claiming it was a security risk.
A recent three-year study of the nation's drinking water
quality has found more than 200 unregulated chemicals in the tap water of 45 states. Millions of Americans may be drinking water with unsafe levels of industrial chemicals that have been linked to high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression and even cancer.
Marc Edwards, the scientist who first uncovered the crisis in Flint, Michigan described water testing in some of America's largest cities as an "outrage".
"They make lead in water low when collecting samples for EPA compliance, even as it poisons kids who drink the water," Edwards, a Virginia Tech scientist, said. "Clearly, the cheating and lax enforcement are needlessly harming children all over the United States."
"If they cannot be trusted to protect little kids from lead in drinking water, what on Earth can they be trusted with? Who among us is safe?" asked Edwards. In addition to our water supply, many experts at the EPA are also worried about the safety of our ground water. What would you do to protect your family? How do you get safe drinking water