Report | Environment America Research and Policy Center

Get the Lead Out

Our children need safe drinking water – especially at school where they go to learn and play each day.  Unfortunately, lead is contaminating drinking water at schools and pre-schools across the country.  As our report shows, states are failing to make the grade when it comes to keeping lead out of drinking water at school.  Instead of waiting for more testing, we need to proactively remove the lead pipes and plumbing at the root of this toxic hazard for our children.

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News Release | Environment America Research and Policy Center

New Report: More than two-thirds of states examined receive failing grades for efforts to reduce lead in school drinking water

A total of 22 states earned an “F” grade for their performance in eliminating lead from school drinking water, according to a new study by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Of the 31 states tested, Illinois was the only one (along with the District of Columbia) to receive a mark above the C range.  These results come from the the second edition of the groups’ Get the Lead Out report, which grades state policies for protecting kids from exposure to this dangerous neurotoxin.

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News Release | Environment America

Environment America and U.S. PIRG experts testify on Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

WASHINGTON-- The Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing today on its Proposed Revised Supplemental Finding for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and Results of the Residual Risk and Technology Review.

The EPA is proposing rollbacks to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, even though most industrial plants have already adopted the necessary technology under the regulation--meaning that even industry wants to keep the rule. This shift would also change how the agency uses cost benefit analysis.

Andrea McGimsey,  senior director of the Global Warming Solutions Campaign for Environment America, and Ethan Lutz of U.S. Public Interest Research Group both testified at the hearing.

McGimsey said the following:

“We are faced with the prospect of actually moving backwards in basic protections of the environment and public health. As environmental advocates, we vigorously protest these assaults on the environment that adversely impact fish, other wildlife and humans.

I am a native of Virginia, and I am a former member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. The coal-fired Dickerson Power Plant is located on the Maryland shore of the Potomac River, right across from our fast-growing county with over 400,000 residents. All of the residents of our county live within the 50 mile airshed of this power plant, and the discharges that go into the Potomac River are upstream from the drinking water intakes for much of Northern Virginia.

I am concerned about the direct consequences the EPA policy shift would have on Northern Virginia’s environment and public health, as well as the Chesapeake Bay, which is vulnerable to pollution from multiple coal-fired power plants located in other parts of the country. These emissions adversely impact air quality, pollute surface water and contaminate fish.

As the downwind recipient of the pollution EPA intends to allow into the air, the people of Virginia and states across the U.S. collectively say that the value of protecting our environment and our health is far greater than paying back coal burning energy companies. It is not even a close call.”

Lutz testified:

“From 2011 to 2017, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards regulations were responsible for an 81 percent reduction in mercury emissions alone. In addition to mercury, coal-fired power plants also release highly toxic substances such as fine particulate matter, arsenic, lead, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen fluoride, selenium, cadmium and chromium. Many of these substances are known to be carcinogenic and harmful to humans and animals, yet EPA is not considering the cost to human life from these substances under its proposed rule.

These substances contaminate fish and shellfish, which humans then eat. By getting rid of this rule, EPA would destroy up to $90 Billion in yearly cost benefits, kill 17,000 people per year, and make thousands others sick from air pollution. This is a public health disaster, and the opposite of what the EPA stands for.”

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Blog Post

More than 10,000 people pledge to skip the straw

More than 10,000 Americans said "no" to plastic straws in February.

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