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NY Times article – Ruling Restrict Clean Water Act, Hampering E.P.A.

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I read an article in today’s (3/1) NY Times about how big polluters are getting away with dumping waste into bodies of water more and more. Apparently the essential reason for the EPA lagging in its efforts to regulate this is definitional. In comm principles and research methods we learned that you always have to define your terms. Well, it’s this simple act that is allegedly prohibiting the EPA from stopping waste dumping. In the original Clean Water Act it basically states that no one can pollute “navigable” waters. At the current moment, what is “navigable” is being re-evaluated. And due to this, it seems, “regulators may be unable to prosecute as many as half of the nation’s largest known polluters because officials lack jurisdiction or because proving jurisdiction would be overwhelmingly difficult or time consuming, according to midlevel officials” since exactly where polluters can dump is ultimately undetermined. Furthermore, polluters are catching on to the fact that they skirt getting into trouble right now, and are dumping wherever they want. I find this ridiculous. I think it should be within the EPA’s power to request from the government a freeze on dumping in bodies of water, and have an immediate, emergency meeting to hammer out their definitions in the Clean Water Act. Obviously no one can legally or efficiently regulate anything unless there’s a viable, concrete law dictating standards. I would like to chastise big businesses for taking advantage of the situation and polluting, but it’s understandable why they do it from a business standpoint (cheaper, easier). All I’m trying to say is: EPA, get your “act” together.

link to article online: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/us/01water.html?ref=todayspaper

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Written by msperanza

March 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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