A Brief Note On Restoring Pennsylvania 's Waterways
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Restoring Pennsylvania’s Waterways Looking at the glistening waters of our streams and rivers, it may be hard to believe that approximately 5,300 miles of streams in Pennsylvania are so polluted they are currently classified as "dead". Due to loopholes in the Clean Water Act, more than half of the streams in the Keystone State are vulnerable to pollution. This affects an approximate 8 million Pennsylvanians who are served by public drinking water systems that draw from surface water. Only recently has the EPA taken action to restore protection to waterways in the United States. Unfortunately, it will take time for our streams and rivers to be truly clean again. Clearly, it is time that we act to preserve these waterways. Most people,…show more content… In spite of the fact that the earth is their home, they treat its streams and rivers as a sewer for their own personal gain. USS-Clairton Works Iron and Steel Mill, for example, dumped a reported 2,213,136 pounds of toxic chemicals into the Lower Monongahela River. This pollution will adversely affect the environment for years to come, even if we do our best to remove the chemicals. Studies have shown that most pollution incidents are due to negligence and bad practice. Obviously, this means that the pollution could have been avoided if these companies strictly adhered to a comprehensive pollution prevention program. Certainly there are a number of companies who have such a program in place and are committed to limiting their pollution, but the vast majority do not. As a result, the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory 2012 shows that various watershed regions in Pennsylvania are ranked among the top twenty most polluted in the United States.
Much of this pollution comes from fracking, otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing. Scientific sampling and analysis has found high concentrations of ammonium and iodide in the wastewater discharges from various treatment plants, including several facilities in the Allegheny River watershed. Ammonium was found in high concentrations that were toxic to aquatic life, being 50 times higher than the federal water quality limit. What were these facilities