Local environmentalists, such as Nancy Luetzow of Kirkwood, are telling Environmental Protection Agency Head Scott Pruitt that they strongly oppose EPA’s rolling back existing and imminent wastewater regulations. The regulations restrict allowable ppm’s of heavy metals in industrial waste water and drinking water sources.
Please do not roll back new wastewater regulations for levels of heavy metals is the loud and clear message of all Missouri environmentalists.
The Missouri River, which floods regularly, provides Missouri-American Water Company in eastern Missouri with 80 percent of its water for residential drinking-water customers. Water inlets are downstream from Ameren’s coal-fired power plant in Labadie, Missouri that sits on the banks of the Missouri River.
In recent years, Ameren has come under fire for its fly-ash ponds that sit next to the river (see photo). At “best” these ponds leach a stream variety of toxic heavy metals into the river. At “worst” – such as during increasingly more frequent periods of flooding – these ash ponds become part of the river itself and spew their toxic contents into the floodplain, the river, and drinking water.
U.S. wastewater and drinking-water regulations are already too lenient, according to the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE). Lax rules allow toxic ppm levels of heavy metals into drinking water and even these weak rules are under assault from wastewater producers and their well-funded lobbyists.
With the recent national outcry about lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, and the major health hazards lead poses, especially in children, it is unconscionable that the EPA intends to bow to pressure from monopolistic power plants to ease restrictions on levels of toxic metals, according to Luetzow and other environmentalists. The Trump Administration needs to realize that the loss of restraints on heavy metals – such as mercury – threaten public health and lives. Rivers and people need to be protected.