Jennifer Peters - Water Programs Director

50 Years into the Clean Water Act, Drinking Water Sources Still at Risk

September 28, 2022

Most drinking water in the United States—approximately 2/3—comes from above ground sources such as rivers, lakes, and streams. These surface waters are extremely vulnerable to pollution from human activities. Polluted runoff from farms, stockyards, roads, as well as industrial discharges of pollution ranging from coal plants to chemical manufacturers, threaten our drinking water sources across the country. 

lean water-pollution-discharge water testing_image from canva

Using Water Pollution Permits to Keep PFAS out of Drinking Water

May 2, 2022

Last week the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memo detailing how the agency will use its water pollution permitting program to limit discharges of PFAS to rivers, streams, lakes, and other water bodies.

Suncor Denver refinery. Image by Steven Bratman on Flickr -- CC by 2.0

Colorado must limit PFAS and rein in other toxic water pollution from its most notorious petroleum refinery

February 22, 2022

Last week, Clean Water Action joined Earthjustice, NRDC, Sierra Club, Western Resource Advocates and dozens of other community justice groups and impacted residents to urge Colorado to rein in Suncor Petroleum Refinery’s horrendous water pollution. Suncor is a 90-year-old refinery in North Denver that sits near the confluence of Sand Creek and the South Platte River, which is a drinking water source for hundreds of thousands of people downstream.

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What I told EPA About Protecting Streams and Wetlands

January 14, 2022

This winter the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding a series of listening sessions about how it can it can strengthen protections for streams, wetlands, and sources of drinking water. Here's what I told EPA in January.

Hello, I’m Jennifer Peters, National Water Programs Director at Clean Water Action.

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What I told EPA: Fix the Clean Water Act

August 27, 2021

The Trump Dirty Water Rule (AKA the "Navigable Waters Protection Rule”) eliminated Clean Water Act protections for certain streams and wetlands. U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan has said the rule is “leading to significant environmental degradation.” Earlier this summer EPA announced that it will revoke the Dirty Water Rule and replace it with a rule that is more protective of vital water bodies. In August EPA held a series of listening sessions to gather public input on its plan. This is the testimony I gave to EPA.

chemicals in bottles

When it comes to tackling toxic ‘forever chemicals’, the Clean Water Act has many powerful, yet underutilized, policy tools

February 17, 2021

President Biden has pledged to take quick action on toxic fluorinated ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS “by designating PFAS as a hazardous substance, setting enforceable limits for PFAS in the Safe Drinking Water Act, prioritizing substitutes through procurement, and accelerating toxicity studies and research on PFAS.” These are welcome—and necessary—steps that must be taken to address this toxic pollution, but there’s a lot more the Biden administration can do.

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Taking Trump's EPA to Court -- Again

December 3, 2020

On November 24th, Clean Water Action joined a new lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest rollback of vital safeguards to protect communities from coal ash. Coal ash is the toxic waste left over from burning coal for electricity. More than 100 million tons is generated annually, making it one of the largest industrial waste streams in the United States. Coal ash is packed with some of the deadliest substances known to humans, including harmful carcinogens like arsenic, cadmium, and chromium, and neurotoxins such as lead, lithium, and mercury.

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New policy will safeguard Colorado waters from toxic PFAS

July 21, 2020

In states across the country, Clean Water Action is tackling the PFAS pollution problem. PFAS (per- and polyflyoroalkyl substances) is known as the "forever chemical" because it persists in the environment and in our bodies. It is associated with a range of health harms from cancers to liver impacts to reproductive issues.  PFAS can impact communities in a variety of ways so we will be share updates from spots across the country in the coming weeks to highlight some of these local impacts. Stay tuned and let us know if you'd like to get involved locally!

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My Testimony to EPA about its Toxic Water Proposal

December 19, 2019

On Thursday, December 19th I participated in a "virtual" public hearing on the Trump administration's dangerous plan to let dirty power plants dump even more pollution into our rivers, putting more communities at risk. These rollbacks will impact communities across the country. Despite this, EPA decided not to host an in-person hearing on this issue, deciding instead to host the virtual hearing in the middle of the holiday season. This is not the type of meaningful engagement that communities deserve.

Below is what I told EPA. Please read it and then send a message to EPA!

Corroded pipe with lead service fittings. Credit: Mike Thomas / Creative Commons

Denver Water’s Plan to Get the Lead Out While Protecting Our Watersheds

October 4, 2019

On September 6, 2019 Denver Water submitted its final Lead Reduction Program Plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This groundbreaking plan is an alternative to a mandate from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) that Denver Water treat its water with orthophosphate.