Nothing is more important to your health and quality of life than safe drinking water and clean streams and lakes. Across the country, pollution from farms is one of the primary reasons water is no longer clean or safe. Agriculture is the leading source of pollution of rivers and streams surveyed by U.S. government experts, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Thankfully, if we make simple changes in the way we farm, we can take a big step toward clean water.
The federal government and the states have adopted a high- cost, high-risk strategy in their drinking water programs, where consumers pay water suppliers to try to make polluted water drinkable. In spite of the vigorous efforts of drinking water providers, tap water made from dirty rivers and lakes is often host to multiple toxic chemicals, or is contaminated with the by-products of the clean-up process itself.
Under existing federal pollution control laws, the American people are kept in the dark about the vast majority of toxic pollution spewed into the environment by U.S. industry. Even the most comprehensive toxic pollution reporting system in the nation, the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), accounts for only about 5 percent of all toxic pollution of the environment each year (GAO 1991, EPA 1996c).
More than 45 million Americans in thousands of communities were served drinking water during 1994-1995 that was polluted with fecal matter, parasites, disease causing microbes, radiation, pesticides, toxic chemicals, and lead at levels that violated health standards established under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. More than 18,500 public water supplies reported at least one violation of a federal drinking water health standard during this two year period.Read More
An Environmental Working Group review of nearly 200,000 water sampling records found that over two million people -- including approximately 15,000 infants under the age of four months -- drank water from 2,016 water systems that were reported to EPA for violating the nitrate standard at least once between 1986 and 1995.Read More
EWG's response to a pesticide industry-funded 'critique' of their report Tap Water Blues, which documented public health risks from drinking water contaminated with herbicides.Read More
In 1993-94 over 53 million Americans drank water that did not meet Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) health or biological treatment standards or guidelines. In the Drink documents, on a community-by-community basis, drinking water utilities that have been listed as violating or exceeding these basic health and treatment safety standards.Read More
Wetlands, and federal efforts to protect them, have become the source of considerable controversy in recent years. Many opponents of the current wetlands regulatory system have made exaggerated claims about the effects of the federal wetlands permitting program on private landowners. Among those claims are that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wetlands program (authorized under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act) simply places all wetlands off limits to development; that the wetlands program affects an enormous acreage of land throughout the country; and that small private landowners bear the brunt of the burden of wetlands permitting.Read More