Don’t Drink The Water

The mismatch between science, reason and the Trump Administration grows wider every day, especially–but certainly not exclusively– when it comes to the environment.

Our Buffoon-in-Chief was just at Davos, where attendees identified climate change as the most significant challenge facing humans. That followed a speech by Trump in which he dismissed climate science as a “hoax.”

For the past three years, this administration has been dismantling the EPA and ridding the federal government of those pesky scolds we call scientists. Meanwhile, recent discoveries suggest previous estimates of the extent to which our waterways have been dangerously polluted were unrealistically low.

The contamination of US drinking water with manmade “forever chemicals” is far worse than previously estimated with some of the highest levels found in Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans, said a report on Wednesday by an environmental watchdog group.

The chemicals, resistant to breaking down in the environment, are known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Some have been linked to cancers, liver damage, low birth weight and other health problems.

The findings here by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) show the group’s previous estimate in 2018, based on unpublished US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, that 110 million Americans may be contaminated with PFAS, could be far too low.

Worse still, scientists tell us that it is nearly impossible for Americans to avoid drinking water that has been contaminated with these chemicals, which were used in manufacturing products like Teflon and Scotchguard.

So where is the EPA?

The EPA has known since at least 2001 about the problem of PFAS in drinking water but has so far failed to set an enforceable, nationwide legal limit. The EPA said early last year it would begin the process to set limits on two of the chemicals, PFOA and PFOS….

In 2018 a draft report from an office of the US Department of Health and Human Services said the risk level for exposure to the chemicals should be up to 10 times lower than the 70 PPT threshold the EPA recommends. The White House and the EPA had tried to stop the report from being published.

Far from protecting the millions of Americans who are imbibing contaminants, Trump’s EPA is rolling back federal protections of the nation’s waters. According to NPR,

The Environmental Protection Agency is dramatically reducing federal pollution protections for rivers, streams and wetlands – a move welcomed by many farmers, builders and mining companies but opposed even by the agency’s own science advisers.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who announced the repeal of an earlier Obama-era rule in September, chose to make the long-anticipated announcement Thursday in Las Vegas, at the National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show.

The biggest change is a controversial move to roll back government limits on pollution in wetlands and smaller waterways that were introduced less than five years ago by President Barack Obama.

The Obama executive action, which broadened the definition of “waters of the United States,” applied to about 60% of U.S. waterways. It aimed to bring clarity to decades of political and legal debate over which waters should qualify.

Well, if there is one fight the Trump administration has clearly won, it’s the fight against clarity. But I digress…

In a draft letter posted online late last month, the 41-member EPA Science Advisory Board, which is made up largely of Trump administration appointees, said the revised definition rule “decreases protection for our Nation’s waters and does not support the objective of restoring and maintaining ‘the chemical, physical and biological integrity’ of these waters.”

Fourteen states have sued over the rollback, arguing that by returning the U.S. to standards of 1986, the EPA is ignoring subsequent studies demonstrating how smaller bodies of water connect with and impact the larger ones that are more typically targeted for regulation.

“This regressive rule ignores science and the law and strips our waters of basic protections under the Clean Water Act. Attorneys general across this nation will not stand by as the Trump Administration seeks to reverse decades of progress we’ve made in fighting water pollution,” New York Attorney General Letitia James, who spearheaded the suit, said in a statement.

We can only hope the suit isn’t heard by one of Trump’s new judges…..


  1. And then there is CDC. As we see the new plague taking shape in China and spreading , we have no experienced leadership in the US CDC. And the Republicans propose gutting the CDC budget even more for 2020. What could possibly go wrong?

  2. Tom Lehrer famously sang “We will all go together when we go, every Hottentot and every Eskimo.” He was referring to atomic bombs but I think his words have application to bad water, air etc. It appears our dear leader is terminally angry at the world and his coming demise and is intent on that world’s destruction. He is a very sick man who is plainly losing touch with reality (if he ever had such a touch) and perhaps we should have federal marshals on the ready when and if he gets worse as he plods through his narcissistic Otherworld and stop pretending that there is any degree of normalcy in what this terminally ill man (supposedly in a representative capacity) is doing, and not doing.

  3. Look, Trump’s policies on the environment and anything else that involves science, data and technology, are all a hoax and a mystery to this vacant lot of a president. He is mouthing the “policies” dictated to him by the conduits of all the corporate moguls who gave him money to become president. Who, for example, would want to allow more raw sewage into our waterways? The sewage processing people, that’s who. Why? Profits.

    Who in their right minds would claim that the overwhelming evidence proving that climate change is not only going on, but accelerating at an accelerating pace? ( For Trump people, that’s ALGORITHMIC CHANGE.) Big oil, big oil processing, coal and big lumber, that’s who. Oh, and the auto industry hates those emission restrictions. Why? Profits.

    Our national DNA is about PROFITS. Not our citizens. Not our schools. Not our infrastructure. Not about poverty. Not about health care. Profits. The 25% of Americans who own 85% of the stock are wagging the dog of our very existence. Until that money influence is forever removed from our politics, and the voters get off their fat asses and vote, we will see more Donald Trumps. We will see more Jared Kushners and Steve Bannons. These people are as poisonous to governing as the forever chemicals pumped into our drinking water resources are to the people who drink it.

  4. I believe, like I’ve mentioned before, the rebuilding of guardrails to prevent exiting on the bridges to nowhere will take a lot of “hardball.” We will soon be in the same position China is in, rampant plagues, massive pollution of essential resources, and deferring ruinous behavior as a hoax!

    Oh wait, maybe China is following and in the United States is leading the destruction of home. It wasn’t that long ago, EPA was put in place. It’s not something from the distant past, 1969, when the Cuyahoga River was burning, when the Chicago River had animal carcasses continue to ROT, because it was used as an open sewer. The buildings in Chicago, some of the iconic architecture, had no windows facing the river because of the stench.

    This has changed drastically, the rivers have been cleaned enough to enjoy the beauty of the waterways, people actually fish and kayak in the rivers now.

    Damage can be reversed, but will never happen when you give permission to those who will continue to run through those guardrails with cans of gasoline and torches, to burn it all down! You can’t eat money, you cannot breathe money, you cannot drink money, but one thing the idolatry worship of money will do, give a false sense of power and superiority to the detriment of everyone.

    Look at the example, just a myopic example of this behavior. By all intents and purposes, Kobe Bryant was a fairly decent person who helped some of the less advantaged people in his purview. But, his wealth made him feel immortal, he hopped on his helicopter, which was one of his signature behaviors, ignoring the weather and advisories to keep on the ground. His wealth didn’t cushion the impact, him, his daughter, and other various associates, died on that hillside. Money/wealth/riches does not make anyone immortal. His daughter and the lives of others were sacrificed for an inflated ego. So Kobe Bryant’s statue in might be one of the only symbols of humankind left, once they are done burning everything down.

    So this myopic incident is just an example of the thought process, the thought process that makes men feel like God’s, to the detriment of their own existence. History is full of examples of this very behavior, but, mankind obviously never learns from it.

    Another thing that was mentioned before is, “Executive Orders” reinstate/reinstall the guardrails, undo and rollback damaging edicts, get rid of partisan and unqualified judges, stamp out fires that have been set and those who have sent them. “Just do it” ask for forgiveness later. Change government enough, where these safety measures for the only home mankind will ever have, cannot ever be changed. But, I fear, it will never happen. Tunnel vision and myopic views, softball and infighting will never allow it!

    The earth has got extremely small, there is no place to run, mankind is willfully ignorant, purposefully blind, ethically devoid, morally corrupt, compassionless Demurrers and empathetically antithetical!

    If evil is to be permanently eliminated from human society, man’s inborn inclination toward badness, his lack of accurate knowledge, His willful ignorance, Must Be Addressed!

    Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 states; “Do not be overly righteous, nor show yourself excessively wise. Why should you bring ruin to yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked, nor be foolish, Why should you die before your time? 18 It is best to grasp one warning without letting go of the other……….”

  5. Want to have clean water? Start in your own home and yard. Don’t blame the idiots in Washington if you first don’t clean up your own nest and life style. Then go after your local government and particularly your zoning boards and health and safety enforcers. But please don’t jump up and down on the Federal Government and its agencies to make them force you to do what you already know you should do.

  6. we should name a bottled water in cheap,plastic and name it after the corps who ignore the issues..water,im lucky,sort of, i drink from waters of the upper missouri river. the snow melt,and the many tribtaries that flow,into the Mo,keeps a level above the garrison damn in nodak at full,most years. weve had our share of low water issues,mainly due release to downstream infrastructure,i.e. barges etc..we have a natural flow of air from the northwest pacific also. other than the bakken oil drilling,we hope were safe. (most wells are 10k feet deep or more.)we have literally thousands of holes punched in the ground now on the upper,and headwaters of the Mo. if not for the Native Americans overlook,we may have been a victim of such drilling… and pipeline Native American rez,is along this river,The Ft Berthold tribe,New Town area.. and again along the Mo in the Mandan area.. im hoping the Ft Bethold and Standing Rock tribes keep the people here informed with news and retaliation when someone threatens our way of life,and water,,good luck…and thanks to,the Sioux Nation. I support your work…

  7. I agree with Theresa and try to do my part in my home and on my property. But the same can be said for corporations and businesses who are destroying the environment by dumping their hazardous waste on the land and into our waterways. Just because Trump believes Climate Change is a hoax and is repealing the entire EPA a regulation at a time; does NOT mean those corporations and businesses are ordered to dump hazardous waste, they are simply making more money by dumping at will.

    An age-old Native American proverb; “We cannot own the land; we can only borrow it from our children.” What are we doing to our children’s land when there are such victims as the Childhood Cancer Cluster in Johnson County, Indiana, which has been known for decades? My children were raised in Johnson County; my two oldest sons died of cancer 16 months apart and my daughter has had surgical treatment twice for a pre-cancerous condition. Those who were children decades ago are now adults suffering and dying of cancers throughout this country and our drinking water is a primary source of life…and death.

  8. Look at Indiana, even before Trump’s rollback, all of our waterways were polluted by CAFOs here and in Ohio.

    Our air is polluted by the energy plants burning coal. The Weather Channels app warns of poor air quality when the temperatures heat up, and the wind blows from the Southwest. However, the corporate-owned Weather Channel blames it our mowing the grass and when we pump gas.

    It’s embarrassing to watch.

    Due to water pollution, our endocrine systems are changing. There have been plenty of studies done showing how men suffer from low testosterone, and women consume too much estrogen. Young girls are maturing at an early age, and men in their 40’s suffer from ED and depression.

    Fish and frogs have been found by scientists with both male and female parts. Due to their sensitive skin, they are negatively impacted first.

    Is it any wonder, cancer centers are booming all over the country.

    To protect profits over people, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management limits any measuring air or water quality. It has even adopted rules, regs, and laws preventing the public sector from doing so on their own.

    You won’t see the media come to the defense of the environment either. Like the Weather Channel, they’ve sold out to Wall Street’s boardrooms or the epicenter of profit over people and the environment.

    The 1% in Davos have been warned and finally accepted climate change as one of the biggest threats facing humanity. Still, they’ve been slow to recognize that capitalism is THE most significant threat against humanity on this planet.

  9. According to a December, 2019 article in the NYT, 45 has completed the rollback of 58 environmental regulations and is working on 37 more. If he gets 4 more years, the planet will be so polluted we may not be able to save it.

  10. Also, the NYT recently had a two page spread outlining about 50? of the top environmental posts of the administration. Nearly every one was filled with a former lobbyist for polluters.

  11. Well, as Sheila published a few days ago our House of Representatives here in Indiana is doing their part to continue the use of coal.

    It is all about profit and picking the winners and losers. The winners are the corporations and their puppets and stooges in the government. The losers are we the people.

    Science is steadily peeling back the complexities of life on earth, at the same time we have willful ignorance operating that ignores all this science. Steroid capitalism demands “Profit over All” and our government has been for decades taken over by Steroid Capitalism. The Trumpet and Pastor Pence have taken it to new heights and feel no need to disguise their intentions.

  12. This civilization is not sustainable which means that the culture we are part of, our notion of what is normal, is temporary. The reason is the combination of our numbers and our lifestyle that is largely a product of social/entertainment media advertising/fake news/propaganda/brainwashing supporting make more money individually now no matter the cost to any others ever.

    Our President, who has never spent more than minimum time learning anything, who was a gift to us by our longest standing global enemy, who has lived a life notable in it’s massive failures that are only temporary because of money taken from his family and country and workers, who rarely if ever makes it through an entire day without lying to us, tells us we need much more of what’s temporary because that’s what he needs to support his lifestyle.

    Our hopes for a transition marked by order rather than chaos, for some sort of soft landing on the other side, get dimmer every day. People who have let themselves get trained by their screens have been emboldened to demand power at the expense of the rights of others, our founders worst nightmare, a situation never more accurately described that by our Declaration of Independence.

    “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. “

  13. So, in plain English, what products should we be buying to filter out these poisons from our water? I guess we could buy bottled water, but then we have all that plastic to deal with. I recycle, but I’d rather not buy plastic in the first place.

  14. Well Joy,

    You should install a whole house filter. because even if you’re not drinking the water, if you are showering, bathing, washing clothes in contaminated water, it will absorb through your skin anyway.

    Although, if you have older steel pipes, with sediment coating the insides, you should either replace all of your piping, (copper) or install filters at every egress. That could be very impractical though. What I would do, and have done myself, is install a filtration system that will remove heavy metals and radioactive contaminants. The filtration system itself is not extremely expensive, but you have to really be up on maintaining the filters. Understand, the filters will remove fluorides and chlorine also.

  15. Gerald Stinson – right songwriter, wrong some – try the lyrics to Pollution (1965)
    If you visit American city,
    You will find it very pretty.
    Just two things of which you must beware:
    Don’t drink the water and don’t breathe the air.

    Theresa Bowers – yes, but that is in addition to – imagine the population of China dumping all of their toxic (and human) waste on your property – this is industrial and agricultural pollution.

    I lived in San Diego in the late ’80s. Raw sewage was pumped out to the ocean. Every so often, due to winds and tide, the beaches had to be closed as the ocean gave it back. Yes, I blame the government – local, state and federal.

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