Target: Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Goal: Stop granting exemptions to companies that allow the pollution of underground drinking water reservoirs.
According to an ongoing investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has allowed energy and mining companies to pollute over 100 underground water reservoirs that supply over half of the United States’ drinking water. According to the agency’s mandates, the EPA is supposed to protect all sources of drinking water and is only allowed to grant exemptions if the reservoirs are too isolated or contaminated to provide safe drinking water. The EPA, however, has violated this essential duty, resulting in citizens being forced to use polluted water for drinking, irrigating out nation’s crops, and feeding livestock. Even worse, the EPA has not kept accurate records of locations where they allowed such exemptions and how many exemptions were granted. In addition, many exemptions were granted in areas where the water required very little to no purification, essentially polluting pristine drinking water supplies.
The exemptions given to energy and mining companies do not subject them to the stringent regulation provided by the Safe Drinking Water Act, which prohibits the dumping of pollutants into drinking water supplies and requires disposal equipment to meet specific standards. In Wyoming, for example, the government has allowed mining companies to inject over 200,000 gallons of toxic waste from uranium mines into water reservoirs located under farmland. Mike Wireman, a senior hydrologist at the EPA, explains that there is ‘no doubt’ that the toxic waste will eventually infiltrate other sources of clean water. Simply put, it is not a question of ‘if,’ but ‘when?’
The EPA has failed to protect American citizens and the environment by giving in to the pressures of the mining and energy industry. It has committed this betrayal in the face of droughts that continue to plague parts of the U.S., the looming threat of water privatization, and a dwindling global water supply. Sign the petition below to demand that the EPA protect the health of Americans, future generations, and our planet by halting any further exemptions and thoroughly investigating previous exemptions.
Dear Lisa Jackson and members of the EPA,
By granting mining and energy companies exemptions that allow them to inject toxic pollutants into our underground water supply, you have failed in your duty to protect our precious environment, your fellow Americans, and future generations. You have betrayed our country’s citizens by catering to the wishes of mining and energy companies, whose only interest lies in maximizing their profits as easily and quickly as possible. Because of the haphazard manner in which you have granted these exemptions—and lack of proper record keeping procedures—the extent of the damage has yet to be seen, but communities are already suffering the consequences.
Indeed, in the past 30 years over 100 aquifers have been contaminated by dumping toxic waste resulting from uranium mining, oil drilling, and other extraction procedures. Your agency has allowed this to carry on, despite the fact that communities across the United States are forced to cope with droughts and the ensuing wildfires and damage to crops. The exemptions continue to be granted in the face of the looming threat of water privatization. Again, the EPA has ignored the effects of climate change that threaten our global water supply.
Because you have failed to responsibly grant these exemptions in the past, we demand that you halt all future exemptions until a thorough investigation of all past cases is completed and a strict regulation of any future exemptions is enacted. Fulfill your agency’s responsibility to protect the health of Americans and their environment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay