Earlier this month, President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency relaxed rules meant to keep dangerous heavy metals out of water supplies across the country. Arsenic, lead and mercury – toxins known to contaminate drinking water and cause cancer, birth defects and stunted brain development in kids – are among the toxins that leach out of coal ash. Until now, the coal plants responsible for that coal ash were required to monitor such toxins and install devices to keep it out of water supplies. But Trump’s administration thinks regulating such toxins is unnecessary.
What does this mean? Despite ample scientific evidence showing that it will increase health and safety risks, the Trump administration just gave the coal industry permission to dump toxic metals into our water supplies.