Water, Water Everywhere! : A look into American environmental policies

Written by Courtney Tierney. Media by Fallyn Paruleski.

I’ll be honest, before writing this article, I did not know much about the environmental laws and policies here in America. To do some research, I went on the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) website and the GPO (U.S. Government Printing Office) to investigate these laws and policies. The EPA website was very resourceful. There are many different kinds and categories for the laws and policies, and I was able to view many, varying from air, to green living, to information about the climate in all the different parts of the US. And not only does it give you the specific laws and policies, but it gives you so much information regarding the environment. For example, when I clicked on the section about climate changes, I was able to look at the climate changes for the different regions of the US and how they affect that part of the country. I am from Massachusetts, and I was able to look at the Northeast Region and read up on how climate change has been affecting/will affect them. I found out that in the future, New Hampshire summers (which are hot) could feel like North Carolina summers (which are even hotter).

Image form http://courses.washington.edu
Image form http://courses.washington.edu

Wanting to focus on a specific topic and environmental policy, I looked into the water category and decided to look into the rules about drinking water. I found the policy on ground water. This is what the EPA provided in the basic information section of the policy: “EPA issued the Ground Water Rule (GWR) to improve your drinking water quality and provide additional protection from disease-causing microorganisms. Your drinking water comes from source water locations such as: lakes, rivers, reservoirs, ground water aquifers. Water systems that have ground water sources may be susceptible to fecal contamination. In many cases, fecal contaminations can contain disease causing pathogens. The GWR will provide increased protection against microbial pathogens” (water.epa.gov). This section also provided this quote: “Why is EPA taking risk-based approach to protect drinking water provided by ground water systems? An evaluation of data on outbreaks and the occurence of waterborne viral and bacterial pathogens and indicators of fecal contamination in ground water supplying public water systems (PWS) wells indicate that there is a subset of ground water systems (GWS) that are susceptible to fecal contamination” (water.epa.gov).
I think that these rules and policies make sense and that they are put into practice for good reasons. As a Christian, it is part of our duty to take care of this earth that God created for us to live in. Not only do they help us take care of God’s earth, but they help us take care of ourselves, as a lot of these laws and policies affect us and our health. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to drink yucky water! I think that it is an important topic that many people, including myself before this article, are not informed or educated about enough.


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