Although the EPA is supposed to protect the environment and thus, the people and animals within it, they have taken many steps that puts the environment and many of its inhabitants in danger. Towards the beginning of the pandemic’s arrival in America, the EPA decided to loosen their enforcement of rules that are intended to reduce the amount of pollution that businesses cause to the environment. They relaxed rules that keep manufacturers from polluting air and water, which could cause many health issues and environmental damage.
Similarly, just over a week ago, twenty states, several cities, and one county formed a coalition to sue the EPA for weakening the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. This outrage is understandable considering that “MATS was the first-ever national policy to reduce hazardous pollutants such as mercury, arsenic, and lead, which are known to cause neurological damage and forms of cancer and lung disease.” The changes are especially dangerous considering the pandemic.
Data shows that 91 percent of power companies that were monitored “showed unsafe levels of one or more coal ash components in nearby groundwater compared to EPA standard.” Similarly, 52 percent showed unsafe levels of cancer-causing arsenic and 60 percent had an unsafe amount of neurological damage-causing lithium. The 2015 regulation, set by Obama, had much higher standards for groundwater monitoring, but Trump rolled back on them due to “strong pressure from utility and coal companies.” The decision to weaken MATS comes shortly after the February 20 announcement about regulating dangerous chemicals in drinking water that cause liver issues, low birth weights, and testicular and kidney cancers.
These changes put so many people’s water at risk of pollution. EPA, Andrew Wheeler, justified this dangerous action by saying that it would save between $28 and $31 million a year. Can we really put a price tag on clean water, especially considering the U.S. military budget is $732 billion? Clean water is a human right. Sign this petition to tell Andrew Wheeler to reverse the new regulations that allow the coal industry to get away with contaminating the U.S. water supply.
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
- Tell EPA to Protect Public from Harmful Algal Blooms
- Tell the EPA Not to Stop Policing Mass Polluters During Pandemic
- Protect the Clean Water Act!
- Ask Congress to Fully and Permanently Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund!
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