What Clean Water Act? Industrial pollution blooms
Outstanding job by the New York Times' Charles Duhigg in investigating thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act and the illnesses they are causing across the country. Corporations are fouling drinking water with impunity, regulators and politicians are clueless and people are getting sick.
Yes, we need to belabor this oft-made point once again: Without newspapers, this sort of information just doesn't come out. Without newspapers, there is little public pressure to fix things. Without newspapers, the problem gets worse. True, victims can resort to the justice system, as they did in West Virginia. But too often the courts award compensation for damages without making sure new damages won't take place. And they are slow, slow slow.
Love this response from West Virginia state officials, whose own files contain unbelievable cases of industrial pollution that they have done nothing about.
“Many of the issues you are examining are several years old, and many have been addressed,” West Virginia officials wrote in a statement. The state’s pollution program “has had its share of issues,” regulators wrote. However, “it is important to note that if the close scrutiny given to our state had been given to others, it is likely that similar issues would have been found.”
They'll soon change their tune, thanks to the New York Times. Thank you, Mr. Duhigg.