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EPA also covered up massive lead contamination of the water supply in Washington D.C. over a decade ago... justice was never served

Lead contamination

(NaturalNews) The Environmental Protection Agency, simply put, has a history of incompetence and arrogance, as well as a reputation for clearing itself while holding other people responsible for its own inactions.

Most recently, these traits were evident in the way the federal agency whiffed on water contamination in the city of Flint, Mich. Though state and local officials certainly share some blame for switching the city's water supply over to the Flint River, which was known to be contaminated, regional EPA officials, including the director, knew for months that residents were drinking tainted water, but refused to say anything publicly or intervene in any way, opting instead to wait for state officials to act.

In the Gold King Mine accident in Colorado, the agency's contractor has yet to be held responsible for releasing millions of gallons of yellow-orange-colored water containing massive amounts of pollutants and contaminants into the Animas River. But the agency's enforcers nevertheless helped convict nearly 200 people in 2015 of environmental crimes.

But again, none of this incompetence is new. The agency can't even keep water safe in the nation's capital, where it is headquartered.

History of malfeasance

Way back in 2001, widespread lead contamination was discovered in Washington, D.C., a finding that resulted, ultimately, in a congressional investigation, improper firings and a huge pass for the EPA. The scandal also damaged the reputation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while leaving thousands of children with lifelong health risks.

By the following year, according to according to this timeline summary, the first media coverage of the contamination broke – coverage of a resident of American University Park whose water tested six to 18 times the EPA Lead and Copper Rule's action level. Subsequent testing found dangerously high levels of lead from various locations around the city.

In March 2004,WSWS.org reported that the contamination was the worst ever for a major U.S. city in recent history. Both local water and sewer officials "and EPA officials were aware of extremely high levels of lead in the city's water system more than 18 months ago, but they deliberately concealed the toxic danger while assuring the public that the city's water supply was safe."

Worse, it was reported that the "solution" offered by the EPA was non-helpful, and that the agency, along with local water officials, repeatedly refused solutions that would have fixed the problem.

Abdicating responsibility

In 2013, The Washington Post reported that the city's water contamination problem had returned, noting that the unborn were being hit particularly hard:

Late-term miscarriages and spontaneous abortions occurred at an unusually high rate among Washington women from 2000 through 2003 — during the same time frame that lead levels were dangerously high in the city's drinking water, a study has found.

The study findings, which are scheduled to be published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, do not prove that the city's lead crisis caused fetal deaths or miscarriages. But the results show a significant correlation between the two events.

Once again, the EPA was absent from the scene, abdicating its responsibility as a regulator of clean water, and again, to the detriment of the public's health.

As for the earlier D.C. contamination, the only official who was let go, according to reports, was a mid-level employee for local water and sewer agency – after she warned superiors and the EPA of the contamination. No one in the EPA was even mentioned, much less disciplined, though again, ultimately it is the overarching federal authority for ensuring that the public has clean water to drink.

For more coverage of the EPA, and to learn about Mike Adams' efforts to map U.S. water quality and improve public health, be sure to check EPAWatch.org.






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