The natural world around us has tremendous influence over our health. The notion that the environment and human health are inextricably linked is now referred to as the field of environmental health. It's no surprise when the pollutants that invade our food, water and air eventually contaminate us. How, then, in an over-populated world with an increasing need for resources, can we control the future of our health? Underscoring the need for stronger federal regulations is one way to begin. The E.P.A. proposed a new rule, known as Waters of the U.S., last March, and officials say the rule will clarify the agency's authority, allowing the government to limit pollution in smaller bodies of water as it had once done (via the 1972 Clean Water Act). As the New York Times article states below, people familiar with the rule say it will apply to about 60 percent of the nation’s waters. “Until now, major bodies of water were protected under the law,” said Elizabeth Ouzts, a spokeswoman for Environment America, an advocacy group. “But they can’t be fully protected unless the streams that flow into them are also protected.” The rule will also limit pollution in groundwater and other sources of drinking water, which can occur from power plant and chemical facilities, amongst other sources of pollution. Climate for Health can guide health professionals who may be emerging from their fields to connect with other leaders that care about environmental issues. We hope you'll join us and get involved for the sake of our collective health.
By Coral Davenport I May 22, 2015
The Obama administration is expected in the coming days to announce a major clean water regulation that would restore the federal government’s authority to limit pollution in the nation’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands.
Environmentalists have praised the new rule, calling it an important step that would lead to significantly cleaner natural bodies of water and healthier drinking water.
But it has attracted fierce opposition from several business interests, including farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide makers, oil and gas producers and a national association of golf course owners. Opponents contend that the rule would stifle economic growth and intrude on property owners’ rights.
Republicans in Congress point to the rule as another example of what they call executive overreach by the Obama administration. Already, they are advancing legislation on Capitol Hill meant to block or delay the rule.
The announcement of the rule could come as soon as Friday. If not, it is likely to happen next week, people with knowledge of the plans said.
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