Letter to the editor: Ghosts in our water

Editor’s note: This letter to the editor is in response to EHN’s Oct. 29 article, The ghosts in our water.


Melanie Benesh presents an argument regarding strengthening EPA regulation of polyfluoroalkyl substances contaminating water sources utilizing the Clean Water and Air Acts.

In this op-ed, she claims that although Congress was able to revise how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves certain chemicals, the Trump administration altered the process and approved chemicals without knowing the health effects or whether the chemical was safe. Although Benesh references adding to and revising the EPA’s two acts, I agree that the EPA needs to do better at combatting the issue of contamination in the first place. The EPA is not acting as Congressional laws have stated: truly inspecting chemicals and how they impact the environment.

Thus, more federal intervention may be needed to strengthen these regulations. While the Trump administration’s revisions already took place half a decade ago, chemicals like PFAS and PCBs have consistently altered water supplies for seven decades.

Change needs to be enacted now, and more robust following of Congressional laws must be had for the EPA’s two acts to work.

Emma Tolentino, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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