Having clean air and water is something we would all like to take for granted. It is essential to life and important to ensuring healthy communities and ecosystems. That is why Seattle Aquarium was disappointed to learn about proposed actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will revoke protective water quality standards here in Washington state.
Changes to our clean water standards were made following a petition that was filed by large industrial polluters who want to weaken the standards that help keep toxics, chemicals and other harmful substances out of our water supply. We hope you will join us in opposing this change by signing our letter to the EPA below.
STRONG WATER STANDARDS PROTECT SALMON, ORCAS AND US!
Strong water quality standards are essential because they set limits on pollution in our waters, which can affect human health through drinking water and eating fish. One of the most worrisome changes proposed by EPA weakens the standards for PCBs. PCBs are carcinogenic (cancer causing) and are still being discharged in waste streams in Washington.
With EPA’s rollback, we will see more toxic PCBs in our waters and our fish. This will disproportionately harm tribal communities, fish-reliant communities and marine wildlife that consume contaminated fish. PCBs are already elevated in our endangered southern resident orcas and Chinook salmon. Female orcas pass these toxins on to their calves when they give birth and nurse, which poses serious risks to their health and survival.
Our ocean faces many threats and we should be working to clean up our contaminated waters and protect the health of our communities, orcas and salmon. Water quality standards should be protective and science-based—and this EPA rollback is a huge step in the wrong direction.
TAKE ACTION FOR OUR OCEAN AND OUR HEALTH
There are a couple of ways you can take action in support of keeping high water quality standards in the upcoming weeks.
- If you are in Seattle, you can join our Ocean Policy Manager and many of our partners at the EPA’s public hearing at 3 pm on Sept. 25, 2019, where anyone can provide public testimony opposing the proposed water quality rollbacks or just show opposition by wearing red. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance encourages everyone to RSVP here. If you want to make public comment (3 minute max), you must register here.
- Sign on to our letter! Add your name, city, state and comment in the form below and we will add your name to the public record in support of strong water quality standards. Act fast as we must submit names by the October 6, 2019 deadline.
All comments become part of the public record and information provided in the form will not be used or shared for any other purpose.