Press Release # 355

Subj: OOG: Send Letter to EPA to Drop Proposed Sewage Policy
Date: 12/21/2003 12:37:46 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Jon V3
To: Jon V3

Dear Ocean Outfall Group (OOG) et al:

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is putting out an action item to send a letter to EPA to ask it to drop a proposed policy of allowing inadequately treated sewage to be discharged during rain events. See the suggested letter below that I sent through the NRDC website. I accessed the NRDC website to send the letter, which you can do too by going to:

http://www.nrdcaction.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=10098

or, you can send the letter below by mail. EPA is accepting comments up to January 9, 2004.

Thanks.

Jan Vandersloot
(949) 548-6326

 

Here is the recent Earth Action Alert sent out by NRDC:
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Action Alerts
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Tell the EPA to keep inadequately treated sewage out of our waters.

Millions of Americans get sick every year from contact with inadequately treated sewage that ends up in water that we drink or swim in. Pathogens in sewage-contaminated waters can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses, dysentery and hepatitis. The consequences of contact with sewage-infested waters are even greater for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

The Clean Water Act requires that raw sewage be treated to remove dangerous
viruses and parasites before it is discharged into streams, lakes and drinking water sources. But on November 3rd, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new policy that would allow sewage to be discharged during rain storms without full treatment. The proposal would increase the amount of bacteria, viruses and parasites discharged into recreational waters and drinking water supplies, where they would make more people sick.

The EPA is accepting public comments on its proposed policy change through January 9, 2004.

== What to do ==

Send a message, before the January 9 comment deadline, objecting to the EPA's
proposal.

== Contact information ==

You can send a message to the EPA directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at:

http://www.nrdcaction.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=10098

Or use the contact information and sample letter below to send your own message.

Docket # OW-2003-0025
Environmental Protection Agency, Water Docket
Mailcode 4101T
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Leavitt and EPA staff,

I urge you to drop the proposed policy that would allow sewage treatment plants to routinely discharge inadequately treated sewage during rain events. The proposed policy would increase the amount of bacteria, viruses and parasites discharged into the nation's recreational waters and drinking water supplies.

The EPA's proposed policy (which it calls "blending") would mix together treated and largely untreated sewage before discharge. Blending is dangerous because it would allow sewage-infested wastewater to be discharged without removing most of the pathogenic organisms and other pollutants. The proposed policy would allow blending
even when feasible alternatives exist, such as constructing additional capacity or storing sewage until it could be fully treated.

More than half of all waterborne disease outbreaks in the U.S. in the past 50 years were preceded by heavy rainfall. Pathogens in sewage-contaminated waters can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses, dysentery and hepatitis, conditions that can be life threatening for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

I again urge you to abandon this seriously misguided proposal, and instead protect Americans' health by requiring effective sewage treatment at all times.

Sincerely,

Jan Vandersloot
2221 E16 Street
Newport Beach, CA 92663
USA

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