Public health advocate Erin Brockovich, who became a household name after she worked on a class-action lawsuit against the California-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co leaked toxic chemicals into groundwater, took President Donald Trump to task after it emerged that his administration has decided not to regulate two toxic chemicals commonly found in the public water supply.
A Politico report revealed that the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to no longer regulate utility companies to test or remove the chemicals PFOA and PFOS from their water supply under the Clean Water Act. The two chemicals are polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been used as key ingredients in consumer products like Teflon. Some studies have linked these chemicals to certain types of cancer.
“I think it’s absolutely foolish that the administration does not take water quality seriously,” Brockovich told Hill.TV.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 1, 2019
The EPA issued a statement saying it has not “finalized or publicly issued” a PFAS management plan, adding that “any information that speculates what is included in the plan is premature.” The EPA stressed it is “committed to following the Safe Drinking Water Act process for evaluating drinking water standards.”
“We’re going to have to state by state, agency by agency and people by people continue to push out and fight against this because this is one of the most dangerous chemicals we’ve seen,” Brockovich said.
Brockovich also amplified the message via her personal Twitter account.
“Our government is failing to protect our drinking water,” she wrote.
Our government is failing to protect our drinking water. These chemicals are dangerous and commonly found in our water systems. Learn more and sound the alarm by contacting your reps! https://t.co/uHaxXlvpil
— erin brockovich (@ErinBrockovich) February 1, 2019
“I don’t care if anyone says I’m sounding the alarm, I’m happy to sound the alarm, we have a very serious water issue in this country,” she said.
Many joined her in getting the word out.
The EPA is accepting public comments on Trump’s Dirty Water Rule.
— NRDC 🌎 (@NRDC) January 31, 2019
Guess who benefits from the Trump administration’s plan to scrap the Clean Water Rule? Golf course owners.
Trump owns or has branded golf courses in:
New York (3)
New Jersey (2)
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) January 28, 2019
ICYMI: This bombshell that EPA won't limit two toxic chemicals commonly found in drinking water is worth your time. https://t.co/IR4C7EqPGM
— Anthony Adragna (@AnthonyAdragna) January 29, 2019
By what logic shouldn’t the EPA protect our drinking water? https://t.co/sX1rYLFQOo
— Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) January 29, 2019
The EPA, meanwhile, was disparaged for claiming in a tweet from its official Twitter account that President Trump’s deregulations have “saved Americans almost $2 billion” while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from “major industrial sources.”
To date, under President Trump @POTUS EPA deregulatory actions have saved Americans almost $2 billion. At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions from major industrial sources decreased ⬇️2.7%. Find more environmental accomplishments in our Year in Review: https://t.co/9GzfxlxGdo pic.twitter.com/iexp5y1GWj
— U.S. EPA (@EPA) January 29, 2019
The announcement sparked anger from people who now view the agency as a glorified arm for big business that is valuing profit over human lives.
You don’t exist to help/protect industry, you exist to protect the environment. It shouldn’t be that hard a concept to grasp.
— Jessica (@superboring1234) January 29, 2019
Perhaps, but what have those actions cost us in increased illness, dirtier air, dirtier water, and contaminated sites not cleaned up? Most likely many billions more.
— Joel Creswell (@joelcreswell) January 29, 2019
heartbreaking and shameful. Environmental Protection Agency was created to regulate the "money saving" cut and burn extractive industries. The Oil Boys who took over our country now have the agency created to oversee them touting the greatness of overlooking their destruction.
— MA Levan (@mosasaurusrex) January 29, 2019
Brockovich, whose story became the subject of an eponymous Academy Award-winning film starring Julia Roberts, made recent headlines after she urged California lawmakers to prevent the bankruptcy of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. because it could mean less money for those affected by the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires.