Perhaps in response to recent revelations that hundreds of coal plants across the country are dumping waste into lakes and rivers where Americans get their drinking water, the EPA has announced it will be getting tough on enforcing the Clean Water Act. Here's what it's planning to do to keep our drinking water safe.It was a pretty ugly realization that some coal plants had over 30 violations of the Clean Water Act on their records--and had gone entirely unfined and unpunished. So this comes as good news; that the EPA is paying attention and reassessing its shortcomings.
According to a report today,
The U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced ... that the agency is stepping up its efforts on Clean Water Act enforcement. The Clean Water Action Enforcement Plan is a first step in revamping the compliance and enforcement program. It seeks to improve the protection of our nation's water quality, raise the bar in federal and state performance and enhance public transparency
Here are a few of the specific parts of the EPA's plan to amp up water protection:
- · Develop more comprehensive approaches to ensure enforcement is targeted to the most serious violations and the most significant sources of pollution. (That means you, negligent coal plants)
- · Work with states to ensure greater consistency throughout the country with respect to compliance and water quality. Ensure that states are issuing protective permits and taking enforcement to achieve compliance and remove economic incentives to violate the law.
- · Use 21st century information technology to collect, analyze and use information in new, more efficient ways and to make that information readily accessible to the public. Better tools will help federal and state regulators identify serious compliance problems quickly and take prompt actions to correct them.