Two ways to protect our health in Utah and the U.S.

Health and clean water

Earlier this month we reported to our members about water contamination in schools across multiple Utah school districts that has led to a statewide push to test over 900 schools for poisonous lead content in the drinking water. The Division of Drinking Water began conducting the tests that uncovered toxic lead in school drinking water after the EPA issued a recommendation to test school water in the Spring. The EPA says that no amount of lead in drinking water is safe but does not require remedial action until the water is found to contain more than 15 micrograms of lead per liter. Eliminating all lead from drinking water is extremely challenging in some situations. Which is why the Clean Water Act seeks to protect water sources before the are contaminated. The goal is to eliminate risks to human health and vitality, such as the Flint water crisis.

Now the Trump administration is trying to roll back regulations put in place to protect humans from poisonous levels of pollutants like lead in our drinking water. In 2015, the EPA passed its Clean Water Rule, which protected streams, wetlands, and other water sources that provide water for 117 million Americans. This commonsense clarification was the result of over 400 community hearings and 1200 peer-reviewed scientific studies. It’s purpose? To protect upstream sources of water that had previously been largely unprotected. The EPA is accepting public comments about

Health and clean air

In mid-August the EPA and Transportation Department jointly announced that they would review current fuel emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025. This review is the first step in rolling back emissions standards that protect air quality across the country to prevent not only contributions to global warming but also the health, vitality and health care costs of millions of Americans who suffer from air quality-related illnesses and diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, COPD, asthma and more. The EPA has opened a 45-day public comment period. According to the EPA, they are “reopening the regulatory docket for the best available information from the public, such as consumer behavior, feedback on modeling approaches, and assessing advanced fuels technologies.” Now is the time to speak up about the importance of fuel emissions standards and clean air.

CALL TO ACTION

  • Tell the EPA that you oppose the repeal or reconsideration of the Clean Water Rule. According to nonpartisan surveys, good water policy is a top priority for Utahns across party lines. As our population booms, droughts become more common and rising temperatures make water more and more scarce in a state that is already one of the driest in the nation, protecting the quality of our water is absolutely critical. Write a public comment to the EPA at www.regulations.gov to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203.
  • Tell the EPA and DOT not to roll back fuel emissions standards. Be sure to share any personal stories about how emissions reductions impact you, your family or your community. Are you an expert in air quality or fuel technology? Offer your insights to add to the data already collected by the EPA that led to their Final Determination in January.  Remind the EPA and DOT that the Final Determination on emissions standards reached in January was in the best interest of Americans and their health and survival and was based on a careful collection and consideration of scientific data. Comments must be received on or before October 5, 2017. Comments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov to Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0827.

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