June 01, 2016

Dirty Water and Disease: A Public Health History

Fred Turner

On February 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its National Enforcement Initiatives for the next three years. See National Enforcement Initiatives, EPA, www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-enforcement-initiatives (last visited July 1, 2016). According to EPA’s press release, “[o]ne of EPA’s top enforcement priorities is to protect safe drinking water, and three of its initiatives include a focus on keeping pollutants out of drinking water.” EPA Announces National Enforcement Initiatives for Coming Year, EPA News Release, Feb. 18, 2016, https://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/25662047ebab45a085257f5d0071b4a0. Those three initiatives are (1) keeping raw sewage from contaminating surface and groundwater, (2) preventing animal waste from contaminating surface and groundwater, and (3) keeping industrial pollutants out of the country’s waters. EPA’s focus on keeping pollutants out of water stems in part from the drinking water crises in Flint, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; and Charleston, West Virginia.

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