So, I’m reading my local newspaper today (10/26/19) and an article blew my mind. It was written by one of the Asbury Park Press’s reporters, Amanda Oglesby, who can be reached at [email protected]. The article depicted the horror of the NJ water supply. At the end of the article I will list the website to go to to find out about YOUR water supply.
“Millions of NJ residents are drinking tap water contaminated with carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.
At the same time, much of this contamination is permitted under federal rules meant to safeguard drinking water.
But, is it safe?
“Most Americans assume the federal government ensures that their tap water is safe to drink” as said by EPA Group President Ken Cook in a news release about the report. “Our Tap Water Database shines a light on an ugly reality: The Safe Water Drinking Water Act is totally f**ked up (My words. He was more polite), and the water millions of Americans drink is contaminated with unhealthy pollutants like PEAS, pesticides, arsenic, hexavalent chromium and more.”
Spokespeople for two government agencies, without directly commenting on the EWG report, said that federal and state regulations are often reviewed and aim to preserve public health. “Protecting America’s drinking water is a top priority for the EPA”, said Molly Block an EPA spokeswoman.
More than 7.5 million NJ residents are drinking water from systems that are contaminated with dangerous chemicals and metals, according to the EWG’s report.
The report found that:
*More than 7.5 million NJ residents drank water from systems that had reported contamination with hexavalent chromium, a naturally occurring metallic element that can damage skin, eyes and cause lung problems on cancer when inhaled.
*More than 5 million NJ residents were drinking from water systems that had tested positive for chloroform in drinking water supplies. Chloroform is a byproduct of chemical companies, paper mills and can be produced in small amounts by chlorinating water, according to the CDC (Centers for Deceit, Control and Procrastination – my words again.) Large amounts can damage the central nervous system, liver and kidneys, according to the CDC.
*More than 3.2 million people were served by water supplies that had been contaminated with arsenic, which can cause cancer and skin lesions in cases of long-term exposure, according to the WHO (World Homicidal Organization- my words again.)
The EWG found other chemicals in certain water supply systems across the state as well. The organization argued that federal water quality regulations are too lax and are endangering human health as a result.
“Clean water free of toxic chemicals like hexavalent chromium and PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, cancer-linked and hormone disrupting chemicals) should be a right afforded to every American,” nationally renowned public health advocate Erin Brockovich said in a news release. “Sadly, that is not the case. Widespread pollution threatens the integrity of drinking water, though often below the legal limit, may not be safe to drink.”
A spokeswoman for the U.S. EPA (Environmental Pollution Agency – guilty) defended existing federal water regulations.
“More than 90 chemicals are regulated in drinking water by the federal agency, and those regulations have become stricter over time,” said Block, the agency’s spokeswoman.
“Over 92 percent of the national population supplied by community water systems receives drinking water that meets all health-based standards all of the time. EPA is working aggressively with our state partners to push that number higher,” she said. (Riiiiiiiight!)
The agency has decontamination goals “at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons would occur,” she said.
The goals “consider only public health and in some cases it is not feasible to measure or treat contaminants in drinking water to these levels,” she said.
“The feasibility of reducing a particular contaminant to the goal level, as well as costs and benefits, are taken into account when formulating the regulations,” Block said.
The federal government established drinking quality standards in 1974 that empower the EPA as well as state agencies to take legal action, issue orders against or fine utilities that do not comply with the drinking water regulations.
In addition, NJ has established its own, more stringent drinking water standards on 14 contaminants. The state also set limits on seven chemicals not included in the federal requirements.
In 2018, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, over saw water quality in 3,636 drinking water utilities and systems and found contaminating chemicals over the state’s limits in just 124 of them, according to its 2018 compliance report.
Yet, the debate between the environmental group, which argues for stricter federal standards, and the state and federal environmental agencies follows in the wake of the two recent water quality controversies in NJ.
Officials in Newark are working to remove potentially dangerous levels of lead from the city’s drinking water supply.
In addition, as a USA TODAY NETWORK – NJ investigation that found some 250,000 NJ students are at risk of drinking lead-contaminated water in their schools.
The EWG report included details about each water utility in NJ, their contaminants as well as compliance with federal drinking water standards, according to the report.
*Lakewood Township MUA (Municipal Utilities Authority) had eight chemical contaminants discovered in its water since 2012, including hexavalent chromium and PFOA.
*Joint Base McGuire-DIX-Lakehurst’s main water system had eight chemical contaminants that exceeded the environmental group’s health guidelines. Chloroform levels were 52 times higher than the EWG’s health guideline. The chemical group trihalomethanes, connected to cancer and birth defects, were 166 times the organization’s health guidelines.
*NJ American Water’s Mount Holly system had 21 contaminants discovered, dating back to 2012. Seven of those chemicals exceeded the environmental group’s standards. The utility had radium, a cancer-causing chemical, at 39 times the groups recommended guideline.
*Willingboro MUA had 34 contaminants discovered since 2012, and 10 of those chemicals exceeded the environmental group’s standards. The utility had radium, a cancer=causing chemical, at 39 times the group’s recommended guideline.
“Our database is a powerful tool for people to use to use to protect themselves and their families,” said Cook, of EWG. “but, Americans must also stand up for safety standards and safeguards to keep contaminants out of drinking water in the first place.””
To review the EWG’s report on water quality in your town, visit www.ewg.org/tapwater.
Also, I would advise everyone who has read this to print it out and send to President Trump. Since he always emphasizes how he is always “for the people”, how could he ignore this nightmare thrust upon by the corporations that only care about how much profit they can make?