The Clean Water Blog

This Fall We Celebrate a HUGE Victory for Clean Water, Thanks to You!

For years Clean Water Action and our allies have been fighting to rein in the largest toxic water polluter in the U.S. – coal-burning power plants. It’s no secret that coal-burning power plants pollute our air with unhealthy chemicals. What is not as well known is these plants have also been dumping arsenic, lead, mercury, selenium and other nasty pollutants directly into our lakes, rivers, streams, and bays for decades – far more than any other polluting industry.

At the end of September, the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) finally closed this longstanding polluter loophole in our nation’s Clean Water Act. Thanks to this power plants will no longer have a free pass to pollute our water with chemicals that are known to cause cancer, lower children’s IQs, or harm fish and other aquatic life.

These first-ever national limits will reduce the water pollution from power plants by 1.4 billion pounds a year, protecting public health and water quality across the nation.

The power plant industry lobbied hard for EPA to issue weak limits that would have done next to nothing to curb this dangerous pollution. But thanks to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who urged EPA and the Obama administration to take strong action, including over 70,000 thousand Clean Water Action members, the Administration chose public health and the environment over polluter profits.

Across the country, our organizers knocked on thousands of doors every week for months to educate communities and families about this problem. So many people were inspired to write letters urging EPA to force power plants to clean up all of their toxic pollution. Many kids wrote their own letters or drew pictures. The drawing pictured above is by a very clever 6-year old who already knows the periodic table!

After more than 30 years, our rivers, lakes, streams and bays will finally have some relief from toxic power plant water pollution. These strong protections will help make our rivers and lakes safer to swim and fish in and improve the quality of our drinking water sources.

To learn more about these new protections visit this page.