Power companies have been burning coal for energy for decades and throwing the waste into ponds adjacent to waterways and communities. The Clean Water Act and the specific regulations of the Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Steam Electric Power Generating were the first time in history the federal government placed limits on the many acres of toxic sludge filled with arsenic and high levels of mercury and lead from coal-ash waste that is generated by the steam electric power plants that produced these poisons.
One of those challengers to the rules was Scott Pruitt, now head of the agency that protects us, who sued the Environmental Protection Agency when he was Oklahoma’s attorney general.
Clearly, he knows what is important in our society, “We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses”.
What he actually means is that money counts and damn those who value clean water.
And, that sweet-smelling solvent methylene chloride, commonly used in paint strippers, which can kill in minutes, has been unregulated for decades. There is a proposed regulation that would ban most uses of the chemical in paint strippers. Methylene chloride is in paint removers available in retail stores all across America. An estimated 1.3 million consumers use products with methylene chloride every year, and more than 30,000 people use them at work.
“In our view, a ban on methylene chloride in paint stripping products is long overdue, said Lindsay McCormick of the Environmental Defense Fund. “It is literally a matter of life and death.”
Deaths from the chemical have been documented since 1947 when four men were overcome, and one died. The solvent, which can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, can cause heart attacks and turns into carbon monoxide in the body.
“Everybody knows it’s a bad chemical, and yet nobody does anything,” said Katy Wolf, director of Institute for Research and Technical Assistance in California.