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.
This week marks the 49th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act, our landmark Federal water protection law. In 1972, the Act set a goal of eliminating pollution in our rivers, lakes, streams and bays by 1985. While we’ve made a lot of progress toward this goal, we are certainly not there.
You’ve probably seen the photos or heard the stories about rivers that caught on fire, smog that was thick enough to choke on, “dead” lakes like Lake Erie, and polluters able to do whatever they wanted to with no accountability. It all seemed so “normal”. And it was, until some people decided to speak up and do something.
One of those people was our founder, David Zwick. In the late 60s David took an assignment from Ralph Nader to investigate the state of the nation’s water. What he found shocked him and turned into a book – Water Wasteland.