Throughout the United States, people do not feel safe drinking their tap water. Unfortunately, many of their fears are well-founded. Government’s response to reports of known pollutants in drinking water, such as lead and arsenic, has been wholly inadequate. Compounding this problem is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is slow to respond to new threats and our federal environmental laws do not do enough to identify possible drinking water contaminants before they become a problem.
Call your Members of Congress and ask them to protect our nation’s drinking water. Ask them to provide more funding to better understand the health impacts of “emerging contaminants” and urge EPA to quickly establish regulatory standards for these dangerous pollutants.
“Emerging contaminants” or “contaminants of emerging concern” are pollutants that many of our environmental and public health laws do not regulate. This is either because the pollutants are relatively new and their impacts are not well known, or because their dangers are just now being realized. Some examples of “emerging contaminants” are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), pharmaceuticals such as steroids and antibiotics, microplastics, pesticides, and nanomaterials.
There is strong evidence that many of these contaminants cause human health and environmental harm, yet not enough studies have been done to set standards under the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. This means that these pollutants are not being monitored and are freely entering our waterways without limits. There are no federal standards for how much of these contaminants can be in our drinking water and, very often, municipal drinking water treatment systems are not able to remove the contaminants.
Everyone has the right to safe drinking water and the knowledge of what pollutants are in their local waterways. EPA has a duty to study and set standards for the dangerous pollutants lurking in our water and to stop polluters from releasing these contaminants into our waterways and groundwater.
Please call your Members of Congress and let them know that you want them to protect our water from dangerous and unregulated pollutants. Here are some talking points you can use:
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