Protect Our Waterways from Polluters


Target: Administrator Gina McCarthy (EPA)

Goal: Close loopholes in the Clean Water Act that allow miners to pollute our nation’s clean water

Loopholes in the Clean Water Act, enforced by the EPA, are allowing businesses in the mining industry to unnecessarily pollute our nation’s clean drinking water. These loopholes allow miners to dispose of toxic chemicals such as arsenic, mercury and lead directly into waterways. This destroys many different marine ecosystems and also puts the health of our nation in jeopardy.

Two loopholes in the Clean Water Act legally allow miners to sneak past the rules and regulations set forth. One such loophole expanded the definition of “fill material” to include mine waste, however, this was originally put in place to allow for the disposal of non-harmful products such as rock, soil and clay. The second loophole is the loose regulation of “waters.” This means that miners are technically allowed to choose which bodies of water they dispose their waste into, including natural bodies of water that supply drinking water.

Mining companies have the full capability to use other, safer methods to dispose of their waste. Before these loopholes were created, mining companies had much more efficient methods of disposal. Just because the methods they are using now are cheaper, it is not right for mining companies to pollute streams, rivers and lakes, especially when these bodies of water supply drinking water for our country’s citizens.

Sign the petition below to urge the EPA to take into consideration the well-being of marine wildlife as well as our nation’s health and close these loopholes as soon as possible.


Dear Administrator McCarthy,

Loopholes in the Clean Water Act are allowing companies and businesses in the mining industry to pollute natural bodies of water. Some of these waterways supply clean drinking water for our nation and the dumping of toxic chemicals into these waters puts our citizens’ health at risk.

Please close these loopholes and do not allow any more of our waterways to become contaminated. By redefining “fill material” and by strictly regulating which bodies of water are acceptable to dispose of mining waste, you will greatly increase the well-being of marine ecosystems and the health of our nation.

The EPA has the capability to close these loopholes and stop the pollution of our waterways. We urge you to please do so immediately to ensure our nation’s health and safety.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gustavo Verissimo via Wikimedia Commons

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