Letter to the editor: Ghosts in our water

Letter to the editor: Ghosts in our water

The EPA is not acting as Congressional laws have stated: truly inspecting chemicals and how they impact the environment.

Editor's note: This letter to the editor is in response to EHN's Oct. 29 article, The ghosts in our water.


Melanie Benesh presents an argument regarding strengthening EPA regulation of polyfluoroalkyl substances contaminating water sources utilizing the Clean Water and Air Acts.

In this op-ed, she claims that although Congress was able to revise how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves certain chemicals, the Trump administration altered the process and approved chemicals without knowing the health effects or whether the chemical was safe. Although Benesh references adding to and revising the EPA's two acts, I agree that the EPA needs to do better at combatting the issue of contamination in the first place. The EPA is not acting as Congressional laws have stated: truly inspecting chemicals and how they impact the environment.

Thus, more federal intervention may be needed to strengthen these regulations. While the Trump administration's revisions already took place half a decade ago, chemicals like PFAS and PCBs have consistently altered water supplies for seven decades.

Change needs to be enacted now, and more robust following of Congressional laws must be had for the EPA's two acts to work.

-Emma Tolentino, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We welcome feedback from readers. Reach us at: feedback@ehn.org

Banner photo credit: Ricky Romero/flickr

Become a donor
Today's top news

Chemicals linked to birth defects are being dumped in Pittsburgh’s rivers: Report

Chemicals linked to cancer and developmental harm are also released in large quantities into the city’s three rivers.

From our newsroom

Chemical recycling grows — along with concerns about its environmental impacts

Industry says chemical recycling could solve the plastic waste crisis, but environmental advocates and some lawmakers are skeptical.

Universities are failing us

Our educational systems are failing to prepare people for existential environmental threats

Peter Dykstra: The good news that gets buried by the bad

On the environment beat, maybe it’s right that the bad news dominates. But the good news is out there, too.

LISTEN: Ashley Gripper on growing food to fight systemic oppression

“They never felt more resilient, more confident, more grounded in terms of their mental health, than they did when they were growing food.”

Peter Dykstra: Does climate action need a king?

Tradition could silence Charles III’s passionate voice on climate change. But should it?