Monday, September 14, 2009

Toxic Waters: A Series On Worsening Water Pollution

The New York Times is running a series on the worsening pollution in American waters and the responses of regulators, entitled: "Toxic Waters: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering" [an interactive version, which can show violations in any community]. The article reports that in recent years violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation and that in the last five years alone, chemical factories, manufacturing plants and other workplaces have violated water pollution laws more than half a million times. Most of those polluters have not been punishment, state officials have repeatedly ignored illegal dumping, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which can prosecute polluters when states fail to act, has often declined to intervene.

The New York Times obtained hundreds of thousands of water pollution records through Freedom of Information Act requests to every state and the E.P.A., and compiled a national database of water pollution violations that is more comprehensive than those maintained by states or the E.P.A. Records analyzed by The New York Times indicate that the Clean Water Act has been violated more than 506,000 times since 2004, by more than 23,000 companies and other facilities, according to reports submitted by facilities themselves.

Health Ills Abound as Farm Runoff Fouls Wells

Full Series

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