Toxic chemicals threaten PA waterways

    Toxic chemicals continue to be dumped into Pennsylvania’s waterways at a rate that environmentalists say pose health threats to residents and fall far short of the goals of the Clean Water Act.

    Toxic chemicals continue to be dumped into Pennsylvania’s waterways at a rate that environmentalists say pose health threats to residents and fall far short of the goals of the Clean Water Act. One of which was to eliminate all industrial toxic releases by 1985. Penn-Environment released a report Wednesday that details how far away the state is from that goal.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091021sppollute.mp3]

    Penn-Environment Executive Director David Masur says the 10 million pounds of industrial waste dumped into Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams in 2007 also falls far short of another goal – making the waterways fishable and swimmable by 1983.

    Masur: This 10 million pounds is just one piece of the pie. This is only industrial, legal, self-reported discharges. You compound this with the fact that you have non-point source pollution from development, from natural gas drilling, you have municipal sewage treatment plants.

    Masur says the state Department of Environmental Protection is not doing enough to crack down on factories that release high levels of toxic waste and in fact issues the permits allowing the releases.

    A spokesperson for the DEP says the agency does work with companies to reduce levels of pollutants can issue violations.

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