In his 2009 article Clean Water Laws Are Neglected at a Cost in Suffering Charles Duhigg discusses the hot potato on the environmental agenda regarding water pollution. He primarily emphasizes the cost of suffering through the vivid exemplification of children’s diseases caused by polluted water. The quality of drinking water and tap water is inappropriate in the investigated neighborhood (Charleston, W.Va.). The contents of highly concentrated chemicals assume serious diseases, including birth defects and cancer.
Clean water remains an urgent problem not only for the residents of Charleston. Such state of affairs is simply unacceptable at the break of the new century. So far a great number of neighbors in Charleston have collectively sued nine coal companies that are polluting local water supplies with hazardous waste and heavy chemicals. The state law requires these companies to pump illegal concentrations of chemicals into the ground; nonetheless, the same are regularly found in the tap water. Worse than that, state regulators have so far failed to fine even a single company for violating anti-pollution legislation.
Even the Clean Water Act passed by the Congress is not sufficient for making polluters reveal all the chemicals they dump into waterways. As sort of reaction, many States have their own pollution statutes. Nevertheless, the number of Clean Water Act violations has increased recently. The author presents a staggering statistics of more than half a million violations over the last five years.
The situation is critical while neither federal legislation nor state laws can stop polluters from illegal dumping practices. Most of them simply escape punishment while state officials simply ignore obvious violations, and the Environmental Protection Agency fails to intervene. The current state of affairs assumes adverse implications on both local and national level. Water pollution is causing serious health problems, even though affected individuals cannot directly sue polluters and demand compensation. It is of vital importance, therefore, to limit the dissemination of the contaminants in tap water envisaged by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Otherwise, the situation will get beyond anyone’s control and cause epidemics in the most polluted areas (Duhigg, 2009).
- Duhigg, C. (2009). Clean Water Laws Are Neglected at a Cost in Suffering, retrieved July 23, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13water.html?_r=1