Posts by Gina McCarthy:

Celebrando las mujeres que posibilitan la protección ambiental

Por Gina McCarthy, administradora de la EPA

Al publicar su libro innovador en 1962, Primavera silenciosa, Rachel Carson convirtió la prosa en una poderosa herramienta para el bien. Ella transformó nuestra perspectiva sobre el mundo natural que nos rodea, al informarnos sobre los peligros de la aplicación rampante del DDT, un poderoso pesticida que envenenó a las aves. Su libro creó conciencia acerca de los peligros del uso excesivo de los plaguicidas y lanzó el movimiento medioambientalista.
Carson, una bióloga marina, trabajó por muchos años en el servicio público como una editora en el Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre (infórmese mediante una grabación que compartí con la Casa Blanca). Ella y muchas otras como ella, abrieron el camino para un sinnúmero de mujeres a lo largo de los años—científicas, investigadoras, activistas y organizadoras—que vencieron todos los obstáculos para decir las verdades que tenían que ser dichas.

 

Marzo es el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer, un momento para celebrar las mujeres valerosas que ayudaron a desarrollar y avanzar el progreso ambiental moderno.

 

A lo largo de los últimos 45 años de liderazgo de la EPA, hemos logrado tremendos avances—al recortar dramáticamente la contaminación del aire, al limpiar nuestra agua y tierra, y al proteger a las comunidades vulnerables del daño. Este mes, honramos a los líderes que surcaron los caminos para que las mujeres siguieran en sus pasos—desde las cuatro mujeres quienes fungieron como administradoras de la agencia previamente, a un sinnúmero de otras quienes vencieron el prejuicio para transformar la sociedad.

He aquí tan solo algunas de estas mujeres líderes, quienes moldearon y avanzaron el movimiento medioambientalista como lo conocemos hoy en día.

  • Rosalie Edge fue la primera mujer en fundar y liderar una organización defensora del medio ambiente en el 1928. También fue una sufragista consumada. Una aficionada a la observación de aves, ella fundó el Santuario Montañoso para Halcones, la primera reserva del mundo para aves de rapiña.
  • Polly Dyer ayudó a proteger las costas prístinas del Estado de Washington. Ella organizó y abogó a favor de la protección del Bosque Nacional Olímpico, y lideró los esfuerzos de muchos años por aprobar la Ley de Áreas Silvestres de 1964.
  • Peggy Shepard fundó WE ACT (Tomamos acción) para la Justicia Ambiental en el 1988 y lleva muchos años como líder de dicha organización. WE ACT fue la primera organización en Nueva York en enfocarse específicamente en la limpieza del medio ambiente para proteger la salud y mejorar las vidas de las personas de color.
  • Sylvia Earle, una destacada oceanógrafa, lideró más de 50 expediciones de investigación bajo el mar. A principios de los 1990, ella fue la primera principal mujer científica de la Oficina Nacional de Administración Oceánica y Atmosférica. La Revista Time la catalogó como la primera Héroe del Planeta en el 1998.
  • Vivian Malone Jones luchó toda su vida por los derechos civiles. En el 1963, fue una de las primeras estadounidenses africanas en matricularse en la Universidad de Alabama cuando esta institución académica admitió estudiantes de origen africano. Como parte de su lucha por los derechos civiles, luego emprendió una carrera profesional en la EPA, donde pasó varios años como una importante campeona de la justicia ambiental.

En los años sesenta, gracias a la visión vanguardista de Carson, el President Kennedy tomó acción que condujo finalmente a la prohibición del DDT. Si ella nos pudiera ver ahora, Carson no tan solo estaría orgullosa de nuestra marcha hacia un medio ambiente más limpio, sino también por nuestra marcha hacia una sociedad más equitativa. En la actualidad, alrededor del 40% de los científicos e ingenieros en la EPA son mujeres. No obstante, sabemos que queda mucho por hacer en ambos frentes.

Yo espero que se unan a nosotros este mes y todos los meses en celebrar a estas mujeres increíbles y que ustedes también compartirán las historias de las mujeres visionarias que les han inspirado.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Celebrating Women who make Environmental Protection Possible

In publishing her game-changing book in 1962, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson turned prose into a powerful tool for good. She transformed our perspective on the natural world around us, informing us of the dangers of rampant application of DDT, a powerful pesticide that poisoned birds. Her book raised awareness about the dangers of pesticide overuse and launched the environmental movement.

Carson, a marine biologist, worked for many years in public service as an editor at the Fish and Wildlife Service (learn more from an audio clip I shared with the White House). She, and many like her, blazed a trail for countless women over the years—scientists, researchers, activists, organizers—who overcame the odds to tell truths that needed to be told.

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the courageous women who helped build and advance modern environmental progress.

Over the last 45 years of EPA leadership, we’ve made tremendous progress—dramatically cutting air pollution, cleaning up our water and land, and protecting vulnerable communities from harm. This month, we honor the leaders who’ve paved the way for women to follow in their footsteps—from the four women who’ve previously served as this agency’s Administrators, to the countless others who overcame prejudice to transform society.

Here are just a few of those women leaders, who shaped and advanced the environmental movement as we know it:

  • Rosalie Edge was one of the first women to found and lead an environmental advocacy organization in 1928, and was an ardent suffragist. An amateur birdwatcher, she founded Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the first preserve in the world for birds of prey.
  • Polly Dyer helped protect Washington State’s pristine coastline. She organized and advocated for the protection of the Olympic National Forest, and was a leader in the multi-year efforts to pass the 1964 Wilderness Act.
  • Peggy Shepard founded WE ACT for Environmental Justice in 1988, and has been a longtime leader there. WE ACT was the first organization in New York that focused specifically on cleaning up the environment to protect the health and improve the lives of people of color.
  • Sylvia Earle, an accomplished oceanographer, has led more than 50 underwater research expeditions. In the early 1990s, she became the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Time Magazine acknowledged her as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998.
  • Vivian Malone Jones fought all her life for civil rights. In 1963, she was among the first African Americans to enroll at the University of Alabama when it was integrated. As an extension of her fight for civil rights, she’d later take on a career at EPA, where she spent years as a foremost champion for environmental justice.

Back in the ‘60s, thanks in part to Carson’s foresight, President Kennedy took action that ultimately led to a ban on DDT. If she could see us now, Carson would not only be proud of our march toward a cleaner environment, but also of our march toward a more equitable society. Today, almost 40% of EPA scientists and engineers are women. But we know that there’s a lot more to do on both fronts.

I hope you’ll join me this month, and every month, in celebrating these incredible women—and that you’ll share the stories of the game-changing women who inspire you, too.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Poison Prevention Starts with You – Protect Your Kids and Pets

By: Administrator Gina McCarthy & Elliot Kaye, Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission

There are some things in life we can’t control – like traffic or our favorite sports team’s performance. But there are plenty of things we can control—and protecting our kids from poison is one.

This is National Poison Prevention Week, which leads into the start of spring cleaning. It’s important to remember that kids and pets are more sensitive to chemicals than adults. Every second in the United States, there are 25 calls to poison control centers, with the majority related to children. Each year, an estimated 80,000 children go to the emergency room with poisonings. Almost 75 percent of those are from sources in their homes. Let’s make sure our loved ones are not part of those statistics.

Most of us know that household cleaners and sanitizers, insect repellents and medicines can pose a serious poison risk for children. Some of these products are colorful and appealing, and could look like candy or toys to young children. But other poison hazards around our homes might be less familiar. Here are three for you to be especially aware of:

  1. Coin sized batteries in TV remotes and other electronics can cause chemical burns if lodged in the throat. With encouragement from the government, battery manufacturers are working on a design solution that would prevent the deadly poisoning hazard with coin cell/button batteries. But, they are not there yet.
  2. Exposure to the contents of single-load liquid laundry packets have led to at least one tragic death and thousands of children being treated in emergency rooms. At the urging of the government, manufacturers are developing a safety standard that would make it harder for children to get their hands on these poisonous packets. They, too, are not there yet.
  3. Old mercury thermometers can break and must be properly disposed of and cleaned up. Also, mercury is USED IN TRACE AMOUNTS IN [an essential part of] CFL lightbulbs. It allows a bulb to be an efficient light source. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact (i.e., not broken) or in use. If a bulb breaks, follow these important steps: http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Las mamás son importantes en nuestra lucha en contra del cambio climático

Por Gina McCarthy, Lisa Hoyos, Harriet Shugarman, Kuae Mattox, y Dominque Browning

Nuestros hijos lo son todo para nosotras. Como madres, cuando decimos que debemos cumplir con nuestra obligación moral de dejar para la siguiente generación un mundo que sea seguro y saludable, lo decimos de todo corazón. Para nosotras las mamás, se trata de algo personal. Son nuestros hijos y nuestros nietos los que están sufriendo en la actualidad los efectos de la contaminación. Son nuestros hijos y nuestros nietos los que integran las generaciones futuras que cada uno de nosotros está obligado a proteger. Este marzo conmemoramos el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer; un momento para reconocer la fortaleza inquebrantable de las madres que trabajan juntas para organizarse, expresar su sentir, y defender la salud de sus hijos.

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La EPA desempeña un papel crucial en la protección de nuestros niños de la contaminación al mantener nuestro aire limpio y nuestra agua limpia y segura, y al tomar pasos históricos para luchar en contra del cambio climático. Y resulta que los esfuerzos para combatir el cambio climático también sirven para proteger la salud pública. La contaminación de carbono que fomenta el cambio climático viene acompañada de muchos otros contaminantes peligrosos que ocasionan el smog y el hollín. Cuando tenemos 1 en cada 10 niños en los Estados Unidos en la actualidad ya están bregando con el asma, y la incidencia en las comunidades de color es aún más elevada, todos tenemos que hacer lo máximo posible para reducir la exposición nociva.

Es por eso que el esfuerzo de la EPA en establecer por primera vez en la historia los límites sobre nuestra principal fuente de contaminación, las centrales eléctricas, es tan importante. La EPA está orgullosa de trabajar con madres como nosotras en todo el país, que se han comprometido a tomar acción en nombre de la salud de nuestros hijos y la salud de las generaciones venideras.
Es con mucho placer que destacamos las palabras de nosotras, las madres, que eligimos llevar la carga de la lucha en contra de la contaminación y el cambio climático para que nuestros hijos no tengan que llevar una carga de salud más onerosa si no tomamos acción hoy:

  • Lisa Hoyos de Climate Parents: “Las familias latinas y comunidades de color más ampliamente, están desproporcionalmente impactadas por la contaminación de las centrales eléctricas y abogamos firmemente a favor de la energía limpia. El Plan de Energía Limpia nos ayudará a ampliar la energía segura para el medio ambiente y sana para nuestro hijos en todos los cincuenta estados”.
  • Harriet Shugarman de Climate Mama: “Ha llegado nuevamente el momento para que nosotros nos levantemos y nos expresemos y exijamos acción sobre lo que claramente es un asunto definitivo y el reto mayor al cual nos enfrentamos, el cambio climático. El abordar el cambio climático tiene que ser el punto focal de todo lo que decimos y todo lo que hacemos”.
  • Kuae Mattox de Mocha Moms: “Como mujeres de color, sabemos que nuestros hijos y nuestras familias están desproporcionalmente afectados por el cambio climático y serán los más perjudicados Muchas de nuestras comunidades sufren los efectos devastadores de vivir cerca de las centrales eléctricas a base de carbón…El derecho a tener aire limpio es tan fundamental como cualquier otro derecho, y muchas de nosotras no cesaremos en nuestro empeño hasta que no logremos mejores avances.
  • Dominique Browning de Moms Clean Air Force: “Sea que estemos luchando por asuntos de justicia, poder, derechos civiles, pobreza o educación, las mujeres hemos sido fuerzas motrices…Por eso, las mujeres estamos aunando nuestros esfuerzos, sacando partido a nuestro poder, nuestra sabiduría, y nuestra compasión, y sí, a nuestro amor, para luchar en contra del cambio climático que está poniendo en peligro el futuro mismo de la civilización humana”.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt dijo una vez que “una mujer es como una bolsa de té, no puedes determinar cuán fuerte es hasta que no la coloques en agua caliente”. El cambio climático nos pone a todos en aguas calientes. Todos lo vemos. Muchas de nuestras familias lo sienten. Gracias a mujeres y madres listas y fuertes trabajando juntas, podemos confiar en que tenemos todo lo necesario para hacer algo al respecto.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Moms Matter in our Fight Against Climate Change

Our children mean the world to us. So as moms, when we say we must meet our moral obligation to leave the next generation a world that is safe and healthy, we mean it. For us moms, it’s personal. It’s our children and grandchildren who are currently suffering from the effects of pollution. It’s our children and grandchildren who make up the future generations each one of us is obligated to protect. This March marks Women’s History Month; a time to recognize the unwavering strength of the mothers coming together to organize, speak out, and stand up for the health of their children.

MomsblogEPA plays a critical role in protecting our children from pollution by keeping our air and water clean and safe, and by taking historic steps to fight climate change. And it turns out, efforts to combat climate change double as public health protection, too. The carbon pollution that fuels climate change comes packaged with other dangerous pollutants that cause smog and soot. With 1-in-10 children in the U.S. today already dealing with asthma—and even higher rates in communities of color—we must do all that we can to reduce harmful exposure.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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This Spring, Look for the Safer Choice Label

Today, we’re unveiling a new Safer Choice label, which will make it easier to find household cleaners and other home products that are safer, more environmentally friendly—and still get the job done. If you missed the video where I shared the new label, check it out here:

The name says it all: Safer Choice products are safer for you, your kids, your pets and the environment. Our scientists employ a stringent set of human health and environmental safety standards when reviewing products for the Safer Choice program, so a product with the label is backed by EPA science. Consumers know it’s a credible stamp they can trust.

Safer Choice products are a winning idea for the companies that make them, too. Major producers and retailers like Clorox, Walmart, Jelmar/CLR, Earth Friendly Products, Bissel, Wegmans, and hundreds of others have agreed to start putting Safer Choice products on the shelves this year.

These companies know that developing and selling safer products is good for business. When they demonstrate a commitment to the health of their customers and the planet, consumers respond. This spring and summer, products will start to carry the Safer Choice label, and we expect many more will be added over the coming months and years.

So look for products with the Safer Choice label in stores later this spring. I’m looking forward to using them in my home.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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We Must Act Now to Protect Our Winters

2014 was the hottest year on record, and each of the last three decades has been hotter than the last.

In mountain towns that depend on winter tourism, the realities of climate change really hit home. Shorter, warmer winters mean a shorter season to enjoy the winter sports we love—and a financial hit for local economies that depend on winter sports.

Even if you hate winter, climate change affects you – because climate risks are economic risks. Skiing, snowboarding and other types of winter recreation add $67 billion to the economy every year, and they support 900,000 jobs.

Last week I went to the X-Games in Colorado to meet with some of our country’s top pro snowboarders and the businesses that support them to hear how they are taking action on climate.

Administrator McCarthy speaking to students

I spent the day with Olympic Silver Medalist and five-time X-Games Medalist pro-snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler. Our first stop was the local middle school in Aspen. These students grow up watching pro athletes like Gretchen, and many ski and snowboard themselves. We talked about changes the students can make in their everyday lives to help the environment and how they are the next generation of great minds that will develop solutions for addressing climate change.

Administrator McCarthy and snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler standing in front of a snow halfpipe.

Then we headed down to the X-Games venue to watch the halfpipe competitors practice. Without good, consistent winters, it’s tough for athletes to train and compete. Gretchen, who’s local to Aspen, told me they’re seeing more winter rain here in January, and athletes are increasingly wondering if there’s going to be enough snow for some of their biggest competitions.

Administrator McCarthy and athletes standing in front of ski slope.

The great thing about the athletes I met is that they know they’ve got a lot of stake, so they’re doing something about it. After halfpipe practice, Gretchen and I met with this year’s X-Game competitors. This bunch is committed to their sport, and they’re working with Protect Our Winters to ensure it’s around for generations to come. (That’s Maddy Schaffrick, Jake Black, me, Giom Morisset, Gretchen and Jordie Karlinski above.)

Admininstrator McCarthy and others sitting at round table discussion.

There are a lot of small businesses in Aspen that can’t survive without tourists coming into town, and I sat down for a chat with them in the afternoon. If we fail to act, Aspen’s climate could be a lot like that of Amarillo, TX, by 2100. Amarillo is a great town, but it’s a lousy place to ski.

Administrator McCarthy looking at mountain.

Unfortunately, the past few warmer winters mean the snowpack in Aspen is getting smaller. I joined Auden Schendler of Aspen Snowmass, one of the local ski resorts, to see how this year’s snow compares to previous years.

Administrator McCarthy listening to Alex Deibold speak to reporters.

Alex Deibold, 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist in snowboard cross, joined us to talk with local reporters about how climate change could impact mountain towns like Aspen if we don’t act now. He’s traveling farther to find snow where he can practice, and that’s why he’s speaking out.

Administrator McCarthy and athletes holding a "Protect Your Local Powder" sign.

These athletes and I have come to the same conclusion: We all have a responsibility to act on climate now. It’s critical to protect public health, the economy and the recreation and ways of life we love.

This week we’re focusing on how we can reduce the environmental impact of our favorite sports all year long. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our website to learn about the progress that major athletes, teams and venues are making, and what you can do as a fan to act on climate.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Climate Action Protects the Middle Class

Last night in the State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out an agenda to protect and grow America’s middle class. From spurring innovation and creating high-skilled jobs here in the U.S. to protecting our homes and businesses, acting on climate change is crucial to achieving this vision.

Fueled by carbon pollution, climate change poses a serious threat to our economy. 2014 was the hottest year on record—and as temperatures and sea levels rise, so do insurance premiums, property taxes, and food prices. The S&P 500 recently said climate change will continue to affect financial performance worldwide.

And when climate disasters strike—like more frequent droughts, storms, fires, and floods—low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are the hardest hit. Climate action is crucial to helping reduce barriers to opportunity that keep people out of the middle class.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Delivering on the Promise of the Clean Water Act

By Gina McCarthy

(Cross Posted from EPA Connect)

On January 9th of this year, concerned citizens noticed a chemical odor floating down the Elk River Valley toward Charleston, West Virginia. State inspectors traced the odor to a Freedom Industries facility, where they found a storage tank leaking the chemical MCHM, used in coal processing.

Before the day ended, drinking water supplies for more than 300,000 people were contaminated. Schools closed. Hospitals evacuated patients. And the local economy ground to a halt.

West Virginia led the response to contain the spill within days. EPA provided technical assistance to help clear the water system, helped determine a water quality level that would be protective of public health, conducted air monitoring—and sent a Special Agent from our Criminal Investigation Division to the site. The Special Agent, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Charleston and the FBI, conducted more than 100 interviews and launched a joint investigation into the cause of the disaster.

We found a pattern of negligence by the storage tank owners, who were obligated to inspect the tank, fix corrosion, and take action to contain potential spills. Their negligence resulted in one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters in recent memory.

Today, U.S. Attorney Goodwin, along with EPA and FBI officials, announced that four former officers of Freedom Industries have been indicted on Clean Water Act negligent misdemeanor charges, as well as for violating the Refuse Act. Freedom Industries, along with two other individuals, were separately charged with Clean Water Act crimes. The four indicted defendants face multiple years in prison if they are convicted, and the two other individuals each face up to one year.

When Congress enacted the Clean Water Act, it gave states primary authority to implement the laws and protect the environment, including safeguarding drinking water supplies for American communities. EPA works with states to deliver these benefits, including through criminal investigative work that holds serious violators accountable. Our efforts send a clear message to would-be violators that we’re serious about enforcing our laws fairly, leveling the field for companies that play by the rules and follow the law.

The spill occurred in the 40th anniversary year of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which protects drinking water sources and requires that water from our taps be clean. The law has been such a success, and we so often take safe drinking water for granted, that it’s easy to become complacent. But Freedom Industries’ illegal, negligent actions serve as a reminder that we need to vigilantly enforce our laws to protect safe water.

Just last week, the Source Water Collaborative, a group of 25 national organizations united to protect America’s sources of drinking water, launched a call to action—asking utilities, states, federal agencies, and local governments to do more to protect source water, and prevent disasters like the one in Charleston before they happen. EPA provides states with technical and scientific expertise, as we did in the aftermath of the chemical spill in Charleston. We’re also developing tools and resources for prevention, preparedness and response to spills or releases, and sharing them with states so they can meet their legal responsibilities.

Clean, reliable water is precious. It’s what lets our children grow up healthy, keeps our schools and hospitals running, and fuels our economy. Our efforts can’t undo the damage done to public health, the local economy, and the environment in Charleston. But by working together, we can help prevent spills like this one in the future, and protect our children’s health for years to come.

About the Author: Gina McCarthy is the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appointed by President Obama in 2009 as Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Delivering on the Promise of the Clean Water Act

On January 9th of this year, concerned citizens noticed a chemical odor floating down the Elk River Valley toward Charleston, West Virginia. State inspectors traced the odor to a Freedom Industries facility, where they found a storage tank leaking the chemical MCHM, used in coal processing.

Before the day ended, drinking water supplies for more than 300,000 people were contaminated. Schools closed. Hospitals evacuated patients. And the local economy ground to a halt.

West Virginia led the response to contain the spill within days. EPA provided technical assistance to help clear the water system, helped determine a water quality level that would be protective of public health, conducted air monitoring—and sent a Special Agent from our Criminal Investigation Division to the site. The Special Agent, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Charleston and the FBI, conducted more than 100 interviews and launched a joint investigation into the cause of the disaster.

We found a pattern of negligence by the storage tank owners, who were obligated to inspect the tank, fix corrosion, and take action to contain potential spills. Their negligence resulted in one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters in recent memory.

Today, U.S. Attorney Goodwin, along with EPA and FBI officials, announced that four former officers of Freedom Industries have been indicted on Clean Water Act negligent misdemeanor charges, as well as for violating the Refuse Act. Freedom Industries, along with two other individuals, were separately charged with Clean Water Act crimes. The four indicted defendants face multiple years in prison if they are convicted, and the two other individuals each face up to one year.

When Congress enacted the Clean Water Act, it gave states primary authority to implement the laws and protect the environment, including safeguarding drinking water supplies for American communities. EPA works with states to deliver these benefits, including through criminal investigative work that holds serious violators accountable. Our efforts send a clear message to would-be violators that we’re serious about enforcing our laws fairly, leveling the field for companies that play by the rules and follow the law.

The spill occurred in the 40th anniversary year of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which protects drinking water sources and requires that water from our taps be clean. The law has been such a success, and we so often take safe drinking water for granted, that it’s easy to become complacent. But Freedom Industries’ illegal, negligent actions serve as a reminder that we need to vigilantly enforce our laws to protect safe water.

Just last week, the Source Water Collaborative, a group of 25 national organizations united to protect America’s sources of drinking water, launched a call to action—asking utilities, states, federal agencies, and local governments to do more to protect source water, and prevent disasters like the one in Charleston before they happen. EPA provides states with technical and scientific expertise, as we did in the aftermath of the chemical spill in Charleston. We’re also developing tools and resources for prevention, preparedness and response to spills or releases, and sharing them with states so they can meet their legal responsibilities.

Clean, reliable water is precious. It’s what lets our children grow up healthy, keeps our schools and hospitals running, and fuels our economy. Our efforts can’t undo the damage done to public health, the local economy, and the environment in Charleston. But by working together, we can help prevent spills like this one in the future, and protect our children’s health for years to come.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.