Poisoned Waters — PBS Looks at Threats to Clean Water


I got to see a sneak preview of the PBS upcoming Frontline Documentary Poisoned Waters last week – the show airs this week and highlights some of the major threats to clean water and the Clean Water Act, looking especially at the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound as case studies.

It was at the preview, where EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced that she believed that the scope of the Clean Water Act needs to be clarified through legislative action. More than 160 scientists across the country agree that we must reaffirm that the Clean Water Act protects our small streams as well as our mighty rivers. Confusing Supreme Court cases have muddied the issue of what small streams and wetlands are protected – resulting in a significant decrease in enforcement against polluters, threatening clean water across the country (see the report Courting Disaster by some of our colleagues for more information).

The good news is that the Senate has recently reintroduced the Clean Water Restoration Act, which would restore much needed protections for clean water, including drinking water for over 110 million Americans. Hopefully this new documentary will spur action on this legislation, a critical step to curing our poisoned waters.