Why Water Pollution Rates Are Rising and Corporate Polluters Are Getting a Free Pass
Things are going in the wrong direction these days when it comes to water pollution and New York Times writers Charles Duhigg and Janet Roberts explain that the reason has to do with an unfortunate legal loophole. They write:
Thousands of the nation's largest water polluters are outside the Clean Water Act's reach because the Supreme Court has left uncertain which waterways are protected by that law, according to interviews with regulators. [...]
Companies that have spilled oil, carcinogens and dangerous bacteria into lakes, rivers and other waters are not being prosecuted, according to Environmental Protection Agency regulators working on those cases, who estimate that more than 1,500 major pollution investigations have been discontinued or shelved in the last four years.
Shockingly, they write that even though the purpose of the Clean Water Act was to regulate "every major polluter," regulators now are saying they can only prosecute half of the country's biggest polluters because of jurisdiction issues.
So not only are tons of big-time corporate polluters getting a free pass, but they're threatening the drinking water of 117 million Americans. Check out their story for details on how the issue of jurisdiction has derailed into an debacle over the reach of the federal government.