The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed by Congress in 1974 to protect the public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water and protecting against naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants. The responsibility for ensuring the safety of drinking water is divided between the EPA, states, tribes, water systems, and the public.
The EPA was created in 1970, to monitor and ensure environmental protection, and to be the primary enforcement agency of the government. The safe drinking water act gave the agency the ability to clean up America’s waters, and the money does to so.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council –Threats on Tap, “contaminants that may harm human health are found in tap water in every state in the nation.” The report reveals that in 2015, there were more than 12,000 health-based violations in some 5,000 community water system. Theses water systems, serve more than 27 million people. The states with the most health violations in their water were Texas, Puerto Rico, Ohio, Maryland, and Kentucky.
After Trump had won the presidency, the House passed legislation that would make it harder for the EPA to create regulations to safeguard public health. The Regulatory Accountability Act cripples the processes for “issuing and enforcing regulations that ensure we have clean air and water, healthy food and consumer products, etc…” The bill paralyzes the rulemaking process by adding cumbersome red tape.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the U.S. water system a D. Not only is the system burdened by contaminants, but the pipes that deliver water are 80 to 100 years old. Flint is not the only city, drinking lead-filled water. Lead-contaminated water is flowing through approximately 6 to 10 million service lines.