American drinking water could soon get a lot dirtier

Drinking water pipes

The Trump administration’s new infrastructure plan aims to ease regulatory checks on US waterways.
The administration says this will help fast-track more building projects and reduce permit delays.
But some water experts are worried that it could put some of the country’s most fragile drinking water systems at risk and put the expensive burden of water cleanup onto cities.

A new plan to speed up the way the US government does business related to federal waters may leave some cities footing a bigger bill for clean drinking water.

On Monday, the White House released its new infrastructure plan, which calls for “protecting clean water with greater efficiency.”

In the plan, the Trump administration outlines proposals for how to reduce the number of federal agencies that need to sign off on permits for dumping “dredged or fill material” into the nation’s waterways. Such sites include fisheries, wetlands, and tap water supplies. If the plan gets a green light, it will undo the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to veto building permits that affect US waterways, and cut back on environmental reviews.

The Trump Administration says that allowing the US Army Corps of Engineers to push more projects forward without input from the EPA will help “eliminate duplication of work and streamline permit decisions”.

But that de-regulation could quite literally dump a huge additional burden of waste onto municipal water systems around the country. Water experts are worried that the change could make it easier for local water sources to get contaminated with runoff or pollution from new highways, dams and pipelines. And some areas of the country are already ill-prepared to deliver clean drinking water, new research suggests.

16 million Americans get sick from drinking tap water every year

According to a study of more than three decades of the nation’s tap water …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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