Aug 22, 2007

Swimming in Sewage

A new report by American Rivers finds that only one state (Maryland) of the eleven examined has adequate public notification provisions. In the other 10 states there are either inadequate regulations requiring public notification or poor implementation of existing rules.

“Each and every year, more than 860 billion gallons of raw and partially treated sewage is dumped into our waterways,” said American Rivers’ President Rebecca Wodder. “It’s enough to fill more than eight thousand Olympic swimming pools a day.”

Federal legislation that would require the community be notified in the event of a spill is currently working its way through the House. Introduced by Congressmen Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) in May, the Raw Sewage Community Right to Know Act (H.R 2452) would fill in the many holes left by the current patchwork approach of leaving each state to decide whether or not to tell their citizens about sewage pollution.

“Only 26 members of Congress have signed on to co-sponsor this common sense bill,” added Wodder. “That number really has to increase American’s shouldn’t be forced to wonder about what’s in their water.”