WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Environment New York Research and Policy Center found that industrial facilities dumped 5,303,190 pounds of toxic chemicals into New York’s waterways in 2012, making New York’s waterways the 15th-worst in the nation, according to a new report.
The “Wasting Our Waters” report comes as the Environmental Protection Agency considers a new rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in New York and across the nation.
"New York's waterways should be clean -- for swimming, drinking and supporting wildlife," said Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment New York. "But too often, our waters have become a dumping ground for polluters. The first step to curb this tide of toxic pollution is to restore Clean Water Act protections to all our waterways."
Environment New York Research & Policy Center’s report on toxic pollutants discharged into America’s waters is based on data reported by polluting facilities to the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory for 2012, the most recent data available.
The Environment New York Research & Policy Center report summarizes discharges of cancer-causing chemicals, chemicals that persist in the environment, and chemicals with the potential to cause reproductive problems ranging from birth defects to infertility.
The report recommends several steps to curb this tide of toxic pollution – including requiring industry to switch from toxic chemicals to safer alternatives. But Environment New York Research & Policy Center is highlighting one part of the solution that could actually become law this year: restoring the Clean Water Act protections to all New York’s waters.
This spring, the EPA proposed a rule to close the loopholes that have left New York’s waterways at risk and restore Clean Water Act protections.