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community weblog - [ EPA Decision Threatens National Groundwater, Waterways and Habitats ]

EPA Decision Threatens National Groundwater, Waterways and Habitats


We are blessed in the US to have an extraordinary standard of living and unparalled rights to enjoy our nation's natural resources.  So why do we do so little as citizens to protect those rights?  Mostly, we trust our elected officials and agencies like the DNR and the EPA to make good decisions.  I think they need a casual reminder that we're still watching and still care!

Please give 5 minutes of your time to help send a message to the appropriate politicians that the condition of our waterways and groundwater matters. 

Take a quick moment and read the post below.  If you feel, as I do, that the EPA should not legalize the release of sewage into our waterways, then send an email to your elected officials.  It takes just a moment of your time using  Look for the "Write Public Officials" section in the middle of the page.  Enter your zipcode and you will get a simple form to send an email or letter to your elected officials.  Some believe that the letters are taken more seriously.  Also, don't forget to forward this note to fellow boaters!

Driving in to work on Thursday I caught a brief story on NPR about a pending decision by the EPA to allow the release of "blended" treated and untreated sewage into our waterways.  I think the story was produced by the GLRC but it hasn't showed on their site yet.  The Free Press picked it up also. Presently, it is illegal to release sewage into our waterways except in certain emergency conditions.  In practice we release massive amounts of sewage all the time.  A few years ago I was on the board of a regional environmental advocacy group and researched Michigan's sewage treatement policies and practices.  What I learned is that Michigan's sewage handling systems are so overwhelmed that we regularly discharge billions of gallons of untreated or partially treated sewage into the environment.  Much of this flows directly into the very waterways that provide us drinking water and recreation.  The rule change is National in scope so the potential damage to the environment is that much greater!

If we release what we do in spite of the law I can only imagine what we'll permit if there is no semblance of control.  While the proposed rule change would seem to be a complete violation of the Clean Water Act I wouldn't put it beyond the EPA to get the rule change through.  The decision will be made in the next month or two.  I recognize that there is a HUGE infrastructure problem and that complete treatment of all sewage is impossible. The solution is not to legalize this environmentally irresponsible behavior.  Our elected officials owe it to us to find a better solution.  Please let them know this!

-- Tor Hough, Publisher, H2ONotes (





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