When you think of agencies that were created to protect our water sources from pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has to top that list. While states are supposed to be responsible for making sure that the water we drink is safe, the EPA is the agency that used to oversee the states and oversaw the waterways used as a source for the water we drink, bath in, wash our dogs and children in, and use to cook our food. Well, the House GOP has taken those responsibilities away from the EPA.
According to Dina Cappiello and Official Wire, the U.S. House of Representatives voted today to strip the EPA of its authority to oversee the states created by the Clean Water Act. So the EPA can no longer step in to stop mountain top removal or other industrial acts that lead to water pollution.
The EPA revoked the water permit for a West Virginia coal mining company that practiced mountain top removal. Mountain top removal fills streams and watersheds with carcinogenic compounds and other pollutants. Which of course irritated this mining company and others leading to a lawsuit by the National MIning Association (NMA) against the EPA. Now they won’t have to worry.
Removing the EPA from its oversight function is only part of the problem. Prior to the vote, Congress was given a report that stated that “14 states failed to tell — or inaccurately reported — hundreds of violations at public water systems to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009.” The states also “misreported” monitoring violations.That doesn’t include the violations correctly reported by the other 36 states. Makes you feel good about the water you’re drinking and bathing in doesn’t it. The states are right on top it aren’t they – not.
Even before the EPA was stripped of its oversight duties, lack of adequate funding had already prevented the EPA from auditing those violation reports. As we all know mining companies are out to make money, not cater to their workers or the little people downstream as evidenced by the Massey mine companies many violations and mine disaster. or lawsuits filed against Miller Brothers, Appalachian Fuels, Lexington Coal, and ICG.
So think about getting a whole house filter and replacing your pitchers filters as recommended because you don’t know if your water sources and system is one of those inaccurately reported. Congress is hell bent on reducing government as are many state legislatures. You have to wonder who will be protecting the citizens, if all of the watchdogs are eliminated.
Sometimes regulations actually exist for our safety and if it irritates businesses well, I’m sorry but I really don’t trust businesses to look out for any interest other than their own. The government may not be perfect but for the most part it was set up to ensure the safety of we, the people from those with lots of cash and little conscience.
The above picture is from the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition with the caption: Polluted runoff from valley fills creates a bright unnatural color on other surrounding rock.