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So you think the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act guarantee that the air and water are cleaned?

One goal of the Clean Water Act of 1972 was to upgrade the nation’s sewer systems, many of them built more than a century ago, to handle growing populations and increasing runoff of rainwater and waste. During the 1970s and 1980s, Congress distributed more than $60 billion to cities to make sure that what goes into toilets, industrial drains and street grates would not endanger human health.

But despite those upgrades, many sewer systems are still frequently overwhelmed, according to a New York Times analysis of environmental data. As a result, sewage is spilling into waterways.In the last three years alone, more than 9,400 of the nation’s 25,000 sewage systems — including those in major cities — have reported violating the law by dumping untreated or partly treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials into rivers and lakes and elsewhere, according to data from state environmental agencies and the Environmental Protection Agency.

And why doesn’t the problem get fixed? After all, we have the technology, the economic knowledge and the ability to do it easily.

Here’s a hint:

The E.P.A. would rather look the other way than crack down on cities, since punishing municipalities can cause political problems,” said Craig Michaels of Riverkeeper, an environmental advocacy group. “But without enforcement and fines, this problem will never end.”Plant operators and regulators, for their part, say that fines would simply divert money from stretched budgets and that they are doing the best they can with aging systems and overwhelmed pipes.

Yep – and these guys are going to get climate change policy right. Where are all the environmentalists holding summits about these things? Do you think perhaps that we are spending a little too much time and money on the global warming issue and not enough on more immediate threats to our health and well being? What is the purpose of the EPA? To put an end to Industrial Life as we know it? Or to help us be healthier and safer. Do they not realize that even if we all stopped burning our fossil fuels tomorrow, we would all still emit the same amount of “natural pollutants” from our bodies?

Sadly, some who read this would respond, we just need to raise taxes, and those darn radical libertarians simply won’t let us do it!

Raw sewage spilling into our water – is there really a better analogy for what you get when you rely on government?

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