clean water


PFAS Contamination at Military Sites Reveals a Need for Urgent Science-based Protections

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

A new UCS factsheet released today looks at PFAS contamination at military bases, revealing that many of the sites have levels of these chemicals in their drinking or groundwater at potentially unsafe levels. PFAS, or poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances, have been used in everything from Teflon pans, to nonstick food packaging, to water-repellent raingear for decades. Only recently has it been revealed to the general public that these compounds are seeping into our waterways and causing health issues in people who are exposed to the chemical at elevated levels over time.

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Action Needed to Address the US Military’s PFAS Contamination

There was dead silence at a community meeting last week in Portsmouth, New Hampshire after Nancy Eaton spoke before a panel of top federal health officials planning a study of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base. She described how her husband David, who was healthy all his life, died quickly in 2012 at 63 from pancreatic cancer. Eaton’s sentiments were echoed by Andrea Amico, a co-founder of Testing for Pease, a group of parents whose children drank contaminated water at the site’s daycare center, and whose demands for a thorough investigation of PFAS harms have now resulted in establishing Pease as a key location in the first nationwide federal study of those harms. Read more >

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Flint, Michigan Still Waiting for Justice Four Years On

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

In April of 2014, Flint, Michigan residents noticed that there was something wrong with their water. As UCS Senior Fellow and noted Boston Globe Opinion writer Derrick Jackson recounts in his lengthy report, only a month after the city of Flint switched to using Flint River, instead of Lake Huron water, community members noticed the difference. Read more >

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Americans Are Worried about Water Pollution (And They Should Be)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Apparently the Trump administration hasn’t heard about the latest Gallup poll, which puts Americans’ concerns about water pollution and drinking water at their highest levels since 2001. Why do I say this? Because in addition to rolling back a key Obama-era clean water rule, a leaked EPA memo reveals that the administration intends to slash or eliminate funding for a slew of water programs and initiatives. And while recent and ongoing crises like the one in Flint have highlighted urban drinking water problems, it is also true that rural communities—whose voters helped put President Trump in office—have plenty to worry about. Read more >

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Trump’s “Skinny” Budget Would Starve Farmers of Support, Leave Kids and Seniors Hungry

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

I wasn’t surprised to see that the president’s “skinny” budget proposal, released last week, would gut the EPA and the State Department. Appalled? Of course. But not really surprised, as the two-month-old Trump administration had already made its antipathy toward environmental protection and international cooperation abundantly clear. Read more >

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