Bad Bill Alert: You have a right to know what’s in your drinking water!
Call your legislators now about terrible “Issuance of Advisories” bill. It protects POLLUTERS, Not the Public! Legislative session begins today.
Last week, the Department of Environmental Quality proposed a draft bill they said was intended to prevent “confusion” caused by the recent lifting of health advisories to well owners close to Duke Energy coal ash sites. This week, legislators introduced the bill- House Bill 1005 (Senate Bill 779). But the REAL reason is to keep people from actually KNOWING what harmful contamination is in their water and the health effects that they may face!
Here’s what you need to know, and share with your Representative and Senator:
1) For many years well owners have been notified by state Health officials about contamination, natural or man-made, found in any well test at a concentration high enough that state health officials knew it could have short or long term health effects. State Health and environmental staff have researched and calculated dozens of health based “screening levels” in order to advise well owners, but these are advisory only, not enforceable. Now they could be tossed out entirely, undermining the public health function of these agencies.
2) DEQ wants to stop the entire health based notification program and depend only on federal drinking water standards. Those standards, known as MCLs, exist for only about 60 of the hundreds of contaminants that have been documented in NC water and are often much weaker (less protective) than heath based screening levels for those same contaminants.
3) The bill would prevent health departments from issuing any health based notifications to public water customers, too! There have been many instances in NC when a pollution incident happened involving a contaminant with no federal standard at all, and threatened a public water supply, but this bill could keep the public or water customers from knowing!
EVERYONE should have the right to know what’s in their drinking water, including both well users and public water customers. This law is all about protecting water polluters of many kinds: coal ash dumps, chemical manufacturers, possible frackers, fuel storage, livestock operations and more!
Call your Representative and Senator now, to ask them to oppose this “Issuance of Advisories/Drinking Water Stds” bill! Drinking water is NOT a partisan issue, we ALL have the right to know what’s in our water so we can protect our families!